U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis’ Letter to the Editor in the New York Times

March 14, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – A recent article in the New York Times titled ‘We Are Like Animals’ : Inside Greece’s Secret Site for Migrants, has drawn criticism for vilifying Greece for its treatment of refugees and migrants. Greeks and Greek-Americans are especially outraged by this article and its allegations as Greece has been suffering for years to deal with the refugee crisis while also dealing with the financial crisis.

The Greek people’s selfless efforts to help the refugees and migrants when they themselves have so little has been well-documented in documentary films and in the media, including in The National Herald, which have also covered Turkey’s destabilizing efforts in the eastern Mediterranean.

Among those giving voice to their concerns about the Times spreading misinformation about the refugee crisis is Greek-American U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) who wrote a Letter to the Editor, dated March 12, addressed to the Times.

The text of Rep. Bilirakis’ letter follows:


Re: “‘We Are Like Animals’ : Inside Greece’s Secret Site for Migrants”

Dear Editor,

Your reporting on the crisis at the Greek-Turkish border misinforms the American public at the exact time that our government is considering how to diffuse this crisis.

The conscious decision to not report on Turkey organizing what the State Department has criticized as the “fundamentally destabilizing” and “unsustainable” movement of thousands of people towards the borders of the EU is inexplicable. This error is compounded by the lack of discussion of Turkey’s geopolitical motives, and that those that have been arrested are not Syrian asylum seekers but migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Somalia, and Turkey itself.

I must also note that all your official sources for this article are Turkish officials, and your “facts” do not match those we have ascertained through briefings Congress is receiving from the U.S. Embassy in Athens or the statements of the Greek government. The New York Times should not let its pages be used as a distribution center for Turkish government talking points.


Gus Bilirakis

Member of Congress


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