Congressman Billirakis Slams New York Times Over Wildly Inaccurate Greek Story

    Greek-American congressman Gus Bilirakis Credit: Wikipedia, Creative Commons

    Greek American Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis sent a letter to the New York Times newspaper on Thursday, responding to a story published earlier this week about the situation in refugee and migrant camps on Greece’s Eastern Aegean Islands.

    The American newspaper published a story making a series of serious accusations against Greece.

    The article claimed that ”The Greek government is detaining migrants incommunicado at a secret extrajudicial location before expelling them to Turkey without due process,” and that many migrants had claimed that they ”had been captured, stripped of their belongings, beaten and expelled from Greece without being given a chance to claim asylum or speak to a lawyer.”

    The story also features unexamined claims of the Turkish officials who had charged that ”at least three migrants had been shot and killed while trying to enter Greece in the past two weeks.”

    ”Your reporting on the crisis at the Greek-Turkish border misinforms the American public at the exact time that our government is considering how to diffuse this crisis,” Congressman Bilirakis stated.

    ”The conscious decision to not report on Turkey organizing what the State Department has criticized as the “fundamentally destabilizing” and “unsustainable” movement of thousands of people towards the borders of the EU is inexplicable. This error is compounded by the lack of discussion of Turkey’s geopolitical motives, and that those that have been arrested are not Syrian asylum seekers but migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Somalia and Turkey itself,” the senior politician noted emphatically.

    Bilirakis’ letter went on to say that ”all your official sources for this article are Turkish officials, and your “facts” do not match those we have ascertained through briefings Congress is receiving from the US Embassy in Athens or the statements of the Greek government.”

    ”The New York Times should not let its pages be used as a distribution center for Turkish government talking points,” the Congressman’s letter concluded.

    It is noted that the Turkish leadership over the last couple of weeks has been deliberately portrayed over the Greeks as the ones who are mistreating refugees and migrants, while there is footage showing Turks forcing migrants toward the border at the point of a gun.

    The latest verbal onslaught against the Greeks occurred when Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a scathing verbal attack against Greece on Wednesday, saying there is “no difference” between Nazis and the Greek authorities.

    Read Bilirakis’ full letter here.