WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) released a letter to the editor it submitted to the New York Times, September 1, 2020 to correct the record of an editorial it published on August 30, 2020 titled, “There’s a New Game of Thrones in the Mediterranean.”
In the letter to the editor, AHI President Nick Larigakis wrote, “The article trivializes the geo-political dynamics of the region by oversimplifying the issues and simply describe[s] the developments in the region as a ‘Greek-Turkish’ dispute. By not talking about or glossing over Turkey’s aggressive posture towards many other countries in the region, such as Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, the Gulf States, and EU powers such as France, the New York Times is, whether intentional or unintentional, putting Greece and Turkey at parity, when it is Turkey which is the aggressor nation.”
“This is not the first time the AHI and other Greek American organizations are holding the New York Times to account,” President Larigakis said. “In recent months, the newspaper has produced a plethora of articles unfairly smearing Greece. We strongly encourage the New York Times to re-evaluate its approach, and to change course.”
AHI’s letter to the editor is found below in its entirety:
Dear New York Times Editorial Board,
The editorial on tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean is inaccurate (There’s A New Game of Thrones In the Mediterranean, Aug. 30). It couches tensions in a parochial framework as a Greek-Turkey dispute when, in fact, Turkey is displaying hostility toward several parties in the region, including in Libya and Syria. President Erdogan has been belligerent toward Israel by actively supporting Hamas. Turkey has frayed relations with the Saudis and the Gulf States. President Erdogan, a sponsor of the Muslim brotherhood, views El-Sisi’s Egypt as an adversary. He also has threatened to undermine the integrity of NATO through his purchase and acquisition of Russian S-400 systems. It is not appropriate to simply describe Cyprus as being divided between a Greek south and a Turkish north, as claimed by the article. The Republic of Cyprus, formed in 1960, is the only sovereign government with legitimate authority over the island of Cyprus. The territory of the Republic of Cyprus is and has been occupied by Turkey since it invaded the island in 1974. Neglecting all the aforementioned facts puts Greece and Turkey at parity, when Turkey is the aggressor nation, is ignorant at best, and at worst, disingenuous.
Finally, the editorial calls for “room for negotiation.” However, international law is not negotiable and is on Greece’s side. Turkey must abide by the rule of law.
American Hellenic Institute
The American Hellenic Institute is a 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.