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Editorial

Ask Erdogan about the Lobby

May 17, 2020
Βυ Antonis H. Diamataris

In his rage over a relatively toothless alliance between Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, France, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – I say relatively toothless because I do not see the participation, for example, of Israel, not to mention the United States, Britain, Germany, etc. – which has condemned the predatory tactics of the Turks in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan reveals something very important: the good opinion he has about the Greek lobby and its effectiveness.

In essence, it attributes the success of Greek foreign policy, at least regarding this alliance, to the Greek – and Armenian – lobbies in the United States.

"I will not leave," he said specifically, "the field to the Armenian and Greek lobbies."

It is noteworthy that he leaves the Jewish lobby aside, despite its cooperation with the Greek one.

In any case, it is revealing that in Erdogan's eyes, the Greek lobby not only lives, but also reigns supreme. That it has so much influence that it poses a threat to Turkey.

It doesn't matter so much that our image of the Greek lobby in Washington is different from the image he has. What matters is how he sees the forces that confront him.

After the ‘Spring’ of the Greek lobby in Washington, after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and especially under the government of Konstantinos Karamanlis, the lobby went into decline.

The reasons for this were many. But among them was also the gradual passing from the scene of leading personalities such as George Livanos, Costas Maliotis, Gogos Paraskevaidis, Andrew Athens, as well as of politicians such as John Brademas and others.

They, in collaboration with Eugene Rossidis, Philip Christopher, Andy Manatos, and others, and assisted by Archbishop Iakovos and The National Herald, were a strong strike force.

It must also be noted that the anti-Americanism cultivated in Athens, as well as fatigue that occurred over time, weakened it.

Greek governments, however, believing that the Greek lobby – i.e. Greek-American organizations – had failed regarding the national issues, then spent large sums of money on lobbying firms unrelated to Greece and indifferent to Greek interests, based on wrong impressions and dazzled by glittering names.

The current government, since the day it was elected, has been pursuing a new policy towards the Hellenic Diaspora in general and the lobby in particular. It knows a long-term, non-partisan policy is required, and they are working on it.

Yes, not everyone who ‘lobbies’ offers the same goods. And, yes, those who often promise the most, often produce the least.

But who else but the President of the Republic of Turkey can be considered the most authoritative judge of the overall contributions and effectiveness of our lobby?

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