Christian leaders call on Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey

Publication Date: 19/10/2020

Source: Ahval News

Christian human rights leaders called on U.S. President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey over its involvement in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict and its animosity towards Christians, the Catholic News Agency reported.

The call came during a panel discussion late Friday entitled “Turkey is Committing Another Christian Genocide. Why is the Trump Administration Silent?”

The panel was attended by Defense of Christians President Toufic Baaklini, the Armenian National Committee of America director Aram Hamparian, director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council Endy Zemenides and Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, the news agency said.

The discussion and the panel’s recommendations were prompted by Turkish policies in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which erupted on Sept. 27. Turkey has sent Islamist mercenaries from Syria to fight against Armenian forces, according to Russia and France. The Turkish government denies the allegations.

The panellists warned that the steps Turkey was taking were guided by its government’s animosity towards Christians, the news agency said.

Turkey committed a genocide of Armenians on its territory early last century during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, according to Armenia and numerous top historians around the world. Turkey denies the charges. In 2018, Trump levied sanctions on Turkey for its refusal to release a Christian pastor from detention on terrorism charges.

Rubin said Turkey had no historical claim to Nagorno-Karabakh, nor did it have any history with the region. He said that Ankara's “sole motivation” in the conflict was “purely animus.”

Turkey’s attitude, Rubin said, extended “not to Armenians as a people, but to Christianity as a religion”.

Baaklini said his organisation expected the Trump administration to punish Turkey severely.

“President Trump and Congress need to heavily sanction Turkey”, he said.

Turkish-backed Syrian militias have been accused of committing systematic human rights abuses in northern Syria, especially against Christian minorities in the region. Several reports revealed that they attacked Christian communities, desecrated Yazidi religious sites and looted archaeological sites after Turkey took control of parts of northern Syria.


Pin It