By Ted Karakostas
The following letter is in response to Kyle Knight of Human Rights Watch and his article, “Greece Should Do Better on Transgender
Legal Recognition”. I would appreciate if if it were forwarded to Mr. Knight although the letter could just as easily be intended for any
prominent member of Human Rights Watch. My name is Theodore G. Karakostas and I have written to Human Rights Watch numerous
times going back to 1996.
In 1996, I wrote following the racially motivated murders of Greek Cypriots Tasos Isaac and Solomos Solomou by the occupation forces of
the Turkish military. Human Rights Watch spokesman subsequently responded by telling me that HRW does not have resources to cover
Cyprus or the Greek Orthodox population of Constantinople in Turkey. These very same people failed to tell me at the time that they were
involved in the publication called “The Turks of Western Thrace” which anyone with an expertise on Greece and Turkey would consider to
be pro Turkish and anti Hellenic propaganda.
Now I read Human Rights Watch lecturing Greece by advocating “transgender legal recognition”. No disrespect is intended for any persons
or individuals but the reality remains is that this piece by Mr. Knight is blatant propaganda motived by political and social ideology more than
anything else. Greece at the present time is in the midst of a horrific economic crisis and has also been affected by the refugee crisis
emanating from the wars in the Middle East. Advocates of various internationalist and secular ideologies are making pronouncements on
Greece while remaining completely indifferent to the concerns and problems of the average Greek citizen.
What Mr. Knight is advocating here is beyond bizarre. Mr. Knight suggests that the age of seventeen is too high for an individual to
decide to have a very radical surgery. Permit me to say to you that I as a Greek American am appalled by what is being advocated here.
During the four centuries long occupation of Greece by the Ottoman Turks, the Greek nation survived because of the Greek Orthodox
Church and the stability of the family. What Mr. Kyle and Human Rights Watch are advocating is the disintegration of the Greek family
that has enabled Greece to survive various foreign conquests and occupations in history.
I do not believe this is a matter of human rights. This is a matter of political and social ideology being imposed on Greece. Human Rights Watch
as I understand it is funded by the likes of George Soros and is another unscrupulous think tank and NGO intervening in the internal affairs of
Greece. As it stands now, radical changes in Greece are being promoted in a profoundly undemocratic manner without the approval and consent
of the Greek people.
This whole matter of which Mr. Knight speaks is also oblivious to the Christian faith of the Greek people. The Greek Orthodox Church has come
under immense criticism for opposing the type of legislation that Mr. Knight advocates. I would suggest that Mr. Knight and Human Rights Watch
open up a history book and examine the record of human rights advocacy by prominent Greek Orthodox Bishops in history such as the late
Archbishop Damaskinos and other Bishops in Nazi occupied Greece who saved the lives of many Jews and opposing the Nazis.
Greece is a free and sovereign country.Greece does not need propagandistic think tanks from interfering in its internal affairs. Human Rights
Watch has proven it is susceptible to influence from the likes of Turkey as can be seen by its past failures to cover the human rights violations
of Greeks in Turkish occupied Cyprus and Constantinople. In the past, when I have asked Human Rights Watch about their funding for their
trips to Western Thrace to write about the Muslim community there, they refused to answer the question.
That in turn indicates to me where the influence for their report on Western Thrace came from. Meanwhile, the Greek community in
Constantinople has been reduced to 2,000 people, and Greek Cypriots human rights are still being violated by Turkey without a single
criticism from Human Rights Watch.
Greeks do not need lectures from Human Rights Watch.