Options and directions

Capturing, Processing Information, Integration

 Enterprise Content Management technology is a recent development in Information technology market that came as follow up of the ERP explosion that took place a few years ago.

Avery implementation of an ECM solution will most certainly generate significant benefits to any part of an organization.

Management has come to realize only some of its benefits and advantages.

The problem arises when different priorities are imposed, either from market conditions or changes in technology as well as internal company needs.

Management need first to fully understand the use and benefits that may come from the adoption of ECM strategy so that it can fully exploit its potential and then take decisions on how and in which areas it can be applied.

This article is written to simplify some attributes, so that management can obtain a closer understanding and analyze the basic constitutes of this strategy.

ECM technology consists of three main parts:

  1. Capturing Information both from incoming external and internal documents that are produced from IT applications  such as  ERP etc
  2. Processing and distributing information to all participants in work flow processes
  3. Integration with existing IT infrastructure systems.

Capturing Information

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This is the part that mainly replaces data entry manual effort that usually relates to ERP operations.

This is an area which is easily understood by management, but it is also an area which constitutes only a small part of the operational cost of the total operational cost in an organization.

Computers have developed intelligent characteristics that have risen expectations for future significant improvements in automatically reading digitized documents to a degree that can even understand hand written notes or adopt voice recognition technologies.

But we have not reached there yet, for such systems to become fully reliable.

Implementations are happening but the cases have to be specific while most of them prove to be comparably very expensive.

On the other side, business practices are changing capitalizing on widely applied technologies that allows   the production of electronic documents which are rapidly replacing hard copy documents, so that the requirement for digitization and automatic reading is eliminated.

For example we experience increase of electronic invoicing and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) which totally eliminates the need for automatic reading of documents.

So it is questionable if one needs to invest on expensive capturing technology that will become redundant in the next few years.

Processing of Information.

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This is the area where ECM investment can be proved to be more cost effective.

Here we observe a paperless environment to be created in parallel with the introduction of automatic work flow processes allowing participants to intercommunicate, accessing information, faster.

This will help to improve daily activities, achieving, better control, faster decision making, continuous monitoring of operations, automatic filling and retrieval, data protection and security, elimination of errors, and finally, independence from existing IT infrastructure, etc.

Avoiding data entry is an easily calculated savings number. According to international statistical reports, this saving consist about 6% of the total operational cost in an organization.

It appears that the investment required to eliminate data entry cost with current technological tools is too high.

On the other hand it is important to stress that ROI results have proved to be impressive due to savings and benefits achieved from, fast and better decision making processes, continuous real time monitoring of operational activities, data integrity and security, immediate access to information from one central depository that incorporates all information otherwise scattered in different systems included in the company’s infrastructure.

Finally, how can anyone evaluate additional non tangible benefits, such as process simplification with lean management applied in operational workflows, as well as identification of operational redundancies and bottlenecks that this technology helps to eliminate?

This is where major improvements have been achieved.

So in conclusion, any decision for an ECM implementation needs to be the result of a careful study that will identify the areas investments should take place.

Integration  

The final part of an ECM implementation project that needs to be considered is the capability of an ECM platform to intercommunicate with any existing IT infrastructure to avoid process duplication, to allow data interchange and interoperability but most of all to ensure independence of the central ECM information repository and workflow designs to remain when any IT infrastructure is to be replaced.

A big advantage of an ECM system is to retain its centralized data repository for a long period even after changes of the rest of IT infrastructure.

NK

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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

Attrocities.jpg

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.

Every where we were looking corpses.jpg

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

http://www.nickkouzos.com

,

Παράγραφος 6 της συνθήκης της Λοζάνης 1923:

«Εκτός αντιθέτων διατάξεων της παρούσης Συνθήκης, τα θαλάσσια όρια περιλαμβάνουσι τας νήσους και νησίδια τας κειμένας εις απόστασιν μικροτέραν των τριών μιλλίων από της ακτής.«

Η επιθετική συμπεριφορά της Τουρκίας μέχρι και της άρνησης της υποχρέωσης να διαπραγματευτεί την οριοθέτηση θαλασσίων ορίων, ΑΟΖ και της υφαλοκρηπίδας, όσο και της  αμφισβήτησης του δικαιώματος,  μονομερούς, αύξησης των θαλασσίων ορίων κυριαρχίας των νήσων στο νότιο Αιγαίο, από εξ σε δώδεκα  μίλια, προσβάλει κάθε έννοια του διεθνούς δικαίου το οποίο η Τουρκία, σκόπιμα, δεν έχει υπογράψει.  ,

Είναι δε αδιανόητο με κάθε έννοια, η Τουρκία μονομερώς να ανακοινώνει δική της Υφαλοκρηπίδα  και ΑΟΖ  σε διαφιλονικούμενα ύδατα, και να μην προσέρχεται σε διαπραγμάτευση, αντ’ αυτού να  αποστέλλει ερευνητικά πλοία συνοδευόμενα από  πολεμικά πλοία παραβιάζοντας ακόμα και τα 12 μίλια χώρου Εθνικής κυριαρχίας , που κατά τον διεθνή νόμο αποτελούν μονομερές δικαίωμα της Ελλάδας .

Είναι επίσης πράγματι αδιανόητο να επικαλείται η Τουρκία δικαιοδοσία πάνω σε διεθνή ύδατα επικαλούμενη κυριαρχία σαν διάδοχος της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας, η οποία καταλύθηκε με την Διεθνή συνθήκη της Λοζάνης από το 1923. Ο εκβιασμός αυτός γίνεται προκειμένου η Ελλάδα να απεμπολήσει κάθε κυριαρχικό δικαίωμά της αμάχητή ή να υποχρεωθεί να προχωρήσει σε ένοπλη αντιπαράθεση γεγονός που θεωρεί η Τουρκία ότι έχει το πλεονέκτημα. Μία σοβαρή οπισθοδρόμηση για την εποχή.

Η Σύμβαση του 1982 για το Δίκαιο της Θάλασσας αναφέρει ρητά στο Άρθρο 121, παράγραφος 2, ότι όλα τα νησιά διαθέτουν ΑΟΖ και ότι η ΑΟΖ ενός νησιού καθορίζεται με τον ίδιο ακριβώς τρόπο που καθορίζεται και για τις ηπειρωτικές περιοχές.

Η Ελλάδα , τα Βαλκάνια και ο Καύκασος (Ναγκόρνο Καραμπάχ), εξακολουθούν να βιώνουν τα υπολείμματα των ευρύτερων εθνικών ανακατατάξεων που η υπόλοιπη Ευρώπη έχει ξεπεράσει τους τελευταίους αιώνες.

Οι λόγοι είναι ποικίλοι, ένας εκ των οποίων είναι οι διαφορετικότητα στα θέματα θρησκείας αλλά και άλλα εθνολογικά και γεωπολιτικά χαρακτηριστικά και συμφέροντα μεταξύ της Δύσης και της Ανατολής, με μόνιμη δικαιολογία για την Τουρκία, το αποικιοκρατικό παρελθόν της Δύσης, σαν να μην είναι και η ίδια αποτέλεσμα στρατιωτικών επελάσεων για την απόκτηση εδαφών και κατακτήσεων προς εκμετάλλευση γηγενών πληθυσμών και πλουτοπαραγωγικών πηγών.

Αλλά και οι μέθοδοι τους οποίους διαχρονικά χρησιμοποίησε και νομιμοποίησε όπως μετατοπίσεις πληθυσμών που εφαρμόζει μέχρι πρόσφατα (Κύπρος), αποτελούν μελετημένες τακτικές επεκτατισμού.

Η πληρέστερη ανάλυση των προβλημάτων στην ευρύτερη περιοχή των Βαλκανίων μπορεί να αποτελέσει αντικείμενο μίας ξεχωριστής έρευνας, δεν απέχει όμως από την βασική μεθοδολογία και επεκτατικής πολιτικής της Τουρκίας γενικότερα.

Θεωρώ ότι η προσπάθεια αυτή έχει ιδιαίτερη σημασία, λόγω της σοβινιστικής συμπεριφοράς της Τουρκίας εναντίον του δυτικού κόσμου που απαξιώνει κάθε διεθνή οργανισμό που ενστερνίζεται διεθνείς αρχές και αξίες, με την αιτιολογία ότι όλα αυτά σχεδιάστηκαν για να εξυπηρετήσουν τις αποικιοκρατικές καταβολές της Δύσης.

Η παραχάραξη της Ιστορίας

Η σημερινή Τουρκία προσπαθεί να παραχαράξει την Ιστορία γιατί πιστεύει ότι αδικήθηκε η ίδια και ολόκληρος ο Μουσουλμανικός κόσμος από την Δύση.

Η γνώση της ιστορίας της δημιουργίας της Νεότερης Ελλάδας δεν αποτελεί απλή ανάγκη αναφοράς στα επιφανειακά γεγονότα τα ιστορούμενα  στα σχολικά βιβλία.

Υπάρχει ανάγκη βαθύτερης μελέτης για να αντιμετωπισθεί η προσπάθεια της Τουρκίας να αντιστρέψει την Ιστορία εργαλειοποιώντας  κάθε θεμιτό και αθέμιτο μέσο που της προσφέρεται.

Η Τουρκία αντιδρά σαν τον «καταφρονημένο Μουσουλμάνο» που έχει ανάγκη να ανακτήσει την αξιοπρέπειά του και ταυτόχρονα να ανακτήσει την θέση που πιστεύει ότι ανήκει στην ίδια σαν προστάτη των απανταχού ομόθρησκών «θυμάτων» αδερφών της.

Μια ιδιαίτερα επικίνδυνη αντίληψη του κόσμου, σήμερα που η Δύση σβήνει τα κατάλοιπα του αποικιοκρατικού παρελθόντος της με την ενίσχυση θεσμών, ( UN, Intenational courts, EU, International Law, Ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα κλπ) και όχι να τους αντικαθιστά με αναχρονιστικό και πολλές φορές προσχηματικό θρησκευτικό φανατισμό (ριζοσπαστικό Ισλάμ) και εθνικιστικές εξάρσεις (Τουρκικός εθνικισμός) .

Ένα ακόμα στοιχείο που αξίζει να αναλυθεί είναι η τάση της Τουρκίας να οικειοποιήται πολιτισμικά στοιχεία γηγενών πολιτισμών.

Ένα από τα δυσκολότερα στοιχεία που καλείται να διαχειριστεί κάθε ιστορική αυτοκρατορία, που προκύπτει από κατακτητική διαδικασία, είναι η επιβολή, της δικής της «κουλτούρας», συμπεριλαμβανομένης της θρησκείας, στους λαούς που μετατρέπονται σε υπόδουλους υπήκοους της ίδιας.

Από την ιστορία, και σαν παραδείγματα, παρατηρούμε και συγκρίνουμε την συμπεριφορά άλλων αυτοκρατοριών, όπως, για παράδειγμα, των Ελλήνων κατά την Ελληνιστική περίοδο, και των Ρωμαίων που ακολούθησε αλλά και του Βυζαντίου.

Ο Μέγας Αλέξανδρος προσπάθησε να μεταδώσει τον Ελληνικό πολιτισμό, αλλά ταυτόχρονα, σαν αποτέλεσμα της ευφυίας του, αναγνώρισε την ανάγκη διατήρησης σημαντικών τοπικών πολιτισμικών στοιχείων του Περσικού και Αιγυπτιακού πολιτισμού, αποτέλεσμα ήταν η σχεδόν θεοποίηση του Αλέξανδρου και η επιβίωση χαρακτηριστικών του Ελληνισμού σε ολόκληρο τον τότε γνωστό κόσμο για 300 χρόνια παρά το βραχύβιο της στρατιωτικής επιβολής της αυτοκρατορίας που δημιούργησε..

Η επιβολή της Ρωμαίικής αυτοκρατορίας ήταν ουσιαστικά η συνέχιση της Ελληνικής κουλτούρας που επέτρεπε την επιβίωση των τοπικών κοινωνιών.

Η δημιουργία και επιβίωση του Βυζαντίου βασίστηκε στην επικράτηση της Χριστιανικής Θρησκείας αλλά και του Ελληνισμού που παρά την καταστροφή της αρχαίας Θρησκείας του δωδεκάθεου κατάφερε να μεταλαμπαδεύσει πολιτιστικά στοιχεία όπως η δημιουργία του Κυριλλικού  αλφάβητου στους Σλαβικούς πλυθισμούς και πολλά άλλα.

Το Βυζάντιο βοήθησε στην διατήρηση των πολιτισμικών στοιχείων του Ελληνισμού για ολόκληρη την περίοδο που η Δύση ζούσε τον Μεσαίωνα. Η μεταφορά στοιχείων του Ελληνισμού μετά την πτώση της Κωνσταντινούπολης στη Φλωρεντία βοήθησε σημαντικά στην Αναγέννηση ενώ η Τουρκία αγνοεί τα στοιχεία αυτά και διαδίδει την άποψη ότι η Αναγέννηση της Δύσης ξεκίνησε από την είσοδο του Ισλάμ στην Ισπανία. .

Η επέλαση των Τουρκικών Φυλών δεν είχε σημαντικές πολιτισμικές ρίζες γι’ αυτό επηρεάστηκε από τον Περσικό πολιτισμό και την Θρησκεία από τον Αραβικό κόσμο.

Στην εξέλιξη της ισλαμοποίησης των γηγενών πληθυσμών και με την αντιπαράθεση με την Δύση, ιδιαίτερα την περίοδο της αναγέννησης, η Τουρκία αισθάνθηκε ότι το Ισλάμ δεν διέθετε ικανό πολιτισμικό υπόβαθρο, σε σύγκριση με την αναγέννηση της Δύσης, ανάγκη που αισθανόταν η Οθωμανική αλλά ακόμα και η νεότερη Τουρκία του Κεμαλ και των Νεότουρκων, ώστε αναγκάστηκαν να αναζητήσουν ρίζες, ανεξάρτητα από τις Αραβικές ή Περσικές επιρροές, στους αρχαίους ανατολικούς πολιτισμούς που εξαφανίστηκαν, υιοθετώντας την άποψη ότι αυτές αποτελούν και τις δικές της πολιτισμικές, ακόμα και γενετικές ρίζες.

Μία  ακόμη προσφιλή τακτική που χρησιμοποίησε η Τουρκία, διαχρονικά, ήταν οι μετακινήσεις πληθυσμών, ενθαρρύνοντας τις μεταναστεύσεις για να επιτύχουν δημογραφικές αλλαγές. Τέτοιες τακτικές έχουν εφαρμοστεί ακόμη και πρόσφατα (Κύπρος) που αποκαλύπτουν την επεκτατική τακτική της Τουρκίας και άλλες μακροπρόθεσμες προθέσεις. Ιδικά για την τελευταία μεταφορά εποίκων στην Κύπρο αλλοιώνουν όχι μόνο την πληθυσμιακή σύνθεση αλλά και, λόγο αυτού. και την πραγματική βούληση του Τουρκοκυπριακού λαού γεγονός που απεδήχθει στις εκλογές του Νοεμβρίου 2020.

«Σύμφωνα με την Ahval, ο Ακιντζί ανέφερε ότι «υπάρχουν κάποιες ομάδες που έχουν στενές σχέσεις και είναι πιστές σε αυτούς που κυβερνούν την Τουρκία. Έλαβα μήνυμα μέσω του γραμματέα μου ότι θα ήταν καλύτερα για την οικογένεια και τους οικείους μου να μην συμμετάσχω στις “εκλογές”».
Πηγή: iefimerida.gr – https://www.iefimerida.gr/kosmos/akintzi-dehthika-apeiles-toyrkia-min-katebo-ekloges

Ένα ακόμη  εργαλείο που χρησιμοποίησε η Τουρκία ήταν η παραποίηση της ιστορίας με την κατασκευή  γεγονότων (εξάλειψη χωριών και πληθυσμών με κάψιμο, Οι Μικρασιάτες ονόμαζαν τις πράξεις αυτές με την ανατριχιαστική έκφραση, «το χωριό το σήκωσαν..»), καθώς και με προκλήσεις), αλλάζοντας τα τοπικά ονόματα πόλεων, ακόμη και ονόματα ολόκληρων χωρών που έχουν κατακτηθεί κυρίως για να εξαλείψουν τις αναμνήσεις και παραδόσεις του παρελθόντος, η μεγαλύτερη απόδειξη ήταν η μετατροπή του Ναού της Αγίας Σοφίας, παγκόσμιο σύμβολο του Ορθόδοξου Χριστιανισμού από Μουσείο σε Τζαμί. Τακτικές που εξελίχθηκαν, στην χειρότερη μορφή τους, σε γενοκτονίες.

Ο ορισμός της γενοκτονίας περιλαμβάνει κατά κύριο λόγω την εξάλειψη του πληθυσμού των γυναικών και των παιδιών, διότι αυτό μπορεί να εξαφανίσει το γένος. Η εξαφάνιση των γυναικών γίνεται τόσο με τον θάνατο όσο και με τον βίαιο εξισλαμισμό, τον γάμο, για τα παιδιά μπορεί να γίνει και με γνωστό μας παιδομάζωμα.

Παρόμοια κίνητρα προκάλεσαν την καταστροφή  τοπικών μνημείων κατά την αλλαγή των ονομάτων των μνημείων, τη μετατροπή των εκκλησιών σε τζαμιά κ.λπ.

Παραδείγματα τέτοιων πρακτικών είναι προφανή σε ολόκληρη την Ανατολία, αλλά και στον Καύκασο όπου παρόμοιες μέθοδους ακολούθησε και η κομμουνιστική Ρωσία.

Σαν παράδειγμα, απλώς δείτε ένα βίντεο σχετικά με την παραποίηση της ιστορίας στο Αζερμπαϊτζάν. Μια τυπική παραποίηση της ιστορίας που επαναλαμβάνεται σε ολόκληρη την Ανατολή. Βλέπε σύνδεσμο:

 www.youtube.com/watchfeature=share&v=Ifua_z692k0&app=desktop

Μια πληρέστερη ανάλυση των προβλημάτων στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο και στην ευρύτερη περιοχή των Βαλκανίων μπορεί να αποτελέσει αντικείμενο χωριστής μελέτης, αλλά δεν θα απέχει πολύ από τη βασική μεθοδολογία της επεκτατικής ιμπεριαλιστικής προσέγγισης της Τουρκίας.

Επομένως η Τουρκία εξισορροπεί την θέση της με την υπόλοιπη Δύση την οποία κατά τα άλλα κατηγορεί για βαρβαρότητα και αποικιοκρατία.

Αυτά είναι λίγα από τα συμπλέγματα της νεότερης Τουρκίας που εκφωνεί σήμερα πολιτικές του Νέο- Οθωμανισμού.

Έτσι προσπαθεί η Τουρκία να επιβάλει, σαν αρχή της ιστορίας της Ασίας το 1097 ή την πτώση του Βυζαντίου το 1453, ενώ ταυτόχρονα βάζει τα θεμέλιά της πολιτισμικής της παρουσίας ταυτόχρονα ή και πριν από την Δύση, παράδειγμα αποτελεί η προώθηση της άποψης ότι η αναγέννηση ξεκίνησε με την εισβολή των Αράβων στην Ισπανία.

EU και USA ξυπνήστε!!!!!

Συμπερασματικά η σύγκρουση Ελλάδας Τουρκίας είναι πολύ βαθύτερη και έχει παγκόσμιες συνέπιες  για την Ανατολή και Δύση που αφορούν τα θεμέλια δύο διαφορετικών κόσμων ανεξάρτητα του μεγέθους των δύο κρατών.  

timesforchange

Turkey’s aggressive behavior, including the denial of the obligation to negotiate the delimitation of sea borders, EEZs and the continental shelf, as well as the questioning of the right of Greece, to increase the maritime borders of its islands from six to twelve miles, indicate Turkey’s long term objective to act as an an imperialistic power, predominantly against Hellinism which once more acts as a fortice for Europe.  

The only defence that Greece has against a more powerful enemy is international law, which Turkey has deliberately refused to sign. This places Turkey against International institutions which have been created as a consequence of a caltural evolution of International society.

It is inconceivable, that Turkey should, declare its own continental shelf and EEZ over disputed waters, as well as the continental shelf without entering into negotiations with its neighbor, as clearly provided by International law for the sea.

Instead of…

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Turkey’s aggressive behavior, including the denial of the obligation to negotiate the delimitation of sea borders, EEZs and the continental shelf, as well as the questioning of the right of Greece, to increase the maritime borders of its islands from six to twelve miles, indicate Turkey’s long term objective to act as an an imperialistic power, predominantly against Hellinism which once more acts as a fortice for Europe.  

The only defence that Greece has against a more powerful enemy is international law, which Turkey has deliberately refused to sign. This places Turkey against International institutions which have been created as a consequence of a caltural evolution of International society.

It is inconceivable, that Turkey should, declare its own continental shelf and EEZ over disputed waters, as well as the continental shelf without entering into negotiations with its neighbor, as clearly provided by International law for the sea.

Instead of following such procedures, Turkey is sending, its own research ships, accompanied by warships, violating even the 12 miles limit, which falls within the indisputable right of Greece to unilaterally extend its sovereignty over sea waters.

It is also unthinkable for Turkey to assert its jurisdiction over international waters, claiming sovereignty over such areas as the successor to the Ottoman Empire.

Such sovereignty was deprived from Ottomans by the International Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. Lauzanne treaty ristreacted Turkey to three miles from its coast as far as its islamds.

This behavior constitutes a real blackmail for Greece to abdicate its sovereign right, forced to engage in an armed confrontation, which Turkey considers that she has the advantage. A serious setback for this century.

Greece, the Balkans, and Caucasus (Nagorno-Karabakh) continue to experience the remnants of the wider national upheavals that the rest of Europe has outgrown in recent centuries.

The reasons are varied, different religions, different ethnological and geopolitical characteristics that reflect conflicting interests between West and East.

Turkey re-produces the same permanent excuse constantly blaming West for its colonial past.

This excuse is losing ground as Turkey is not innocent having caused genocides, as well as results due to its own military aggressive activity unfolding pages in history with the acquisition of lands and territories, exploiting indigenius peoples and resources for a period of nearly one millennium.

One of the tactics Turkey has been using, over time, was population relocations, encourafing migrations to achieve demographic alterations. Such tactics have been applied even recently (Cyprus) which  are proving Turkey’s expansionist tactics and other long-term intentions.

One more favorable tool that Turkey has been using is the falcification of history by fabricating events (burning of village, provocations) , changing local names of towns, even the names of countries that have been conquered mainly to wipe out memories of the past,

Similar motivations caused the destraction of local monuments n the change the names of monuments the convertion of charches to Mosques etc.

Examples of such practices are obvious through out Anatolia, but also in Caucasus where similare methods were followed by comunist Russia. Just watch a video on falsification of history in Azserbizan. A typical falsification of history repeated in the hole Anatolia.

https://www.youtube.com/watchfeature=share&v=Ifua_z692k0&app=desktop

A more complete analysis of the problems in Kosovo and the wider Balkan region may be the subject of a separate study, but it will not go far from the basic methodology of Turkey’s expansionist imperialistic approach..

The falsification of history

Turks from the Central Asia and the Altaic mountens settled in Anatolia in the 11th century, through the conquests of the area by Seljuk Turks. The region, then, began to transform from a predominantly Greek Christian society into a Turkish Muslim one.

Today’s Turkey is trying to falsify history because it believes that the entire Muslim world has been mistreated by West.

Knowledge of the history of the creation of Modern Greece is not a simple need to refer to the superficial events narrated in school textbooks.

There is a need for a deeper study to address Turkey’s attempt to falsify history by using every legitimate and non legitimate, unfair means available.

Turkey reacts like the despised Muslim who needs to regain his dignity and at the same time regain the position she believes belongs to her, historically, as the protector of her fellow Muslims, victims of west.

A particularly dangerous perception of the world, today that erases the remnants of the colonial past with the strengthening of institutions, but not to replace it with anachronistic and often pretentious religious fanaticism.

Another element worth analyzing is Turkey’s tendency to usurp elements of indigenous cultures.

One of the most difficult elements of any empire is to impose its own culture, including religion on peoples who become enslaved subjects of the empire.

From history we observe the behavior of the Greeks during the Hellenistic period, as well as of the Romans that followed and of Byzantium.

Alexander the Great tried to transplant the Greek culture, but at the same time, it was a result of his genius, he recognized the need to preserve important local cultural elements of Persian and Egyptian culture,

The result was the almost deification of Alexander and the survival of features of Hellenism for many years. short-lived of the military imposition of the empire he created a few years until many years after his early death.

Greek art and life had always been influenced by other cultures, but the expansion in territory during Alexander the Great’s conquests brought greater possibilities for mutual cultural exchanges. 

The imposition of the Roman Empire was essentially the continuation of Greek culture that allowed the survival of local communities. «Captive Greece captured its uncivilized conquerer and brought the arts to rustic Latium» (Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artis intulit agresti Latio)

The creation and survival of Byzantium for a millenium was based on the predominance of the Christian Religion but also of Hellenism which, despite the destruction of the ancient Religion of the Twelve gods, managed to transplant cultural elements such as the creation of the Cyrillic alphabet to the Slavic populations much earlier than the introduction of the new writen Turkish language and much more.

The invasion of the Turkish tribes did not have similar, pre-existing cultural roots, so Turkish tribes  were inevitably influenced by Persian culture and religion by the Arab world.

During the Islamization of the indigenous, mostly Christian populations and in confrontation with West, Turkey felt that Turkish tribes did not have sufficient cultural background, compared to the renaissance of the West. Such deficiencies  were felt by the Ottoman but even from the “Young  Turks” of Kemal, who was looking towards Europe, so they started looking to complement Turkish roots, regardless of the Arab or Persian influences, towards the Ancient  Eastern civilizations that disappeared, adopting the view that these are their own cultural and even genetic roots.

Turkey is therefore balancing its position with the rest of the West, in spite accusations against West for barbarism and colonialism.

Thus Turkey tries to establish, as the beginning of the history of Asia, the year 1097 the Battle of Manzikert or the fall of Byzantium in 1453, while at the same time is laying the foundations of its cultural presence at the same time   before westen renaissance.

The typical reaction of Islamic Turkey is totally different trying to prove that Reneancance did not pass after the fall of Byzantium to Itally but from Islam to Spain. Turkey insist that Western civilisation has its foundation to Islam that precided Byzantium. This is what Falsification can do, which means forget how and what islamization has done to Christian West amd look at what Islam has contributed to western civilisation.

Just note what IslamicTurkey is trying to prove by quoting:

«The standard history that is taught in the West is designed to support the idea that Western civilisation is the most advanced form of civilisation known to man. According to this view, mankind has been continuously evolving and improving over thousands of years. Western civilisation is the end result of many millennia of progress and development. In order to support this notion, Western historians undermine the intellectual, moral, scientific and artistic achievements of all preceding ages and civilisations, in particular the civilisation that immediately preceded them, which is the Islamic civilisation.»

EU and USA wake up!!!!!

In conclusion the conflict between Turkey and Greece is very deep that has universal implications that can effect East and West and reach the foundation of two different worlds watever the difference in size are the two nations.

With the impact that recent events have on humanity, which in my opinion will have serious, if not catastrophic, consequences, I am trying to draw my own conclusions.

I realize that in order to have the slightest possibility of approaching reality, I am forced to break free from the shackles of any prejudices that society and the environment in which I lived and gradually I am completing my life.

I need to elevate myself to be able to observe, in detail, the events, and the consequences, short-term and long-term, that shape the environment around me.

Although I am, by nature, an optimistic person, I cannot say that what I observed helped me to maintain my optimism.

I saw the agony of humanity in the catastrophe that a single-celled mutant organism, a virus, could cause the loss of life to a similar degree like what   two world wars have caused.

I observe the clash of civilizations in its worst form, terrorism.

I observe the national and economic conflicts against the background of the political and ideological views that take the form, sometimes, of the mythical creature Lernaean Hydra, and sometimes of the chameleon.

I see the gradual devaluation of traditional values such as freedom of speech, independence, human rights, that took centuries to be established and widely accepted.

These values are often sacrificed on the altar of expediency, whether in the form of nationalist aspirations and economic interests.

Even religions that have always been the instinctive quests of the human race that emphasize its deepest needs, end up a ground of controversy.

The political-economic controversies also degenerate into the altar of populism for control of power.

I believed in the basic principle of democracy that my ancestors, for the first time, pointed out to humanity, in the face of authoritarian regimes that were prevailing in the East.

Even this fundamental value, was forgotten for a period and reappeared in history during Renaissance.

Later, nations went through the upheaval of national and social rearrangements, yet they could not be stabilized to the extent that a balance could be achieved, either internally within each country or internationally among nations.

The institutions and values that were established, with great sacrifices and effort, could not function effectively, they could not overcome National and social conflicts. Adversities could not be balanced.

Personally, my hope has turned to the European Union experiment, aiming to act as a model for the world to deal with the national rivalries which were brought about by two world wars.

Unfortunately, even this union of nations could not overcome the inherent problems of capitalist societies.

It could not overcome key problems of economic and national competition.

The nature of capitalism allows the development of  economies based on defense industries that provide products  in the international market both to enemies and allies simultaneously, in such a way that when the issue is exposed in the open, the answer is: But this is a business issue!

This way of looking at things, together with the survival of populism, has led to painful and frustrating results. I cannot stop thinking the circumstances under which Britain separated  from EU. A real blow for UK and EU

But big problems are appearing on the other side of the Atlantic.

For the first time, the United States is facing the risk of the collapse of democracy due to a populist leader who threatens to overthrow the institutions of the larger Republic.

He trades with friends and enemies on the basis of personal preferences and vested interests, finding ground  in collaboration with people closer to his authoritarian nature with similar temperaments as Putin and Erdogan.

This behavior transcends the boundaries of a favored democracy and poses enormous dangers to America and to humanity.

Eventually I come to the problem of  cultural conflict that has been going on for a long time, but is taking s new dimensions with Turkey trying to become the leader of the Islamic world and an attempt to regain the lost glory of the Ottoman Empire.

Here we transcend the boundaries of national competition and interests.

This includes parameters of religious fanaticism that become an instrument of exploitation for the achievement of Nationalist interests.

The mixture of nationalism with religious fanaticism brings us back to medieval situations, crusades, Holy Inquisition, religious wars, such as jihad, from the worst periods in human history, a completely anachronistic situation, but seriously dangerous when added to the geopolitical interests of countries.

This is where laws and compromises cease to exist, here we face fanaticism, religious dogmatism, terrorism in the name of every god used to serve other interests.

I recognize that both capitalism and colonialism have historical and timeless shortcomings, but these shortcomings are being brought to bear by the institutions.

But no one can solve problems of theocratic conceptions with any kind of logic.

The religious element is not an element to be negotiated.

This is why it can be a disastrous factor in shaping compromising solutions.

It is therefore a crime against humanity to exploit religion as a means of political pressure or negotiation.

So in relation of problems of modern society that include the need to adapt and addressing new forms of challenges, such as climate change, migration, refugees, unemployment, corona virus , the effects of the spread of social networks and technology, energy another problem  is added. the anachronistic consequences of the clash of cultures.

This conflict has great peculiarities because it is combined with problems such as racism, terrorism, the integration of religious and ethnic minorities in the environment of States with different cultural histories that include different legal and social infrastructure.

Meeting these challenges has proved more difficult than the international community expected it to be.

For me, the biggest challenges will be the populism in matters of religion and democracy., These challenges consist of difficulty to adopt compliance to rules of international institutions   and dealing with health crisis in the short term.

I believe that the control of the shortcomings of capitalism will eventually be addressed bas it has the characteristic of self-adaptation if the institutions will be kept under international control.

This is the only optimistic element I can count on, to hope for.

Finally, as an optimistic person, I cannot fail to mention my hope in the survival instinct of human nature.

Με τον αντίκτυπο που έχουν στην ανθρωπότητα τα πρόσφατα γεγονότα, που κατά την γνώμη μου θα έχουν σοβαρές, αν όχι καταιγιστικές επιπτώσεις, προσπαθώ να βγάλω τα δικά μου συμπεράσματα.

Συνειδητοποιώ ότι για να έχω την παραμικρή δυνατότητα να  προσεγγίσω την πραγματικότητα, είμαι αναγκασμένος να ξεφύγω από τα δεσμά των όποιων προκαταλήψεων που η κοινωνία και το περιβάλλον μέσα στο οποίο έζησα και ολοκληρώνω σταδιακά την ζωή μου.

Είναι ανάγκη να ανυψώσω τον εαυτό μου και να μπορέσω να παρατηρήσω, από ψιλά, τα γεγονότα , και τις συνέπειες,  βραχυχρόνιες και μακροχρόνιες, που διαμορφώνουν το περιβάλλον γύρω μου.

Παρόλο ότι από την φύση μου είμαι αισιόδοξο άτομο δεν μπορώ να πω ότι αυτά που παρατήρησα με βοήθησαν να διατηρήσω την αισιοδοξία μου.

‘Είδα την αγωνία της ανθρωπότητας για την καταστροφή που ένας μονοκύτταρος μεταλλασσόμενος οργανισμός, ένας ιός, μπορεί να προκαλέσει  απώλειας ζωής αντίστοιχης εκείνης  των δύο παγκοσμίων πολέμων.

Παρατηρώ τις συγκρούσεις   πολιτισμών με την χειρότερη μορφή του, την τρομοκρατία.

Παρατηρώ τις Εθνικές αλλά και τις οικονομικές συγκρούσεις με υπόβαθρο τις πολιτικές και ιδεολογικές απόψεις  που παίρνουν την μορφή, άλλοτε της μυθικής Λερναίας Ύδρας, και άλλοτε του χαμαιλέοντα.

Παρατηρώ την σταδιακή απαξίωση παραδοσιακών αξιών και θεσμών όπως η ελευθερία, η ανεξαρτησία, τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα που χρειάστηκαν αιώνες να καταξιωθούν.

Αυτές οι αξίες συχνά θυσιάζονται στον βωμό των σκοπιμοτήτων, είτε  παίρνουν την μορφή εθνικιστικών επιδιώξεων και οικονομικών συμφερόντων.

Ακόμα και οι θρησκείες που αποτελούν διαχρονικά ενστικτώδεις αναζητήσεις του ανθρώπινου γένους που τονίζουν τις βαθύτερες ανάγκες του, καταλήγουν να γίνουν έδαφος αντιπαραθέσεων.

Οι πολιτικο-οικονομικές αντιπαραθέσεις που  λειτουργούν  τόσο σε περιβάλλον εσωτερικής  αλλά και εξωτερικής διαχείρισης, εκφυλίζονται και αυτές στον βωμό του λαϊκισμού για τον έλεγχο της εξουσίας.

Είχα πιστέψει  στην βασική αρχή της δημοκρατίας που οι πρόγονοί, μου για πρώτη φορά υπέδειξαν στη ανθρωπότητα, απέναντι σε αυταρχικά καθεστώτα της Ανατολής.

Ακόμα  και αυτά, μετά από περιόδους, ξεχάστηκαν και ξαναεμφανίστηκαν την περίοδο της Αναγέννησης, αργότερα,  πέρασαν από τους κλυδωνισμούς εθνικών και ταξικών ανακατατάξεων, όμως δεν μπόρεσαν να σταθεροποιηθούν σε βαθμό να επιτευχθεί μία ισορροπία, ταξική εσωτερικά η διεθνής μεταξύ λαών.

Οι θεσμοί που με μεγάλες θυσίες και κόπο δημιουργήθηκαν δεν μπόρεσαν να λειτουργήσουν αποτελεσματικά, δεν μπόρεσαν να επιβληθούν στους Εθνικούς και κοινωνικούς ανταγωνισμούς, ο κόσμος δεν μπόρεσε να ισορροπήσει.

Προσωπικά η ελπίδα μου έχει στραφεί στο πείραμα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης  προσβλέποντας να λειτουργήσει σαν το πρότυπο για την αντιμετώπιση των εθνικών ανταγωνισμών που επέφεραν δύο παγκόσμιοι πόλεμοι.

Δυστυχώς και αυτός ο θεσμός δεν μπόρεσε να  ξεπεράσει τα εγγενή προβλήματα των καπιταλιστικών κοινωνιών. Δεν μπόρεσε να ξεπεράσει  βασικά προβλήματα οικονομικών και εθνικών ανταγωνισμών.

Η φύση του καπιταλισμού επιτρέπει την ανάπτυξη της οικονομίας με βάση την βιομηχανία  εξοπλισμών που προσφέρονται ανεξέλεγκτα στην διεθνή αγορά σε εχθρούς και συμμάχους που όταν το θέμα υπογραμμίζεται, η απάντηση είναι : Μα αυτό είναι θέμα Μπίζνες!

Αυτή η θεώρηση των πραγμάτων μαζί με την ανάπτυξη του λαϊκισμού μας έφερε σε οδυνηρά και απογοητευτικά αποτελέσματα όπως η αποχώρηση της Μεγάλης Βρετανίας από την ΕΕ.

Όμως μεγάλα προβλήματα συμβαίνουν και στη άλλη πλευρά του Ατλαντικού.

Για πρώτη φορά η ΗΠΑ αντιμετωπίζουν το κίνδυνο κατάρρευσης της Δημοκρατίας λόγο ενός  λαϊκιστή ηγέτη που απειλεί να γκρεμίσει τους θεσμούς της μεγαλύτερης Δημοκρατίας. Συναλλάσσεται  με φίλους και εχθρούς με βάση προσωπικά και συμφεροντολογικά κριτήρια βρίσκοντας έδαφος σε πιο προσφιλή στον αυταρχικό χαρακτήρα του άτομα  με παρόμοια ιδιοσυγκρασία όπως ο Πούτινγκ και ο Ερντογκαν.

Η συμπεριφορά αυτή ξεπερνά τα όρια μίας ευνομούμενης δημοκρατίας και εγκυμονεί τεράστιους κινδύνους για την Αμερική και την ανθρωπότητα.

Τελικά φτάνω στο θέμα της πολιτισμικής σύγκρουσης η οποία έχει ξεκινήσει από καιρό, αλλά προσλαμβάνει καινούργιες διαστάσεις με την προσπάθεια της Τουρκίας να αναλάβει θέση ηγέτη του Ισλαμικού κόσμου και ανακτήσει την χαμένη αίγλη της Οθωμανικής αυτοκρατορίας. Εδώ ξεπερνάμε τα όρια των εθνικών ανταγωνισμών και συμφερόντων.

Εδώ υπεισέρχονται παράμετροι θρησκευτικού φανατισμού που γίνονται   όργανο εκμετάλλευσης για την επίτευξη Εθνικιστικών συμφερόντων .

Η ανάμιξη εθνικισμού και θρησκευτικού φανατισμού μας φέρνει πίσω σε μεσαιωνικές καταστάσεις, σταυροφορίες, Ιερά Εξέταση, θρησκευτικών πολέμων,  από τις χειρότερες  περιόδους της Ανθρώπινης ιστορίας, τελείως αναχρονιστική κατάσταση, αλλά σοβαρά επικίνδυνη όταν προστίθεται στα γεωπολιτικά συμφέροντα  των κρατών.

Εδώ παύουν να υπάρχουν νόμοι και συμβιβασμοί, εδώ αντιμετωπίζουμε τον φανατισμό, τον θρησκευτικό δογματισμό, την τρομοκρατία στο όνομα του κάθε θεού που χρησιμοποιούνται  για την εξυπηρέτηση άλλων συμφερόντων.

Αναγνωρίζω ότι και ο καπιταλισμός και η αποικιοκρατία έχουν ιστορικά και διαχρονικά μειονεκτήματα αλλά αυτά τα μειονεκτήματα έρχονται να εξομαλύνουν οι θεσμοί.

Όμως κανένας δεν μπορεί να λύσει προβλήματα θεοκρατικών αντιλήψεων με κανενός είδους λογικής. Το θρησκευτικό στοιχείο δεν είναι στοιχείο προς διαπραγμάτευση. Γι’ αυτό μπορεί να αποτελέσει ένα καταστροφικό συντελεστή στην διαμόρφωση λύσεων.

Αποτελεί λοιπόν έγκλημα κατά της ανθρωπότητας η εκμετάλλευση της θρησκείας σαν μέσο πολιτικής πίεσης η και διαπραγμάτευσης.

Μέσα λοιπόν στους προβληματισμούς της σύγχρονης κοινωνίας που περιλαμβάνουν την ανάγκη προσαρμογής και αντιμετώπισης νέας μορφής προκλήσεων όπως η κλιματική αλλαγή, η μετανάστευση , το προσφυγικό, οι ανεργία, ο κορωνοιός, οι επιπτώσεις της εξάπλωσης των κοινωνικών δικτύων  και της τεχνολογίας, η ενέργεια, προστίθεται και ο αναχρονιστική σύγκρουση των πολιτισμών.

Αυτή η σύγκρουση έχει πολύ μεγάλες ιδιαιτερότητες γιατί συνδυάζεται με προβλήματα όπως ο ρατσισμός, η τρομοκρατία, η ένταξη θρησκευτικών και εθνικών μειονοτήτων σε περιβάλλον Κρατών με διαφορετική πολιτισμική ιστορία που περιλαμβάνουν διαφορετική  νομική και κοινωνική υποδομή.

Η αντιμετώπιση αυτών των προκλήσεων αποδεικνύεται δυσκολότερη από ότι περίμενε η διεθνής κοινότητα ότι θα είναι.

Για εμένα τα μεγαλύτερα προβλήματα θα είναι ο λαϊκισμός στα θέματα θρησκείας και δημοκρατίας  όσον αφορά την υιοθέτηση των θεσμών μακροπρόθεσμα και  και η υγειονομική κρίση βραχυπρόθεσμα.

Ο έλεγχος των μειονεκτημάτων του καπιταλισμού πιστεύω ότι θα αντιμετωπιστεί γιατί έχει το χαρακτηριστικό του αυτοπεριορισμού εφόσον διατηρηθούν οι θεσμοί κάτω από τον έλεγχο διεθνούς ελέγχου.

Αυτό είναι το μόνο αισιόδοξο στοιχείο στο οποίο βασίζομαι για να ελπίζω.

Τέλος σαν αισιόδοξο άτομο δεν μπορώ να μην αναφερθώ και στην ελπίδα μου στο ένστικτο επιβίωσης της ανθρώπινης φύσης.

In the previous chapter we focused on Turkey’s perception of Greece.

To obtain a full picture, it is imperative to examine how Greeks lived under Ottomans and get closer to the Ottoman mentality, appreciate the cultural differences, and review all practices instigated by the Ottoman state.

These differences and practices did not help the Ottoman Empire to integrate, to an acceptable degree, sections of ethnic minorities that were part of their acquisitions.

On the contrary this explains how some Turkish Muslim populations were created?

Also how was the Hellenism of the Diaspora created?

The Turks are proud that they never forcefully attracted indigenous populations to Islam. Nothing more untrue.

Let us observe, then, how Greek society functioned shortly before the revolution of 1821.

Period before the 1821 revolution

In a court of law, a Muslim’s word was always accepted over that of a Christian, although disputes between Christians were generally settled in courts under the control of their own millet.

A Christian could not marry a Muslim woman, and there was a strict prohibition against renouncing Islam.

Those Christians who had embraced Islam and then reverted to Christianity were, until well into the 19th century, punished by death. Those “neomartyrs”, however, helped sustain the faith of the Orthodox populations during the centuries of Ottoman rule.

‘Subordinate to tax’

The administration of Greece was based on the principle of ‘Subordinate to Tax’.

This tax was a continuation of the tax system originally applied by the Seljuk Turks who essentially imposed, among other things, two additional taxes on the non-Muslim population conquered, the cizye or capital tax and the harac.

The cizye or capital tax

This tax was paid every year by non-Muslims,

The collectors always showed an excessive zeal, as the. their remuneration depended on the amount they would contribute to the sultan’s treasury.

The capital tax was the price paid by the «infidels» according to the holy law in order to secure their lives and permission to live in the territory of Islam, maintaining their religion under the  protection of the state.

Women, children, clergy and the disabled and those employed in the civil service were excluded from this payment.

Of course, any non-Muslim could avoid this tax if they would convert to   Islam.

The harac

The harac was based on the principle of the Coran and its payment symbolized the submission of the infidels by redeeming the tolerance of the state.

As a basic regular tax, it served dual purpose.

On one hand it was taxation on land (haraci muvazzaf) and on the other it was income tax (haraci mukaseme). The first was a fixed annual tax that was related to the land and not production. In other words, it was like property land tax. The various names found in the Ottoman archives, ispence, resm-i cift, resm-i bennak, resm-i mucerred, are different names for this land tax, known as harac-i muvazzaf. In essence, this is a tax paid by Greeks in exchange for the possession and cultivation of public land, not for the ownership of this land.

Extraordinary or occasional taxes.

The next big category is the extraordinary taxes, which include fines.

These were imposed to deal with various emergencies, such as the growing demands of administrative bodies, the repair of fortifications, the maintenance of roads and bridges, the purchase of ammunition of the army and fleet, even the feeding of horses.

Extraordinary taxes were extremely high, some of them were even difficult to classify in a special category.

The responsibility for collection was passed to the Greek «Kotzabases» who finally got rich from this process. Kotzabases was the Greek word to classify local middle- and higher-class citizens.

The collection was made by the Greek Kotzabasids, on behalf of the Pashas, who eventually also became rich from this process. This was also a process of redemption and corruption and blackmail of the enslaved Greeks.

It is worth noting that the presence of Turks in Greece and their behavior varied by region.

Also, the duration of the Turkish occupation was different by region and therefore the Turkish behavior varied. Especially in areas that Venetian occupation pre-existed, such as Crete, Peloponnese, Dodecanese, and Cyclades.

But also, other regions such as Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace even Asia Minor etc. that had a different mix of populations of different ethnicities that imposed variations in the application of Turkish methods of administration. Especially in areas of Venetian occupation, the Greeks preferred the Turkish occupation to the Venetian one, which was often considered liberating. Many people did not realize that the time of occupation of specific areas of Greece was extremely limited even less than 100 years, for example the Peloponnese from which the Greek revolution began.

Islamization by imposing tax to infidels.

The benefits given to Muslims, whether tax, judicial, social, etc., served as an incentive for many local populations to convert to Islam, and to escape the ‘stigma’ of second-class citizenship, as well as mixed marriages among Christians and Muslims obliged   the children to become Muslims.

Violent Islamization.

Finally, let us not forget the violent Islamization that took place with the forceful grabbing of children.

The most serious disability to which Christians were subject, until the practice died out toward the end of the 17th century, was the Janissary  levy (paidomazoma). Christian families in the Balkans  were required, at irregular intervals, to deliver to the Ottoman authorities a given proportion of their most intelligent and handsome male children to serve, after being forcibly converted to Islam, as elite troops or civil servants. Inevitably, the levy was much feared, but those who were conscripted frequently rose to high office and were sometimes able to help their relatives or their native villages. There is evidence that some Muslim families sought to pass off their children as Christian in the hope that they would be included in the levy and would thus be able to better their prospects. Under such pressures there were numerous instances of Christian conversion to Islam on both an individual and a mass basis; such conversions were particularly prevalent in the 17th century. The conversions were often only nominal, however, and these crypto-Christians secretly practiced the rituals of their former faith.

Eventually, the Ottoman Empire remained a deeply medieval theocratic state with an unjust tax system and the direct involvement of all state officials in the Ottoman hierarchy.

This state not only did not inspire confidence to its citizens, on the contrary it aroused suspicion and led to introversion and withering of the rural economy.

The inhabitants of the cities lived in relatively better conditions, since the Ottomans had left the trade sector to their non-Muslim citizens.

In any case, the practice of tax treatment of citizens according to their religion, a truly unique phenomenon in history, led to the demographic change of the Balkans, with a dramatic decrease in the Christian population and a corresponding increase in the number of Muslims.

The role of the «Kotzabasis» (Local Greek elit) during the Ottoman Empire.

The Turkish administration allowed the Greek elit to become tax collectors who in collaboration with the Pashas exploited the locals to the extent that the Christians often asked the Turks to protect them from their arbitrariness. ,

Some «Kotzabasis» were not just collaborators with the Turks but turned to tyrants of the Greeks. They dressed in Turkish furs, behaved like Turks to emphasize their power and looked down on the illiterate poor people, who angrily called them «Christian Turks», their job was to collect taxes and impose order, in whatever way they saw fit …

National groups and different casts within Greece and Asia Minor during Ottoman occupation

At this point it is worth mentioning how Turkey viewed the national groups and how it registered the corresponding population groups. For Turkey there were no national groups, there were only religion and language groups.

The Greek-speaking populations was the largest ethnic group which  was scattered among present-day Greece and Bulgaria, mainly on the shores of the Black Sea (Eastern Romulia) and even in the urban populations of Romania and in Belgrade, Vlachia, Moldavia, Eastern Thrace  and many areas within Asia Minor such as Izmir (Gaur Ismir). , the areas of Trabzon (Pontian Hellenism where many ‘crypto-Christians’ were created) and the Aegean islands.

Where sea, ship and trade, urban Greek populations were created.

Arvanites, Vlachs etc.

Greek-speakers were not only Greek Christians but also some Albanian Christians (Arvanites) who from time to time had descended to areas of Southern Greece, but also Vlachs and Slavs who had descended after 600 AD in the entire Balkan Peninsula. Finally, there were Turkish-speaking Greeks such as the ‘Karamanlides’ in Asia Minor.

The voluntary delivery of Moria to the Turks .

In 1714, the local Greek leaders of Moria decided to shake off the brutal Venetian occupation and offer their place to the Ottomans.

They called Topal Pasha of Thebes and let him enter the Peloponnese with his army.

Morias became a Turkish province within 100 days. Their move was duly appreciated by the Turks, who reciprocated by granting them privileges. However, the prominent people did not consider the reaction of the people, who were not willing to welcome the Turkish yoke and, in some cases, put up strong resistance.

The Turks took hostages in Istanbul, members of the families of the nobles, so that their families could keep the people calm.

This tactic was a double-edged sword because the Ottoman Empire never succeeded in integrating the Greek population into the Ottoman Empire. Apart from economic misery, the Greeks suffered other forms of misery such as children grabbing, forced Islamization and other forms of suppression created groups with independence tendencies such as the «Kleftes» and Armatoli.

The same did not happen with the Greeks of Asia Minor where there were no conditions for the development of armed resistance, on the contrary Asia Minor became an escape area for the armed revolutionaries. Asia minor was where a special cast of Greeks  The Phanariotes maintained a very important position  in Ottoman Empire and played a very special role among the Patriarch the Greek Merchants who created Greek merchant  communities or paroikies through much of central Europe, on the Mediterranean coast, in southern Russia, and even as far away as India.

Armed action of the people of Greece, “Kleftes” and Armatoli

As the Ottoman Turks extended their rule in the Balkan Peninsula, they had to face various uprisings by groups of Greeks who continued the tradition of Byzantine warriors.

Armed Greeks during the Turkish occupation were the «Kleftes». «Kleftes» lived in the countryside and had their hideouts in remote inaccessible places.

They were organized in small groups, each with its own captain and its own flag. A key feature of the «Kleftes» was the hostility they felt towards the Turks and power in general, an element that made them dear to the people. Thus, the Kleftes became a symbol of the resistance of the suppressed Greeks against the conquerors.

To confront the Kleftes and restore security in the countryside, the Ottoman Turks used other armed Greeks, former Kleftes, the Armatoli.

However, the Armatoli, although they were auxiliary troops of the Turks, usually Armatoloi collaborated with the Kleftes. Thus, the phenomenon was common, especially during the last centuries of the Ottoman Empire, many Armatoloi left their positions and joined the ranks of Kleftes.

The first leaders of the Greek Revolution, such as Theodoros Kolokotronis and others, came from the Thieves and Armatoli. Groups

Some of them acquired military training and experience in the English and French army and came back to Peloponnese via Ionian Islands.

The factors that created tendencies for independence.[U1] 

Another important factor in creating a trend for Greek independence was the Navigation developed by the island population that allowed the Greeks to dominate trade, and the transport of goods from the Ionian sea, through the Aegean to Black Sea and Danube countries, while giving young Greeks the opportunity to attend European Universities and to be inspired by the principles of the French Revolution.

Finally, Navigation gave the know-how and the financial capability to Greece to develop its own shipyards, which in addition to merchant fleet also enabled Greece to build its own navy.

Finally, the Hellenism that spread  abroad, in places such as Vienna, Russia, Danube countries, but also to the rest of Europe, created conditions for the awakening of the rest of the Hellenism to shake off the Turkish yoke.

We observe the creation of conditions and parameters that began to play a role, the elit of Hellenism abroad, the Shipowners and merchants who saw liberation as a necessary development, the people who did not want to replace Venetian rule with Turkish rule, the already rebellious groups under the names «Kletes» and «Armatoloi» but even the «Kotzabasids» ( members of Greek elit, privileged by the Turks) who could not but follow the revolutionary tendencies of the common people and the Clergy.

“Friendly Society” (Philiki Etairia)

From the Hellenism of the “Diaspora”, a new organization   was created under the name “Friendly Society». This group was founded   in Odessa, the Russian port of the Black Sea, on September 14, 1814. Its founders were people engaged in trade in Russia.

The “Friendly Society” was soon strengthened with the participation of members and associates from groups of Greeks from the Danube countries and the Principalities (hegemonies) that were created mainly in the regions of Vlachia and Moldavia.

The “Phanariotes” also played a special role in the spread of the “Friendly Society”

It should be noted that because of the way in which Turkey used “Phanariots” it inadvertently strengthened  Hellenism of the Danube regions, an example being the fact that Turkey placed Phanariotes as Hegemons in the Tax subjugated Ottoman provinces of Vlachia and Moldavia.

The hegemonic throne of Moldavia was then given to Nikolaos Mavrokordatos, son of the “Great Interpreter: (Official Interpreter) of the “Gate”: Alexander Mavrokordatos of “in secret” civil servants of the Ottoman state

From 1711 the Phanariotes will keep under their constant control the throne of Moldavia and from 1716 of Vlachia.

At the beginning of 1820, the society approached Ioannis Kapodistrias, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, and offered him the leadership of the group Friendly Society.

When he refused, they offered the leadership to Alexander Ypsilantis, who had successfully served in the Russian army as well as he as a member of the Fanariotis that served as a Hygemon of the Principalities.

Ypsilantis, who admired Rigas Velestinlis and his ideas, sought cooperation with the other Balkan peoples. He addressed the Serbs and the Vlachs but his efforts did not succeed.

But at the beginning of 1821 there were better conditions for the outbreak of the Greek revolution in the northern Balkans and specifically in the Danube Hegemonies because it was ruled by Phanariote Hegemons and the Turkish army was forbidden to station in the area.

The revolution broke out on February 22, 1821 when Ypsilantis crossed the Pruthos river and entered the Danube Hegemonies.

In 1819, most of the nobles of the Peloponnese and the Aegean islands and several chiefs were initiated into the «Friendly Society». The following year its members exceeded 3,000.

This successful course of the Friendly Society was largely because they cultivated the idea that their movement was supported by Russia and that they had the blessing of the Patriarch. For the Turks, the Friendly Society was naturally an illegal organization against the state.

 Rigas Velestinlis

Among the most important personalities who influenced the Greek element, both the popular masses and the elites of the Hellenism of  “Diaspora”, was Rigas Velestinlis, who was mentioned above.

Rigas Feraios «the most heroic representative of the tradition of the Greek revolutionary Enlightenment» and «leader of an early rise even a pan- Balkan movement with continuous  presence, since 1790 not only in the national but also in the spiritual events of the time and with the slogan «Whoever thinks freely, thinks well» expressed the «spirit of rebellion» par excellence

In contrast to Adamantios Korais, the «man of the office», who stood far from social action and the popular masses who faced historical developments as a teacher and not as a political being, On the other side Rigas, the founder of the first secret liberation organization, «became a real leader» speaking to the soul of the simple people passing across the message of French revolution introducing real love for freedom and democracy as compared to authoritarian rule.

Together with Adamantios Korais,  they consisted the  Cornerstones of the Greek Enlightenment, even from two different points of view, gave the cultural breath to the enslaved Hellenism.

One of Rigas most important works was the “Thourios” (a poem) of Rigas which was sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments, mainly the flute that inspired the mountain Greeks and the other Balkan nationalities.

In Free translation to understand how Rigas inspired Greece and the Balkans.

How long shall we live in the straits,

alone like lions, in the mountains

in caves to live in hide.

Waiting to depart from this world, in bitter slavery.

To lose brothers, your Homeland and Parents, our friends, our children, and all our relatives.

It is better to live an hour in freedom than forty years in slavery and imprisonment.

What good comes out of living in slavery,

It feels like being thrown into the fire every hour.

Rich or poor, Master even if you stand,

The tyrant unjustly will make you lose.

The 1780s were crucial for shaping Rigas’s ideological orientation. His ideas matured under the influence of the French revolution philosophical tendencies, which dominated the late Phanariotic   education. In this spiritual environment, Rigas seems to have been particularly associated with the most radical representative of the Hellenic and Balkan Enlightenment.

The tragic end of Rigas

In addition to «Thourios» poem of Rigas printed in Corfu by a collaborator of Rigas, additional written revolutionary material was being prepared.

In December of the same year, three boxes of the revolutionary material were confiscated in Trieste, which had a recipient trusted by Rigas and a member of the company, and the material finally reached the hands of the police. So when Rigas arrived in Trieste unsuspecting, he was arrested. He was interrogated and then handcuffed and sent to Vienna. In the meantime, the Austrian government notified the Turkish government and after an exchange of documents, Rigas and his comrades surrendered to the Turks and were taken to Belgrade, where he was tortured and killed on June 24, 1798.


 [U1]

Another way of looking at the coming celebration.

WHOEVER THINKS FREELY THINKS WELL: RIGAS VELESTINLIS

During the year 2021, Greece celebrates the 200th anniversary of the revolution of 1821, after 400 years of slavery under the yoke of the Ottomans and the Venetians.Greece is preparing to wear its festive clothes while tensions between Greece and Turkey are escalating underlining the fact that this conflict continues and will continue indefinitely.

Greece and the Balkans continue to experience the remnants of the wider national upheavals that the rest of Europe has outgrown in recent centuries.The reasons are varied, one of which is religion but also other ethnological and geopolitical characteristics and interests between the West and the East.

This note focuses exclusively on the elements of the Greek-Turkish conflict and even more specifically on the characteristics of the revolution and its effects on the formation of modern Greece. and the newly formed state relations with Turkey and the rest of the international community.

The first element that must be understood is Turkey’s perception of Greece.

For Turkey, Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire living under conditions of equality with the other ethnic groups, that ensured freedom of economic activity and religious independence, ie secularism and the possibility of economic growth, while Greece was used as a tool for the distraction of the Ottoman Empire.

Under these circumstances the various ethnic communities, according to Turkish allegations, coexisted peacefully and in many cases were also favored towards the Greek population under a favorable tax regime. Nothing more untrue!

These conditions were disturbed by the National Revolutions, which, at the same time with the awakening, were instigated by the West, including Russia, which also wanted the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turkish barbarity is denied by the Turks who counter argue the medieval barbarity of the West that existed at the same time, see period of Inquisition , Venetian rule, crusades, etc., despite the fact that the west had already entered the Renaissance period , in which the Ottoman Empire did not participate neither experienced the effects of two social and liberating revolutions namely the American and French .

Therefore, Turkey’s reaction to the Greek revolution, such as the massacres in Chios but also the genocide of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians, the Turks justify as normal reactions to the aggressive actions of the respective ethnic groups that sought to expel the Turks from their country.

In short, the Turks regard the Ottomans as the natural successors of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, which they regard as real tyrants and oppressors of the indigenous peoples who should regard the Turks, essentially, as liberators.

Especially for Greece, it is considered the most important instrument of the West that is expanding, to the detriment of Turkey, for the last 300 years, extending to the revolution and the subsequent Balkan wars when Greeks carried out purges of indigenous Muslim populations.

The Turks were unaware of, or unable to comprehend, the effects of cultural differences and the influence of basic tactics, such as the Islamization of populations that, combined with coordinated demographic intervention attempting to change population ratios cannot but provoke independence movements.

In short, the Turks see any liberation or revolutionary movement as a terrorist activity against the state.

But the 18rh century was the century that produced many romantic revolutionary movements that laid the foundation of the end of autocratic monarchic ruling of nations.

The most important movements were the American and the French revolutions that also produced constitutions.

At the same time, the Turks, due to their militaristic and religious tradition, were not able to realize some of the values and possibilities of specific cultural, political, commercial and administrative practices that did not allow them to absorb non Muslim groups of peoples they conquered and ruled as subjects.

High Gate had difficulty understanding the national liberation character of the Greek revolution.

The Sultan was particularly outraged by the fact that «Rum Millet» rebelled despite the privileges it enjoyed.

The idea of national identity did not exist in Ottoman political vocabulary. In the decrees of Sultan Mahmut II, but also in the relevant narratives, we see a strong certainty that Russia instigated the millet of Rums on the basis of the common religion, as well as we see his surprise at the determination and persistence of the revolutionaries.

Characteristic is the disgust of MahmutII: «The persistence of the Rums for the sake of their… ‘false’ religion must become an example [to Muslims].»

In general, as we have said, the «national» interpretation was slow to enter the arsenal of Ottoman analysis.

The High Gate gradually moves from the traditional interpretation that the revolution was carried out by the enemies of Islam, to the recognition that the Rums were a separate «millet» – a nation, as if all enslaved nations sought independence; in other words, there were millet-nations in the empire, which challenged the political sovereignty of the Muslims.

Here it is important to note that there were no Turks but only Muslims, while, on the contrary, there were Rums as well as Albanians. and others.

This shift from religion to nation in relation to non-Muslim Ottoman nationals also shows the shift in the meaning of the concept of millet from religious to national, which is visible at this time. This, of course, does not mean that the emphasis ceases to be emphasize the role of religion: e.g. A relevant text states that the Russians helped the Rums because they have the same religion, the «evil» Rums attack the (Muslim) believers, the massacre of the Ottomans in Tripoli is due to the sins of the Muslims, etc. Let us not forget that we are talking about a highly transitional period, in which the axes that defined reality for an Ottoman Muslim (political and religious superiority over non-Muslims) had begun to change

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Σχόλια

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Αλήθεια, γιατί τρομάζεις παλιέ μου φίλε;

Μήπως ξέχασες και δεν αναπολείς;

Βαρέθηκες να ψαχουλεύεις και να ταξινομείς τις παλιές ξεθωριασμένες  σου φωτογραφίες;

Έπαψες πια να αναγνωρίζεις το σώμα σου, και κάποιον άλλο σου θυμίζει το πρόσωπό σου στον καθρέπτη;

Μήπως τα ιδανικά σου και αυτά ξεθώριασαν και η αμφιβολίες  φωλιάζουν μέσα σου;

Ονειρεύεσαι ακόμα; Τότε μην φοβάσαι, δεν γέρασες.

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Πόσα και δεν εγγράφτηκαν για την ζωή, τον έρωτα, την πατρίδα, την θρησκεία, την αγάπη, την απώλεια, την τέχνη, την φιλοδοξία, την επιτυχία, την χαρά, και τόσα ανθρώπινα συναισθήματα που αποτελούν, τα περισσότερα, γεύσεις  ζωής.

Και αν με ρωτήσετε πιο είναι το νόημα της ζωής ακόμα δεν γνώρισα.

Ίσως αυτό να είναι και το μεγαλύτερο ερώτημα για πολλούς ανθρώπους.

Ζήσαμε και πολλοί από εμάς, ίσως να κάνουμε τον απολογισμό, άλλοι με θετικό και άλλοι με αρνητικό πρόσημο, έχω την εντύπωση όμως ότι οι γραμμές του ισολογισμού αυτού λιγοστεύουν όσο περνούν τα χρόνια και με έκπληξη συνειδητοποιείς ότι τα κεφάλαια είναι πολύ λίγα και οι γραμμές μέσα σ’ αυτά είναι αχνές σαν τις παλιές φωτογραφίες.

Τα κεφάλαια είναι αυτά που σου δίνουν την δύναμη να ζήσεις αλλά οι γραμμές είναι αχνές και σου θυμίζουν τις επιλογές που έκανες σωστές και λανθασμένες.

Πολλοί στερήθηκαν για να ζήσουν αλλά δεν πρόλαβαν και άλλοι ονειρεύτηκαν και δεν έζησαν. Υπάρχουν όμως και λίγοι τυχεροί που πρόλαβαν να ζήσουν τα όνειρα τους, γι’ αυτούς τους τους λίγους τυχερούς οι γραμμές δεν έχουν εντελώς χαθεί και ζουν το όνειρό τους.

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An attempt to analyse the total environment and events that have raised hostile activity between  Turkey and Greece the last years specially during the war n Syria.

INTRODUCTION

It is a generally accepted, that every country is justified to protect its own interests.

This statement is widely used because it sounds just and credible.

For example, it is used by USA regarding Israel’s right to defend its country against rockets and bombs launched from Palestinians, killing innocent Israelis, but is also used by Palestinians who claim their right to defend their land.

So, this generic statement needs to be used carefully taking into consideration how the right of each country can be perceived by the international community which implies, that such statement should receive some international recognition. The same is true for international agreements and treaties.

International agreements for the determination of maritime boundaries includes bilateral agreements for EEZ which is a way define limits for economic exploitation of the sea and “sea beds”.

For this reason, an international set of rules has been devised and agreed my most countries. This set of rules constitutes the international law for the sea which provides that all islands have their own EEZ that can reach 200miles in open sea.

The law has been signed by 132 countries under UN supervision during the eighties.

This agreement has not been signed by a small number of countries, yet this is binding under International law.

The law exists and if a mutual agreement between two countries cannot be reached then the countries may, if they both agree, to resolve the issue in an international court of justice. UN is not an organization to implement or enforce the law.

For the history, President Reagan declared USA EEZ, in agreement with Cuba and Bahamas, based on “equal distances”, hence, USA did not enclose these islands within the 200 miles of EEZ limit, as Turkey is trying to do in Cyprus and the Greek islands.

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If Turkey were to implement EEZ the way they propose, Turkey would end up having boarders with Italy and Libya totally disregarding Greece, while at the same time would to destroy plans for Eastern Mediterranean pipeline that  will be an alternative route to supply Europe that will not be depending on Turkey and Russia.

The four countries that did not vote International law, in April 1982, were, USA, Israel, Venezuela and Turkey.

The reason why USA did not vote, despite the fact they had already implemented EEZ in agreement with Cuba and Bahamas, was that the law provides that all resources outside defined EEZ, in the open sea,  are common property, inheritance for all  the world to be shared by all, while USA insisted on the principle, “first found first served”.

Israel, on the other hand, had no objection on the law but refused to sign when Palestine was included, not overlooking the fact that, subsequently, Israel declared its own EZZ, disregarding everybody else.

Venezuela objected because, similarly with Turkey, had too many foreign Islands Infront of its mainland. Yet Venezuela, eventually, accepted the fact and gave up half of its originally  claimed EEZ, it did not follow what Turkey is trying to do, demanding the extension of its own EEZ depriving part of EEZ from to the Islands which will be encircled by Turkey with unpredictable consequences.

Turkey behaves like China, while US is maintaining double standards. It accuses China for violating EEZ in China Sea, in five cases and it does nothing in the case of Turkey, which is doing the same with Greece and Cyprus.

USA is keeping double standards, because Turkey has important geopolitical value within NATO and Middle East in spite Turkey’s complaints for the opposite.

Greece cannot defend itself against Turkish demands with no support from, at least, one major power.

Hence, Turkey is using its geopolitical position and size to gain as much as possible.

THE GEOPOLITICAL GAME THAT TURKEY IS PLAYING IN TWO FRONTS.

Turkey is playing its geopolitical power game in two fronts, in Middle East which is a matter of survival for Turkey, due mainly to Kurdistan which, if created, will present major risk for Turkey and secondly in Aegean and Mediterranean Sea.

For the first case, Kurdistan has remained an unresolved issue since the First World War.

Kurdistan consist a real threat for Turkey which is trying to become the leader within the Islamic world. Unfortunately, Turkey has not managed to properly integrate the Kurds residing within Turkey, hence the creation of Kurdistan will certainly provoke a real uprising from major Kurdish populations in East Turkey.

The second front which presents a problem for Turkey is Greece and Cyprus which stand as an obstacle for the re visionary plans of Turkey which dreams to play a major international role establishing a new Ottoman Empire expanding its influence in the Balkans and Mediterranean Sea, including North Africa. Such plans inevitably come in conflict with Europe, USA, Egypt , Greece and Israel as far as their interests  for Energy resources and other Geopolitical opportunities.

The awakening plans for Turkey started during 1973, when the Greek Junta of Colonels announced the discovery of oil in Thasos Island in North Aegean Sea overselling the story that this discovery will bring millions of oil barrels to Greece.

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Since 1973, Turkey started its activity with air violations over Greek Islands questioning the sovereignty of some of the Greek islands, attempting to establish gray zones in Aegean, as well as questioning the rights of the islands to have their own EEZ including Crete, Rhodes and Kastelorizo Island complex.

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THE SYRIAN FRONT

A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria almost ten years ago turned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict has left more than 360,000 people dead, devastated cities and refugees drawn in other countries. As well as causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, the war has left 1.5 million people with permanent disabilities, including 86,000 who have lost limbs.

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At least 6.2 million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 5.7 million have fled abroad.

In March 2011, pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in the southern city of Deraa, inspired by the «Arab Spring» in neighboring countries.

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This led to a general uprising of Syrian rebels against the Syrian authoritarian administration. This gave the opportunity to Kurdish population within Syria to join Syrian opposition to government. At the same time extreme Islamic terrorist formed the state of ISIS which became the target for USA

When the government used deadly force to crush the dissent, protests demanding the president’s resignation civil uprising erupted nationwide.

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The violence rapidly escalated and the country descended into civil war

The government’s key supporters have been Russia and Iran, while Turkey, Western powers and several Gulf Arab states have backed the opposition.

Russia – which already had military bases in Syria – launched an air campaign in support of Assad in 2015 that has been crucial in turning the tide of the war in the government’s favor.

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The Russian military says its strikes only target «terrorists» but activists say they regularly kill mainstream rebels and civilians.

Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 after rockets filled with the nerve agent sarin were fired at several suburbs of Damascus. Western powers said it could only have been carried out by Syria’s government, but the government blamed rebel forces.

Facing the prospect of US military intervention, President Assad agreed to the complete removal and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.

Iran is believed to have deployed hundreds of troops and spent billions of dollars to help Assad.

Thousands of Shia Muslim militiamen armed, trained, and financed by Iran – mostly from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, but also Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen – have also fought alongside the Syrian army.

The armed rebellion has evolved significantly since its inception. Secular moderates are now outnumbered by Islamist and jihadists, whose brutal tactics have caused global outrage.

So-called Islamic State has capitalised on the chaos and taken control of large swathes of Syria and Iraq, where it proclaimed the creation of a «caliphate» in June 2014. Its many foreign fighters are involved in a «war within a war» in Syria, battling rebels and rival jihadists from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, as well as government and Kurdish forces.

In September 2014, a US-led coalition launched air strikes inside Syria in an effort to «degrade and ultimately destroy» IS. But the coalition has avoided attacks that might benefit Mr Assad’s forces. Russia began an air campaign targeting «terrorists» in Syria a year later, but opposition activists say its strikes have mostly killed Western-backed rebels and civilians.

In the political arena, opposition groups are also deeply divided, with rival alliances battling for supremacy. The most prominent is the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, backed by several Western and Gulf Arab states. However, the exile group has little influence on the ground in Syria and its primacy is rejected by many opponents of Mr Assad.

The US, UK and France initially provided support for what they considered «moderate» rebel groups. But they have prioritized non-lethal assistance since jihadists became the dominant force in the armed opposition.

 

A US-led global coalition has also carried out air strikes on ISIS militants in Syria since 2014 and helped an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture territory once held by the jihadists in the east.

USA  BOMBINGS.png

 

The alliance supported by US had appeared to be in a strong position until December 2018, when President Donald Trump unexpectedly ordered US troops to start withdrawing from Syria with the territorial defeat of ISIS imminent.

The decision suddenly left the SDF exposed to the threat of an assault by Turkey, which has said it wants to create a «security zone» on the Syrian side of the border to prevent attacks by Kurdish fighters.

The Kurdish population of Syria is that country’s largest ethnic minority, comprising between 7% and 10% of the country’s population according to most sources.

KURDS.jpg

USA has not totally withdrawn keeping an eye on oil resources that they can still control.

Kurdish leaders have urged the Syrian government and Russia to send forces to shield the border and begun talks about the future of their autonomous region. So basically, US gave the Kurds who fought against ISIS back to the Russians and Assad in order to avoid a fight with Turkey.

The 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, code-named Operation Peace Spring by the Turkish Army, was a cross-border military operation conducted by the Turkish military against the SDF and the Syrian Arab Army  (SAA) in Northern Syria.

According to the Turkish President  the operation is intended to expel SDF—viewed as a terrorist organization by Turkey due to its ties with the  (PKK), but considered an ally against ISIS  by US and its allies from the border region, as well as to create a 30 km-deep «safe zone» in Northern Syria where some of the 3.6 million Syrian Refugees in Turkey would resettle.

THE TURKISH ZONE IN SYRIA 2.JPG

As the proposed settlement zone is heavily Kurdish demographically, this intention has been criticized as an attempt to force drastic demographic change, a criticism denied by Turkey by saying that it only intended to «correct» the demographics that Turkish officials stated were changed by the SDF. Many are very suspicious of what the Turks call ‘»correction to demographics» Greeks have significant experience by corrected demographics in Cyprus.

The Turkish operation received mixed responses by the international community    Including condemnations since it was obvious that the Turkish strategy had as main objective the Kurds.

One wonders why Turkey prefers to create a “security zone» on the Syrian side in an area inhabited by Kurds and not in the area that ISIS has been present.

It is obvious, Turkey is aiming to exterminate the Kurdish population while at the same time relocate Syrian war refugees that will be under Turkish control and secure funding from Europe and possibly USA.

 While originally acknowledging Turkey’s «right to defend itself», on 15 October, Russia hardened its position against the operation and deployed troops.

Ten European nations and Canada imposed an arms embargo on Turkey, while the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkish ministries and senior government officials in response to the offensive in Syria.

Likewise, Trump’s sudden pullout of US forces in Syria was also criticized by journalists as a «serious betrayal to the Kurds» as well as a «catastrophic blow to US credibility as an ally and Washington’s standing on the world stage», one journalist stating that «this is one of the worst US foreign policy disasters since the Iraq war  On 19 November, the Defense Department inspector general released a report finding that the American withdrawal and subsequent Turkish incursion allowed ISIS to «reconstitute capabilities and resources within Syria and strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad».

Turkish position with ISIS has also been questioned.

On August 25, 2015, the Turkish newspaper Bugün ran a front-page story, illustrated with video stills, about what it said was the transfer, under the observation of Turkish border guards, of weapon and explosives from Turkey to ISIS through the Akcakale border post. Bugün reported that such transfers were occurring daily and had been going on for two months. In response, a couple of days later offices of Koza İpek Media Group, the owner of the newspaper, were raided by Turkish police.

In October 2015, control of Koza İpek Media Group was seized by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office which then appointed new managers with links to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and in July 2016 Bugün was closed down on the orders of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Certainly, a strange story.

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Saudi Arabia, which is keen to counter Iranian influence, has armed and financed the rebels, as has the kingdom’s Gulf rival, Qatar.

 

Israel, meanwhile, has been so concerned by what it calls Iran’s «military entrenchment» in Syria and shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah that it has conducted hundreds of air strikes.

 

By February 2019, some 13 million people were estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance, including 5.2 million in acute need.

Latest figures end of 2018

significant increase has taken place in Greece since that time

Turkey 3.644.342

Lebanon 948,849

Jordan 671.551

Iraq 252.451

Germany 593,025

Egypt 133,028

Hungary 78,245

Austria 55,550

Greece 61,365 (100,000 by Feb 2020)

Sweden 120,855

SPREAD OF SYRIAN REFUGIES AS OF 2018.png

 

The Syrian Civil War is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, with over a quarter million killed, roughly the same number wounded or missing, and half of Syria’s 22 million population displaced from their homes. But more than that, Syria today is the largest battlefield and generator of Sunni-Shia sectarianism the world has ever seen, with deep implications for the future boundaries of the Middle East and the spread of terrorism.

The government has regained control of Syria’s biggest cities. but large parts of the country are still held by opposition armed groups and the Kurdish-led SDF.

In September 2018, Russia and Turkey brokered a truce to avert an offensive by pro-government forces that the UN had warned would cause a «bloodbath».

Rebels were required to pull their heavy weapons out of a demilitarized zone running along the front line, and jihadists were told to withdraw from it altogether.

In January 2019, the truce deal was put in jeopardy when a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, expelled some rebel factions from Idlib and forced others to surrender and recognize a «civil administration» it backed.

The SDF currently controls almost all territory east of the River Euphrates

 

THE CONFLICT BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE IN AEGEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN SEA.

The main reasons for the conflict

Even recently, under the failure of Turkey to implement its threats to Europe and Greece that it will sent millions of refugees and illegal immigrants to Greece, in a passage to Europe, Mr Erdogan threatens that he will act to stop any effort from anybody playing games in Mediterranean sea to violate Turkey’s interests under international law. He also referred to the EEZ agreement Turkey made with Libya that that totally neglects International law for the Sea

I really wonder what Mr. Erdogan means when he mentions International law since this is the law that Turkey refused to sign and continuously is violating in Greece and Cyprus.

As previously mentioned, the serious conflict between Turkey and Greece originates from 1973 when the Greek Junta of Colonels announced findings of millions of barrels of oil, close to the island of Thasos in North Aegean Sea. This awakened Turkey’s appetite.

This fired claims on limits regarding territorial waters, EEZ, air and sovereign rights on several islands, mostly uninhabited.

The main agreement between Turkey and Greece is based on the Treaty of Lausanne which specifies that all islands in Aegean Sea belong to Greece Except two, Imbros and Tenedos that belong to Turkey.

TENEDOS.JPG

 

In fact, the treaty mentions that Turkey does not have the ownership of islands outside the limit of three miles from the coast of Turkey.

Turkey’s argument is that the treaty does not include, in the attached list, all islands by name, this would have been impossible since the number of islands exceeds 2.500 and the rest of the terms of the treaty does not leave any doubt about the ownership.

The second point of conflict is that several islands have been given to Greece by Italy, after the Second World War, which was done under different contractual terms conditions and refer to different maps.

In addition, the International law for the Sea was signed during April 1983, much later than the date of signing of the Treaty of Lausanne.

THE TURKISH CLAIMES IN EAST MEDITARANEAN SEA.JPG

Turkish claims in Aegean sea and Mediterranean excluding more recent claims erom the recent Libyan agreement neither the current violations in Cyprus EEZ

Greece has refrained from extending its territorial waters from 6 to 12 miles, as it has the right to do, due to Turkey’s threat of “casus Belli” and since, USA has insisted to Greece to refrain for declaring its own EEZ with Cyprus and Egypt, till a solution is found with Turkey. This may never happen but underlines the interest of USA and NATO over all to keep Turkey within the western alliance.

The situation in Cyprus is even worst since Turkey is violating Cyprus EEZ where agreements have already been made with international oil companies for the exploitation of oil and gas resources. Turkey totally disregards the validity of any agreement since, it does not recognize Cyprus as an independent state, in spite the fact that Cyprus is a member of UN and EU.

EEZ FOR CYPRUS.JPG

Cyprus EEZ

THE TRIANGLE OF SHAME.JPG

The EEZ of Cyprus with Oil companies that have signed agreements with  Cyprus

Both USA and EU have applied sanctions against Turkey for such violations and there is a certainty that these sanctions will be extended.

I display here under an extract of a warning letter addressed to Turkey, issued by EU:

EN
E-004439/2019
Answer given by Ms Simson
on behalf of the European Commission
(25.4.2020)
In response to Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted on 11 November 2019 a framework for restrictive measures that makes it possible to apply a travel ban and asset freeze to individuals or entities responsible for or involved in drilling activities in relation to hydrocarbon exploration and production not authorized by Cyprus in its territorial sea or in its exclusive economic zone or on its continental shelf.
On 12 December 2019, the European Council stated that the Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions infringes upon the sovereign rights of third states, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third states.

The Turkish point of view

Having presented the facts as we have experienced, from the International point of view I have always tried to see the situation from the Turkish point of you which, I, must admit, find it difficult to understand and come to some conclusions.

THE TURKISH VIEW.JPG

Every body is a Turk

Whenever I suggest that this conflict needs to   be resolved in an amicable manner, I am faced with a brick wall on any arguments for a solution.

Why Turkey does not want to resolve EEZ conflict by agreeing to go to the international court in Hague?

May be, because China went to Hague, over similar issues and lost, may be, because Turkey has not signed the International law for the sea, may be, because Turkey does not believe that Hague is a truly independent organization, but is fully controlled by West which intends to destroy Turkey under a long standing survival battle among Christian and Muslim countries.

These are fundamental reasons for the conflict that Greece cannot contemplate because it is already part of the international community that is acting under the rules of International law, especially as a member of UN and EU. While Turkey appears to be a re visionary power that believes it is the victim of a conspiracy of western nations which is fighting to exterminate Islam worldwide. Turkey is consistently forgetting that it has been in alliance with these nations in NATO for quite a few years.

But even if one needs to think, outside the International law and its organizations, Greece is an “island country” that even if it didn’t have its mainland part, it will still exist. What this would mean, that Turkey could wipe out the entire nation?

Would that mean that Turkey could encircle every island with its mainland EEZ depriving island’s right for existence? Because EEZ defines other rights, in addition to “sea bed” resources, that include energy, fishing, defense etc.

EEZ FOR TURKEY.JPG

The Turkish EEZ in Aegean and Black Sea

EEZ FOR TURKEY IN MEDITERANEAN SEA.JPG

Turkish EEZ in Mediterranean Sea.

Does Turkey intend to acquire frontiers with Italy eliminating Greece from the map?

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The map presented from 2011 regarding EEZ limits for Ionian sea and Mediterranean 

If one looks at the map one may appreciate why Turkey fills suffocated encircled by Greek islands. But this does not give Turkey the right to wipe out an island country and its population. Islands exist and according to international law, have their own frontiers and EEZ.

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Turkish attempt to brake the Greek EEZ at Kastelorizo island complex. This will also brake the contraction of East Mediterranean pipeline. This will  also effect the EEZ of Crete Rhodes and the rest of the islands of Dodecanese.

 

EAST MED PIPELINE.jpg

This is the project supported by EU, Greece Italy, Cyprus, Israel , Egypt ad USA to provide an alternative route to supply oil and gas to central Europe. Turkey is invited to participate instead of blocking it. This could provide an alternative solution to the total Greek and Turkish conflict.

 

Does Turkey intend to acquire frontiers with Italy eliminating Greece from the map?

 As another European example, France has a large EEZ not because of its mainland but due to its islands in remote locations.

Finally, the Treaties include a term for the disarmament of the islands, a term that Greece violated since 1938. This according to Turkey consists a serious breach of the agreement.

This is understood, but Greece would be willing to proceed with disarmament if Turkey stops acting in violation of International law and other aggressive actions, such as air and sea frontier violation including encouragement of refugees and Illegal immigrant to enter Greece ranging attacks against Land and sea boarders, with the active participation of Turkish military forces.

So how can we work out a solution, avoiding a war which will inevitably lead to distraction?

Ironically, as long as Turkey keeps stating that firmly intends to defend its own interests under International law and accuses Greece of violating such law, there is hope, it seems that, eventually, Turkey will accept the resolution of such conflicts by going to Hague.

Turkey and Greece would probably have to come to a compromise if they both agree to accept a decision of International court of Hague.  Both Greece and Turkey need to prepare their people for such eventuality.

The most probable area of compromise is Kastellorizo island complex EEZ where EEZ will have to be shared. This probability will be possible on the assumption that there will be a solution on Cyprus and the Turkey will accept to be a part of the effort to join Europe in the construction of East Mediterranean pipeline and abandon the idea of having an EEZ with Libya. No Greek politician dare make such compromise unless this is a court decision.

This decision will make all parties including Europe, USA and Turkey real allies in Eastern Mediterranean.

 

The Cyprus EEZ

Another, equally important issue is the stagnation of Cyprus situation.

There, Turkey is bluntly violating sovereign rights of a country member of UN and EU, by entering internationally recognized EEZ rights by drill for energy resources. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as an independent state, because, as it claims, has violated the treaty of Zurich.

Turkey insists that Cyprus and Greece violated their agreement and Cyprus has not any more the status of a country to be part of UN or EU, Turkey is acting as a guarantor under the Zurich agreement.

Turkey overlooks the violation of the treaty that took place by invading Cyprus, under false pretenses, as guarantor.

Turkey, in that matter, disregards three UN resolutions against Turkey for the invasions that led to occupation of half of the island, the occupied territory has not been internationally recognized as autonomous state.

UN has condemned Turkey for two invasions that exceeded its obligation as guarantor since it acted totally on its own with no agreement from the other two guarantor members neither ensured consent from UN.

The situation, now, is to negotiate an agreement that will either accept the creation of an independent confederation of two communities to reunite Cyprus or to split the country in two.

No need to go to details to understand the situation.

The major issue for Turkish Cypriots is to accept that they are a minority, but they can have all minority rights under EU law that fully recognizes equal human and civil rights.

In more details such an agreement will guarantee equal rights in all forms of administration, rights for property, for business, civil service, employment, sharing resources, participation in government, equal opportunities in employment and dharing benefits. The only think they will not have, as a minority, is the right to veto because this is the reason why the previous agreement did not work. We want to exclude a situation where Turkish Cypriots will act as agent of Turkish interests in the island, since we have seen that this will totally nullify any activity in the country.

Failure to accept this solution, North Cyprus (the occupied part of Cyprus) can become either an independent state or become part of Turkey if Turkish Cypriots so wish. What they cannot do is, for Turkey continue to dictate, one way or other, its instructions to Cyprus

I do not see any problem with this type of resolution of the Cyprus problem.

Yet, once more, Turkey is freezing the processes for any agreement keeping Cyprus a hostage with the intention to deprive the island of the status of an independent state.

Turkey has made its move, by its decision to invade the island.

Turkey cannot hold Cyprus as a hostage indefinitely, just to grab the Cypriot EEZ that Cyprus has, as a fully recognized independent country. Even Turkish Cypriots do not like this.

The use of refugees as a weapon by Turkey.

Erdogan is bringing one additional weapon in the conflict to pursue the promotion of Turkey’s interests in both fronts, in Middle East, by the invading Syria and secondly in Aegean Sea with Greece.

The weapon is the use of Syrian refugees and immigrants from other areas who, for many reasons, are trying to infiltrate to Europe.

As mentioned above, Turkey has accumulated a significant number of refugees for which service negotiated financial support from Europe, to maintain such refugees in camps within Turkey.

Nobody objects the right for Turkey to receive financial support for this service to the world, as well as nobody, especially, the parties involved in this dirty civil war, in Syria, to contribute towards this just request.  But Turkey is trying to capitalize on the situation in an opportunistic way.

Turkey exerts pressure to Europe for funds, threatening to release millions of refugees towards Europe, attacking the Greek frontiers to Turkey in land and sea. Everybody understands, by now, how much more dangerous is this, the period of coronavirus.

In this way, Turkey is exerting pressure to Greece to support the Turkish invasion in Syria with main objective to create and populate a «security zone», with Syrian refugees, relocating Kurdish populations away from Turkish borders. The ultimate plan to stop the creation of Kurdistan. This is the activity Turkey calls “right to defend its interests”.

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

In view of European failure to accept Turkey as a full member in EU, Turkey feels that must find its way to different future.

This ignited re visionary ideas to reconsider the possibility to survive as a new version of Ottoman empire, hence the big idea of Blue homeland, the leader of Muslims around the world, the Father country to protect its Muslim brothers.

This does not work very well with the western word hence Europe and USA started pulling further away from Turkey.

Mistrust grew between Turkey and international institutions considered to be instruments of West and from a trusted ally became an unpredictable country.

The conviction in Turkey that West is a club of Christian countries intending to brake Turkey in three parts and exterminate Muslim populations around the world are bringing back memories from medieval times.

The optimistic idea, within West, that Turkey can bridge the cultural gap between East and West is disappearing.

Greece and Cyprus are thought to be instruments of West, real enemies for Turkey, obstacles for the Turkish “Megalo Idea” a mistake that Greece has made in the beginning of the 20th century, but Greece has payed dearly for that mistake which was made by certain politicians and the change of interests after the October communist revolution and the shifting of interests in Europe.

At the same time there is lack of true leadership all around including Turkey, Europe and USA.

No good will flourish with Turkey supporting authoritarian regimes not abiding by human and civil rights as well as democracy. It is not Religion that separates people these days it is interests that create the conflicts and interest can be negotiated under international law that can also help as a compromising platform. This is the root of the problem and the road to avoid wars.

Also, the West needs to forget its colonial and imperialistic past.

This will create the environment to compromise, not with more “Big ideas” from USA or China, Russia, Turkey or Europe.

No more atomic power plans no more the right of the stronger or religious or political fundamentalism no more the right of one man, no more nationalism.