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The second part of a review on historical events that lead to conflicts between Greece and Turkey over Aegean Sea, the Aegean island and Cyprus in an effort to provide a point of view that could be considered as neutral as possible considering that I am Greek and both sides of my family came to Greece as refugees after the defeat of the Greek army during 1922.

 In part I of this article I tried to cover the period from the fall of Constantinople during 1453 to the Greek upraise against the Ottoman Empire during 1821.

In the first part I referred, mainly to the way Ottoman administration treated its subjects, mainly of Christian religion. The oppressive ways reached to extreme situations in the Greek mainland and Crete where heavy taxes were imposed and the practice of “grabbing” Christian children, which was probably the worst wound for Hellenism, since these children were going to become “janissaries”, the most well trained part of the Turkish army, usually confronting Greek populations and revolutionaries.

In the second part of this article I want to concentrate on events following 1821 fight for Greek independence, the Balkan wars, the defeat of the Greek army following the invasion of Asia Minor, the fate of Greek population that suffered terrible atrocities, mass killings and deportation of 1.5m people from their homes, up to contemporary periods when conflicts still prevail over Cyprus the Aegean sea and the Islands.

 

The influence of Renaissance and the French revolution.

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Before I proceed with a description of the actual events over this period I think it will be a mistake if I don’t, mention the influence that Renaissance had on Greeks living under Turkish rule around 400 years, during medieval times, as well as the effect that the French revolution had in the European states which inevitably influenced Greece and other national movements in the Balkans.

It would have been very difficult for Greece to regain its national identity just as a reaction to Ottoman oppression, even suffering cruelty, if it was not for the freedom Greek Tradesmen acquired with the help of Greek ship-owners, who managed to grow in the Aegean Islands.

From the 17th century Greeks from the islands, Asia Minor even as far as Caucasus, the Black sea and the rest of the Balkans developed a strong commercial power that, in turn, produced a generation of scholars who benefited by the cultural explosion  that was taking place in the rest of Europe. It would have been a very strange development if the West, which was finding its way out of the dark medieval period, rediscovering classical Greece, to leave untouched this generation of Greeks. Hence the explosion of the just anger from the Ottoman oppression came to meet the cultural revolution of the generation of Greek tradesmen and scholars who grew, either within Ottoman Empire or in “Diaspora”. This coincidence generated the spirit for independence, which started from Greece but, very quickly, spread over the rest of the Balkans.

Conflict of cultures

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The fact is that Greece happened to be in the middle of a wider “clash” of cultures, between East and West, which include religious aspects, other issues involving national and imperialistic aspirations from every side, commercial and political interests all of which, inevitably, involve Greece.

Every such involvement had both positive and negative side effects.

Every military conflict between West and Turkey was creating an expectation for the Greek independence. As consequence, every conflict between Turkey and West was followed by Turkish retaliations with real “blood baths” for innocent as well as revolting Greeks. The Turkish response to these accusations for retaliations that were disproportional expose the Turkish cruel way of thinking, so they say: What do you expect?   

There were several uprisings, not only in Peloponnese but also in Macedonia and in many other areas, including many of the islands such as Chios Island, Crete etc.  The massacre in Chios Island inspired the French painter Delacroix who helped to make the Turkish atrocities well known all over Europe creating a lot of sympathy for the Greek cause.

An early Greek uprising took place after the Battle of Lepando (between Venetians and Turks), as early as (October 7th, 1571) that ended in massacres of the Greek population,

This was repeated many times i.e., during the Russian war with Turkey (Orlof Brothers and Crimean wars).

Hence Turkey cannot claim that Greeks lived as happy subjects of Ottoman Empire, or even that they did not maintain their national identity.

Yet, there is a question that is still bothering me, why Turks still maintain such animosity with Greece even today?  There were many European nations that managed to overcome national conflicts that caused many battles, even two World Wars. What is so special, unsurpassed with the problem between Greece and Turkey?

I believe that Turkey never overcame the shock of their defeat during the Balkan Wars, especially from Greece. This led to serious national hate and consequently to extermination of all Christian population from Asia Minor, following the defeat of the Greek army after the invasion. An invasion which was encouraged by Great Britain and other western powers, allies during the First World War 

But even this Turkish victory during 1922 did not seem to satisfy the Turkish side, this may be an additional reason why Turkey currently adopts a revisionary approach. Turks are still nostalgic of the greatness of their past and feel betrayed, pushed in the corner against West.

Greece, for Turkey, is, once more, the instrument of West. Even if Greece was supportive for Turkish entry to European Union, Turkey still retains aspirations in Aegean, the islands, Cyprus, east Mediterranean and may be even West Thrace.

Turkey cannot forget their outdated practices on minority rights and comes in conflict with other European standards regarding civil and other human rights hitting back with actions that damage the heart of Christian Orthodoxy, otherwise why they have closed the High School for Orthodox Clergy in the island of Chalki that deprives the Ecumenical Patriarch of succession in the existing ecclesiastic hierarchy? This attitude in no way complies with European or even international standards for freedom of religion in the civilized world.      

But, let’s go back to the events covering the period from 1821 to current situation that seriously threatens new conflicts, even the braking out of a new full scale war between our countries. .

Aegean Sea and the islands according to international treaties

 

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I will start, this time, from an analysis on Aegean Sea and the Turkish claims on the sovereignty of certain islands, what Turkey is bringing up as “gray areas”.

International community is confused with this situation especially when they hear Tayip Erdogan to proclaim:  “Turkey is bigger than…. Turkey, we cannot be restricted within the existing 720.000 square km. Turkey’s frontiers are within the physical and other “Frontiers of our heart”

This, together with many revisionary statements of Tayip Erdogan, have created serious concern to Greece and others, about Turkey’s long term intentions.

International treaties regarding National Frontiers are final and are valid indefinitely, because they are set and signed after considerable sacrifices and blood.

So, to clarify the issue, it is important to note and make reference to specific articles of such treaties which are fundamental and cannot be changed at each one’s will.

First, Lausanne treaty, signed during 1923, was the original treaty that defined frontiers between Greece and Turkey. The treaty gave to Turkey East Thrace, the area around Smyrna and the islands, Imvros and Tenedos. In the same treaty, Turkey agreed for Cyprus to be given to UK and the group of Dodecanese islands to be given to Italy.

Details about the Aegean islands were described specifically in articles 6,12,14,16 of the treaty

Article 6 defines the Turkish Sea frontiers specifying that all islands within a 3 miles limit from the Asia Minor coasts will belong to Turkey.

Article 12 refers to all major islands of North Aegean by name, quoting also the treaty of London dated 13th/17th of May 1913 as well as the treaty of Athens 1st/14th of November 1913, in which the two islands of Imvros and Temedos as well as the group of Lagouson islands (Mavrion Taysan Adas) are excluded and will belong to Turkey, together with all islands that lay within the 3 miles limit, no other names of islands are mentioned.

In spite of this, Turkey is occupying a number of islands outside the 3 miles limit ‘defacto’, which according to the Turkish way of thinking could be claimed as ‘gray’ areas by Greece.  This argument could be used against Turkey in many such cases, even for islands within the Sea of Marmara. This, of course, would sound ridiculous. Even so, Turkey is applying the same argument for the Greek islands, which similarly sounds ridiculous.

It would be inconceivable to assume the possibility to different phrasing could have been used, more over that status of sovereignty in the Aegean would be left ambiguous, leaving open even the slight possibility for future claims on smaller islets situated among the larger islands of Aegean archipelago. Any such idea would indeed be counter to the declared fundamentals principles of Kemal’s policies.

This basic hypothesis was confirmed by the unimpeded implementation of Italian sovereignty, after the signing of the Treaty of in the Dodecanese maritime zone, Ankara never raised the slightest objection when the Italian government determined the boundaries of its sovereignty through legislative acts and internationally recognized military maps, or when after years of ‘on –the-spot’ , detailed work, it mapped the Dodecanese  to its eastern limits exercising its rights within all political and administrative bodies. But even more evidence exists in a form of agreements between Turkey and Italy that I will not bother you for the sake of detail which extends over the objective of this article.

 

In conclusion:

  1. Article14 Specifically mentions details about the rights of Greek inhabitants on the islands of Imvros and Tenedos that passed to Turkish sovereignty. These rights were violated and never respected.
  2. Article 15 specifically mentions that Turkey abandons any right for the islands of Dodecanese that were then occupied by Italy including the island of Castelorizo and all smaller islands dependent from the major named ones.
  3. Article 16 specifically mentions that Turkey is abandoning any rights on all islands laying beyond the 3 miles limit mentioned, except for the ones mentioned in this treaty.
  4. In addition to the Treaty of Lausanne there are other treaties such as the Treaty between Turkey and Italy of January 1932 including the minutes (PROCESS-VERBAL) of December 1932 that clarifies and reconfirms the ownership of all islands of Dodecanese including Imia (Kardak) to Italy.
  5. Finally with the signing of the peace treaty of Paris 1947 Greece becomes the full successor, from Italy, as the sole owner of all Dodecanese.
  6. The Turkish argument that there were special conditions due to pre Second World War conditions were rejected from the Vienna Treaty of 1969.

I don’t want to go to a deeper analysis of all details in support of this, not even the Turkish claim   for the so called violation of these agreements regarding the defense of these islands, with the provision of defense equipment, because it is evident that Turkey, since 1970, has made obvious that is challenging the sovereignty of these islands, hence Greece has all rights to defend same.

Challenging the sovereignty opens a series of issues regarding territorial waters, FIR, the right of the islands to have territorial waters, reticle delimitations, economic zone etc. The problem cannot be resolved unless claims for sovereignty will be cleared, so international law can be applied or even negotiated. Turkey is claiming that Greece wants to make Aegean a closed lake and deprive Turkey of rights to access open sea. This is definitely an excuse because there are always amicable ways to solve such issues. Yet amicable ways is not a traditional way that Turkey has been resolving international issues.

At some stage I lost interest to provide further legal evidence or make further research of all International law and consider other consequences, since, in every step of the analysis, when every time a conclusion is reached, with negative results for the Turkish point of view, I was confronted with the same argument, “Turkey does not respect international law, neither Hague international jury, neither UN or EU, since all such organizations are controlled by major western  powers, mainly using Greece as an instrument to promote their interests.”

So what is the point of any further discussion on this line of thought?

I believe none, for as far as sovereignty of the islands, Greece would only negotiate reticle delimitations.

Hence I will proceed to other areas, some of which are of historical interest, and some of National importance that are still unresolved.    .

The Cyprus issue

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Once again Cyprus became an issue of conflict and ground for propaganda among involved parties, especially to provide excuses for the deportation of the last remaining group of Greeks of Istanbul.

Greek Cypriots revolted against British colonialist who betrayed their promise given to them during the Second World War when Churchill was encouraging Greek Cypriots, who were fighting with UK against Germans by saying to Greek Cypriots: “Fight for Union of Cyprus with Greece” ! Let us not forget that Greece payed a heavy penalty for remaining loyal to its allies fighting against both Italy and Germany during the Second World War, 350.000 losses of human lives.

Following the defeat of Germany, UK forgot these promises and the fight for union with Greece started during the fifties. The Turkish minority did not like the eventuality of Cyprus uniting with Greece, hence animosity developed among Greeks and Turks who were, till then, living a quiet life under the British colonial rule. The Turkish minority, at that time, did not exceed 18% of the total population of the island.

Cyprus gained its independence (Convention of Zurich) after many years of fighting against the British. During this period the relationships between Greeks and Turks grew bitter.

Independence was eventually granted under three guaranteeing powers UK, Greece and Turkey.

Unfortunately, internal fighting started n not between Greeks and Turks but between Greek Nationalists and Greek Cypriot supporters of the constitution of an independent Cyprus and its President Archbishop Makarios, it is important to note that in spite the internal fighting not any atrocities took place against the local Turkish Cypriots, in fact when US mediated with Attkison plan for Union with Greece of the whole island, the Cypriot Turks did not raise serious objections. The real problem started when Nick Samson tried to overthrow Makarios,   during the period of the Greek Dictatorship. Even then the conflict was among Greeks not against Turks

This gave the perfect excuse to Turkey to intervene by invading Cyprus as a guarantor power, under the pretense of atrocities happening against Turkish Cypriots.

This invasion went as far as the Turkish army to occupy almost half of Cyprus confiscating all Greek lands and property, an action that was condemned by United Nations three times.

In addition to losses of property there were significant losses of civilian lives including prisoners of war that were never returned or accounted for. Mass graves were also found.

A line dividing the island was created and maintained under UN troop’s protection.

UN had recognized Cyprus as a legitimate member state of UN while the North part remained under Turkish occupation with the presence of Turkish troops.

Turkey tried to change the demographics of the island by importing inhabitants from the Turkish mainland.

Since then repeated efforts by UN to unite the island have failed, effectively partitioning Cyprus.

The situation is now further complicated because Turkey does not want to recognize South Cyprus as an independent country although the country is, by now, a member of UN and EU.

I wonder how anyone can negotiate with a country that disrespects, UN, EU and International law, stating that these international organizations are non-credible because they are controlled by western powers that will use Greece and Cyprus as instruments to promote their interests and destroy Turkey. I don’t believe this is the long term intention West of West, on the contrary I believe that west values the geopolitical  position of Turkey against the Russian effort to expand its influence in South Balkans and East Mediterranean Sea.

So, it appears we need to establish new terms of reference and rules as a basis for negotiation with Turkey. How could we do that?  It is a matter of common sense to recognize that Turkey intends to take advantage of its geopolitical position and   impose its own interests by negotiations and force, if needed. So Greece has no option but defend its own position by joining alliances to counter balance Turkey’s military superiority.

Especially for Cyprus where Turkey is using Turkish Cypriot minority to control territorial waters as well as reticle delimitations, economic zone etc.

Turkey keeps arguing that mainland countries with long coastal lines have more rights to reticle delimitations, and economic zone than islands. Turkey does not want to obey by international laws and regulations regarding islands.  They don’t reply what are the rights of these islands, especially when these islands are independent countries or consist a major part of a country.

It is obvious that Turkey is using the Turkish minority in Cyprus, to defend not so much the rights of this minority but the rights of Turkey itself. This will not work, the Turkish minority will get an equal share of the rights and benefits in proportion to their population ratio in Cyprus. But the decision will not involve Turkey which will have nothing to share.

Bringing arguments of deported Turkish populations in the past, or Greek animosities against the Turkish Cypriots will not work as an excuse to blare the issue. It is a childish pretense.

Greek and Turkish Cypriots are both victims and up against bigger interests. We will never get to the bottom of this.

But whatever we can say about the history the proof of the way Turks think and behave becomes evident under recent statements of Turkish politicians («Bahchelli) who proclaim as follows:

«Why are Greeks bothered? Because our maps show Cyprus as a Turkish territory. I will ask these fools and bumps what we would do, how would we show it? I state and stress: Cyprus is Turkish. It is a Turkish homeland and Turkish will remain, «Bahchelli said according to yenisafak press and continued:

 

«The Greek government, which plays games in the Aegean islands, should learn its limits and not forget what her ancestors did when they were thrown into the sea. The same will happen again. Thank God, the will to make the Aegean a tomb of the Greek’ desires, is still alive. And it will continue to be. «

What a proper basis for honest negotiations!! There is nothing more I can say. If that is the level of Turkish politicians who inspire hate by passing misleading histories to Turkish people, I can predict a period of disasters for both our Nations.

Turkish point of view is also expressed by Mr Sukan Gukaynak a Turkish person living in Germany today.
“For me the feeling is not Greece saying I will now expand. They say that and that has belonged to me since antiquity, the Turks should end their occupation.

Take Cyprus, this is by treaty no sovereign state. Greeks say they are the majority and it belongs to them, Turks should go.

I once told a gentleman from the official German think tank Science and politics that the EU membership of Cyprus is against valid treaties. He said, yes but treaties are only valid as long as the balance of power holds.

So the West thinks Turkey is weak and they can take her assets ignoring treaties. The only way to show them the balance of power holds is by using military force. Business and cooperation is good. We had that before 1912. It did not prevent the Greek invasion of Macedonia which at that point had only a Greek minority. They claimed they were liberating what had always been theirs.”

What can I say as reply?

The whole argument lacks any real foundation.

Cypriot Greeks are not saying that Turkish Cypriots will have to go. How can anyone quote such a statement? Cypriots Greeks are saying that Turks are a minority in Cyprus and should coexist in Cyprus under European equal rights. Nobody wants the Cypriot Turks to disappear from the island.

What the German thinker said about treaties is wrong

Treaties are to be respected.

But using force under the pretention of protecting Turkish minority is not a legal activity that can be respected even under the treaty of Zurich that has three guarantying powers, not just Turkey.

There are many ways to protect minorities.

Finally Turkey invaded Cyprus under pretenses to control the island by changing its population ratio. The long term intentions are exposed now, as Turkey is trying to protect their own interests against Cyprus using the Turkish minority as their own instrument.

Whatever one can say for the past positive or negative the fact is that Cyprus is a UN and EU member recognized by the international community. There is no better way to protect minorities than EU and UN any other protection would require the agreement of the three guarantying powers not just a single member that naturally will exercise its own rights to promote one sided  interests. This is common sense. Nobody can deny the right of one country to be independent. The Maximum that Turkey can do is to detach the northern part and totally divide Cyprus, an act that will deprive Turkish Cypriots of their right to be member of EU.

Regarding the argument of Greeks invading Macedonia brings back the issue of reviving the old Turkish aspiration of reviving the Ottoman Empire. Fights for independence of many nations have taken place in the Balkans and Central Europe that established a new status that cannot change by reviewing treaties.

The new Turkish nation was established on the basis of these treaties after serious loss of lives and sacrifices from many sides, nobody in his rights senses wants to bring back this period.

As for the issue of majorities versus minorities we can argue endlessly region by region, town by town and the argument will never be conclusive, especially for Macedonia and Thrace there are conflicting data  i.e The 1904 Ottoman census of Hilmi Pasha shows Christian populations to be higher than  Muslim   with a majority of Greeks compared to other nationalities 648,962 Greeks by church, 307,000 identified as Greek speakers, while about 250,000 as Slavic speakers and 99,000 as Vlachs

But I don’t raise this issue as a most credible one because even today Turkey does not allow researchers to access details of numbers of populations in order to hide genocidal activities that had been taking place in many areas.

The Ottoman archives are undergoing a purging campaign to destroy all incriminating evidence relating to the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23, say scholars. According to one source, the evidence—at one time or another—indicated that what transpired in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire was purely and simply a “slaughter

The Macedonian Issue

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Will we accept the deliverance of Macedonia?

A while ago, an Athens newspaper, with its headline, wrote that a European Prime Minister urged us to accept to deliverance of Macedonia to these thieves, as a tradeoff for a six months delay in implementing the reduction of the pensions due at the beginning of 2019

The Greek poet, Oskar winner, Seferis writes in his way:

«We were told that you will win when you submit.

We have subsided and found the ashes.

They told us you will win when you abandon-sacrifice your life.

We sacrificed our lives and we found ashes ….

It remains to revive back to life, now that we have nothing more «.

The Macedonian issue has been a matter of significant concern over the last 27 years, even more, following the attack raged by the Americans against the communist state of Yugoslavia.

As a result Yugoslavia broke up into various states, each one seeking for their ethnic origin which was suppressed under the dominance of Serbs that Tito, a great Croatian politician, managed to keep together as a single multi ethnic state which maintained one of the strongest armies in the Balkans considered to be a strong but independent ally of the Soviet union.

Hence, many new states immerged and old religious and ethnic minority issues, which existed since the Ottoman times reappeared among Turkish Muslims, Orthodox and Catholic Christians, Slavs, Albanians, Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, Vlachs, Jews, Croatians, Pomaks, Romani etc.

Tito gave the name Macedonia to the Southern district of Yugoslavia with the support of Soviet Union because, since the period of the Second World War, the Communists with national identity either Bulgarians or Slavs or Albanians or Yugoslavs were looking at Greek Macedonia as an obstacle to access Aegean Sea.

The fact is that the geographic area of Macedonia was split among three countries, Greece, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.

Unfortunately, after the defeat of the Greek Communists, during the Greek civil war, a lot of Greek Communists fled to Yugoslavia and Bulgaria where they were mixed with local Greek minorities that existed there scattered in many towns and nationalities, which gave them refuge.

Even today there are around 400.000 Greeks living around Skopia. The Communists during 1949, recognized the part of Southern Yugoslavia as Macedonia to satisfy their Communist allies. This was later denounced (1956) even by the Greek Communist Party, to eliminate the accusation of traitors.

So the real question that has been raised for the layman is who are the Macedonians? I remember distinctively an American lady, head of the American Mission in the area, saying to me in Skopia: Who could imagine that a small country like this created an empire so great like the Empire created by Alexander the Macedonian?

I couldn’t find words to express my disappointment about the ignorance of this Head of American Mission. I was aware of the lack of international and specifically European history knowledge that Americans were famous for, but this was over and above the limit anybody could contemplate.

So the question raises stronger and sounds less rhetorical, if we are phased with such ignorance.  Who are the Macedonians? Are they a nation or a region in North Greece? If they are a nation then what are the Greek Macedonians? Who are the Slavo-Macedonians, who are the Albanian-Macedonians? Who are the Bulgarian Macedonians? Who are the Turkish Macedonians? Why all these people claim Greek Macedonia? Why don’t they call themselves North Macedonians, and they insist to call themselves simply Macedonians?  What is hidden under this identity issue?

Are they Slavs who lived for centuries in the district of South Yugoslavia that was destroyed by the Americans, or the Albanians who have strong Albanian National identity, or the Bulgarians who still maintain a third part of the wider geographical area within Bulgarian territory or Greeks who lived there as subjects of the Ottomans and managed to gain their independence fighting against the Ottomans, or may be Turks who were living there during the Ottomans?

Are the national and cultural roots, the historical roots, the language and the traditions of any importance? Are the results of conflicts, and wars between countries of any importance? All these questions very recently unfolded and had to be answered. So it is important to examine the Macedonian issue in its wider perspective.

As this article is being written there has been a first step for an agreement, between FYROM, the so called Macedonia and Greece that the new name will be North Macedonia inserting a note that this country has no relation or link to Ancient Greek Macedonia, never the less it provides that there is a Macedonian Nationality and citizenship as well as a Macedonian language that leaves Greek Macedonians strongly objecting this development.

This agreement has to be ratified by a referendum in North Macedonia as well as to be voted in the Greek Parliament, where there seems to be strong opposition, in spite the international consensus from the international community, EU and NATO for obvious reasons, they have nothing to lose. Has there been a hidden agreement under which Greece is getting some rewards in view of its weak financial situation? This would consist a major violation of the Greek constitution, if ever can be proved.

Macedonian roots

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Alexander’s the Great letter to Darius III:

“Your ancestors invaded Macedonia and the rest of Greece and harmed us though we had done nothing to provoke them. Me as the supreme commander of all Greeks as i have been appointed, i invaded Asia with the aim of punishing the Persians for this act, an act which must be laid wholly to your charge.”

Another statement from Alexander:

I said to them:

“Men of Athens, I give you this message in trust as a secret which you must reveal to no one but Pausanias, or else you will be responsible for my undoing. In truth I would not tell it to you if I did not care so much for all Hellas. Because as always I am a Hellene by ancient descent, and I would not be willingly to see Hellas change her freedom for slavery.

Herodotus, Histories. Greek historian – 440 BC.

http://www.greek-language.gr/digitalResources/ancient_greek/library/browse.html?text_id=30&page=222

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=93&v=ziJJBsZTt4Y

Slavs and other Ethnicities, the myth of indigenous people.

Slavs,  as they did not exist  in the area  before the 6th  century AD , they tried to relate Illyrians with ancient Macedonia, that is why they  invented a myth proclaiming that Macedonians were not Greeks but were  Illyrians who invaded the area and extinguished the indigenous people integrating  the rest.

So the story insists that this is the way the Slavs inherited the culture and are the successors of the culture and the influence of the great empire of the Hellenistic period of Alexander the Great.

This approach, of bringing the myth of indigenous people, is very often used by Turkish propaganda to dilute or minimize the influence of Greeks in the greater area in the Balkans and Asia Minor. Especially for Asia Minor Turks have gone as far to confuse tourist by introducing nonexistent indigenous civilizations to replace all Greek evidence of existence, influence and languages. I quote here my personal experience, I have heard of a Turkish guide to say about the statue of Attalus, in a Turkish museum, that the inscription under the status was written in Attalian language!

Next argument that Turkey is proclaiming is that the majority of inhabitants in Macedonia were Muslims Turks who were exterminated or forced to depart during the fight for independence that was concluded during and after the Balkan wars.

The 1904 Ottoman census of Hilmi Pasha people were assigned to ethnicity according which church/language they belonged, it recorded 373,227 Greeks in the vilayet of Thessaloniki,   261,283 Greeks in the vilayet of Monastir (Vitola) and 13,452 Greeks in the villayet of Kosovo.

For the 1904 census of the 648,962 Greeks by church, 307,000 identified as Greek speakers, while about 250,000 as Slavic speakers and 99,000 as Vlachs

Hugh Poulton, in his Who Are the Macedonians, notes that «assessing population figures is problematic» for the territory of Greek Macedonia before its incorporation into the Greek state in 1913. The area’s remaining population was principally composed of Ottoman Turks (including non-Turkish Muslims of mainly Bulgarian and Greek Macedonian convert origin) and also a sizeable community of mainly Sephardic Jews  (centered in Thessaloniki), and smaller numbers of Romani Albanians and Vlachs

But even these reports are not fully presenting what has really happened during the Ottoman period.

Most of the Greeks of Macedonia had been linguistically converted to Slavonic speaking since the Middle Ages. However, they continued to retain the Greek (Romaic) identity of the Eastern Roman State (Byzantines) and denied that they were Bulgarians. Besides, «Bulgarian» did not mean a national identity but was synonymous with farmers. The Romaic’ Slavonic speech was started after the schism of the so-called Bulgarian Exarchy (1870), which was supported by the Ottoman Empire in cooperation with Tsarist Russia to stop the expansion of Hellenism to the Danube. At the same time, panslavism had a plan to maculate Macedonia to give Russians exit to Mediterranean sea.

Whichever line one decides to adopt, the fact is that Greek Macedonia was liberated by Greeks who sacrificed their lifes fighting Ottomans and Bulgarians. The result was ratified by international treaties hence preserving a continuation path between Greek Macedonia and Ancient Greek Macedonia.

During the first half of the twentieth century, major demographic shifts took place, which resulted in the region’s population becoming overwhelmingly ethnic Greek. In 1919, after Greek victory in World War I, Bulgaria and Greece signed the Treaty of Neuilly, which called for an exchange of populations between the two countries. According to the treaty, Bulgaria was considered to be the parent state of all ethnic Slavs living in Greece. Most ethnic Greeks from Bulgaria were resettled in Greek Macedonia; most Slavs were resettled in Bulgaria but a number remained, most of them by changing or adapting their surnames and declaring themselves to be Greek so as to be exempt from the exchange.[ In 1923 Greece and Turkey  signed the Treaty of Lausanne in the aftermath of the ‘Greco –Turkish War’ 1919-1922 , and in total 776,000 Greek refugees from Turkey  (674,000), Bulgaria  (33,000), Russia (61,000), Serbia (5,000), Albania (3,000) were resettled in the region.

They replaced between 300,000 and 400,000 Macedonian Turks and other Muslims (of Albanian, Roma, Slavic and Vlach ethnicity) who were sent to Turkey under similar terms.

Year Greeks Bulgarians Muslims Others Total
1913 ] 42.6%
(513,000)
9.9%
(119,000)
39.4%
(475,000)
8.1%
(98,000)
1,205,000

After the Treaty of Neuilly-sur Seine  ten thousands of Bulgarians left and after the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey almost all Muslims left the region, while hundreds of thousands of Greek refugees settled in the region, thus changing the demography of the province.

Year Greeks Bulgarians Muslims Others Total
1926 League of nations data 88.8%
(1,341,000)
5.1%
(77,000)
0.1%
(2,000)
6.0%
(91,000)
1,511,000

The 1928 Greek Census collected data on the religion as well as on the language.

Year Christians Jews Muslims Total
1928 Greek Census data
Religion
95.51%
(1,349,063)
4.28%
(60,484)
0.21%
(2,930)
1,412,477

 

Year GREEK Slavic dialect Turkish Latino Aromanian Armenian Other Total
1928 Greek Census data
Language
82.52%
(1,165,553)
5.72%
(80,789)
5.09%
(71,960)
4.19
(59,146)
0.95%
(13,475)
0.84%
(11,859)
0.69%
(9,695)
1,412,477

The population was badly affected by the Second World War through starvation, executions, massacres and deportations.

Central Macedonia, including Thessaloniki, was occupied by the Germans, and in the east Nazi-aligned Bulgarian occupation forces persecuted the local Greek population and settled Bulgarian colonists in their occupation zone in eastern Macedonia and western Thrace, deporting all Jews from the region. Total civilian deaths in Macedonia are estimated at over 400,000, including up to 55,000 Greek Jews. Further heavy fighting affected the region during the Greek Civil War   which drove many inhabitants of rural Macedonia to emigrate to the towns and cities, or abroad, during the late 1940s and 1950s.

Current agreement between Greece and “North Macedonia” makes no reference to 400.000 Greek inhabitants still remaining in this country.

Turkey has tried to capitalize on the conflict between Greece and “North Macedonia” encouraging the people of this country to claim the status of Macedonian ethnicity just to add another problem to Greece’s North frontiers, as well as to reduce Greek commercial and cultural investments in west Balkans.

 The history of Pontos

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The Turkish point of view regarding the area of Pontus is that Greeks in Pontus were a minority which tried to establish a Greek independent state within an area where there existed a Turkish Muslim majority.

This article, is written to question whether the above statement, can justify the national cleansing that took place during the period from year 1914 to 1922.

The fact is that the Pontians, after 1461, experienced persecutions and attempts for Islamization and extortion. The decision to exterminate the Greeks (and Armenians) was taken by the New Turks in 1911, was implemented during the First World War and was completed by Mustafa Kemal in the period 1919-1923

In December 1916, Emver and Talaat, leaders of the Young Turks, designed a plan of extinction of the Pontians, «the immediate extinction of men of cities from 16 to 60 years and the general exile of all the men and women of the villages in the inland of the East with slaughter and extermination program «. Turkey’s defeat by the Entente forces brought a temporary postponement of the plan to exterminate the Greeks.
During this period atrocities were so harsh that even the Russian communists who were, at the time, supportive towards Turkey, made allegations of Turkish barbarities to Kemal Ataturk who responded:

«I know these barbarities. I am against barbarism. I have given orders to treat the Greek prisoners in a good way … You must understand our people. They are furious. Who should be accused of this? Those who want to establish a «Pontian state» in Turkey”

This is an indication of what was really taking place.

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AMERICANS AND SOVIETS WERE SAYING «EVERYWHERE WE WERE SEEING CORPSES»

The genocide of the Greeks in the Pontus was the result of the decision of the Turkish nationalists to resolve the national problem of the Ottoman Empire with the natural extermination of indigenous ethnicities. The normal future of this Empire had been bluntly described by Rosa Luxemburg: «Turkey cannot be born again as a whole because it consists of different countries. No material interest, no common development that could link them had been created! On the contrary, the oppression and the misery of joint submission to the Turkish state are becoming ever greater! This created a natural tendency for the various ethnicities to detach themselves from the whole and to seek through an autonomous existence the way for a better social development. The historic crisis for Turkey had come out: it was going to break up”.

This was the conception that West had at the time for the Ottoman Empire

Of course the situation is different today, so any reference to the past is just for historic reasons, to learn from history to resolve current problems, if possible.

The Black Book of the Pontian Central Council mentions on the genocide the following: «The massacred and in any case exterminated Greeks of the Pontus from 1914 to 1922 amount to the following numbers»: Amasia Region: 134.078, Rodopoli District: 17.479, Chaldeia Region – Kerasounta: 64,582, Neokesareia Region: 27,216, Region. Trebizond: 38,435, Cologne: 21,448: Total: 303,238 people ».

Until the spring of 1924 the Pontians’ martyrdom included another 50,000 victims, the total number of Pontians who were assassinated by March 1924 was 353,000, more than 50% of the total population of the Pontians.

The Pontian genocide forced to abandon their homes and relocate in Greece, the USSR (there were persecuted by the Stalinist regime of the interwar period) period, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere (Australia, USA).

From 1100 BC until 1923 AD, Hellenism of the Pontus was one of the most important parts of the nation. The economic recovery of Pontian Hellenism has been matched by the demographic rise.     In 1865 the Greeks of Pontus were 265,000 people     In 1880 the Greeks of the Pontus were 330,000.     Pontic Hellenism at the beginning of the 20th century numbered 600,000 people, according to estimates by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ottoman authorities.     At the same time in southern Russia, in the Caucasus region, there lived about 150,000 Pontians who had moved there after the fall of Trebizond.     The main cities of Pontus were Trebizond, Kerasounta, Tripolis, Kotyora, Amisos (Samsonta), Sinope, Nikopoli, Argyroupoli and Amassia.     The area was divided into the following 6 metropolises: 1. Trebizond. 2. Rodopoli. 3. Cologne. 4. Chaldia – Kerasounta. 5. Neocaesareia and 6. Amaseia while there were 376 schools, 386 teachers and 23,600 students. Throughout the region 1,047 schools with 1,247 teachers and 75,953 pupils attended. There were also 1,131 temples, 22 monasteries, 1,647 chapels and 1,459 clergy.

Finally, for anybody who wants to learn the real history of this branch of Hellenism can access a very conclusive study in the following link:

http://pontos-genoktonia.gr/sites/default/files/books_text/pontos_justice_and_honor_to_memory.pdf

«We were told that you will win when you submit.

We have subsided and found the ashes.

They told us you will win when you abandon-sacrifice your life.

We sacrificed our lives and we found ashes ….

It remains to revive back to life, now that we have nothing more «.

Seferis Nobel winner, Greek from Asia Minor

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http://www.nickkouzos.com

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Υπάρχει πραγματική καθυστέρηση στον τρόπο που σκέπτονται οι δικοί μας ριζοσπάστες της αριστερής ιδεολογίας.

Λένε:
Με την φορολογία γίνεται αναδιανομή του εισοδήματος προς τα αδύνατα στρώματα.
Τα αδύνατα στρώματα θα αυξήσουνε την κατανάλωση.
Με την αύξηση της κατανάλωσης θα έρθει η ανάπτυξη.
Με την ανάπτυξη θα αυξηθούν οι μισθοί και οι θέσεις εργασίας.
Με την αύξηση των θέσεων εργασίας και των μισθών θα μειωθούν οι εισφορές και οι φόροι ενώ θα λυθεί το πρόβλημα των συντάξεων.
Με την ανάπτυξη θα αυξηθεί η παραγωγή.
Το πρόβλημα με τον συλλογισμό τους είναι ότι έχουν στερέψει το παραγόμενο προϊόν και έτσι αυτοί μοιράζουν αυτό που εξαφάνισαν!!!!! Θα το πάρουν από το μέλλον!!! Τι όμορφο αλλά ηλίθιο παραμύθι!!!

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Εσύ δρομέα της ζωής μη σταματάς για ν’ αναπολείς

Θα σε προλάβουν οι μορφές , αυτές που ύφανες για να ζεις.

Μορφές  χτισμένες πάνω στα αρχαία τείχη που ήξερες ότι υπάρχουν.

Μορφές κεντημένες σε υφαντό που άλλες ζουν και χαίρονται, άλλες που χάνονται

και άλλες που χάθηκαν.

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Είναι ψυχές ή ζωγραφιές: Η μήπως ηχούν σαν μουσικές;

Εσύ δρομέα της ζωής μη σταματάς ν’ αναπολείς.

Είναι η ζωή σου οι μορφές, άλλες γλυκές άλλες πικρές που σ’ αγκαλιάζουν σαν της γιαγιάς το υφαντό.

Η μουσική είναι αναπνοές που νανουρίζουν και τύμπανα που σε ξυπνούν.

Τα τείχη τα βυζαντινά είναι τα όρια που ξεπερνάς, μην τα φοβάσαι.

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This is the second time I decided to publish an exchange of posts between Sakan Gurkaynak, a Turkish friend and myself, friends in Facebook, regarding different points of view between Turks and Greeks on current conflicting issues.  

I don’t pretend I am a specialists on Turkish Greek relationships so one could consider my responses as the view of an average Greek person.

Whatever the opinion of a person may be, I believe it is interesting to observe how each party looks at current situation between our two countries.

It is important and constructive to understand the thinking of Turkish persons especially this period that Turkey appears to be driven further away from EU principles as well as develop conflicts with its major ally in NATO, USA.

The conflicts with Greece are due to medium to long term historical reasons that Greece had hoped will be reduced with an approach between Turkey and West, but it appears that things are pulling appart the other way, a fact that leaves Greece exposed to great dangers in view of internal political changes that are happening in Turkey as well as the expressed desire of Turkey to play a stronger role as a regional power in support of its geopolitical interests in the wider area both in Eastern Mediterranean  and the Aegean Sea. This inevitably involves Greece and Cyprus as well as and most importantly, further East, with α possible creation of a Curdist state in the Turkish frontiers.

An exchange of posts follows: 

Sukan Gurkaynak what in your opinion is wrong with Tsipras. a neutral question, I just want to understand your viewpoint.

Nick Kouzos Tsipras is a young politician who managed to be ellected on the basis of promises that a totaly disapointed electorate believed but he did not deliver. Greece has gone through a very dificult recession that reduced income to most midle class Greeks , reduced pensions to the elderly by 50%. To ratify the situation the Greek Goverment should have reduced the size of the public sector, inprove it’s performance  as well as encourage foreign invetment. Thipras increased taxation to private sector and individuals to a degree that approaches taxation to 70% on profits, instead of reducing expenses in the public sector. Tsipras appeared as a radical leftish against austerity masures that EU and IMF were requesting but eventually implemented all instructions imposed by EU and IMF in a way that did not allow development, maintaining an imposible status for private companies to develop. This was also against advises given by EU and IMF who were interested to collect their money one or other way. So people in Greece are considering him as a big opportunist that follows any line just to remain in power for an other year. He currently maintains a 20% control of the public vote but takes decisions over and above the will of the Greek Public which has shifted against him. I have given a fuller view of conditions in an article which you may like to read under the following link: https://wordpress.com/post/timesforchange.wordpress.com/2279

Nick Kouzos This is how US and EU are looking upon Tsipras who has turned to a «good boy» for them https://www.independent.co.uk/…/alexis-tsipras-eu…INDEPENDENT.CO.UK

Opinion: How Alexis Tsipras went from an anti-Brussels…

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos The Turkish left loves Tsipras which is probably a good reason to distrust him. The German press wrote either other countries aliment Greece with no end or the Greeks will have to live to their means. My Cretan relatives say Greeks are wonderful people until their church or their demagogues incite them to fanaticism. What is your alternative?

Nick Kouzos The political alternative for Greece is the New Democracy party which is a moderate Center to right. This party leads in the forecast by 12%. This will probably be the next Greek Government.

Nick Kouzos Religion has always been contributing to fanaticism. The same happened with Christian Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox, but the same is happening with Islam.

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos I also think New Democracy is more reasonable. But they still have the problem that they have to live to their means and no one outside Greece understand the Macedonia issue. Compare it with this: Eastern Anatolia has always been called Armenia. The Hay people who were late comers are allied by the name Armenians. This is not the case of a people giving their names to a land, but a land giving its name to the people. That creates the illusion that the hay people as they call themselves were the natives of East Anatolia and Turks had invaded their country. That is for Turkey a huge propaganda problem. Their language was made a language of culture by Greeks translating the bible into the language, which is well documented and contains a huge number of pre-Islamic Turkish words, indicating they were living together with Turks in East Anatolia long before Islam came. 60% have Turkish family names which they did not get from the Ottomans who had no family names. The Armenians themselves call their own country Hayastan. Imagine Turkey would now start fighting the idea that Armenia is called Armenia? Soem fights make no sense.

Nick Kouzos It is very difficult to understand and appreciate how Greek Macedonians feel about Macedonia. It is very difficult even impossible to convince Greek Macedonians that there is a Macedonian Nationality and a language Macedonian language which is basically a Bulgarian dialect influenced by Slavic-Serbian.

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos I thought the Greek population of Macedonia were Anatolians who went there after the population exchange? If you look at a who is who of Ottoman/Turkish history of the last 150 years, you would see that the majority of political personalities are from Rumelia. The people who made the republic are from Macedonia. We can live with a Greek Macedonia. In the Balkans «Bulgarians» like Serbs constituted a dialect continuum. Depending on who conquered the Ottoman lands they became Bulgarians or Serbs and were made to learn official Bulgarian Slavonic or Serb Slavonic. Macedonian Slavonic is practically Bulgarian Slavonic.

Nick Kouzos I have already given you the population ratio of Greeks versus Bulgarians in Macedonia before 1821 and before the Balkan wars and the majority according to Ottoman books were Greeks. The difference has to do with Muslim populations. But Slavs and Bulgarians were a minority by far. There are still Greek minorities in Skopia, around 400.000. Some of them were communists who fled there after their defeat during the civil war in Greece, 1949, but even before that, the city of Monastir was almost totally Greek. The real objection is not the name, it is the issue of nationality and the language. The nationalities in Skopia are Slavs, Albanians, Bulgarians, Vlachs Pomaks and Greeks. I don’t know how many Muslim Turks are still there. I agree with your explanation regarding the language, it is Bulgarian Slavonic. So I don’t understand their insistence to claim a Macedonian nationality and Macedonian language especially when some Slav nationalists claim Greek Macedonia as their country. I could accept the term Slavonic Macedonians, with a minority of Albanians this is the true.

Sukan Gurkaynak Biggest group perhaps though it would surprise a majority improbable. I am still looking for my book. But the point is: in Ottoman times they all lived together, the proportion did not matter. Then came o bulgarophagos. A nationality is not a language, it is a political identity. The language in UK and US is identical. Germany and Austria. Turkey and Azerbaijan and a great part of Iran.

Nick Kouzos The nationality is not a language, we agree but there is no Macedonian Nationality. This was created by Tito on purpose, to invade Greece during the Communist era to get access to Aegean Sea. Whatever was happening during Ottoman times, we cannot recreate Ottoman Empire.

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos Normal people do not want to recreate the Ottoman Empire. I just wanted you to remember, as you want us to remember. Outside Western Europe most nationalities are products of the 20th century. To be realistic, that includes Turks, defined as Ottoman Muslims and Greeks defined as Ottoman Greek Church members. A lot of people who are today Turks have ancestors who would have been amazed to think of themselves as Turks. Greek used to mean church and not nationality, that is why Cretan Muslims were excluded and the Karamanlis included when the Modern Greek nation was defined. Greeks should keep that in mind when they hate us Turks as Mongolian intruders, as a lot of them do.

Nick Kouzos I agree with your statement but you must also remember that Ottomans considered Greeks in certain areas as bandits and second class citizens. All this has happened in the middle of cultural and religious conflicts which effected developments both in West and East. I agree that intruders from Mongolia was only the beginning. Arab influence and Islam was also important. On the opposite side the west had the Dark Medieval period the Crusades and the Horrors of the Christian Church and Its Holy Inquisition. So it is natural and a historical fact that all these would have left serious wounds to the evolution of national states. Many people including Greek scholars would support the argument that Greeks would have been more well of, if they would join Ottomans to create an Empire under the name Middle Empire. This would have been possible if it was not for religious differences. The problem is that this has not happened for whatever reason, so we have to solve the conflicts with current status quo. There is not current hatred that cannot be handled under the influence of wiser politicians that should not act under the influence of populism.

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Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos Actually the Turks who came to Anatolia in 1071 had nothing to do with Mongolia. They were Turkmens from Iran. You can see this on the fact that Turkmens (the word means I am a Turk) still live in Iran and Turkey as well as Afghanistan Iraq and Syria. The language is as close to Turkish in Turkey as English and Americans. Anatolia was being fought over by Greeks and Iran since ancient times and this was one more Iranian invasion. Even today around of a third of Iran speaks Turkish (Turkmen, Azeri, Qashghai). There is a theory that this was also so in ancient times. Also by the time the Turkmens came Turkish was alos spoken in Anatolia and Rumelia. This is how Turkey could be born. For a comparison: Turks also invaded India at the same time and left significant traces. But there are practically no Turks in India. The initial Greek nationalists did want to democratize the Ottoman Empire to French revolution ideology. The Greeks at that point were working with the Ottoman authorities. In 1868 all ethnicities of the empire were declared equal. The Greek Patriarch protested half in joke, until then the Greeks had been the second nation (millet) of the empire they had become one among many.

Nick Kouzos We are taking our discussion too deep in history but just to prove to you that I have done my research I am quoting directly from my site nickkouzos.com a special chapter about the roots of Turks which gives a full description http://nickkouzos.com/about/NICKKOUZOS.COM

The Origin Of Turks | Nick Kouzos

Nick Kouzos The fact is that there has been a long historic rivalry. There is no question that a certain section of Greeks in Fanari around the area the Greek Patiarch were contributing to a great degree to the administration of the state. But today there is a serious problem with Turkey as they have closed the Hieratical school of Halki that reduces the number of number of Priests that can become Patriarchs since they have to be of Turkish Nationality. This in effect reduces the level of the personality that will be the next Patriarch. This is very shuttle approach of indirect fight. There are a lot of issues we have to improve in order to avoid a next cultural clash in history between Greeks or may be better to call them Hellenes.

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos I agree. The school issue is a retaliation to Greek government control of the Islamic institutions of West Thrace.

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos I had previously read your article on the origin of the Turks. This is official history. Common words between maya and Turkish confirm the idea. However it is not the whole truth. Strabon writes that in his own time the same language was spoken all around the Black Sea. (I have not read the book yet) The only language spoken all around the Black sea is Turkish. So I think the West wrote the history and they liked the idea of us being Siberian barbarians. For strange reasons so do we. Turks do not do much research and what they do is concentrated on the Ottoman Empire perhaps also because the lands of Asia are controlled by Russians and Chinese who do not like the idea any more than Turks like Hellenic Anatolia. Turks say Sumer- the first civilization- was speaking a language which could be the antecedent of Turkish. The West hates the idea. They also want the Japanese to be an isolated people and hate the idea that Japanese could be related to Turkish. To find out, I spent time learning some Japanese. It is as closely related to Turkish as German to English. As for the modern Turkish nation, I think of us as being like Americans, not an ethnic unit but a political unit.

Nick Kouzos Sukan Gurkaynak Again we have a conflict regarding the priests (Mufties) in West Thrace. Turkey insists to impose Turkish nationals and not Muslims from other countries i.e Greece or Egypt. Turkish persons influence local Muslims against Greece and Greek Nationality. On the contrary a new Patriarch has to be of Turkish Nationality. You see you always support the Turkish point of view in every case. Even if the injustice is obvious. There is always a degree of bias to all of us but in most cases the Turks are more fanatic. One example is the case of the closing of school of Halki. Another example is the detainment of the two Greek soldiers. You keep double standards.

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos According to my knowledge Greek government is imposing her people as Mufti. At least one elected Greek citizen Mufti they put in jail. Greece throws West Thracian Turks in jail for calling themselves Turks and takes their citizenship. Egyptians have no business in West Thrace. Even under military rule Turkey had laws and courtly. Thanks to the US and Erdogan this is no longer the case. The Americans jailed huge number of innocent generals using the Gulenists to bring Mr Erdogan a political-tactical advantage. CIA chief Petraeus was in Ankara and offered to release them if the military initiate a conflict with Iran. Then with EU support (including Greece) Erdogan made a referendum to bring the justice system under his control. Nowadays people go to jail if Mr Erdogan imagines a tactical advantage. Thank you EU, thank you Greece.

Nick Kouzos Sukan Gurkaynak There is no imprisonment of any person for calling himself Turk. Tis is misinformation. But in spite of this you are avoiding to respond directly on main points. Once again you accept the imprisonment of two Greek soldiers and the closing of the school of  Halki. You also do not give a response regarding Mufties arising nationalistic climate in west Thrace. West Thrace Muslims are Greek citizens, they enjoy European citizenship as well. The Patriarch is a Turkish citizen and Turkey is effectively denying a succession process. We must for a change speak directly about these issues not avoiding direct answers. So why should Greeks allow Turkish Mufties to be appointed in West Thrace, who are acting against Greece, and at the same time deny the opening of the School of Halki? Do you support this action?

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Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos I am little informed about what goes on in West Thrace and the Greek church in Istanbul. I wrote what I heard. Turks were complaining about the issues I wrote. I wrote that Mr Erdogan jails innocent people for tactical reasons. It was the West which created this situation. They wanted the Turkish military destroyed by jailing generals for no reason. They expected that Turkey would give land to Greeks, Kurds and Armenians once the military was out of the way. Now the military is out of the way and Mr Erdogan jails ever more people. I don’t like it. I think both Greece and Turkey need to reestablish real minority rights for the Greeks of Istanbul and the Turks of Thrace. If anybody ever asks me that is what I will say.

Nick Kouzos But there are no Greeks left in Istanbul, they are just 1.000, The Turkish Muslims in Thrace are protected by total freedom and equal rights both under Greek and EU law. They can even be members of parliament and in some cases they are. The problem rises only in cases when their leaders try to raise their expectations that Turkey will annex West Thrace. Even that is not used as an excuse to imprison anybody. On the contrary Turkey is stirring the situation by funding certain activities through the Turkish Consulate and some Mufties. As to the fact that The Americans are trying to use Greece again as it happened during the First World War, I believe that this is not possible this time. The problem is the other way around and it has to do with West Thrace, Aegean islands and Cyprus, The real problem and possible fighting accidents may start in case Turkey invades South Cyprus territorial waters instead of working out a solution is Cyprus for Turks and Greeks to coexist. The most dangerous argument is that Cyprus cannot be an independent nation unless Turkey decides so. This implies conflicts of interests between Cyprus and Turkey which involves conflicts between Russia and US as well as Europe. It is a matter of .oil and gas pipes. History repeats itself. Greece has been a victim ones on this game. I hope both Greece and Turkey will be wiser this time because both countries can be losers. I am supporting a multi ethnic solution for Cyprus that will create a safe place for both communities under EU equal rights environment, although I don’t believe that Turkey will allow this because it will effect Turkish aspirations in this area. So this a real danger.

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Sukan Gurkaynak The starting position on Cyprus is, the 1960/61 treties are still valid. The Greeks decided to ignore them in 1963 and forced the Turks to live in ghettos. In 1974 the ghettos were enlarged to enable the Turks to lead normal lives.

Nick Kouzos inserted the photo:

Massive graves of missing Greek Cypriots descovered in Cyprus

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Sukan Gurkaynak The treaties cannot be changed to make Cyprus sovereign without Turkey as the Lausanne treaty cannot be changed to make West Thrace sovereign without Greece. No country gives up treaty rights. The West especially the British annexed all islands on the planet, and made laws which determine that their uninhabited rocks in the seas give them control of the open sea. An uninhabited rock has more sea that the continent of china with billions of people. Such «laws» are not sustainable. There was already a war over the useless Falkland Islands and the world will burn over the rocks in the South China Sea unless other laws are made. If you look up Turks of Western Thrace in wikipedia you will see there are one million of them. , overall there are an estimated 1 million Turks whose roots are from Western Thrace.[53], If the situation were so good they would live at home and not 90% in exile as is the fact. There are many in Turkey, which is why Turkey is so interested in them. Take Mehmet Müezzinoğlu (born January 9, 1955) is a Turkish physician and politician, who served as the Minister of Labor and Social Security between 2016 and 2017, and the Minister of Health from 2013 to 2016. CEarly years
He was born on January 9, 1955 in Arriana village of Rhodope to Ali and his wife Fatma, a family from the Turkish minority in Greece. Müezzinoğlu went to Istanbul for his high school education. He studied in an İmam Hatip school, where he met Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was his classmate.[1][2]

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Sukan Gurkaynak In my view the West was annoyed about the Cyprus operation in 1974. First they bakrupted Turkey to make her give Cyprus up. Did not work. Then they sent the PKK to break up Turkey. Did not work. Then they decided to replace the establishment with docile Islamsts. Also did not work. had they stopped the Greeks in 1963 there would have been no Cyprus issue. Had they admitted Turkey into the Eu the conflicts would have been solved. The way things stand, the fight will go on until the West recognizes Turkey as their equal. I once had a discussion with a Greek who was telling Kurdish discussion partner, they should always serve the West, that way the West would help them grab other peoples assets. This is what the Kurds are doing in Syria. Can we trust Greece to be rational?

Nick Kouzos All this is one sided view Turkey retaliates always violating treaties and produce their own rules of international law and accuse west disregarding any valid existing law. Even if Greece wanted to change international laws, we cannot implemented it We have to live under a recognized environment , otherwise we will have to submit to the law of the stronger which means to accept everything Turkey wants. This will not happen, even if we are to disappear from the map of nations we will stick by the international law. Then you bring up issues of retaliations all the time. Why you say that Turkey has to defend the rights of 150.000 of Muslims in West Thrace, they are there due to the treaty of Lausanne, who says that you have to defend them because there were 1.000.000, are you talking about their ancestors? Even so would you accept that Greeks should act for the rights of .5 million that lived in Asia Minor. I cannot make sense with your way of thinking. It makes no sense to define everything in just one-sided way. Turkey cannot interfere in another country’s situation. You are always changing the rules and every time you fail you blame the western world in its entirety. You are mixing ancestors with current populations, you stick to a treaty and you violate every law and you always have an excuse you never admit any mistake in Turkey’s policies and aspirations. You accuse EU for not accepting Turkey and at the same time you don’t comply with their rules. What do you expect EU to comply with Turkish rules?

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As you most probably will say this is a western club that obey to international low. I thing we need to stop referring to the past and see what we have in front of us today. If you insist that international law is not valid then we have to prepare for the worst for both our countries. I really don’t know where this will take us. I will be talking for the millions lost in Asia Minor and you will be talking about your brothers in West Thrace and Cyprus.

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Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos Real EU members do not obey the «rules», they make the rules. Turkey wants to be one of them and not a Slovakia which obeys the rules other people make. When they have an interest, Greeks also disobey rules. Turkey is interested in the Turks of Western Thrace and other places and Greece is interested in Greeks everywhere. That will remain so. The million figure is interesting because the enormous emigration from Western Thrace shows, something is wrong. I have not reinterpreted anything, the still valid treaties for Cyprus gives Turks and Turkey rights they will not give away. Greece also does not give away anything. In 2003 the United Nations decided, it was legal for the US to invade Iraq and kill 2 million Iraqis. So much for «international laws». Greece should cooperate with turkey instead of hiding behind other countries which serve their own interests. It is not an issue of disappearing from map. Neither Greece, nor the Cypriot Turks.

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Nick Kouzos
Nick Kouzos This can go on for ever, Greece will not play this game of: Y
ou either agree or else!!
We are not hiding behind any body, There are three UN decisions condemning Turkey for an invation which was illegal.
We will stick to our position obaying by international low, we have no other option
This is the only justice we know all the rest is what Turkey is trying to do for years now, to bring Greece to its knees. This is why you have entered this arms race just to bring Greece to it knees.
We have experienced Turkish cruelty for handreds of years, we dont trust you. We will fight to the last one and die for our country and for justice.
I dont care what the West wants us to do, neither what Turkey wants us to do.
If any body is not willing to die for his country does not deserves to be free.
This is what Kemal said to Turks in Kallipoli: I dont want you to fight for you country I want you to die for it.
We will follow Kemal’s instractions. So keep up buying Amerikan F35’s and Russian         S 400′ or German Tanks we are not being afraid. We will not surrender.to black mail with reference to your victims.
We have not killed as many as we have lost. your Generals are, EVEN TODAY threatening us, that we will END UP  WHERE our grand parents had to end up, in the botton of Aegean sea. This is not a way to discuss. We don’t trust these people that behave in this descracefull way, during the 21st century.

Editor, Archaeology Magazine
“A Letter from Macedonia”
36-36 33rd Street

Long Island City, NY 11106

U.S.A.

Dear Sir,

I opened the January/February issue of Archaeology today and eagerly turned to “A Letter from Macedonia” only to discover that it was actually a letter from ancient Paionia – the land north of Mt. Barmous and Mt. Orbelos. Livy’s account of the creation of the Roman province of Macedonia (45.29.7 and 12) makes clear that the Paionians lived north of those mountains (which form today the geographically natural northern limits of Greece) and south of the Dardanians who were in today’s Kosovo. Strabo (7. frag 4) is even more succinct in saying that Paionia was north of Macedonia and the only connection from one to the other was (and is today) through the narrow gorge of the Axios (or Vardar) River. In other words, the land which is described by Matthew Brunwasser in his “Owning Alexander” was Paionia in antiquity.

While it is true that those people were subdued by Philip II, father of Alexander, in 359 B.C. (Diodorus Siculus 16.4.2), they were never Macedonians and never lived in Macedonia. Indeed, Demosthenes (Olynthian 1.23) tells us that they were “enslaved” by the Macedonian Philip and clearly, therefore, not Macedonians. Isokrates (5.23) makes the same point. Likewise, for example, the Egyptians who were subdued by Alexander may have been ruled by Macedonians, including the famous Cleopatra, but they were never Macedonians themselves, and Egypt was never called Macedonia (and so far as I can tell does not seek that name today).

Certainly, as Thucydides (2.99) tells us, the Macedonians had taken over “a narrow strip of Paionia extending along the Axios river from the interior to Pella and the sea”. One might therefore understand if the people in the modern republic centered at Skopje called themselves Paionians and claimed as theirs the land described by Thucydides.

But why, instead, would the modern people of ancient Paionia try to call themselves Macedonians and their land Macedonia? Mr. Brunwasser (p. 55) touches on the Greek claims “that it implies ambitions over Greek territory” and he notes that “the northern province of Greece is also called Macedonia.” Leaving aside the fact that the area of that northern province of modern Greece has been called Macedonia for more than 2,500 years (see, inter alios, Herodotus 5.17; 7.128, et alibi), more recent history shows that the Greek concerns are legitimate. For example, a map produced in Skopje in 1992 (Figure 1) shows clearly the claim that Macedonia extends from there to Mt. Olympus in the south; that is, combining the ancient regions of Paionia and Macedonia into a single entity. The same claim is explicit on a pseudo-bank note of the Republic of Macedonia which shows, as one of its monuments, the White Tower of Thessalonike, in Greece (Figure 2). There are many more examples of calendars, Christmas cards, bumper-stickers, etc., that all make the same claim.

Further, Mr. Brunwasser has reported with approval (International Herald Tribune 10/1/08) the work of the “Macedonian Institute for Strategic Research 16:9”, the name of which refers “to Acts 16:9, a verse in the New Testament in which a Macedonian man appears to the Apostle Paul begging him: ‘Come over into Macedonia, and help us.’» But where did Paul go in Macedonia? Neapolis (Kavala), Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessaloniki, and Veroia (Acts 16:11-17:10) all of which are in the historic Macedonia, none in Paionia. What claim is being made by an Institute based in Skopje that names itself for a trip through what was Macedonia in antiquity and what is the northern province of Greece today?

I wonder what we would conclude if a certain large island off the southeast coast of the United States started to call itself Florida, and emblazoned its currency with images of Disney World and distributed maps showing the Greater Florida.

Certainly there was no doubt of the underlying point of “Macedonia” in the mind of U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius on December 26, 1944, when he wrote:

“The Department [of State] has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and semi-official statements in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisan and other sources, with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected state. This government considers talk of Macedonian ”nation”, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonian “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece.”

[Source: U.S. State Department, Foreign Relations vol viii, Washington, D.C., Circular Airgram (868.014/26Dec1944)]

Mr. Brunwasser (a resident of Bulgaria), however, goes on to state, with apparent distain, that Greece claims “Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) . . . as Greek.”

This attitude mystifies me. What is there to “claim”? Alexander’s great-great-great grandfather, Alexander I, was certified as Greek at Olympia and, in the words of the father of history “I happen to know that [the forefathers of Alexander] are Greek” (Herodotus 5.22). Alexander’s father, Philip, won several equestrian victories at Olympia and Delphi (Plutarch, Alexander 4.9; Moralia 105A), the two most Hellenic of all the sanctuaries in ancient Greece where non-Greeks were not allowed to compete. If Philip was Greek, wasn’t his son also Greek?

When Euripides – who died and was buried in Macedonia (Thucydides apud Pal. Anth. 7.45; Pausanias 1.2.2; Diodorus Siculus 13.103) – wrote his play Archelaos in honor of the great-uncle of Alexander, did he write it in Slavic? When he wrote the Bacchai while at the court of Archelaos did he not write it in Greek even as it has survived to us? Or should we imagine that Euripides was a “Macedonian” who wrote in Slavic (at a date when that language is not attested) which was translated into Greek?

What was the language of instruction when Aristotle taught Alexander? What language was carried by Alexander with him on his expedition to the East? Why do we have ancient inscriptions in Greek in settlements established by Alexander as far away as Afghanistan, and none in Slavic? Why did Greek become the lingua franca in Alexander’s empire if he was actually a “Macedonian”? Why was the New Testament written in Greek rather than Slavic?

On page 57 of the so-called “Letter from Macedonia” there is a photograph of the author standing “before a bronze statue of Alexander the Great in the city of Prilep.” The statue is patently modern, but the question is whether the real historic Alexander could have read the Slavic inscription beneath his feet. Given the known historic posterity of Slavic to Greek, the answer is obvious.

While Mr. Brunwasser’s reporting of the archaeological work in Paionia is welcome, his adoption and promotion of the modern political stance of its people about the use of the name Macedonia is not only unwelcome, it is a disservice to the readers of Archaeology who are, I imagine, interested in historic fact. But then, the decision to propagate this historical nonsense by Archaeology – a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America – is a disservice to its own reputation.

Let it be said once more: the region of ancient Paionia was a part of the Macedonian empire. So were Ephesos and Tyre and Palestine and Memphis and Babylon and Taxila and dozens more. They may thus have become “Macedonian” temporarily, but none was ever “Macedonia”.

Allow me to end this exegesis by making a suggestion to resolve the question of the modern use of the name “Macedonia.” Greece should annex Paionia – that is what Philip II did in 359 B.C. And that would appear to be acceptable to the modern residents of that area since they claim to be Greek by appropriating the name Macedonia and its most famous man. Then the modern people of this new Greek province could work on learning to speak and read and write Greek, hopefully even as well as Alexander did.

Sincerely,

Stephen G. Miller

Professor Emeritus, University of California,

Berkeley

PS: For a more complete examination of the ancient evidence regarding Paionia, see I. L. Merker, “The Ancient Kingdom of Paionia,” Balkan Studies 6 (1965) 35-54

cc: C. Brian Rose, President, Archaeological Institute of America

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America

Dora Bakoyiannis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece

Antonis Samaras, Minister of Culture of Greece

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement

Erik Meijer, Member, European Parliament

ΣχόλιαSukan Gurkaynak
Sukan Gurkaynak We know that Alexander used Greek as a cultural language. We do not know which language he spoke at home. Greek was a cultural language like English today or Latin in Europe and Persian in the Orient. Persian was used in Peking in the Mongolian era or in India before the English took over. This has nothing to do with what a state calls itself 2500 years later.
Nick Kouzos
Nick Kouzos Don’t you read the scripts around the world?This is apse red. Don’t you see the theatrical plays where common people attended? Don’t you read the comedies, the satyr, and the political speeches, don’t you know anything about Aristoteles? Have seen any other language being spoken? May be you are so fanatic that you can call Greek as Attalian.

What you say is a proof to the world how prejudice some Turks are.

I would have never believed it if you had not written this.

Even Alexander’s grandfather participated twice in the Greek Olympic Games that only Greeks participated.

Greek language was the only language spoken by Greeks There was no traces or proof or the slightest trace of anything else.

I am amazed with what I listen to.

Sukan Gurkaynak
Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos Strabon writes that in his time many languages were spoken in Anatolia. Of that only Greek language scripts remain. Present day Bulgaria and Roumenia also spoke various languages in antiquity, we no longer remember.
Nick Kouzos Bulgarians and Romanians were speaking other languages, especially Romanians who were speaking a language close to latin. Tutks were speaking a language which was written in Arabic characters. Greeks were speaking mainly Greek and after the fall of Bisantines Some Greeks were converted to Islam and others survived as crypto Christians. Slavonic languages were also spread and some Greeks were speaking Slavonic languages even Bulgarian but all this happened after 600 AC. This does not mean that they lost their national identity. In any case Greek was not a language spoken by just elites in the wider Hellenistic areas, including Asia Minor or Anatolia as Turks prefer to call it. In any case the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced to Slavs by two Greek Monks. The Cyrillic characters are Greek characters. The written form of Turkish language was created by Kemal who introduced mainly Latin characters as late as the 20th century. Greek prevailed and influenced Latin and most European languages including English. One can speak English for hours using just Greek words. This is the power of the Greek language, this is why the written Greek scriptures are so widely left around Greece the Balkans and Anatolia. Language in oral and written form is a vehicle to maintain cultural and ethnic roots. This in addition to religion during Byzantine times is the main reason why Greece managed to survive and maintain roots that go as far as Ancient Greece. All this has a lot of relation to the issue of the Macedonian nationality and Macedonian language that Greece objects so much. At the moment US and EU are not concerned about these Greek sensitivities, they just want to keep West Balkans including Skopia within NATO alliance and keep Russia out. Turkey, as always, wants to maintain control over Balkan countries as well. Greece is a word introduced by west, Unan is the name from the name «Iones» which is the name of Greeks residing in Anatolia and some of the Aegean Islands. The rest of Greeks were Dorians and Aiolis. They were all speaking the same Greek language.No mixtures were hapening in the Ancient Greek times becouse the rest of the current world was considered by Greeks as Barbarians. We can do nothing about that now. The trouth is that you cannot find any signes of civilisations that have reached the level of culture that was created by Greeks at that time, you need only read som of the texts written at that time from Greek Philosohers, Politicians Theater writers, mathematicians, scientists. This is why West re-descovered them during renesance. Greece missed this period because of Turkish ocupation and was left behind.
Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos Egypt and Sumer are far older than Greece. Turkish was written in runic script around 500 BC. After that in aramaic, after that arabic. Turks had a printing press printing aramaic in East Turkestan 500 years before the germans. do you know the pre-slavic languages of Bulgaria and the pre-latin language of Roumania? until when the native anatolian languages were spoken? of course not. noboedy doubts the ancient greek civilization but that has nothing to do with the Greek macedonia conflict. this is the only casein human history where one country tries to forbid the name of a neighbopring country. it is silly.
Demetri Roubanis
Demetri Roubanis His mother was Greek.
His first language was Greek

 

Nick Kouzos
Nick Kouzos Sukan Gurkaynak If it is so silly why did they accept the name North Macedonia?
It is the first time in history that a nation attempts to adopt -steal the history the names and the historic inheritance of their neighbor.
I was in Skopia 20 years ago, in business and I was discussing with the Leader of an American aid organization who told me, to my surprise: Who could imagine that a small nation like Macedonia would create such an empire to influence by its advanced culture the rest of the then known world!!!!
Can you imagine the ignorance of this American?
He was talking about the Hellenistic period that even the Turkish Museum in Istanbul proudly demonstrates as Hellenistic. But more than that you may overcome by considering silly there is an issue of sovereignty. Who is to guarantee that in 50 years North Macedonians who will be considered the only ones with Macedonian nationality will not want to …liberate Greek part of Macedonia. This is ridiculous.
Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos There is Anatolia and people who demand that Turkey drop her name and call herself Anatolia. Nobody would support an invasion of South Macedonia. Americans are ignorant. That is one reason why they support Greece in all her conflicts with Turkey. You’ll have to live with them.

έσει!

Nick Kouzos
Nick Kouzos Sukan Gurkaynak The Runic alphabet was probably created independently rather than evolving from another alphabet. It is commonly thought to have been modelled on the Latin or northern Italian alphabets such as Etruscan.

The earliest known Runic inscriptions date from the 1st century AD, but the vast majority of Runic inscriptions date from the 11th century. Runic inscriptions have been found throughout Europe from the Balkans to Germany, Scandinavia and the British Isles.I am surprised that Turkish language was using Runic characters.The Aramaic alphabet was adaptaed from the Phoenician alphabet during the 8th century BC and was used to write the Aramaic language until about 600 AD. The Aramaic alphabet was adapted to write quite a few other languages, and developed into a number of new alphabets, including the Hebrew square script and cursive script, Nabataean, Syriac, Palmyrenean, Mandaic, Sogdian, Mongolian and probably the Old Turkic script.After Alexander the Great destroyed the Persian Empire, Aramaic ceased to be the official language of any major state, though continued to be spoken widely. It was during this period that Aramaic split into western and eastern dialects.

Aramaic was once the main language of the Jews and appears in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is still used as a liturgical language by Christian communities in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and is spoken by small numbers of people in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Syria.

Today Biblical Aramaic, Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects and the Aramaic language of the Talmud are written in the Hebrew alphabet, while the Syriac alphabet is used to write Syriac and Christian Neo-Aramaic dialects, and the Mandaic alphabet is used for Mandaic. It is well noted that Turkish tribes have contributed military culture o locals while assimilated religious and language influences from Arabs
The end result was the creation of the Ottoman Empire which was mainly the combination of the military strength derived from imperialistic, nomadic Turkish tribes invading Anatolia and the religious Islamic influence contributed by Arabs. This is the real picture of Anatolia and Byzantium which eventually was taken over by Turks, who exterminated indigenous populations among which, Assyrians, Greeks, Armenians, and Jews etc. 


This is how the new Turkish state was established. Turkey is now trying to mispresent historical and cultural facts by stating that they are the people who inherited all existing civilizations of Anatolia. The truth is that Ottomans conquered (consider Constantinople) the area and the only thing they assimilated is the religious part of Islam contributed by the Arabs. 
The rest was totally exterminated, including Christians and Jews. What happened to Assyrians, Greeks Armenians? 
Turks expanded and finally were stopped in Vienna. Croissant was the food first introduced when Vienna was besieged by Turks. 
This is the picture that exists in Greece and West

I am not afraid :

http://analitis.gr/den-se-fovame-sigkinitiko-vinteo-gia-ti…/

 These are the lyrics in the above song “I am not afraid of you” which has been distributed in 146 countries around the world and caused a lot of emotion.

It is an inocent expresion addressed to all people and nations that are trying to get advantage of the Greek financial crisis.
It has Greek subtitles and I felt that many friends of Greece, but also non speaking Greeks who would love to understand the lyrics that are trying to give courage to Greeks who go through a very hard period, so there it is a non-professional translation.
The pictures edited within the video basically refers to Germans, but indirectly is addressing anybody who would conspire against its integrity.

So there it is:
I am not afraid of you even if you are threatening me with a knife.
I hold in my heart, in my defense, the lines from the poems of Seferis.
I have the Aegean island of Amorgos, I have poets like Gatsos, Kalvos and Solomos.
I am not afraid of you!
I am not afraid of you when you shout at me go away Melina!
I have Vergina’s glowing Sun from Macedonia as sacred amulet to protect me.
I have the mount Olympos and Hemitos, the fortress of Palamidi in Nayplion and the old woman Ro to keep watch on the island of Ro.
I am not afraid of you.
With Greece I live, I wake up in the morning and go to sleep in the night.
I am not afraid of you!!!!
I am not afraid even when you tell me: Go away I am telling you.
I have a million loves in the Aegean Sea.
I have a God in Crete. I have a cape and a cross.
I am not afraid of you!!!!
I am not afraid even when you say: Get out of the way.
I have a tree planted in the ancient theater of Eupidavros
I have an orchestra and sacred alter.
I have my values my logo and my logic my literature, I have my Tragedy and my theater my reasoning and my speech and my culture .
I am not afraid of you
With Greece I am waking up and going to sleep.

 

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Κάθε μέρα που περνάει με ανησυχούν μικρά και μεγάλα άσχημα νέα που με αναστατώνουν:

Με ανησυχεί πρωτίστως η μακροχρόνια στασιμότητά στην οικονομική ανάπτυξη της Ελλάδας με επίπτωση τις αυξανόμενες απειλές εναντίον της ανεξαρτησίας της, από μία ενισχυμένη Τουρκία.

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Με ανησυχεί ο τρόπος που λειτουργεί το πολίτευμα που επιτρέπει την διοίκηση του κράτους από συγκυριακές και αντιφατικές ιδεολογίες κομμάτων που αντιπροσωπεύουν  μειοψηφίες.

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Με ανησυχεί η επιβίωση του πολιτικού λαϊκισμού  και αμοραλισμού που επιβιώνει παρά τα ψεύδη που διατυμπανίζει και χρησιμοποιεί για προσωρινή  εκμετάλλευση της πολιτικο-οικονομικής εξουσίας.

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Με ανησυχεί η απώλεια του παραγωγικού νέου επιστημονικού δυναμικού που αποδυναμώνει την Ελλάδα από το σημαντικότερο μέσω διαχρονικής επιβίωσης και ανάπτυξης.

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Με ανησυχεί η εθνική διαχρονική διχόνοια που ενισχύει την υποκρισία απέναντι σε σημαντικούς  θεσμούς όπως η ανεξαρτησία των εξουσιών.

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Με ανησυχεί η υφέρπουσα συγκάλυψη τρομοκρατικών τάσεων όπως ο  Ρουβίκωνας σε ρόλο ανεξέλεγκτου παρακράτους – «Θα κάψουμε τον ΣΚΑΪ» ανακοίνωσε.

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Με ανησυχεί η αλλοίωση του εθνικού φρονήματος με την κακώς εννοούμενη διεθνιστική αντίληψη. Βλέπε απώλεια της Εθνικής υπόστασης της ονομασίας Μακεδονία που μετετράπη από Εθνική έννοια  σε τοπωνυμία με απρόβλεπτες εξελίξεις.

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Με ανησυχεί η γήρανση και περιθωριοποίηση τα Ελλάδας που συντελείται στα πλαίσια ακόμα και μίας Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης που αποτελούσε μέχρι πρόσφατα ένα ελπιδοφόρο πείραμα.

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Ανησυχώ για τον φαρισαϊσμό της ιδεοληπτικής τοποθέτησης των δήθεν προοδευτικών κομμάτων. Με την πρόφαση της δήθεν δικαίας αναδιανομής υπέρ  των  αδυνάτων που καταστρέφουν την παραγωγική οικονομία και τελικά πλήττουν και αυτούς  που δήθεν προστατεύουν. Βασικά αναδιανέμουν πριν παράγουν. Και το δράμα είναι ότι  κάτω από την πίεση του ίδιου λαϊκισμού  λειτούργησαν όλες οι πολιτικές δυνάμεις μετά την μεταπολίτευση. Κατάντησε η Ελλάδα να είναι 88η  στον κόσμο στην ανταγωνιστικότητα σε συνδυασμό με την  144η θέση σε μέγεθος φορολογικών επιβαρύνσεων που αποτελεί το κυριότερο βαρίδι στην ανάπτυξη, λόγο διατήρησης ενός υπερβολικού κρατισμού που τρέφει την διαφθορά και τις  πελατειακές σχέσεις της διοίκησης. Αλίμονο αν αυτό συνεχιστεί.

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Αντί να βοηθήσουμε τον λαό να μάθει να ψαρεύει τον ταΐζουμε λίγα ψάρια!

Η γνωστή κινέζικη παροιμία, που λέει ότι «Αν είσαι φίλος, μην μου δίνεις ψάρια να τρώω, μάθε με να ψαρεύω», είναι πολύ επίκαιρη στις σχέσεις μας με τους εταίρους μας.  Για μας έκαναν ακριβώς το αντίθετο.

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Covering the period from the fall of Constantinople during 1453 to the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire during 1821

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A review of historical events that lead to the conflicts between Greece and Turkey over Aegean Sea, the Aegean island and Cyprus in an effort to provide a point of view that could be considered as neutral as possible considering that I am Greek and both sides of my family came to Greece as refugees after the defeat of the Greek army during 1922.  

During recent years we experience a deterioration of Greek- Turkish relationships, especially under the Presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is implementing a revisionary approach against some of its neighbors, in Middle East and west. The situation has developed to serious conflicts in Aegean Sea, the islands and the republic of Cyprus, especially over the issues of island sovereignty and the rights of the Republic of Cyprus to develop its resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone,”

Erdoğan has said that Turkey «gave away» Greek islands that «used to be ours» and are «within shouting distance». «There are still our mosques, our shrines there,» he said, referring to the Ottoman occupation of the islands.

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I have always tried to collect information about how and why my ancestors, from both sides of my family fled from Turkey as refugees during the years 1922-1924.

During my research, I had the opportunity to meet Nancy Horton the daughter of George Horton, US councilor to Smyrna during 1922 the year the Turkish Army, lead by Kemal Atatürk, entered the city after the defeat of the Greek Army that lead to the retreat that was followed by the massacre and expulsion of the entire Greek population from Asia Minor, allowing Turkey to reform to a new state with no Christian minorities which, at that time, consisted a major part of the middle class in Turkey.

Nancy Horton spent her life preserving evidence and reports provided by her father regarding events that took place during this period. Nancy donated to me some of this evidence, some in published books some in photocopies of articles etc. Nancy Horton passed away recently at the age of 103. She was 11 years old during 1922, the same age my closest living relative who survived the experience of the burning of Smyrna and the Turkish atrocities during this period.

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George Horton

As part of my research I had the opportunity to meet both Greeks and Turks who appeared to be both either friendly and supportive for the promotion of Greek Turkish re approach and friendship or, on the other side, people that totally reject any such approach supporting revisionary claims regarding, Aegean sea, the islands, air and sea frontiers and Cyprus issue resolution, which still causes conflicts and animosity, becoming an obstacle for any improvement in Greek Turkish relationships.

With the occasion of the recent memorial of Nancy Horton, I was approached by a Turkish friend whose family was coming from Crete who tried to challenge and counter argue, in defense of Turkish positions and activities committed against Greeks and Armenians, which according to his view were a just retaliations against Greek invasion in Asia Minor and to Greek massacre of Muslim majorities in Macedonia during the Balkan wars as well as to massacres followed by the Greek uprising for independence during 1821-1832 .

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As a result of this intervention we had an interesting exchange of arguments reflecting, in many ways, the current different points of view among Greeks and Turks that have increased the tensions over the last years.

I attach a log record of these counter arguments as recorded on Facebook, at the time, for your review and possible criticism.

Personally, I felt it will be productive to make an effort to investigate the historical facts mentioned in support of arguments from both sides.

The most important statement made on his part was that the conflict between the two countries was mainly caused by Greeks who did not take advantage of the ‘progressive’ administration Ottoman administration had. As a most convincing evidence, my friend presented was the fact that Greeks were allowed to prosper in Asia Minor during the years before 1922. It is absolutely true that the Greek community was prospering in many areas of Asia Minor at the end of 19th century and up to 1914 when the movement of New Turks which was established during 1908, initiated a new policy against various minorities mainly of Christina religion, including Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians.

A lot has been written about this period, mostly against what the West is calling “Genocide” for Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, which Turkey considers as defense against Christian and imperialistic forces that were aiming the destruction of Ottoman Empire. I cannot totally reject the idea but at the same time I believe that we cannot try to explain current events with the prospective of a world which is gradually disappearing, like extreme nationalism, religious or political fundamentalism.

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In this argument the Turkish point of view can be summarized as follows:

  1. Ottoman administration was progressive, consisting the first and greatest Empire that created a truly poly- ethnic state.
  2. West imperialists used Greece as an instrument to destroy Ottoman Empire.
  3. Greeks started a revolution during 1921 invading areas that had a majority of Muslim populations which were massacred by Greek revolutionists.
  4. Macedonia had a Muslim majority which was also massacred by Greeks during the Balkan wars.
  5. Turkey does not respect the rulings of UN, and other international organizations including international courts and international law because they are also controlled by a majority of Christian nations and not Muslim nations.
  6. Greeks and Armenians massacred 2.5 millions of Muslims in Asia Minor.
  7. 17 million Muslims were killed from the rest of the Balkan countries.
  8. Turks in Crete who consisted 40% of the total population were forced to abandon their homes.
  9. The expulsion of Greeks from Istanbul during the 50’s was a just retaliation against the massacres committed by Greeks against Turks in Cyprus, during their fight for independence against the British who were also justified to execute EOKA “terrorists” who killed around 300 British soldiers.
  10. Ottoman Empire was not built by just by Turkish tribes coming from Mongolia and Siberia, Turkish populations become from European local populations as early as 600 AD.
  11. Turkey has a right to all unnamed rocks and islands in Aegean Sea which is not a Greek Sea under Lausanne treaty.
  12. Greece does not respect Lausanne treaty.
  13. Cyprus territorial waters cannot be justified to be a sovereign area because Cyprus does not comply with existing agreements.

These statements summarize the main points from the Turkish points of view excluding a general statement made, about the existence of ancient civilizations that Turks are claiming they have been assimilated by the intruding Turkish tribes.

To my understanding, Turks are trying to eliminate any Greek signs of existence even the Greek identity in monuments from the Hellenistic times.

My effort has mainly been focused in investigating reasons how Greeks managed to maintain their national identity even after 400 years under Ottoman rule and what effect had the influence of western nations and western civilizations.

I personally believe that the issue is not to identify who first got to occupy Asia Minor because it is true that the rise of Ottoman Empire started its imperialistic expansion into Europe a few years before the year 1453, the Conquest of Constantinople   the capital of the Byzantine Empire by the invading Ottoman army on 29 May 1453. The attackers were commanded by the then 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II , who was called   “The Conqueror”.

It is known that Sultan Mehmed II was half Greek and was grown under the influence of a Greek step Mother. This is why he had a sensitivity and admiration to Greek culture.

The capture of the city (and two other Byzantine splinter territories soon thereafter) marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, a continuation of the Roman Empire, an imperial state dating to 27 BC, which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years. The conquest of Constantinople also dealt a massive blow to Christianity, as the Muslim Ottoman armies thereafter were left unchecked to advance into Europe without an adversary to their rear.

So Constantinople was a critical border for the collision of two different cultures representing west and east. Till this time Byzantines were protecting both Christianity and west civilization.

After this Ottomans conquered areas up to Vienna in Central Europe and in Caucasus

To appreciate the effect of Ottoman penetration in Europe it is important to relate events in a chronological sequence.

Historical chronology

1300s:
Turkish tribe known as Ottomans forms small state in western Anatolia.
1352: 
Ottomans invade and begin to occupy Bulgaria.
1371:
Ottomans defeat Serbs and their allies at Battle of Maritsa.
1389:
Ottomans inflict second defeat on Serbs, now led by Prince Lazar, at the Battle of Kosovo, beginning slow conquest of Serbia.
1402:
Ottomans move their capital from Asia Minor to Edirne (Adrianople) in Europe, signaling their intention to become a major European power.
1453:
Ottomans encircle and conquer Constantinople, ending the Byzantine Empire.
1459:
Fall of Smederevo liquidates last remnant of independent Serbian state.
1463: 
Ottomans almost complete conquest of Bosnia, executing last king of Bosnia, Stjepan Tomasevic, at Jajce.
1468:
Albanian warrior prince Skenderbeg dies. Within a decade of his death, Ottomans overrun most of Albania.
1493:
Croatian nobility annihilated at Battle of Krbava in Lika, opening way to Ottoman conquest of much of Croatia.
1526:
Hungarian army crushed at Battle of Mohacs, opening way for Ottoman conquest of Hungary.
1557:
Sultan decrees restoration of Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate, vacant since the 1460s. Return of Patriarchs to Pec stimulates revival of Serbian identity within Ottoman Empire.
1645The war in Crete starts in June 1645

 

1683-1699:
Habsburgs conquer Ottoman-ruled Hungary and Croatia, forging new frontier between “Austrian” and “Turkish” empires. Failed uprising among Serbs in Kosovo results in mass emigration of Serbs to Habsburg Slavonia and Vojvodina.

1715

The Venetians retreated and abandoned Crete delivering the last fortresses to the Turkish conquerors.

1804-1817:
Series of Serbian uprisings ends in establishment of small autonomous Serbian principality within Ottoman Empire under Prince Milos Obrenovic.

1821

 The Greek revolution for independence started from Peloponnese
1867:
Serbian princes consolidate control over new state by expelling Ottoman garrison from Belgrade.
1876-1878:
Uprising in Bulgaria triggers Russo-Turkish war the following year. This ends in Turkish defeat and creation at Congress of Berlin of autonomous Bulgaria within the Ottoman Empire.
Austria occupies Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia throws off last vestiges of autonomy, becoming formally independent and receiving territory to the south. Montenegro also gains territory at expense of Albanians.
1903:
So-called “Ilinden” uprising in Macedonia ends in defeat, as Serbs, Greeks and outside powers hold aloof. Ottomans remain in control of Macedonia.
1908:
Austria-Hungary annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina, humiliating Serbia. Montenegro’s prince declares himself a king and Bulgaria’s king declares himself a tsar. Young Turk revolution in Constantinople aims to revive Ottoman Empire.
1909-1910:
Anti-Ottoman revolts sweep northern Albania and Kosovo, but rebels’ failure to coordinate or gain support of outside powers allows Ottomans to retain control.
1912-1913:
Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece unite and declare war on Ottomans, overrunning “Turkey-in-Europe”, but then fighting with each other over the spoils.
First and Second Balkan wars end with most of Macedonia, claimed by Bulgaria, going to Serbia and Greece. Serbia also gains Kosovo. Albania declares independence but is unable to secure most majority-Albanian land for the new state.

After more than six centuries, the Ottomans are expelled from the continent, except for Constantinople and eastern Thrace.

So it is important to understand that Muslim inhabitants were formed after 1400.

The situation in Greek mainland after   1453

But what was happening in between with Greeks in Greek mainland and Asia Minor?

The Byzantine Empire which was a truly poly-ethic state was gradually weakened by crusaders from west and became an easy pray for the Ottomans. Constantinople was sieged by Crusaders during 1204 that established a Latin state, but was reclaimed by Greeks during 1261,

Constantinople was reclaimed by the Byzantine Greeks and the Byzantine Empire was restored. From 1261 onwards, Byzantium underwent a gradual weakening of its internal structures and the reduction of its territories from Ottoman invasions culminating in the fall of Constantinople   on May 29, 1453. The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople resulted in the official end of both Byzantium and the Byzantine period of Greek history though Medieval Greek life would continue well into the Ottoman period.

When the Ottomans arrived, two Greek migrations occurred. The first migration entailed the Greek intelligential migrating to Western Europe and influencing the advent of the Renaissance. The second migration was iternal, entailed Greeks leaving the plains of the Greek peninsula and resettling in the mountains. The millet system contributed to the ethnic cohesion of Orthodox Greeks by segregating the various peoples within the Ottoman Empire based on religion.

The Greeks living in the plains during Ottoman rule were either Christians who dealt with the burdens of foreign rule or Crypto-Christians (Greek Muslims who were secret practitioners of the Greek Orthodox faith). Some Greeks became Crypto-Christians to avoid heavy taxes and at the same time express their identity by maintaining their ties to the Greek Orthodox Church. However, Greeks who converted to Islam and were not Crypto-Christians were deemed «Turks» in the eyes of Orthodox Greeks, even if they didn’t adopt the Turkish language. The Ottomans ruled Greece until the early 19th century.

If we look at it in more detail the first 150 years were a resettling period that displaced Greeks from their homes and Turks moved in. The second period became an opportunity for Greeks who helped Greeks to return back. This was good for the Ottoman administration because the Greeks were prospering and Ottomans collected a lot of taxes. The third period the Ottoman Empire was close to bankruptcy and increased the pressure to collect much higher taxes introducing Greek collectors who were left to collect as much money as they wanted, as long as they paid the required tax to the state. This created a real misery for the Greek community. Poverty increased enormously.

One has to differentiate between what was happening in different areas. Peloponnese was the area that suffered the worst pressure and poverty because it was of less importance for the Ottomans It was a very poor province of the Ottoman Empire.

During the 17th century the Ottoman Empire was exhausted by continues wars and financially nearly became bankrupt, so The Sultan introduces a new tax collection system that created the well-known Tsiflicts. The taxes were collected by a newly introduced class of Greeks called Cotzabasis who were collecting the taxes from the Christians, they were paying the correct tax to the state but at the same time were keeping a percentage for themselves as well as a commission to the local Turkish administrator. This process destroyed the Greek population that was lead to total poverty with no property or enough money to survive. This situation created a very wide network of autonomous areas controlled by Turks Pashas and Greeks jontly working even against the Ottoman administration.

During the 19th century the Ottoman state impose even more extremely demanding rules for the collection of money and taxes. A Greek from Smyrna was saying that the Ottoman state is like a snake that could accuse you in any way they liked imposing judgments in court as cruel as death penalties. There was not any justice, no protection. I have a personal experience of this situation as, my Grandfather was beaten to death by tax collection authorities

But collection of taxes was not the only burden that made Greeks very insecure. From 1422 till 1718, within three centuries there were eight wars between Ottomans and Venetians.  Peloponnese became a battle ground, during 1486, when Methone was conquered by the Turkish Army, all inhabitants were butchered, and new inhabitants came to reside after instructions from the Sultan.

Every village and town in Peloponnese was ordered to send five families to Methone Something similar took place in Argos and Nafplion where these new inhabitants were killed or taken as slaves and new inhabitants were brought in from Albania.

The grabbing of Greek children was another inhuman tax imposed by the Ottomans on the Christians during the first centuries of the Ottoman domination until 1638. The sultan decided where and when the boys would be recruited for the needs of the army and the administration.

The Turkish envoy appeared in the villages and demanded that all fathers and their sons should appear before them. From these he chose the most healthy and strong to become janissaries. At the beginning the Turks took children aged 6-7 years and only one child from each family. Later, however, the army expanded to 8-10 years of age and slowly increased the number of children per family, until all male children were likely to be given. Christians have reached the point of marrying their boys at an early age or changing their faith with their will to avoid the process. And that did not always benefit, since the Turks hardly took into consideration such details.

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Grabbing Christian children was probably the biggest wound for Hellenism during the Ottoman domination. The children who were grabbing were considered to be permanently lost. In Epirus region, on the first Sunday after the rapture, their parents went to the church, where a sacred event was performed. The priest announced the names of the children who were considered dead.

When the sultan’s envoys completed the number children who were going to become janissaries were sent to the city. There, they had a haircut they were choosing the strongest and most beautiful ones for further training.

During 1683 The Turks retreated, chased by the Venetians. On their retreat took with them Greeks as slaves.

While Venetians were bombarding Athens, Peloponnese was totally destroyed. The population was reduced from 300 thousands to 100 thousands.

From those, many hided on the mountains. The second reason to retreat to the mountains was to avoid the tax collection. This retreat again generated many mountain villages and a new community develops that the Ottomans identified as a new source of revenue, so they organize joint groups formed from joint forces Greek and Turkish responsible for tax collection. These groups acted as policemen as well.

These Greek armed forces were called Armatoli (armed Greeks). At the same time a second armed group was created complementary to the other due to the dangerous mountainous life which was armed and lived almost like robbers because they could not pay the taxes, this group was called Cleftes (thieves).  Cleftes were basically outlaws as they consisted of people who were pushed to become outlaws out of poverty, not being able to pay taxes but they were most liked by the oppressed Greeks living on the mountains who felt sympathy, they were something like Roben of the woods.

To understand the pressure to collect taxes, a widowed woman with five children, crying, went and begged the local musters to reduce her tax a little because she could not pay. She stressed that he had sold everything she had precious. She also had to feed and dress three daughters and two sons. As soon as the man heard that she had so many children, he interrupted her and told her in cynicism: Sell two of your children and paid your taxes.

Avoiding tax payment was a serious criminal act that could bare serious and cruel punishment, even execution, nothing to do with the idea of a multi ethnic Empire.

The most barbaric possible execution by the Turks was the dismemberment of the victim and the exposure of his shredded members to public space. This execution was called partition or squatting, and the Turks enforced it in spies, rebels and prisoners. It became public and gave it a festive character. When, at the end of the 15th century, the Turks defeated the Venetians in the Peloponnese, arrested 500 captives and sent them to the city. There they executed all of them by partitioning.

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The Turks tried to bribe the Cleftes by giving them land to become Armatoli hence they created a new class of rich land owners who were now armed. Some of them became very rich. But this situation could not be sustained for long.

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During the Russian Turkish war the Russians believed that they could use Greeks to fight against Turks but Greeks were not organized to provide such help although they hoped that Russians could help them to gain independence.

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When the Russians (Orlof Brothers) abandoned this idea Turks brought some 15000 Albanian missionaries who initially massacred 3 000 Greeks in Tripoli. But this was only the beginning they curried on killing a huge number of Greeks.

As the Russian fleet departed abandoning the idea, they burned down the town of Navarino. The Turks retaliated punishing Greeks by taking 20 000 of them to slavery. As a consequence 50.000 Greeks (which was 1/6 of the total population) escaped and never returned to Peloponnese. These 50 thousand Greeks spread around the islands and Asia Minor, spreading horror stories about Turkish barbarism.

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It is true that conditions in the islands and Asia Minor was not as bad, yet tax collections were still creating serious conflicts and the only reason for Sultan to allow Christian subjects to retain their property and their job was to maintain a healthy financial and productive environment which was contributing to the Empire. This did not happen in Peloponnese.

After all these hardships it was natural that the environment was ideal for Peloponnese to become the area where ideas of freedom could grow. The rest of Greeks had less pressure, or better environment to grow, the islands were also suffering from piracy, but they were open to the outside world and its influences with ideas of freedom, due to commercial activities and the fleet they maintained.

Peloponnese could not be considered an area where Greeks could be treated as equal subjects of the Ottoman Empire. It was easy for them to accept ideas of freedom generated by French revolution and Greek culture maintained abroad and in Asia Minor.

During 1821, a major Greek revolt broke out in Southern Greece. Insurgents gained control of most of the countryside while the Muslims fled to the fortified towns and castles. Each one of them was besieged and gradually through starvation or surrender most were taken over by the Greeks. In the massacres of April 1821 some 15,000 were killed. The worst massacre happened in Tripolitsa, some 8,000 Muslims and Jews died.

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In the end an Independent Greece was set up. Most of the Muslims in its area had been killed or expelled during this period.

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The only census I managed to identify for Greek mainland is included in the following table.

POPULATION CENSUS DURING YEARS 1821 AND 1828

Area 1821 1821 1828 1828 Reduction of Christian populations
Christians Turks Christians Turks
Peloponise 458000 42750 400000 …… 58000
Sterea Hellas 247850 20865 172850 11450 75000
Aegion  Islands 169300 »»»»» 169100 ……… 200
Totals 875150 63615 741960 11450 132200
Genera population 938765 753400

 

I have not tried to investigate every area of the Ottoman Empire in Europe and Middle East. It is certain that conflicts have been taking place in Central Europe, the Balkans and Caucasus and they were significant losses on both sides, Christians and Muslims.

My focus is on Greek areas so let me proceed whith information on Ctrete.

Situation in Crete

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The «Cretan War» began in June 1645, when 60,000 Turks landed and invaded unpredictably in Chania, fighting the Venetians.

In August of the same year, the Ottomans conquered the city and a little later Rethymno. Within two years central Crete had turned into a huge battlefield.

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In 1648, the whole island was under a Turkish rule, with the exception of Candia, today Heraklion, due to its impregnable walls and Koule.

After 21 years of siege, on September 27, 1669, the Great Castle fell. In the longest siege of Europe, 30,000 Greeks and Venetians, as well as 117,000 Turks, have died.

After the fall of the city, there were extensive material damages and atrocities from the Ottomans. Many residents, to be saved have abandoned the island, others were sold as slaves, and others became Turkscretes, ie Cretans who embraced Muslims. There were also several young Cretans who fled to the fortresses of Gramvousa, Souda and Spinalonga, from where they decided to confront the conquerors. When these fortresses fell, the guerrillas fled to the mountains.

This  time the Cretian equivalent to Cleftes and Armatoli called Hainides (Haines), from the Arab word hain which meant something like traitors, appeared to fight the occupying Turks.

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For the Cretans, of course, the Hainides (Haines) were the rebels and revolutionaries (against Ottoman occupiers), who by their means tried to exterminate the Turks. The Haines were also known as «good-morning fighters,» as they used to descend from the mountains to the lowlands during the nights and make sudden and bloody raids against the Ottomans.

The extermination of the Christians and the atrocities of janissaries in Crete

In 1715 the Venetians surrender the last Fortresses and shelters to the Turkish conquerors.

Until 1770, Crete was in tragic circumstances. The Turkish authorities, ignoring the Sultan’s decrees, imposed heavy taxes on the inhabitants and oppressed the Christian population in every way. The most unscrupulous activities, however, were done by the Janissaries, who had settled on the island since the beginning of the Turkish invasion and gradually grew in number.

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Violence and brutality against the Christian population had reached the the limit. Even Sultan orders were not enough to limit the janissaries’ impudence. In fact, some janissaries, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, were infamous about their crimes and remained in the memory and songs of the Cretan people. Aliedakis in Chania, Arif Agas in Rethymnon, Benedes the Apostinis and Hanialis in Heraklion, Meet Agas or Meetakas in Sitia, were some of them.

This information is undisputable, to explain why Cretans desired Union with Greece.
Situation in Macedonia, the Balkan Wars, Pontos and the happenings after 1908 will follow in part II of this article.

 

Attached please find some comments made by my Turkish friend  Sukan Gurkaynak:

«It is true that Greeks and Armenians dominated the Ottoman economy. They also paid no taxes and we never understood why they could not be thankful and live in peace. Moslems were poor and bleeding to death in wars initiated by Russia. Economic growth was at one percent a year. After 1913, the Ottoman government brutally discriminated against Greeks and Armenians. Economic growth went to 6% a year and has been there since 1924. Moslems have been getting richer ever since, Turkey is by now an industrial economy. Greece and Armenia are populated by people who think they are very able and hard working, and at least some of them we Turks are shit, have reached little. How would you explain that?

I went to the Turkish army when I was 30. There I met a Turk whose entire family was from Anatolia. All other Turks I met until then were he descendants of genocide survivors from the Caucasus, Crimea and the Balkans. In sum 30 million citizens of Turkey today. I remember an American school book from the 1890ies stated, the time would soon come when Islam, that is we European Moslems, would disappear back to the deserts of Arabia. Was that not what Greece intended when invading Anatolia in 1920?

This about the economic crisis: I remember a Turkish crisis in 1963, when I was 10, the Turks asked the Americans to save them and the Americans told them to spend less money. The Turkish press was furious that Turks were to spend less money, that was imperialism preventing Turkish prosperity. Is that not also the Greek crisis? As Europe was introducing the Euro, the Economist wrote, Britain would not because the British working class could not compete with the Germans and the British did not understand how the Greeks could imagine they could. So it was a crisis which was coming.

We do not trust institutions of the West. French president Hollande said, Greek islands gave the West a possibility to control the Mediterranean. They will not give that up. Besides no one in Turkey needs a confrontation with Greece.»

 

Further exchange of conflicting arguments exposing the serious differences of opinions between our points of view.

Sukan Gurkaynak My Grandfather was an officer in the Turkish army. They came to a Turkish village Greeks had evacuated. They had killed everyone except a little girl. He took the girl with him and my family adopted her. The Armenian and Greek rebellions costed the lives of 2,5 Million Turkish civilians. They were murdered to make the Moslem majority disappear from the territory Greek and Armenian nationalists coveted.

John Linaris The ones who disappeared from Asia Minor (today’s Turkey) are the original inhabitants, the Greeks and the Armenians! Their butchers, the Turks, are still there! The reality talks! Many non-Greeks and non-Armenians historians, travelers and writers verify that! George Horton was one of them! It’s time to stop hiding behind your finger! The only thing you manage to do is to ridicule yourselves!

Sukan Gurkaynak John Linaris Latin was initially the language spoken around Rome. With the Roman Empire it became the language in many countries in Europe. In its French and Spanish versions it is the language of many peoples in Africa and America. A Congolese or Paraguayan is generally not the descendant of the inhabitants of Rome 500 BC. This is how imperial languages operate. Greek after Alexander and Turkish are also imperial languages. Your presumption, anyone who speaks Turkish today must of necessity be a descendant of a Turkish tribe of 1500 years ago is simply wrong. The Turks of Turkey are the inhabitants of the European (including Anatolia) regions of the Ottoman empire. Their ancestors became Moslems when the Ottoman Empire offered them the freedom of religion. Greeks and Armenians, members of the respective churches, not necessarily ethnic Greeks or Armenians, live in peace and for 1000 years. In the 19th century came the imagination they were master race people and we sub-humans to be mass murdered. For 100 years the Ottoman Empire tried to accommodate them. They responded by mass murdering Moslems at every opportunity, the latest event in Bosnia in the 1990ies. In sum over 5 Million people were killed. After the Balkan war 1912 the situation was clear: either we let them force us out of Anatolia, or we don’t. Look at the Palestinians and the Israelis are no way as brutal as Greeks. Anatolia had in 1914 a population of 18 million, around 3 million of that Greeks + Armenians. The two wanted everything!

Nick Kouzos to Sukan Gurkaynak

The origin of Turks    http://nickkouzos.com/about/ read my response in the link. Which gives a detailed response about historical roots of the Turkish nation.

Sukan Gurkaynak Both Greek and Turkish as languages are late comers to Anatolia. The Greeks Hellenized names which they found in Anatolia, the Turks did the same. Most Anatolian towns have pre-Hellenic names, most have been forgotten by now.

Sukan Gurkaynak When I was a boy, Greek was spoken by many Moslems and Greeks in Istanbul. When Makarios, Grivas and Papandreau started killing Turks on Cyprus, Turkey retaliated by deporting all citizens of Greece resident in Istanbul. If you look Turks of Western Thrace in Wikipedia, you will see there 1 million of them. 90% were forced into exile by Greek policies. There were large numbers of Moslems in what is now Greece. They were killed or forced into exile to get a ethnically pure Greece. Turkey has a population of 80 Million, of that 30 Million are people whose ancestors were forced out of their homes ion Europe. 15 Millions from the Balkans. Were they to, but go back, the majorities in the Balkans would change. My information is that until the Greek invasion of Anatolia, there was mass dying by Greeks. In that war around 3-500000 died. Not good but Moslem casualties are far heavier. Alone at Greek independence 300 000 a third of the population were killed. No one in that territory survived.

Nick Kouzos I cannot explain how there only 1500 Greeks left in Turkey while there are around 150.000 Muslims in east Thrace. Also why most Turkish towns still have Greek names. There were killings by both sides but there could be no comparisons. The total population in Greek mainland was about 4,5 million inhabitants. So the loss of 2.5 million Greeks that were killed or expelled was a much larger percentage in relation to the total population of Greeks worldwide.

Nick Kouzos The international reports and most independent sources do not mention figures of this magnitude. We all need to be more careful when we try to explain historical facts. I only present very credible sources of information such as Ambassadors. The origin of my family is from Kirkagats outside of Ismir and Karsi Yaka in peninsula of Kyzikos, My Grandfather was bitten to death by Turks in Kirkagats where there were 5,000 Greeks and 15000 of Turks. The total Greek population left with the retreating Greek Army, nobody touched a Turkish inhabitant and local Turks were crying when their Greek friends left. So it is not easy to generalize. The situation in Cyprus was much later and during a fight for independence against the British. The Turkish minority in Cyprus was 18%.
In any case I don’t want to excuse any atrocities by any party but, in General, Turks have been a militant society, this is why the middle class in Turkey consisted mainly from Greeks Armenians and Jews during 19th and 20th century, may be this is the real reason why Kemal decided to get rid of minorities. Greeks were prospering during this period and were contributing to the country not killing Turks this is absurd.

Nick Kouzos I think you should read a little more history about Cultures and Languages, just try to learn how many Greek words are included in English Italian and French. You can speak in Greek for half hour to English speaking audience and they will understand. It is obvious what Turkish people are trying to do regarding history and culture you despise everything Greek but the world is not convinced with this historic violation which is similar to SKOPIA calling Alexander the Great being a Slav And you may even call Homer as Omer.

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos The Greek words in English were put there by Englishmen who wanted Greek words in their language. Turkish words in Japanese an Maya have always been there. We do not despise everything Greek. The Greek daily culture is not much different from ours. We are not obsessed with the ancient world like Greeks are. Greeks are also far more interested in Turkey than the other way around. We have other problems. I have no idea which language Alexander spoke. He used Greek as a language of culture which is not the same thing as being Greek. All of Northern Europe used Latin as a cultural language until the 19th century. Mussolini loved that. But he was Mussolini.

 

Nick Kouzos I am amazed that you don’t know what language Alexander was speaking. There was no other language spoken in the area since Homer. Alexander’s Teacher was Aristoteles. Ancient Greek was the everyday common language in what is today Greece as well in Asia

 

Sukan Gurkaynak As far as I know, Ancient Greek was the language spoken by elites and as such a cultural language. It was not the only language spoken in Anatolia and the Balkans. Strabo writes of other languages spoken in his time, we do not know which these were. We lived in peace with Greeks for centuries, that was destroyed when Greeks were euphoric about the Russia genocide of Moslems in Bulgaria 1876 and late by the Balkan war 1912. The invasion of Anatolia and the butchery on Cyprus did the rest. There was an article in the German Daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung explaining why Greece was given so much money which it could not pay back. They were saying Greece was from the very beginning devised as a counter-weight to Ottoman power. Pity that people who are so close were reengineered into enemies.

Nick Kouzos If we don’t know which languages were spoken is enough to demonstrate the importance of Greek at the time but as far as Alexander and Greek mainland no other languages were spoken. But bringing back the Balkan Wars and the Cyprus issue one needs to look each case separately. Butchery is a heavy word which could be used by each side according circumstances and not objectively. Invasion of the western powers in Turkey was not the decision of Greece, Greeks were supportive for the creation of new Turkey introduced by the New Turks movement but the killings against the Armenians during 1914-15 and against Greeks later was a very bad change. I have first hand personal experiences from both branches of my family. My father was born in Karsi yaka in Kyzikos where there were 42 villages and two Armenian there was no Turkish Villages at all. The village had the Greek name Peramos and was burned to the ground during 1915. My Grand Father was the head master of Peramos totally Greek Primary School. The building of the school is still there, The current inhabitants are Turks from the exchange of population from West Thrace during 1924.

 A lot more was exchanged that I will be publish in  PartII of the article.

More about my family history and other historical details and information about the origin of Turks and the Greek Turkish conflict is given in my blog at http://www.nickkouzos.com.        I would appreciate any additional information about personal experiences from Greeks or Turks who were involved in these very dificult circomstanses.

 

 

 

 

 

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Θέλω να μοιραστώ μαζί σας, για μια ακόμη φορά τις σκέψεις μου, για την κατάσταση που βιώνουμε με τις εξελίξεις που έχουν φέρει τους περισσότερους από εμάς  σε πολύ άσχημη κατάσταση.

Αισθάνομαι ότι περνάμε μία περίοδο οικονομικής εξαθλίωσης για όλα τα κοινωνικά στρώματα. εργαζόμενους στον ιδιωτικό και δημόσιο τομέα, εργοδότες, συνταξιούχους, ελεύθερους επαγγελματίες, αγρότες και το κράτος το ίδιο, που είναι αποτέλεσμα  του μειωμένου συνολικού παραγόμενου προϊόντος σε μία περίοδο που το παραγόμενο προϊόν στην περιοχή μας, δηλαδή Βαλκάνια, αλλά και Ευρώπη είναι αυξανόμενο, για να μην αναφερθώ και στο συνολικό παγκόσμιο προϊόν.

Αποτέλεσμα αυτής της οικονομικής εξαθλίωσης δεν μπορεί παρά έχει επιπτώσεις και στα εθνικά θέματα εφόσον οι  άσπονδοι φίλοι, σύμμαχοι και εχθροί εκμεταλλεύονται την οικονομική μας κατάσταση, βλέπε Τουρκία και όχι μόνο.

Σε οποιαδήποτε οικονομικο-πολιτική κοσμοθεωρία και αν είστε θιασώτες αποτελεί αναμφισβήτητο γεγονός είναι ότι ο διακρατικός παγκόσμιος ανταγωνισμός λειτουργεί  καπιταλιστικά.

Τα κράτη ανταγωνίζονται να παράγουν προϊόντα για να τα εξάγουν σε άλλα κράτη και με τον τρόπο αυτό να αυξάνουν τον δικό τους πλούτο, είτε αυτός είναι ιδιωτικός είτε  δημόσιος ανεξάρτητα αν ο πλούτος αυτός διανέμεται δίκαια η όχι.

Ενδεχομένως αυτό να αποτελεί  μία υπερ απλουστευτική θεώρηση, δεν παύει όμως να αποτελεί ένα από τους βασικότερους συντελεστές για την ανάπτυξη κάθε οικονομίας που σε συνέχεια διαμορφώνει συνθήκες επιβίωσης.

Η παραπάνω διαπίστωση ερμηνεύει τον λόγο για τον οποίο μία ριζοσπαστική πολιτική δύναμη της αριστεράς  προσχώρησε στην πρακτική της, παγκοσμίως πλέον γνωστής, ‘κολοτούμπας’.

Η Ελλάδα βρίσκεται πλέον στο κατώτατο επίπεδο των καταλόγων των κρατών της Ευρώπης σε ρυθμούς ανάπτυξης, κατανάλωσης, παραγωγής πλούτου, ποσοστό υλικής στέρησης, ενώ ταυτόχρονα έχει απαξιωθεί τόσο η περιουσία, όσο και ο κατώτατος μισθός, έχει εξαφανισθεί η δυνατότητα τραπεζικής χρηματοδότησης, χωρίς να έχει αναβαθμιστεί κανένας τομέας, συμπεριλαμβανομένου και του τομέα της Εθνικής Άμυνας,  ενώ παραμένουν τα μόνιμα διαχρονικά προβλήματα της γραφειοκρατίας, της εγκληματικότητας, της ανασφάλειας, της μετανάστευσης της,  υπογεννητικότητας, της φοροδιαφυγής, της διαφθοράς, του μικροκομματισμού, της κρατικοδίαιτης επιχειρηματικότητας, της αναποτελεσματικότητας του δημοσίου και των προβλημάτων που αναφύονται από τις αυξανόμενες ροές προσφύγων.

Ειδικά για την υπογενητικότητα «Οδεύουμε προς το τέλος της νεοελληνικής κοινωνίας όπως την έχουμε γνωρίσει έως τώρα»  όπως ανέφερε ο Αναστάσιος Λαυρέντζος, συγγραφέας του βιβλίου «Σιωπηρή Άλωση, επισημαίνοντας ότι, σύμφωνα με στοιχεία του ΟΗΕ, ο ελληνικός είναι ο έκτος πιο γερασμένος πληθυσμός στον κόσμο. Εάν συνεχιστούν αυτοί οι ρυθμοί ο πληθυσμός το 2050 θα έχει μειωθεί σε 6,5 με 8 εκατομμύρια άτομα.

Δεν ξέρω ποιον να κατηγορήσω πρώτα για την κατάντια αυτή:

  1. Την Πρώτη μεταπολιτευτική περίοδο με τους αδηφάγους μεγαλοαστούς που έβγαζαν τα κεφάλαιά τους εκτός Ελλάδος;
  2. Την περίοδο της πρώτης φοράς αριστερά του Ανδρέα που μοίραζε τα χρήματα της Ευρώπης δημιουργώντας ένα πνεύμα ευημερίας με δανικά χωρίς αντίκρισμα, χωρίς την αναγκαία αιμοδοσία στον παραγωγικό ιδιωτικό τομέα αλλά και χωρίς την δημιουργία υποδομής στον δημόσιο, δημιουργώντας μόνο την καινούργια τάξη κρατικοδίαιτων επιχειρηματιών αλλά και στρατιές συνδικαλιστών που συναλλάσσονταν με την πολιτική εξουσία δημιουργώντας καρεκλοκένταυρους;
  3. Την νεότερη δεξιά που ευαγγελίζονταν την εφαρμογή μίας αξιοκρατικής και φιλελεύθερης πολιτικής αλλά υπέκυπτε στις βαθιές ρίζες του κακώς εννοούμενου συνδικαλισμού για τους ίδιους ψηφοθηρικούς λόγους;
  4. Tην νέα μορφή ριζοσπαστικής αριστεράς του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ που θα μείνει στην ιστορία σαν η επιτομή του τακτισμού της νέας γενιάς πολιτικών που ανέδειξαν το ψεύδος σαν αποδεκτό εργαλείο πολιτικής αναρρίχησης αλλά με αρκετή δόση ρεαλισμού για να πουλήσει και τις πιο βασικές αρχές και ιδεολογίες του σοσιαλισμού, εφαρμόζοντας τις πιο ακραίες μεθόδους αντιαναπτυξιακής πολιτικής, υπακούοντας σε όλες τις απαιτήσεις των δανειστών συμβιβαζόμενοι, για χάρη της παραμονής στη εξουσία, με τα πιο ακραία εθνικιστικά στοιχεία του Ελληνικού κοινοβουλίου;
  5. Αλλά και πέραν των δικών μας εσωτερικών προβλημάτων να κατηγορήσω και την ακραία ωφελιμιστική συμπεριφορά μίας Ευρώπης που αποτυγχάνει να ολοκληρώσει τις αρχές δημιουργίας της; Μίας Ευρώπης που βλέπει την Ελλάδα σαν το κακομαθημένο παιδί που απαιτεί δικαιώματα χωρίς να αναγνωρίζει υποχρεώσεις και συνέπεια στην εκτέλεση των συμβατικών δεσμεύσεων, με αποτέλεσμα η ίδια να αποζητά την αποδέσμευσή της από τον ρόλο του σωφρονιστής και παιδαγωγού δανειστή με κάθε μέσο και τρόπο;
  6. Τέλος πόσο συμβάλει στην κατάσταση αυτή η διαχρονική γεωπολιτική θέση της Ελλάδας και ιδιαίτερα σε αυτή την ασταθή περίοδο με την επιθετικότητα της Τουρκίας που εγκυμονεί σύρραξη με την Ελλάδα;

Είναι εμφανές, για την διαμόρφωση της δική μου άποψης, ότι η χώρα αποτελεί ένα πιόνι στην σκακιέρα   που παίζονται τα συμφέροντα πολύ μεγαλύτερων δυνάμεων χωρίς εμείς να  μπορούμε να προστατεύσουμε αποκλειστικά τα δικά μας συμφέροντα.

Δυστυχώς η ιστορία δεν μας έχει διδάξει επαρκώς. Η Ελλάδα ιστορικά έπαιξε τον ρόλο των ακριτικών συνόρων της Ευρώπης και ότι βοήθεια έχει λάβει, αυτό έχει γίνει για να παίξει αυτόν το πάρα πάνω ρόλο. Η ανταμοιβή μας  είναι η  ανεξαρτησία μας απέναντί στην επεκτατική δύναμη της ανατολής, πολιτισμικού, οικονομικού και θρησκευτικού κατεστημένου. Το τίμημα όμως είναι πολύ μεγάλο, σε ανθρώπινη και οικονομική αιμορραγία και υποτέλεια.

Για τον λόγο αυτό  καταλήγω στα πιο απλοϊκά συμπεράσματα:

Η πραγματική ανεξαρτησία μας εξαρτάτε απολύτως από την βιωσιμότητα της δικής μας οικονομίας  και αυτή ασφαλώς εξαρτάτε από την αύξηση του παραγομένου προϊόντος. και  κυρίως του εξαγώγιμου προϊόντος.

Μία γενιά πρέπει να υποστεί μία συνειδητή θησεία αλλά με πνεύμα ανταποδοτικότητας, για την επίτευξη αυτού του στόχου όπως ακριβώς και η γενιά του 21 και η γενιά των Βαλκανικών πολέμων που τριπλασίασε την χώρα, μόνο που σήμερα ο πόλεμος δεν γίνεται στο στρατιωτικό πεδίο  αλλά στο οικονομικό. Το στρατιωτικό εξαρτάτε απόλυτα από αυτό. Ο ηρωισμός σήμερα βρίσκεται στο πεδίο των εξαγωγών της εφευρετικότητας και της παραγωγικότητας .

Μακριά από τα παιδιά των κομματικών σωλήνων που επενδύουν μόνο στον έλεγχο του ψηφοθηρικού τους κεφαλαίου, μακριά από τις ιδεοληψίες και τους κομματικούς μηχανισμούς.

Προσπάθεια και ηρωισμοί μόνο στα πεδία της παραγωγής, ας παλέψουν οι νέοι στην πλατφόρμα των νεοφυών επιχειρήσεων, ας παλέψουν οι αγρότες για παραγωγή στον πρωτογενή τομέα εξαγωγών, ας αποδεσμεύσουν οι ιδιοκτήτες μέρος των δεσμευμένων κεφαλαίων ακινήτων τους στο πασίγνωστο πλέον   Airbnb,  ας αξιοποιήσουμε την μεγάλη ηλιοφάνεια της χώρας για να παράγουμε ενέργεια, ας αξιοποιήσουμε το internet για να πουλήσουμε υπηρεσίες εκτός Ελλάδος, ας σταματήσουμε να καταναλώνουμε εισαγόμενα προϊόντα, ας πουλήσουμε υπηρεσίες ιατρικού τουρισμού αντί να εξάγουμε ιατρικό και νοσηλευτικό προσωπικό στο εξωτερικό, ας σταματήσουμε να φορολογούμε τις εξαγωγές με τον ίδιο τρόπο που φορολογούμε την ντόπια κατανάλωση, ας συνεργαστούν τα πανεπιστήμια με τις ντόπιες επιχειρήσεις, ας οργανώσουμε τον πρωτογενή τομέα να προάγει τις εξαγωγές με συμμετοχή σε διεθνείς εμπορικές εκθέσεις και τυποποίηση των προϊόντων τους, ας επιτρέψουμε την λειτουργία ιδιωτικών πανεπιστημίων.

Ας αξιοποιήσουμε τις ακτές μας και τις βραχονησίδες μας με την επένδυση σε ταχύπλοες μεταφορές και υδροπλάνα.

Ας αξιοποιήσομε τον πολιτισμό και την ιστορία μας χωρίς να κλείνουμε τους αρχαιολογικούς χώρους και τα μουσεία μας με συνδικαλιστικά κίνητρα.

Αν δεν λειτουργήσουμε με αυτό το πνεύμα προβλέπω η γενιά αυτή να είναι η υπαίτιος της δημιουργίας της νέας μοιρολατρίας για την επόμενη εθνική καταστροφή. Εμείς και οι πολιτικοί της γενιάς μας θα ήμαστε οι Εθνικοί προδότες.