Washington – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading grassroots membership-based association for the nation’s millions of Greek Americans and Philhellenes, sent a letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry expressing “deep concern and bewilderment” with a statement made November 10, 2013 by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with regard to the Republic of Cyprus, announced Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis. Prime Minister Erdogan was quoted in the Turkish-Cypriot daily Kibris, “There is no country named Cyprus. There is the local administration of south Cyprus.”

“It is our opinion that Prime Minister Erdogan’s statement is inflammatory and offensive toward a staunch friend and ally in the eastern Mediterranean, the Republic of Cyprus, and its citizens,” Supreme President Kouzounis wrote. “Moreover, it certainly does not bode well for the upcoming, renewed efforts by the United Nations to bring the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot community together in the search for a just and viable settlement to the near 40-year division of Cyprus.”

Although the U.S. Department of State, through a spokesperson, said it would look into the statement, AHEPA’s letter calls on the U.S. government to address the issue with the Turkish government in future bilateral meetings.

Read AHEPA’s letter.