by Aggelos Skordas
With Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan adapting an increasingly provocative rhetoric towards neighbouring countries -including NATO ally Greece-, introducing to the public sphere notions such as the “borders of the heart”, openly questioning the regional status quo, implying that modern Turkey should return to the borders of the Ottoman Empire and interfering in other countries affairs with alleged counter terrorist military operations such as the so-called “Olive Branch” targeting Kurdish populations of Northern Syria, voices of concern on the destructive course of his delusional authoritarian, despotic rule might take multiply.
Amid daily threats against the sovereignty of Greece and Cyprus, amid continuing air space violations over the Aegean, amid calls to his supporters to embrace themselves for World War III, amid violations of the Human Rights within Turkey, the International Law and decade-long treaties that have shaped the region’s modern borders, the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) have taken up an initiative to stop over arming Turkey. Specifically, HALC and ANCA have launched the #NoJetsForTurkey campaign to block the sale of US-made F-35 stealth fighters to Turkey.
The two Diaspora organisations featured a half-page ad in Wednesday’s The New York Times issue urging the United States to not proceed with the armament deal that would give Ankara the upper hand in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. Moreover, HALC and ANCA, under the title “Turkey is an unreliable ally” refer to the Turkish President’s latest threats against the US-troops operating in war-torn Syria against ISIS terrorists as well as against European and American oil companies conducting searches in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), an island aggressively divided since 1974 after what Erdogan lately characterized as a “peacekeeping operation”, referring to the “Attila” military invasion.
“Turkey”, the ad continues, “denies committing genocide against the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, bombs the Kurds while they fight ISIS and attacks peaceful demonstrators on American soil” and finally urges the US government to “say no to the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey”.
“Should Turkey be allowed to have F-35s when it is proven time and time again it is the #WorstAllyEver? Ask your US Senators to block F-35 sale to Turkey’s anti-American Erdogan regime”, the HALC underlines while calling Americans to join the campaign “opposing the reckless sale of America’s most advanced fighters to a country that may very well turn them F-35s against American forces or our regional allies, including Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Armenia”.
Sign the campaign petition in www.hellenicleaders.com/NoJetsForTurkey.
Erdogan: We arm ourselves because of “bad neighbours” Greece and Cyprus
Addressing local government officials in Ankara’s Presidential Palace on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed “bad neighbours”, Greece and Cyprus, for the country’s unprecedented military built-up and the development of a large domestic arms industry.
Moreover, in a insolent demonstration of historical revisionism, Erdogan characterised the 1974 brutal invasion of Cyprus which resulted in the death and expulsion of thousands of Greek Cypriots as well as the occupation of nearly 40 per cent of the island as a “peace operation”: “In 1974, during the ‘peacekeeping operation of Cyprus’ (sic), with a silencing operation, they destroyed our entire communication system […] Our supposed allies were the head of this operation. They destroyed it. What happened? We established ASELSAN (Military Electronic Industries)”, he said referring to the Turkish defense industry.
“ASELSAN has now become a company that participates in international competitions. These bad neighbors made us acquire wealth, made us acquire knowledge and be able to produce weapons” Erdogan concluded, while criticising the European Union for providing a bailout program for Greece.