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Politics

Group Fire from Turkish Media against Antonis H. Diamataris

February 9, 2022

ATHENS – Former Deputy Minister for Diaspora Greeks and current advisor to the publishers of The National Herald, Antonis H Diamataris, was targeted by Turkish newspapers and websites for his recent Editorial (see below), in which he called on US President Joe Biden not to fall into the Turks’ trap and proceed with the sale of F-16s, which Ankara is pursuing.

Among others, www.gunes.com, www.yeniakit.com.tr, www.aksam.com.tr, www.barandergisi.net, creating related videos, launched a group attack on Mr. Diamataris, declaring him the enemy of Turkey as well as, they point out, with his Editorial he “spewed hatred” towards Ankara.

For the same reason, www.milletgazetesi.gr, which is the newspaper of the “Turks of Western Thrace,” as they identify themselves on their Twitter account, also opened fire against Diamataris.

It is worth noting that the scale but also the coordination of the attack clearly demonstrate that there is a government orchestration behind it. In the meantime, however, there is a lot of misinformation in the published texts.

The attack, however, among other things, clearly proves that TNH is under the microscope of the Turks, who sift through its articles, especially concerning Greek national issues and involvement in those of the United States.

According to the Turkish press, “according to Mr. Diamataris, by buying new F-16s, Turkey will increase its air fleet, but in this way, U.S. President Joe Biden will sell out Greece again.

“Turkey has paid the U.S. $1.4 billion for the F-35s and in return has been offered 40 F-16s.

“U.S. lawmakers Chris Pappas, Gus Bilirakis, Carolyn Maloney wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State urging them not to sell planes to Turkey and to support the Armenians, Indians, and the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party].

“As pressure from Turkey’s enemies continued, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Biden welcomed the sale of planes to Turkey, but that some members of the U.S. Congress did not agree with the sale.

“This news was spread by the enemies of Turkey who are against the sale of F-16s. Deputy Minister in charge of the Diaspora Greeks, Antonis Diamataris, in his article in the newspaper National Herald, literally spewed hatred on the subject ‘Is It Possible that Joe Biden Will Sell Us Out?’

“In this article, Mr. Diamataris emphasizes that this time Turkey, in order to renew its old military planes, is asking for the latest F-16 technology. Turkey says give us what we want, otherwise we will ask Russia, if Biden sells these F-16s Greece’s international interests will be endangered, we must emphasize this from the beginning.

“Diamataris also stressed that if we take into account the events of recent years, the U.S. will try to prevent Turkey from going to Russia.

“The Greek diplomat in his article ‘Can Biden sell us out?’ writes, ‘yes, he can again. That’s why we need a general mobilization.’ With these words he appeals to the enemies of Turkey.

“Mr. Diamataris expresses his hatred with the following words: ‘Unfortunately, judging by a statement from the State Department, the Biden government is leaning towards the sale of warplanes: “The United States and Turkey have long standing and deep bilateral defense ties, and Turkey’s continued NATO interoperability remains a priority.”

‘If that is the situation, then Biden will have ‘sold’ us out – shamelessly.’

“According to Mr. Diamataris, as Russia’s threat to Ukraine continues, Turkey’s geostrategic value increases, and another fear is also Turkey’s recently improved relations with Israel.”

The full text of the Editorial by Antonis H. Diamataris follows:

Is It Possible that Joe Biden Will Sell Us Out?

Once again, Turkey is trying to blackmail America into boosting its military position. This time she wants the United States to sell Turkey state-of-the-art F-16 fighter jets to upgrade its aging aircraft fleet.

This is a game that has been played many times in the past. “Give us what we want,” they say, “or we will go to the Soviet Union” – now Russia.

Let me clarify from the start that if the Biden government satisfies Turkey’s request, then it will be aimed directly against the national interests of Greece, which is increasingly being threatened by Ankara.

You will ask me, “is it possible, after all that has happened in recent years, for America to fall into such a trap again?”

The short answer is, yes, it can happen again. That’s why we have to mobilize.

Here’s why it can happen: The threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which seems to be becoming more and more probable every day, increases the geostrategic importance of Turkey.

However, the weight of Turkey relative to Greece is not the same as it used to be, when short-sighted political reasons brought Greece into conflict with America and prevented the use of American bases in Greece.

At present, the United States has a number of valuable military installations in Greece, from Souda to Alexandroupolis, which increase the value of its own geostrategic position and reduce, correspondingly, that of Turkey’s.

So, will America want to even slightly disturb the atmosphere of very good relations between the two countries by selling F-16s to Turkey?

Another cause for concern is the recent improvement in Turkey’s relations with Israel.

I ask again: Is it possible for the Israelis to erase from their memory, not only Erdogan’s insults but general Turkish strategy towards them in recent years? Will they come to an understanding and ask the Israel Lobby in the United States to act along those lines?

And if this happens, will Israel not complicate the excellent relationship that they have developed with Greece in recent years?

The Turks are asking to buy the F-16s because America expelled them from the F-35 program after Ankara purchased Russian S-400 missiles – because they were playing games to the detriment of the security of America and the West.

They now claim that the sale of the F-16s is a ‘lifeline’ for the restoration of relations between the two countries and add that if the sale is prevented then they will be ‘throwing Turkey into the arms of Russia.’

How many times can they play this game? How many times will they blackmail us?

Unfortunately, judging by a statement from the State Department, the Biden government is leaning towards the sale of warplanes: “The United States and Turkey have long standing and deep bilateral defense ties, and Turkey’s continued NATO interoperability remains a priority.”

If that is the situation, then Biden will have ‘sold’ us out – shamelessly…

 

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