Washington, D.C..- (GreekNewsOnline)
Ignoring U.S. Congress’ opposition, President Donald Trump will receive Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the White House on November 13. Lawmakers from both parties have slammed the president for his announcement that he plans to withdraw most U.S. troops from Syria, and Democratic lawmakers are also blasting his invitation to Erdogan while Turkey continues its attacks on the Kurds.
Erdoğan will arrive in Washington on Wednesday to discuss with Trump the ongoing situation in northern Syria as well as other issues that have soured relations between the two allies, including potential sanctions to be imposed on Turkey’s state-run Halkbank for evading U.S. sanctions on Iran.
A large protest is organized before the meeting on Wednesday, at Washington’s Lafayette Park across the White House, by Hellenic, Armenian, Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac-American, Kurdish-American, Arab-American and other human rights groups. The call for protest accuses Erdoğan of a long list of issues including destroying democracy, desecrating churches, invading Syria, killing Kurds and denying genocide.
Last time President Erdogan visited DC his security guards violently attacked and beat peaceful protesters. Rep. Dan Crenshaw is collecting signatures on a time-sensitive letter asking the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the State Department “to ensure President Erdoğan and his security detail are aware of and understand that Americans enjoy First Amendment rights to assembly and speech.”
ANCA and HALC have launched a campaign urging people to call their members of Congress and ask them to sign on to the letter here:
Supreme President of the Order of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), George Horiates issued a statement in preparation for the upcoming visit of President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan to Washington, DC.
“We believe this visit to the United States is inappropriate and unnecessary at this time. Turkey has proven to be a untrustworthy ally to the United States and to their neighbors in the Eastern Mediterranean. Recent developments with the sale of the SR 400 Russian missile defense system, their incursion into Syria, slaughtering innocents, their almost daily violations into Greek air space and the (yet again) illegal drilling off the coast of Cyprus is just the tip of the iceberg”. Horiates continued “the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is in Constantinople (present day Istanbul) and the constant ignorance of human rights, religious freedom and several other civil liberties that surround it make it more difficult to access.”
Supreme President George Horiates and Global headquarters staff have been working tirelessly to prepare for the upcoming visit to the White House of President Erdogan of Turkey. On Wednesday, November 13, 2019 AHEPA has joined with our friends in the Armenian Community through our association with the Armenian National Committee and are participating in a PROTEST in DC! We are asking all our chapters and community to come to Washington where AHEPA will rally against the appearance of Erdogan. We call upon all Ahepans to attend a peaceful demonstration to encourage the West to stop turning a blind eye towards Turkey. Defend Hellenism now, it is needed more than ever.
The below flyer has all of the instructions necessary in that regard. If you can get buses sponsored by your chapters or just get attendees. The time is now.
How else can you help?
1. Tell your U.S. Senators to support legislation that places strong sanctions on Turkey and encourage Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring it to the floor:
S.2641, Risch-Menendez Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act of 2019 (see co-sponsors)
Read: Supreme President Horiates’ letter to Majority Leader McConnell
2. Tell Congress to urge President Trump to rescind his invite to President Erdogan to visit DC November 13.
AHEPA is co-hosting a protest of the Trump-Erdogan meeting
3. Tell your U.S. Senators to support legislation that recognizes the Armenian Genocide and encourage Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring it to the floor:
Senate: S.Res.150, Expressing the sense of the Senate that it is the policy of the United States to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance. (see co-sponsors)
The resolution cites the U.S.’ “providing relief to the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians;”
The resolution also cites the work of the Near East Relief, which was chartered by an Act of Congress. Near East Relief provided humanitarian aid to Greek refugees and to Greece during a period from 1915 to 1930.
American Hellenic Institute
American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis wrote to President Donald J. Trump today to convey the Institute’s profound disappointment that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the White House on November 13, 2019.
“Turkey is not a friend of the United States, let alone an ally. We vehemently opposed your invite to Mr. Erdogan because his authoritarianism must not be rewarded or dignified with a visit to the White House,” Larigakis wrote. “However, because the meeting it is set to take place, you must therefore deliver a clear, stern message that Turkey will be held accountable for its illegal activities in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Larigakis cited the laundry list of examples of how Turkey, under the Erdogan government, has been a consistent violator of the rule of law. As a result, AHI’s president insisted that President Trump make it clear that there will be consequences for Turkey’s illegal actions.
Larigakis expressed further disappointment with the State Department’s opposition to two House-passed measures last week, a bill to impose sanctions on Turkey and a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide, because they risk further “straining relations with a key NATO ally.”
Larigakis wrote, “Turkey has never proven to be a faithful NATO ally and the State Department’s rationale for this position is moot and the evidence does not support it.”