In response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s move to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque last Friday, The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) issued a call for U.S. citizens to “boycott” Turkey’s products and avoid flying the country’s national airline.
“AHEPA is calling for a boycott of Turkish products,” AHEPA Supreme President George Horiates said in an announcement. “According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. goods imports from Turkey totaled $10.3 billion in 2018 — up 9.8% ($924 million) from 2017, and up 122.7% from 2008. This trend must stop.”
Horiates included data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) showing that Turkey is the world’s top exporter of hand-woven rugs with $1.92 billion in 2018. Carpets and other textile coverings registered among the country’s top 2018 imports to the U.S., totaling $591 million.
But the issue extends beyond textiles; agricultural products are the sector in which American citizens can make a difference, Horiates said, while citing further data from 2018 — when U.S. imports of Turkish agricultural products totaled $1 billion.
“Although the following thoughts are not silver bullet solutions for the reversal of Erdogan’s decision, it would apply pressure to the Erdogan regime in other ways to send a strong message where it hurts — his already ailing economy,” Horiates said. “Please check those product and textile labels to ensure you are not buying Turkish products that support the Erdogan regime.”
The AHEPA Supreme President continued by urging supporters not to fly Turkish Airlines, or “the [Erdogan] regime’s national airline,” per his statement.
“Hit Turkey in tourism and travel as best as possible,” Horiates said. “Do not fly Turkish Airlines, the regime’s national airline. Period. “
Adding to the call for a boycott, Horiates asked AHEPA followers to push for action by pressing the U.S. Senate to sanction Turkey.
“We remind the community the U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation (H.R.4695) that imposes sanctions on Turkey for its military invasion of northern Syria and that a companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S.2641) is positioned to be brought to the Senate floor, should Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decide to do so,” he said. “Ask your U.S. Senators to call on Majority Leader McConnell to have the Senate take immediate action to sanction Turkey. “
Horiates called Erdogan’s action to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque “unacceptable to a variety of communities, organizations and sectors.” He said that the Turkish president’s decision “cannot be allowed to stand” and that AHEPA remains committed to “exploring all avenues for legal recourses” in response.
“No one can erase the truth, erase and exterminate Christianity and wipe out the Hellenization of the Byzantine Empire,” the AHEPA Supreme President said. “Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque is proof that Erdogan is not only guilty as a reckless, tyrannical leader, but an evil doer. Even if his action does not land in a court of law, Erdogan is guilty as charged.”
Is The Pappas Post worth $5 a month for all of the content you read? On any given month, we publish dozens of articles that educate, inform, entertain, inspire and enrich thousands who read The Pappas Post. I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep the quality of our content high — and free. Click here and start your monthly or annual support today. If you choose to pay (a) $5/month or more or (b) $50/year or more then you will be able to browse our site completely ad-free!