Supreme President George G. Horiates has issued the following statement:
AHEPA strongly condemns Turkey’s announced plan to conduct seismic surveys by encroaching upon Greece’s continental shelf off the coast of the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The advisory issued by Turkey, which violates international law, and has placed Greece’s armed forces on high alert, lasts until August 20.
Turkey’s act destabilizes the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean to the great concern of the American Hellenic community and diaspora. The region has become a tinderbox due to Turkey’s blatant hostilities, which are dangerous and unnecessarily place lives in harm’s way and are not in the United States’ best interests.
We registered our alarm and concern about Turkey’s action directly with the U.S. Department of State and requested the matter be addressed immediately by the U.S. government. The State Department’s urging Turkish authorities to halt its operations is welcomed. However, any reference to Greece’s continental shelf as “disputed waters” is simply unacceptable, erroneous, and runs contrary to repeated statements made by U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt that Greek islands are entitled to continental shelf and exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as recently as last week.
We continue to be alarmed by Turkey’s overall and repeated provocative and aggressive behavior that shuns American values, challenges American security interests, and threatens NATO allies and strategic partners of the United States in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.
We echo the repeated calls for the United States and European Union to hold Turkey responsible for its provocations and hostile actions through the imposition of sanctions in the name of peace, justice, and stability.
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Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
AHEPA’s mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.