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AHI Submits Letter to The Washington Post in Rebuttal to Favorable View on U.S.-Turkey Relationship
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Demetra Atsaloglou
June 26, 2012—No. 44 (202) 785-8430

AHI Submits Letter to The Washington Post in Rebuttal to Favorable View on U.S.-Turkey Relationship

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) released a letter to the editor it submitted recently to The Washington Post on the topic of President Barack Obama’s effort to build a special relationship with Turkey. 

AHI President Nick Larigakis wrote a response to a June 8, 2012 opinion piece by David Ignatius titled “Obama’s friend in Turkey.” The author claims the Obama Administration can celebrate Turkey as a “beacon for the neighborhood” and touts the close relationship between President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Over the past year, this investment in Turkey has begun to pay some big dividends — anchoring U.S. policy in a region that sometimes seems adrift,” writes Ignatius.  

Larigakis rebuts Ignatius’ claim that Turkey is a beacon in the region by citing Turkey’s illegal occupation of the Republic of Cyprus, frequent violations of Greece’s sovereignty and lack of religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Largakis also refutes President Obama’s push for a greater role for Turkey in NATO as noted by the author by citing examples of Turkey’s wayward foreign policy direction that has led to public scrutiny of Turkey’s NATO membership.

To view Ignatius’ opinion column, please click here.

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American think-tank and public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.

 

 

 

June 12, 2012

 

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20071

 

Dear Editor,

David Ignatius’ column “Obama’s friend in Turkey” (June 8) appears to be an attempt to apologize to Prime Minister Erdogan for the Davos incident. If so, Ignatius is as misguided as the administration policy he presents.

Ignatius’ claim that the administration “can celebrate [Turkey] as a beacon for the neighborhood” is perplexing. Turkey illegally occupies the Republic of Cyprus, a European Union nation that will assume the EU rotating presidency in July, with 43,000 of its troops. Turkey stated it will not recognize Cyprus’s presidency further alienating it from Europe. Moreover, Turkey continues to violate international law by transferring 180,000 illegal colonists into the occupied area of Cyprus in violation of the Geneva Convention, violating Greece’s sovereignty with frequent illegal over flights and military ship maneuvers, and violating the religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians.

President Obama wants a greater role for Turkey in NATO. However, Turkey’s wayward foreign policy direction includes bellicose threats toward Israel and work to undermine efforts to impose strong sanctions on Iran in the UN Security Council, among others. This has led to public scrutiny of Turkey’s NATO membership. Unfortunately, Ignatius and the president don’t agree. 

 

Sincerely,

Nick Larigakis
President
American Hellenic Institute
1220 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
[email protected]
202-785-8430

 

 

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For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.