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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Erdogan Statements Destabilize The Eastern Mediterranean

Members of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes informed key Washington policymakers of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent dangerous statements and their consequences. CEH leaders explained how Erdogan’s statements have injured the interests of the United States, Israel and the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Last week Erdogan broke with the United Nations, European Union, United States and every other country in the world when he said, “There is no country named Cyprus. There is the local administration of south Cyprus.” This outrageous statement follows his similarly unjustified recent claims that Israel was instrumental in the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s government in Egypt, that Turkey has ownership of Cyprus’ hydrocarbons, as well as expressing his support for extremist Islamist factions in Syria.

These developments were highlighted for policymakers in an effort to help assure America does not inadvertently contribute to this irresponsible tact that Erdogan has chosen to take. These recent actions by Erdogan have damaged the belief that Turkey should serve as a model for other Muslim countries to emulate.

American policymakers should focus on helping those whom Erdogan is injuring – the people of Turkey, Israel, the United States and Cyprus. He injures both Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots who oppose both Turkey’s nearly 40-year military occupation of Cyprus and Turkey’s illegal infusion into Cyprus of hundreds of thousands of Turks. These Cypriots desperately desire the reunification of their peace-loving island. Unlike many Muslims and Christians in the Eastern Mediterranean, these two communities have related harmoniously on Cyprus for nearly all of their hundreds of years together.

The Coordinated Effort of Hellenes urged policymakers to bear in mind Erdogan’s irresponsible conduct as they approach efforts to negotiate an end to Turkey’s almost 40-year occupation and division of Cyprus.

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