The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) releases a commentary piece authored by Supreme President George G. Horiates titled, “In Wake of Hagia Sophia’s Status Change, A Need for Action. Let’s Start with a Boycott.“
“The eradication of Turkey’s religious and cultural heritage, especially Christian and Hellenic, is alarming, disgusting, and has escalated with the demise of secular Turkish society and consolidation of Erdogan’s power,” Supreme President Horiates writes. “Hagia Sophia is the latest victim of his tyranny. It is hurtful to see one of the greatest monuments of Christian heritage used as a political ploy in what can only be described as a banana republic-style decision to convert Hagia Sophia to a mosque.”
Supreme President Horiates’ commentary calls for a boycott of Turkish products and provides examples of Turkey’s top imports to the United States, including hand-woven rugs and agricultural and animal products. He also renews the call to press the U.S. Senate to pass legislation that would impose sanctions on Turkey and reminds that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed similar legislation. Further, Horiates notes the Trump Administration is able to impose sanctions under current law, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
“AHEPA will explore opportunities to rally the community, and bring all peoples together, at venues and sites to raise awareness to key audiences that Erdogan’s action is unacceptable to a variety of communities, organizations, and sectors, and it cannot be allowed to stand,” he concludes, adding, “AHEPA is committed to defending Hellenism and to exploring all avenues for legal recourses to address Erdogan’s decision to covert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.”