The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has condemned the US State Department’s decision to agree to Turkey’s request for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which imposes import restrictions on cultural goods originating prior to 1924 or the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
AHI has been advocating vigorously against this request since January 2020 to the State Department and the Congress.
“It is unconscionable that the State Department, during the 11th hour of the Trump administration, would even consider entertaining, let alone agree to, such a proposal by the government of Turkey, in the light of its conversion of the Hagia Sophia and persecution of religious minorities within the country, as well as religious leaders such as the Ecumenical Patriarch. In this context, it is particularly insulting and absurd the US government’s official press release announcing the agreement references ‘Turkey’s longstanding religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity’,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said.
“We call upon President Biden not to enforce the MoU, which is in his authority to do,” he said.