The American Hellenic Institute (AHI), a nonprofit Greek-American public policy center and think tank, has urged Washington to end its “appeasement” policy toward Turkey, while reiterating a call upon Congress to sanction Ankara over its military incursion into northeast Syria.
“The United States’ appeasement of Turkey’s demands is endless and must stop. Otherwise, Turkey will continue with its aggressive and provocative acts, which are egregious, without fear of repercussion,” AHI said in a statement.
“AHI commends the introduction of legislation in Congress aimed at sending a strong message to Turkey that its invasion of Syria will not go unpunished,” it said.
The operation against Kurdish-led forces in Syria is “eerily similar” to Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus and fits a long-standing pattern of blatant violation of international law and disregard for US and NATO interests, AHI said.
“This invasion is not an isolated event. It must be placed in the historical context of Turkish policies over the last two generations which undermine and contradict the interests of the US and NATO,” the Washington-based organization said.
“Since coming to power in 2003, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has single-handedly taken this behavior into a whole new dimension,” it said, while deploring US President Donald Trump’s decision to invite Erdogan to the White House in November.
Ankara’s hostile stance is evident in a number of defense and security policies, AHI said, including its purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile system (which Washington says is incompatible with NATO’s defense network), prospecting for oil and gas inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), its support of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, and its facilitation of ISIS fighters.
In a written statement, US Senator Chris Van Hollen said: “The legislation would apply new sanctions to senior Turkish officials, including President Erdogan, key Turkish banks, military transactions, and their energy sector activities in support of the Turkish Armed Forces. It would require the US Treasury to move forward with delayed sanctions under CAATSA [Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] over Turkey’s decision to obtain the S-400 Russian missile defense system. It also would prohibit US military assistance to Turkey, bar President Erdogan and Turkish leadership from visiting the United States, and require reports on the net worth and assets of Mr Erdogan amid concerns of corruption. Finally, in the wake of an ISIS resurgence in Syria, it demands a strategy from the Administration to defeat them and stabilize the region.”