WASHINGTON, DC — Turkey dropped its concession to Sweden and Finland joining NATO as the latter two countries signed a memorandum to “address (Turkey’s) pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly…in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition.”
President Joe Biden, who praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his “leadership” and doing a “great job” during a recent NATO meeting, publicly backed the sale of F-16 jets to Turkey, stating, “There was no quid pro quo with that. It’s just, we should sell….I need congressional approval to be able to do that, and I think we can get that.”
In light of these developments, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) issues the following statement attributable to AHI President Nick Larigakis:
“AHI condemns Turkey’s attempt to extort NATO and the Alliance in addition to President Joe Biden’s push to sell F-16s to Turkey.
“During the 2003 Iraq war, Turkey refused to allow United States troops to transit through Turkey and create a “northern front” vis-a-vis Iraq. Turkey demanded significant financial payments for any collaboration, and as such, a Bush administration official described Turkey at that time as engaging in ‘extortion in the name of alliance.’
“Similarly, today, Turkey weaponizes its position in NATO to hold it at its mercy. President Erdogan’s desire to extradite his political opponents abroad, including in democratic countries such as Finland and Sweden, represents a blatant authoritarian powerplay. This incident should make the Alliance reconsider Turkey’s status within NATO, and whether it may be better if Turkey were no longer in the Alliance.
“President Biden’s position is particularly disappointing, given that AHI, through the efforts of former AHIPAC chairman, Dr. Dean Lomis, first educated a young then-Senator Biden about the Cyprus problem in 1974. It is a shame that the President now wants to appease the dictator of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President Biden’s desire to give jets to Erdogan is the height of strategic malpractice. In addition to the continued occupation of Cyprus and constant violations of Greek airspace, Erdogan is threatening to re-invade Syria. We should not be abetting Turkey as it tries to destabilize the Middle East. AHI will work tirelessly to block the sale of F-16s in Congress.”