WASHINGTON – (GreekNewsOnline)
Leaders of major Greek American organizations issued statements condemning the decision by President Trump to give allow Turkey to invade northern Syria.
Supreme President George G. Horiates has issued the following statement about developments in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean:
“President Donald Trump’s decision to have United States Armed Forces stand down in Northeast Syria, allowing Turkey to proceed with an invasion that will result in the certain wiping out of Kurds, a staunch partner in the fight against ISIS, has drawn significant bipartisan criticism. It is yet another example of how the West condones Turkey’s deceitful demands and hostile behavior.
“The American Hellenic community is outraged, and frankly, frustrated, with the West’s inability to take appropriate measures to stop Turkey from: pursuing its expansionist agenda, maintaining its ties with terrorist organizations, and perpetuating its violations of international law in the Eastern Mediterranean; all at the expense of the security and best interests of the United States, our NATO allies, and strategic partners. It bears repeating, Turkey is not a United States ally.
“Turkey has proven throughout its history it is incapable of maintaining a Western orientation and even more so under its current authoritarian regime. Sadly, Hellenes have witnessed the consequences when the West has failed to act and stand-up to Turkey’s wrath–the Greek Genocide, the Smyrna Catastrophe of 1922, the pogrom of Istanbul in 1955, and the 1974 invasion of the Republic of Cyprus. Currently, Turkey’s drillships are present in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, including Block 7, which is licensed to international oil and gas companies based in EU-member nations. Turkey repeatedly violates Greece’s airspace and waterways where it engages in mock dogfights and practices gunboat diplomacy, respectively, placing lives unnecessarily at risk.
“We urge Washington and Brussels to act now. We reiterate our call for targeted, swift and overwhelming sanctions to be placed on Turkey, specific to illegal actions Turkey has taken in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. We welcome the bipartisan call for sanctions should Turkey conduct military operations in Northeast Syria against the Kurds. Additionally, NATO partners must scrutinize Turkey’s place in the Alliance. Further, Congress must hold hearings on Turkey’s threats to peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, including its ties to terrorist organizations, based on these recent developments.
“The international community must hold Turkey accountable. The West repeatedly has turned a blind eye. It must not fail to act again.”
AMERICAN HELLENIC INSTITUTE
The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) issued the following statement on news reports that as many as 20 Turkish naval vessels have encircled Cyprus:
AHI strongly condemns Turkey’s rapid escalation of its presence in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which has coincided with Turkey’s invasion of Northeast Syria where it plans to attack U.S.-allied Kurdish forces.
AHI welcomed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s warning to Turkey that “…illegal drilling is unacceptable…” during his visit earlier this week in Athens. However, the United States has yet to demonstrate its will to punish Turkey for its illegal activity in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone where Turkey threatens United States interests, including U.S. firms; and United States’ strategic partner, and EU member nation, Cyprus. The United States must sanction Turkey for its invasion of Northeast Syria as U.S. senators have called for in a bipartisan outcry. AHI strongly argues Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, which Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades called a “second invasion,” warrants the same bipartisan outcry for targeted sanctions from Capitol Hill legislators.
Furthermore, AHI vehemently disagrees with President Donald Trump’s invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the White House next month. The United States’ appeasement of Turkey’s demands is endless and must stop. Otherwise, Turkey will continue with its aggressive and provocative acts, which are egregious, without fear of repercussion.
Finally, in policy statements, AHI has long-called Turkey an unreliable and disloyal ally, dating back to the Cold War where Turkey aided the Soviet military, including overflight rights and passage rights through the Bosphorous and Dardanelles Straits into the Mediterranean Sea, where the Soviets were a threat at the time to the U.S. Sixth Fleet. It can be argued Turkey is doing Russia’s bidding today in Northeast Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Hellenic American Leadership Council launched a social media campaign urging members of Congress to join initiative by Senators Graham and VanHollen to place sanctions on Turkey:
HALC urges the entire US Congress to join Senators
in holding #Turkey accountable for attacking the US’s best allies in the fight against #ISIS and thus endangering US interests and national security. #TurkeyIsNotOurFriend #standwithkurds