WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump ahead of his scheduled meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House, May 16, 2017.
In the May 1, 2017 letter, AHI President Nick Larigakis requested that Turkey’s provocations, which have created instability in the eastern Mediterranean and which are not in the best interests of the United States, be raised during their meeting. Larigakis cited rising tensions in the Aegean, Turkey’s recent incursion into Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and President Erdogan’s alarming rhetoric toward the European Union, as how Turkey has been a force of instability.
“Given the conduct and policies of the Erdogan regime, it is essential that the U.S. fundamentally re-assess our alliance and overall relationship with Turkey,” Larigakis wrote. “We hope that you will make this point to President Erdogan.”
In addition, understanding that defeating ISIS will be a priority on the agenda, President Larigakis asserts the United States cannot trust Turkey in the fight. Larigakis cites the views of policy analysts such as Doug Bandow, senior fellow, Cato Institute, who wrote, ““Erdogan long played footsie with the Islamic State; his government apparently helped arm, sell oil from, and open Turkish territory for use by ISIS. More recently he has targeted the Syrian Kurds, U.S. allies against ISIS.”
AHI cautions that whatever future assistance Turkey should provide the United States on ISIS should not come at the expense of true and tried allies in the eastern Mediterranean who advance U.S. national interests in the region.
The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.
For additional information, please contact Georgea Polizos 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 and follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC.