The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) 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.”
Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
AHEPA’s mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.