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Associations

AHI Welcomes Administration’s Decision to Slap Turkey with Sanctions

December 15, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) on December 14 issued a statement on the Trump administration’s announcement to impose sanctions on Turkey for its acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system, which is in violation of the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

“AHI welcomes the Trump administration’s decision today to impose long overdue sanctions on Turkey to hold it accountable for its violation of CAATSA,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “Today, the United States took a step in the right direction and sent a clear message to Turkey that Washington is shifting away from the previous failed policies of appeasement toward Turkey.”

As a NATO member, Turkey causes instability in the region to the detriment of U.S. interests and in violation of the rule of law.

In addition to breaking U.S. law, Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system threatens the integrity of NATO.

The acquisition must also be seen within the context of the Blue Homeland doctrine which President Erdogan has espoused. The doctrine holds that Turkey will assert its own version, lawful or not, of its sovereign rights in the sea and land of the area using any means at its disposal, including military means.

The S-400s are designed to shoot down F-16s. Greece has one of the largest fleets of F-16s in the world.

“We support the Trump administration’s decision, and Congress, which passed the National Defense Authorization Act that imposes mandatory sanctions on Turkey, to ensure that Turkey is held for its actions that violate U.S. law and are not in the best interests of the United States. The matter is crystal clear.

“We thank all of those in the community who advocated to and educated public servants on this policy issue.”

The United States’ sanctions target a Turkish defense company, its president, and three executive officers.

As stated in AHI’s policy statement, which called for the Trump administration to sanction Turkey under CAATSA, AHI made the case to the Administration and to Congress to enact the policy through letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, legislation, congressional testimony, and statements.

In addition, President Larigakis reiterated that Turkey remains a threat to U.S. ally Greece and strategic partner, Republic of Cyprus, and also in violation of U.S. law.

Larigakis says Turkey violates Arms Export Control Act each time it orders U.S.-supplied F-16s into Greek airspace because the condition under which Turkey received the F-16s is that they be used only for “legitimate self-defense.”

“No one, not even, Turkey alleges that Greece has provoked the F-16 sorties,” Larigakis said. “And, of course, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S.-supplied arms and equipment in violation of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.”

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