The Turkish government launched a coordinated attack by many media outlets, against me accusing me of being an enemy of Turkey. The reason for this was my recent commentary asking President Joe Biden not to sell Turkey the F-16 fighter jets that Erdogan is asking to buy.
I want to make it clear from the beginning. I am not anyone’s enemy. I am a Greek-American, I love Greece and I do – and I will continue to do – everything I can to promote its interests. And its interests demand that these state-of-the-art planes not be sold to Turkey because the time may come when they will be used to kill Greeks, to occupy Greek territory, and to grab even more territory in Cyprus.
So it is both a duty and an obligation and my pleasure to do everything in my power to prevent such a development.
Turkey’s attack on me, an attack that is one of the greatest honors in my life, however, reveals some things that I find useful to note:
Firstly, it is obvious that the Turkish government attaches great importance to being able to buy these aircraft. It is for this reason that they try to silence those who they think might stand in the way of their goal. The fact that they include me among them is my honor.
Secondly, in contrast to the majority of the political – and journalistic – class in Athens, the Turkish government, it turns out, attaches great importance to the role of the Greek American community in serving Greece’s national interests.
Perhaps Turkey, as the recipient of the fruits of the efforts of the Community against it, has a better understanding of the effectiveness of our actions than Athens does.
Thirdly, the Turkish attack on me proves the attention they are paying to our Community and consequently the care with which they are watching The National Herald. This is not only because Ankara is aware that our newspapers are read in the Community from one end of the United States to the other, but also because Turkish officials are aware that it is closely monitored by the U.S. government and is therefore likely to have an impact in this area.
This reminds me of an old good friend of mine, who told me that it is a big deal for the Community, but also for Greece, that it has its own newspaper in the ‘heart’ of America, and in fact in New York.
In my commentary on the F-16s, which angered Turkey, I also expressed my concern that in the context of the U.S.-Russia crisis over Ukraine, Turkey’s role would be upgraded, from a geopolitical point of view, and that Erdogan will return to the role of ‘good boy’ and good ally of NATO, persuading America to erase the recent sins he committed against it and sell him the planes.
Unfortunately, “before the rooster crowed three times,” this view has been confirmed. During his visit to Ukraine a few days ago, Erdogan announced that he had agreed to increase the supply of long-range drones he has sold to that country, which had already angered the Russian government.
This decision is a classic move by Erdogan with the obvious aim of appeasing America.
I repeat that under no circumstances should Biden fall into this trap. Based on recent events – and to say nothing of earlier ones – there can be no doubt about Erdogan’s unreliability.
If Biden sells the planes to him, then, after Erdogan has achieved his goals, he will turn again against America and possibly, more aggressively against Greece.
If what I write makes me an ‘enemy’ of Turkey, then I gladly accept my guilt.