The AHEPAN Fall 2020 - 15

Europe is morally and financially bankrupt," a view which has
great approval in the Turkish public opinion and the military.
The similarity in the inception of converting Hagia Sophia to a
mosque between the Turkish government and terrorist groups
like ISIS, known among other things for the atrocious destruction and desecration of archeological treasures in Syria and Iraq,
is stunning and appalling in the same time.
3.	 Erdogan has repeatedly proven that Turkey does not abide
by international rules and laws and that it will behave as a
thug, if it is allowed. The US public opinion still remembers
in shock images from Erdogan's visit in 2017 in Washington
D.C. and the exhibition of brute force by his security guards
against peaceful protestors on foreign ground. To date, no one
has been held accountable in a US court for this unlawful
exertion of force against people peacefully demonstrating
against civil rights oppression and injustice in Turkey.
4.	 World leaders such as President Donald Trump, Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo, Democratic Presidential Nominee Vice
President Joe Biden, Josep Borrell on behalf of the EU, French
President Emmanuel Macron and many other world political
and religious leaders have condemned the act of the conversion as a blow to the cultural heritage of the monument and
have asked for a reversal of this decision. Unfortunately, no
argument has drawn any reasonable response conveying
any realization or remorse; on the contrary condemnation
through mere statements appears only to bolder the Turkish
state and its officials. On the other hand, the Turkish president has received congratulations from organizations like the
Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
5.	 Turkey has willingly sidelined and disregarded UNESCO in
the decision-making and planning process of the conversion
of Hagia Sophia to a mosque. Turkey did not meet the formal requirements emanating from the protective status of
the monument under the auspices of UNESCO, prior to any
decision for altering its status.
6.	 Turkey is among the world champions in suppression of civil
rights e.g. radio and television stations are censored, journalists jailed without legal grounds and due process followed,
political adversaries of the opposition are violently persecuted.
7.	 Turkey fails to provide equal rule of law to its citizens. Ethnic
and religious minorities have been treated unfairly and even
violently for a long period of time leading to shrinking populations over the years.
Moreover, on hard-power matters, Turkey is acting in accordance with the dogma perfectly symbolized by the conversion

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of Hagia Sophia to a mosque. Therefore, the world leaders also
must consider the following indicators of the need of leadership
involvement on a high political level:
8.	 Turkey has been linked in Syria, Libya and elsewhere with
funding, arming and managing active extremist and terrorist
groups with ideological and operational ties to Al Qaeda, the
Islamic Caliphate and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Besides
its conspicuous role in leading the terrorist rebel opposition
in Syria, recently they have repeatedly violated the UN arms
embargo in Libya, actively supporting GNA. This practice was
condemned on August the 5th by National Security Adviser
Robert C. O'Brien.
9.	 Turkey is continuing the unlawful, catastrophic, military
occupation of 1/3 of Cyprus, an EU member state, which they
do not even recognize as a legal entity, despite the global,
official condemnation by the international community of
the invasion and occupation as summarized in an endless
series of UN resolutions from the General Assembly and the
Security Council since 1974. In recent years, Turkey constantly violates Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)
performing illegal research for hydrocarbons and constantly
threatens its sovereignty.
10.	Turkey presents constant territorial claims against Greece, a
fellow NATO member, demonstrated daily by violations of its
national air and naval space. The latter manifestation of this
hostility and provocations is the so called "Blue Homeland"
plan: a blueprint to occupy half the Aegean Sea belonging to
Greece. Recently, as part of materializing this plan, they have
also signed with the fallen out-of-state former government of
Libya, the so-called Libyan-Turkish agreement, claiming EEZ
inside of Greece's continental self. This is a provocation with
no prior world precedent where two countries with non-facing shores attempt to legally nullify the existence of another
country in-between. On a similar account Turkey, not a signatory member of the UNCLOS, is denying to Greece's islands
their continental self; a claim totally unfounded according to
international law, dismissed as such by the US Ambassador
in Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on multiple occasions.
11.	Turkey has been blatantly extorting EU with the migrant
crisis they created by its funding and involvement in the
Syrian civil war. Last April, they forced thousands of people
to attempt to cross the Evros borders with Greece, to put even
more political pressure and acquire more leverage with the
EU to request more money and political influence.
12.	Turkish Aggression is NATO's 'Elephant in the Room,'
according to a New York Times article by Steven Erlanger.

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