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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an indication of what was really taking place.

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

γραφειοκρατία.jpg

Το θέμα που εμφανίζεται επί δεκαετίες και φαίνεται να μένει άλυτο.

Η αναφορές στις οποίες μπορεί να ανατρέξει κανείς είναι αμέτρητες και το κόστος ανυπολόγιστο.

Και αναρωτιέται κανείς. Είναι το πρόβλημα πράγματι οργανωτικό;

Είναι πρόβλημα διαφθοράς, η ανικανότητας;

Μήπως η εκάστοτε διοίκηση προσπαθεί να κρύψει, με τον τρόπο αυτό, τα πραγματικά προβλήματα; Είναι έλλειψη γνώσεων, τεχνικών και οργανωτικών;

Αφορά μόνο το δημόσια η και τον ιδιωτικό τομέα;

Κατά την άποψή μου η γραφειοκρατία έχει ριζώσει κυρίως στο δημόσιο εδώ και πάρα πολύ καιρό και επηρεάζει και τον ιδιωτικό τομέα αρκετά.

Η τεχνολογία μπορεί σήμερα να βοηθήσει στην σταδιακή μείωση δεδομένου ότι επιβάλει την παρακολούθηση των διαδικασιών προκειμένου να λαμβάνονται τα κατάλληλα μέτρα για την απλοποίηση.

Στον ιδιωτικό τομέα η βελτίωση επιτυγχάνεται λόγω της ανταγωνιστικότητας, ενώ στον δημόσιο, η ανταγωνιστικότητα γίνεται αντικείμενο πολιτικής η συντεχνιακής εκμετάλλευσης.

Για τον λόγο αυτό υπάρχει τόση αντίδραση στην εφαρμογή συστημάτων μέτρησης της αποδοτικότητας και αποτελεσματικότητας στις διαδικασίες που εφαρμόζονται σε διάφορους τομείς και λειτουργίες.

Η τεχνολογία δεν μπορεί να αλλάξει τις νοοτροπίες δεκάδων η και εκατοντάδων ετών.

Μπορεί όμως να βοηθήσει στην απλοποίηση των διαδικασιών για την αύξηση της παραγωγικότητας προς όφελος των  εργαζομένων αν η διοίκηση φερθεί έξυπνα και μοιράσει το όφελος που θα προκύψει μεταξύ των εργαζομένων και του δημόσιου οργανισμού.

Βέβαια το αμέσως μεγαλύτερο πρόβλημα είναι η διαφθορά. Η διαφορά κρύβεται πίσω από την συνυπευθυνότητα, τις αποφάσεις επιτροπών και την πολυπλοκότητα. Αυτό αποτελεί ένα δεύτερο επίπεδο λειτουργίας και επιβίωσης των γραφειοκρατικών διαδικασιών, ιδιαίτερα στο δημόσιο που η τεχνολογία έχει περιορισμένες δυνατότητες στη φάση αυτή.

Τα λόγια αυτά ίσως να ακούγονται για ορισμένους αυτονόητα η για άλλους αόριστα, αλλά σκοπό έχουν να  αφυπνίσουν τόσο τα μεσαία στελέχη δημοσίων και ιδιωτικών επιχειρήσεων να ενσκήψουν στο πρόβλημα διαχείρισης των εταιρικών πληροφοριών σε συνδυασμό με την ροή των πληροφοριών αυτών μέσα από τις ροές διαδικασιών δεδομένου ότι αυτές είναι που πρέπει να βελτιωθούν πριν από μετάπτωσή μας στην επόμενη επανάσταση που επέρχεται με την ανάπτυξη ακόμη νεότερων τεχνολογιών όπως η ρομποτική και η τεχνητή νοημοσύνη.

Νίκος Κούζος (Nick Kouzos)

President of Skymark Technologies

Tel: +30 22910 78964 | Mob: +30 697 66 96 568

Url: skymarkrelate.com

Addr: 316 Agias Marinas Ave. 194 00,  Greece

 

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INTRODUCTION

It is obvious that discussions or even negotiations between representatives of opposing sides coming from East and West cannot help but reflect the conflicts of two different worlds and their historic evolution.

It is inevitable that each side will try to interpret events and facts that have taken place during different periods in history to defend each other’s point of view, especially when we go through major evolutionary changes due to major conflicts between national powers which maintained different cultures and religions which have played important roles.

In order to arrive at a credible evaluation and conclusions one requires patience and deep investigation of reports of historians and make such investigations with no prejudice, as much as possible.

It is almost impossible to investigate and derive totally impartial conclusions about the influence that major civilizations had on human history especially if the periods we are trying to investigate include vast periods that start from the Hellenistic times, pass through Roman, Byzantine times, Arab expansion into Europe, Ottoman expansion from Asia to Africa and Europe, periods that included also large number migrations of mostly North European and Asian tribes  which took place in waves, mainly among 6th and 11th century.

These migrations evolved to the rise of Balkan and other areas, states which naturally conflicted with indigenous populations existing for thousands of years, which tried to maintain their local culture, rights to their land, religion and traditions.

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The coexistence among new comers and indigenous populations resulted in mutual exchange of cultures, religions and traditions. This exchange in some cases  influenced new comers or the other way arround, from more advanced civilizations that had been established in previous years, except in cases where the ivadors applied strong military forces.

It seems that each Empire, as it was expanding, from Alexander the Great, to Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Ottomans tried to do the same thing, using their military or caltural assets. which were different each time. In every case the same denominator had always been military strength and power.

Byzantium, an empire that had mainly conveyed Greek culture and national identity, became the vehicul that accepted and distributed Christian religion, survived for 1000 years against attacks from every side, East and West, North and South, during medieval periods.

So, understanding the Byzantines can bring us closer to understand the historical background of the conflict between East and West and certainly appreciate the conflict between Turkey and Greece, as well as the conflict between Christianity and Islam.

Rome was not effected, Konstandinouple and Geece was mostly effected.

Byzantine was a part of Roman Empire that broke out from the Western Roman part and survived ruling over numerous national entities, especially during the centuries of great migrations  defending against raids from many tribes that gradually formed new states arround it as well as survived attacks from ancient nations such as Persians and Arabs.

Among the new states that were formed some survived and others disappeared. An example of a state that disappeared is the Eastern Franky Empire of the Great Moravia of Croats and Serbs who continuously formed different alliances that failed.

Further tribes that formed various temporary states include the «Chazars», a  semi nomadic Turkish or Touranic group which was a family of various nomadic tribes from Mongolia and South Eastern Siberia which were migrating, in waves, during medieval period,  mainly between 6th and 11th century.

They were speaking some ancient Turkish dialects which later evolved to modern Turkish versions. Their religion was “Samanism” worshiping God Tengri the God of the “blue sky”. The majority of these populations, especially the ones which moved south, adopted Islam under Arab and Persian influence which had already been converted to Islam, a vigurus new religion inspiring and encuraging expamsion.

The meeting of Turks with militand tradition with Arab  civilasation and Islam generated the power that confronted Byzantines and West.

During the period of their migration, some Turkish tribes stretched along   a huge area from Asia Minor and the Black Sea to the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, establishing their own state structures, controlling the trade routes between Europe, Persia and China. Most of them were short-lived and over the centuries they were annexed by stronger kingdoms (Russia, Georgia, and China), some survived and created the foundation of six currently existing states: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

Bulgarians were also of Turkish origin, but after settling in the Balkans (late 7th century), although they dominated the state they created, they were influenced by Slavs to the extent that the only Turkish caracteristic they held was their name, “Bulgarians”

The Turkish tribes should not be confused with the modern Turkish nation, the second is just a branch of the original tribes. The new Turkish state is implementing a policy of reunifying all these states as a nation or the same ethnicity under the Muslim religion.

In spite of this migration that compares with migrations of other tribes such as Serbs  and other including Germanic and Norwegian tribes,  the core of indigenous population, and administration of the Byzantines was of Greek national identity by far, in spite of internal population shifts that were taking place, from time to time, as new tribes and races were appearing.

The most recent and controversial situation discussed today is Macedonia, which eventually became  a region of Ottoman Empire, as most Balkan regions including Mainland Greece, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and Cyprus became.

The original indigenous population in Macedonia was Greek with populations remaining in the area from raids that took place from various entities including Venetians from Western attempts to acquire parts of Greece, the islands and Crete, Slavs, Bulgarians, Romanians, Turks and Arabs, Albanians etc.

The Byzantine Army was strong enough to stand up and oppose attacks from most raids for more than 1000 years.

It is worth making historic references to Macedonia if one wants to understand how and why Macedonian populations maintained their Greek national identity, in spite all tribal population movements during medieval period

Macedonia during Roman period.

The Battle of Pydna, in 168 BC, constituted the most decisive battle of the Third Macedonian War (171-168 BC), a battle that marked the demise of the Macedonian kingdom and opened the way for the conquest of Greece by the Romans.

Macedonia during Byzantine period

The Macedonian Dynasty (867-1081 AD)

The era of the Macedonian dynasty is divided into two uneven periods, in terms of importance and duration. The first period lasted from 867 until 1025, the year of the death of the Byzantine Emperor Basil II, while the second and short period lasted from 1025 until 1056, when Queen Theodora, the last member of this dynasty, died.

There is no question about the existence of Greek population during the period of Macedonian Dynasty

The struggle in the East and the North with the Arabs, Bulgarians and Russians was crowned by the brilliant success of the Byzantine army in the last 50 years of the 10th and early 11th centuries. This was done despite the failures at the end of the 9th and early 10th centuries. The triumph of Byzantium was great, especially during the times of Nikephoros Fokas and John Tsimiskis, in order to reach its peak during the reign of Basil II. At the time of the latter, the separatist movements of Asia Minor were suppressed, Byzantium’s influence in Syria was strengthened, Armenia was partially annexed by the Empire, and partly became Byzantine, Bulgaria changed to Byzantium and Russia, taking Christianity from Byzantium, has gained closer religious, political, commercial and cultural relations with the Empire.

The Macedonian Dynasty was accused and persistently denied that it was Greek Macedonia but instead propaganda insisted that it was controlled by Armenian Emperors, therefore non-Greeks.

All of this Dynasty was presented, by propaganda, as Armenian because of its alleged origin. The joke of the whole hypothesis is that Basil I the Macedonian (not Basil II Bulgaroctonos),  who  was declared Macedonian,  was born in Thrace from Greek parents and not in Armenia

Nor is the  allegation true that the Macedonian dynasty was of Slavic origin, since the war conflicts within almost all of the Empire, with the Slavic tribes, were known to be very serious.

The maps show Bulgarian or Serb acquisitions in the general area in the Balkans are the descriptions of locations referring to raids that gave names to locations that were occupied for small periods that were later recaptured from the Byzantine armies. This, inevitably, created mixed populations areas that eventually created new indigenous populations. Many Slavs were absorbed by Byzantines to a degree that in some cases Slavs became Byzantine Emperors.

Bulgaria-Ivan_Asen_2.png

The reality was that the basic Greek culture survived and maintained a dominant position within the Byzantine Empire that influenced most of nationalities that existed within the Empire. Many Slavs that setle in areas of Greece were totally absorbed by the locals over the years the same way Bulgarians were absorbed by Slavs.

This, together with Christianity, that merged with Greek language and culture helped to distribute both Christianity and Greek culture to extend that Slavic populations and Slavic states, including Russia were strongly influenced.

A most striking evidence is the creation of Cyrillic alphabet.

It is known that Cyrillos and Methodius two Greek Monks from Thessaloniki   created the Slavic alphabet, on which the Russian-language alphabet was based.

It is, however, important to clarify how Slavs and Bulgarians appeared, and how the two Greek Monks, who became Saints, ended up influencing, so significantly, the course of Slavic history including Russia and Bulgaria.

THE SLAVIC ADVANCEMENT IN BALKANS AND ASIA MINOR

In the last 50 years of the 6th century, the Slavs after their arrival were not only plundering the Balkan possessions of the Byzantine Empire but also reached Chanak Cale (Hellespontos), Thessaloniki, Southern Greece and the coasts of the Adriatic Sea, where many of them settled.

The Avaro-Slavic ( Avars was a nomadic tribe of warriors  from Euro Asia of Altaic mountains-Turkish origin) invasion against the Byzantine capital took place in 626 AD, while Thessaloniki was besieged by Slavic tribes, which brought the city into a very difficult position.

Avars.jpg

At the same time the Slavs descended to the Aegean Sea striking with their ships the Byzantine fleet and often cutting off the capital’s supplies for food.

The oldest references to the Slavs appear in Byzantine documents of the early 6th century.

At the time of the Great Migrations (5th-6th century AD) the Slavic people began to claim the eastern European area. These migrations were completed by the late 8th century AD.

According to historical sources, there are three main migratory streams: a) the first one took place in the second half of the 4th century: because of the demographic increase, their first migrations were to the east where they settled among the native peoples; b) is associated with the invasion of the Avars (The Avars are a Northeast Caucasian native ethnic group who are the predominant of several ethnic groups living in the Russian republic of Dagestan). in the 5th century AD. The Slavs traveled west and central Europe from the Alps to the Baltic Sea, replacing several German tribes; c) the third migratory stream moved southwards into the Balkans and Byzantium.

At the beginning of the 8th century AD more than ten major associations of Slavic tribes were created in the territory of Eastern Europe, which were no longer based on their racial qualities, but slowly advanced to the creation of states.

The diversification of the levels of growth and strength of the various peoples  led to intense conflicts.

This was due to the instability of the newly formed states.

This situation gave the Varangians (a name given by Greeks to Vikings) the opportunity to invade their lands and intervene in their affairs.

varangian.gif

At that time, the Varangians were already known in Western Europe either as robbers or as capable merchants-sailors. The Goran-Normans also came to the territories of the Slavic areas, where they tried to enslave and impose taxes on the Slavic tribes.

These contacts of the Varangian Slavs played a decisive role in the creation of Russia of Kiev.

The Eastern Slavs were the dominant group along the central axis from Russia to Kyev to Novgorod, at least until 800 AD, and continued to move north and east, settling in new lands.

In 862 AD, one of the few manuscripts was found describing the beginning of Russia, The document was called «Description of the Old Times» and mentions  that the Slavs from the area of Lake Ilmen visited the town of Novgorod, the Varangians, and asked for Prince Rurix to become their ruler.

Rurik_titularnik.jpg

In this way he became the founder of the Royal Dynasty of the Rurricides and the State of Rus (now known as Russia), which retained power for more than 600 years.

The Russian people, until the end of the 10th century, were still pagan and did not incorporate the alphabet into their language. The change took place the end of the 10th century, when the state of Kiev accepted Christian religion, when it eventually adopted the Cyrillic alphabet, on which the Russian language is currently based.

THE ORIGINES OF THE BULGARIAN KINGDOM

The last 50 years of the 7th century are also characterized by the fact that during this time the new Bulgarian kingdom was formed on the northern border of the Byzantine Empire along the Danube’s river shores.

A kingdom, whose later history was extremely important for the fate of the Byzantine Empire. In this period, mainly the old Bulgarians, a people of Turkish origin, who were very close to the Hun race, are mentioned. From 650 ac Bulgarians had serious conflicts with the Byzantines

The newly formed kingdom, recognized by violence by the emperor of Byzantium, became a dangerous neighbor.

After the Bulgarians were politically recognized, they slowly began to increase their aquisitions and collided with the Slavic population of the neighboring provinces.

Bulgarians as newcomers introduced the military organization and discipline among the Slavs.

Acting as a unifing factor among the Slavs of the peninsula, who had previously lived in separate groups, the Bulgarians slowly developed a dynamic state, of course, a great threat to the Byzantine Empire. Later, many military operations had to be organized by the Byzantine emperors against the Bulgarians and the Slavs. The Greek element was protected by the Byzantine troops.

Numerically smaller than the Slavs, the Bulgarians, soon found themselves under the strong influence of the Slavs. Large tribal changes took place among these Bulgarians, who, while the time passed, lost their ethnic Turkish (ethnic) ethnicity to become almost completely Slavs in the middle of the 9th century, although still bearing their old name: «Bulgarians» .

The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed between 1185 and 1396.

It was the successor state of the First Bulgarian Empire that reached the peak of its power under Tsar Kalogiannis and Ivan Asen B before being gradually conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

800px-Kaloyan_Varna.jpg

The successor states were the Principality and later the Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1878.

Until 1256, the Second Bulgarian Empire was the dominant power in the Balkans, defeating the Byzantine Empire in many great battles. In 1205 Emperor Kalogiannis defeated the newly established Latin Empire in the Battle of Adrianople.

Ivan Asen’s nephew II defeated the Despotate of Epirus and made Bulgaria a regional power again. During his reign, Bulgaria spread from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and the economy flourished. By the end of the 13th century the Empire had fallen under constant raids by Mongols, Byzantines, Hungarians and Serbs, as well as internal upheavals and uprisings.

In the 14th century, there was a temporary recovery and stability, but with the peak of Balkan feudalism, as a central authority, gradually their power in many areas was lost.

On the eve of the Turkish invasion, Bulgaria had been split in three.

The period between 13th and 14th century population ratios and national identities was mixed between Greeks Slavs and Bulgarians.

In spite of great animosity and fighting there is evidence of great Byzantine influence to Bulgarians in administration cultures, religion, architecture and art. Later alot of Bulgarians prefered to move to Greek side due to religious reasons. Populations were still mixed with towns having Muslim, Greek, Slavs  Bulgarians, Pomaks, Vlachs Albanians.

Many Slavs and Albanians were totally absorbed by Greeks and became the stronger fighting forces against Ottomans during the Greek uprisal during the19th century.

 

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The mixed papulation problem in the Balkans is still evident with existing minorities in Albania North Macedonia even in Bulgaria Greece and Turkey although the numbers in Turkey have been sosmall due to national cleansing that took place in Turkey the 20th century.

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The question that still remains in my mind is, to what extend Muslim populations migrated to Greece or they were Greeks converted by force or persuation to Islam.

NK

 

 

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 It is definitely very interesting to exchange views with Turks that can convey the points of view of the other side. By studying such exchange of points of view, that have marked the lives of millions of people for hundreds of years, one can see the influence that the roots, traditions history, and culture of each nation including religion that can exert on individuals and groups of different nations.

So this article is another attempt to appreciate the roots of the problem and eventually bring opposite sides closer, so that animosities can be reduced.

So, I, here under, display one more of numerous conversations which is published during a period that the conflict among Turkey Greece and Cyprus have reached a real and dangerous peak.

A message from my Turkish friend Sukan

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Hallo Nick best greetings from ayvalık.

I was also in izmir.and found a Greek book ın Turkısh about the Genocide of the Pontus Greeks. Bought it. 600 pages! I have started readıng ıt and found the approach strange.

The book goes on and on about how Greek speakıng Muslıms suffered. Really? Why dıd my famıly some whıch still speakıng Greek not notıce anythıng? Erdogan? How come he ıs presıdent ıf there ıs prosecution? He also tells of centurıes of prosecutıon, whıch Greeks survıved thanks to theır beıng Greek. ın the hıstory we lıved the ottomans were proud of protecting all relıgıons. He does talk of a 1910 law whıch would have eased lıfe for Greeks, thıs was ın the tıme when the unıonısts were tryıng to accommodate all ethnıcıtıes, and that ıt was not ımplemented. After 1912. he says Greek secessıonısm was a response to unıonıst (young Turks as he calls ıt) government, on the next page he tells of secessıonısm ın the 1860ıes! That all does not fıt.

What also does not fıt ıs hıs hıstory. Greeks ımmıgrate, Hellenizing, after whıch comes Christianity. Wonderful. Then come Turks and Islam horrıble! People come, relıgıons change that ıs how hıstory works. Why should one be better than the other?

Later on, he quotes, an English polıtıcıan sayıng the target was eradıcatıng the Turks. He then saId thıs faıled. He thınks Turkish history after 1923 had proven we are barbarıans. Compare Turkey and Greece for the same perıod, we lıved ın peace wıth each other, the Greeks who could no longer trouble Turks butchered each other ın a cıvıl war. At present Greece lıves a better lıfe thanks to the EU. Turks ındustrıalızes, Greece does not. We dıd have a Kurdish rebellıon, wıth 40 000 dead. Compare that wıth the French response to the Algerian rebellıon wıth 1 mıllıon dead Arabs. Amerıca ın Iraq wıth 2 to 4 mıllıon dead.

He also defınes as Pontus one fıfth of Turkey. West Anatolıa ıs naturally also Greece. Around half of turkey ıs Armenia and then Kurdistan et6c. And where exactly we Turks supposed to lıve? These people were tryıng to kıll us all. That was clear after 1912. That ıs the reason why the unıonısts panıcked and got brutal.

We do not talk about young Turks after 1908. Some of them organızed the party for unıon and progress whıch then took over untıl the end of WW1. That party was disbanded after WW1 but evolved ınto the republıcan people’s party, now the opposıtıon. These are referred to as unıonısts ın English or the CUP. Committee for unıon and progress.

My response:

Dear Sukan,

Before I proceed to a more detailed response based on historical references I specifically quote a part of your statement that found very interesting.

You say:

“He also defınes as Pontus one fıfth of Turkey. West Anatolıa ıs naturally also Greece. Around half of Turkey ıs Armenia and then Kurdistan etc. And where exactly we Turks supposed to lıve? These people were tryıng to kıll us all. That was clear after 1912. That ıs the reason why the unıonısts panıcked and got brutal.”

 I believe it is interesting at this stage to quote a recent statement of the Turkish President:

“The year 1453 is the beginning of the conquests of our heart”. Conquest is the key word to appreciate the Turkish philosophy regarding the treatment of indigenous people of countries conquered by Turkish raids. Nowhere else worldwide indigenous people were treated the way Turkish people behaved.

I have learned a lot about how a Turkish person thinks from our discussions.

To summarize my understanding I will quote  the following:

  1. Turks consider all western world as an enemy because they have continuously attacked Muslim interests around the world, thus Turkey has to develop defenses to protect itself from the West, now and for the future, as long as this attitude from West is maintained.
  2. As a consequence most international organizations which are controlled by West cannot be credible for their rules, directives and decisions where they have to do with Turkey and Muslims in general. This includes organizations such as UN, EU, International Jury of Hague, or International laws such as laws regarding EEZ and air and Sea frontiers.
  3. Turks consider that Ottoman Empire inherited both Roman and East Roman Empire which was Byzantium, as well as all preexisting civilizations that had developed in the area prior to the arrival of Turkish tribes.
  4. The establishment of Ottomans in Europe and North Africa was a natural expansion of Islam that was privileged to convert other Christian nationalities to Muslims and hence subjects to a great new progressive Empire. Such populations converted by force or proselytizing generated a true indigenous population that losT any link to its previous national identity and culture.
  5. This is particularly important for Greeks that lost their right to inherit, as a nation, the identity or link in any way to what ancient Greece was.
  6. In that sense modern Greeks could only exist as subjects of the Ottoman Empire and the ones they did not convert were an obstacle and a threat to the newly formed Turkish state hence they had to be exterminated or expelled to make room for the homogenization of the Turkish State, otherwise they were terrorist and rebels against the Turkish state.
  7. The invasion of the Greek army in Macedonia and Asia Minor was not an act of liberation or protection of Greek lands and population which have lost their right for independence due to 400 years of survival as Ottoman citizens.
  8. Greeks during their liberation fighting and during the Balkan wars were committing atrocities that forced Muslim populations to evacuate huge areas that changed the ratios of national characteristics of many areas in Greek mainland Crete and many of the Aegean islands.
  9. Turks are proud they managed to introduce true freedom of religion and economic activity better than western nations even after French revolution. The proof of this is the financial progress of Greek populations in many areas in Asia Minor including Pontus.
  10. The Turks are excused for their behavior and atrocities as the reacted against aggression experienced during the Balkan wars and the invasion of the Greek army during 1919-1922
  11. Regarding the end of the 1922 war and the relevant agreements that led to the various treaties including Lausanne Treaty the Turkish position is that many f the islands which have not been included my name in the treaty remain the ownership of Turkey which inherited the Ottoman Empire including Cyprus which is not an independent state but a state under the three guarantor powers of Turkey Greece and UK.
  12. Finally there is a lot of resentment against Greeks considering Turks as barbarians.

This is more or less what I managed to understand from our discussions.

It will be a very long document to reply to each one statement although some of them have been discussed over our long period of exchanges of arguments, I will concentrate on some historical facts that will help both of us establish some common ground in appreciating the causes of this continuing animosity. I also hope it help you understand the 600 pages book you have recently acquired with information about Pontus.

 THE STORY OF GREEK PONTUS ON THE BLACK SEA

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The name Pontus, as a geographical area, in ancient times included the coastal areas of the North Asia Minor as seen on the map above..

Pontos, according to Herodotus, Xenophon and other ancient historiographers, is called the long and wide coastal country on the Black Sea, which includes the lands between River «Phase» near which is the present city of Batum of Georgia and Heraclea.

Many geographers and historians defined its western border from the estuary of the River Ali, near Sinopi, the first Greek colony in the Black Sea.

Inside, the area extends to a depth of 200 to 300 kilometers, bounded by the very nature that separated it from the rest of Asia Minor with the inaccessible mountain ranges of Scydis, Paridas and Antitiros.

The mountainous and barren territory of the Pontus has flourished from the rivers of Aly, Iris, Melanthio, Thermisdon, Xarsioti, Reaton, Pyxitis, Kalopotamos and many rivers, which are a blessing and a source of life for the country.

The presence of the Greeks in the Pontos region dates back to ancient times. The Greek seafarers, having conquered the coasts of the Aegean Sea from the Copper Age, with their improved ships, ventured to discover the inhospitable sea of Pontus with the remote and inaccessible beaches and mountain ranges.

Around 1,000 BC historians place the first commercial trips in this area to search mainly for gold and other minerals.

Two centuries later these temporary commercial stations are converted into permanent housing centers.

Miletus first launched the colonial policy in the Black Sea by setting up Sinope, in a very advantageous position due to its good harbor and smooth communication with the surrounding areas.

As it is known every time the Greek cities of Greece and Ionia were facing overpopulation problems, they sent the surplus of their demographic growth to this distant yet productive country,

Pontus during the Roman period

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MITHRIDATES KING OF PONTUS

During the Roman period, Christianity prevailed. Based on the new religion and without persecution, the inhabitants of Pontus were able to grow. The administration was more relaxed and the Hellenism of Pontus was great and the Greek language spread.

The Greeks continued for decades under the domination of the Romans, enjoying their freedom, independence and autonomy.

This cosmopolitan change had positively influenced the political climate of that era.

Without great changes, controlling only the government, the Romans adopted the effective complex scheme of the organization of the state and the power of the «Mithridates».

Thanks to this policy, Greek culture, Greek tradition and Greek philosophy were strengthened.

The absence of central Roman power enabled the Greeks to develop their diverse capabilities.

At Pliny, Trebizonde could freely regulate internal affairs and conduct trade . Its geographical location helped her to become the first port of Black Sea

Pontus during the Byzantine period

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In Byzantine times, administratively the empire was divided into sections named «themes».

Some Pontus theorists tried to make Pontus autonomous. The one who remained, in history, was Theodore Gavras.

On Aug. 26, 1071, Matzikert’s historic battle took place, changing the map of the area.

The Seljuks defeated the Byzantine army and settled permanently in the area.

Then nothing was the same.

From raiders Seljuks became permanent residents and settled, initially, in the area of ​​Bithynia.

They named Pontus Turum, which means, Romans, because all forces of the time had the dream of appearing as heirs of the Byzantine and Roman Empire.

Seljuks had tremendous power. Principe Turum gradually captured all of Asia Minor and Pontus. Thus, the gradual collapse of the structures of the Byzantine state and the Christian Orthodox Church were gradually destroyed.

The spread of Islam

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The spread of Islam and the disputes over more territories have led to terrible conflicts at all levels.

The goal of the Ottomans was to spread Islam, but also to conquer territories.

Particularly during the first period of the Ottoman administration, persecution against Christians was tougher.

Violent Islamism, cruelty and devastating measures were on the agenda.

The Christian Orthodox began not to enjoy the same privileges as Muslims. They could not build churches, wear fancy clothes, horsemen.

Typical is the case of Theodore Gavras. Theodoros Gavras was one of the most prestigious «theorists», that is to say, the region’s masters. He effectively protected the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire from the raids.

At some point in the chaos and power vacuum, he sought the independence of his region. His move failed but he managed to re-enter the structure of the Byzantine Empire. But he did not save the martyr’s end. He was murdered in a raid by Turkish ruler Amir Ali. As a trophy of victory and his power over the Christian master, the ruler turned his skull into a bowl, invested it with gold and said that he was drinking his wine.

Western Christians have responded to the religious struggle with Muslim leaders by organizing crusades.

However, the end of the fourth crusade had the opposite effects, which led to the enslavement of Pontian Hellenism and its long-term extermination.

Besides, the crusades, which were the West’s response to the expansion of Islam, led to the defeat and weakening of the Byzantine Empire in 1204 after the Crusades

The Crypt Christian populations in Pontus in Turkey.

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The story of Crypt Christians in the Black Sea started during 1650s, due to the fanaticism of certain «Derebais», when the Ottoman Empire was divided into Derembeilks, that is to say, in areas or themes. The heads of these areas, in many cases, have shown fanaticism, which was expressed by the oppression of Christians and their suppression to converse to Islam. The first islamization of the Greek populations of Pontos is recorded in the area of Ofeos, followed in the areas of Surmene, Argyroupoli, Tonia and others.

The crypto-Christians, appeared In public dressed as Muslims, participating in Islamic ceremonies as if they were genuine Muslims.

At the same time, however, they were meeting in places where secret priests did their functions and all the ceremonies of Orthodox Christian faith.

The Crypto-Christians avoided affairs with Muslims with various pretenses, so the marriages continued among themselves.

This lasted until February 1856.

At the time, under the pressure of the European forces, the Sultan signed “Hati-Humayoum” decree, with which every Ottoman citizen was free to change religion without endangering his life.

The first individual, who took advantage of this, to recapture Christianity, was the guardian of the Italian Consulate of Trebizond, Pechil Tekoglu in May 1856.

From 1856 to 1910, when this policy changed, with the pan-Muslim politics of the New Turks, all the Crypt-Christians of the Pontus were revealed and whole villages turned back to Christianity.

Pontus the 20th century

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In the 20th century Hellenism of Pontus finds a spectacular lead compared to the other ethnicities of the wider region in the economic and intellectual spheres.

In Samsun in 1896, out of 214 businesses, 156 are Greek.

In Trebizond from the 5 banks, 4 are also Greek.

In the last quarter of the 19th century, as Antony Bryer mentions, the smaller Greek village had its own school, where Greek children go to learn Greek history, starting with the lessons from the Argonauts campaign and the Myrties of Xenophon.

The Greek printing press set up in 1880 in Trebizond also contributed in its own way, through publishing of books, magazines, newspapers and brochures, to the inalienable right of every individual to compete and to claim his national identity and memory.

The Greek-centered orientation, under the leadership of the newly emerging midle class, is confirmed by concrete events that testify to its patriotic action, especially during the 1828-1829 Russo-Ottoman War, when eastern Greek Hellenism welcomed the Russian occupation army in Argyroupoli as a liberator.

The Greeks of Pontus are not absent from the Cretan uprising of 1866-1867.

There are also cases of patriotic behavior in the subsequent Greek-Ottoman wars, with the participation of many volunteers and the support of generous economic offers.

For example, the Greeks of Samsun offer in 1912 to the Greek Navy 12,000 pounds. We have some examples from Greeks and other cities.

This activity together with the bitter feeling that the Turks were feeling because of the losses of the First World War and the Balkan wars reacted aggressively

The policy of the New-Turkish governments aimed at exterminating the Greeks with the economic, educational, military and religious measures they receive for Christian nations in the first phase, and the genocidal measures in the second, mainly led the Pontians of the Diaspora to the great decision to fight to create an autonomous Pontian republic.

The delivery of Trebizond by Vali Mehmet Tzemal Azmi Bey to Bishop Xrisanthos with the historical words «from Greeks we take Trebizond to the Greeks and give it back …» a few days before the Russian occupation of the city, April 1916, and the wise policy of the Bishop towards the Muslims in the region who feared similar reprisals for the crimes they committed, persuaded the Russians and the consular representatives of the other states that Bishop Xrisanthos had all the leadership qualities to bring back peace in the sensitive area where the blood of innocent Armenians and Greeks was still fresh.

His two-year presidency was a true interval of democracy and harmonious coexistence of Christians and Muslims.

But the situation changed when the Bolsheviks prevailed in Russia.

The Russian army left the city of Trebizond and the area returned to New Turks in February 1918.

At these difficult times, thousands of Greeks of the Eastern Pontus and Kars, in order to escape from the Turks, took the road to escaping towards the civilized Russia.

The stories of the relatives of uprooted Greeks and the refugee issue in general, made the Greeks of Russia sensitive, who, already, since the A’ ‘Panhellenic Conference of the Greeks of Russia in July 1917, took the historic decision, with the most important election of the Central Council for the creation of an independent Pontian State with  temporary headquarters in the town of Postib.

For the first time, Pontians of Diaspora   were organized in all major cities of Greece – Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Volos – and abroad.

During the years from 1918 till 1921 The Pontians tried to convince the world including Russia and Greece to help them gain independence by creating an Independent Hellenic state.

They were betrayed by all.

The political event that served as the tombstone of the pontian issue was the Kemal-Bolshevik Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation signed on May 1916.

The weak Kemal Pasha strengthened by Lenin economically, militarily and morally, continued his audience with his audacity. At the same time he appeared at the London Conference with many unreasonable demands, which were not rejected by the winning, allied, Forces.

Instead, they each showed that they were willing to cooperate with Turkey in return for maintaining the old privileged status.

The behavior of the English submarine chief Perrin, who demanded that the Bishop of Amasia Germanos Karavangelis leave his metropolis as a troublemaker because «… devotes all his activity to political purposes and propaganda …», this reveals the hypocritical English policy.

At the same time, the Italian-Kemalic and the Franco-Kemalic agreements sealed the verdict.

THE INVOLVEMENT OF GERMANY AGAINST CHRISTIAN MINORITIES IN TURKEY AFTER THEIR DEFEAT DURING THE FIRST WORD

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After her defeat in the First Balkan War (1912-1913), the Ottoman Empire lost all European lands west of the Ainou-Medeas line in Thrace.

In July 1913, however, the Turks recaptured all the Eastern Thrace, from the Bulgarians, up to Adrianople and Didimoticho.

Just at this time, Turkey was even more closely associated with the policy of the German Empire.

– The Germans, in order to secure the Turks’ involvement anticipating a future conflict – which did not take long to happen – promised the return of the lost Balkan provinces to Turks.

The young Turks again, on the pretext of Turkish defeat in the Balkan Wars and the massive voluntary exodus of Muslim refugees from the Balkan lands, tried, in every way, to implement their nationalist plans, at the expense of the ethnicities that had remained in their already impoverished Empire.

The slogan «Turkey for the Turks» found very strong support from Germany.

The Greeks were the first victims and Armenians the most tragic victims of this policy and of Turkish nationalism.

From 1913 to 1924, with the guilty tolerance of the European states and  US, about 2,500,000 Greeks and Armenians were exterminated, and another 2,000,000 were expelled from their ancestral homes to make Turkey a unified pure Turkish national state.

During1913-1914 Germany was preparing for its final confrontation with the Entente Powers.

The German policy in the Ottoman Empire had triumphed.

The Germans, in the framework of the ‘Drang nach Osten’, had infiltrated so much in Turkey that they had transformed the country into their protectorate.

The young Turks had almost given totally the administration to the Germans, and the Sultan had succumbed to the political will of Kaizer Gulirlm, who, through that by using the German ambassador to Constantinople, Vangenheim, could promote Turkey’s full submission to serve the political, economic and military aspirations of Germany in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Thus the Ottoman Empire had become a prey to German politics and captive of the worldly views of Pangermanism.

The Persecution and the Genocide of Christians during 1913-1918

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In December 1913, a German high-level mission headed by Liman von Janders arrived in the city  aiming at reorganizing the Turkish army.

The ultimate goal was, in fact, the complete military control of the Ottoman Empire, in view of the Great War, which would not be delayed. It was not the first time that German military experts were called from the «High Gate».

Previously, the Germans were organizers and advisors to the Turkish army. But in January 1914 the following paradox was happening:  The chief of the Turkish army staff was General Zelendorf, general inspector of the army was Liman von Janders, and twenty other  senior German officials held key positions in the army!

These military officers, by inspecting several strategic parts of the Ottoman Empire in Eastern Thrace, Propontida and Western Asia Minor, noted the existence of hundreds of thousands of Greeks who possessed impressive economic and spiritual superiority over  Muslims.

Liman von Zanders suggested the expulsion of the Greeks from the areas of the 2nd and 3rd Army Corps of Turkey (Thrace, Bithynia, Mysia, Troad, Ionia), because the existence of so many Greeks in these provinces was a serious disadvantage in case of war.

Later on, during the war, German Admiral Ouzentem stated unequivocally that «the Germans have indicated to the Turks the expulsion of the Greeks for strategic reasons.»

Generally, the Germans considered the Greeks and the Armenians of Turkey as a serious obstacle to their aspirations and a barrier to the policy of ‘Drang nach Osten’ policies. That is why they strongly suggested the expulsion of the solid Greek and Armenian populations from their homes.

Ambassador Vangenheim, who was terribly dissatisfied with the Greeks, and von Zanders Pasha, urged the Young Turks to displace Christians because they believed they were  supporters of the English policy in the region, advancing the interests of the Entente Agreement and hence enemies of Germany and  the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

From their point of view, again, in the middle of 1913, the Young Turks sought, in every way, the Ottoman Empire’s independance from the economic influence of the Christian populations.

They were also seeking the recupture of the Aegean islands from Greece and Thrace from Bulgaria.

They planed the full Turktification of the western and northern coasts of Asia Minor, as well as the Armenian villaets of  East.

To ensure the integrity and unification of the Turkish state, the Young Turks had to adopt  tactics, with no sentiment or sensitivity, towards their heterodox or different racial fellow citizens.

Medieval ideas about slaves and masters were put into effect.

Islamic perceptions of the widespread opening of paradise to the «believers» to kill Christians reappeared after centuries.

A basic argument of the Young Turks was the pretention that the other ethnicities, Greeks, Armenians, Syroaldians, Bulgarians, even  Arabs, always conspire against the state with a view to its dissolution.-The desire and outburst for Tuttification of the country was paid dearly by the Christians.

The Greeks were collectively accused as unbelievers in the government and as spies who were working secretly to realize the Greek ‘Great Idea’.

The Armenians, the biggest population among the Christian Ottoman citizens, were considered suspects of conspiracy, rebellion, and subversive actions.

With such arguments, the Young Turks tried to get rid of multi-ethnic nations who had been subjects of their empire for five or six centuries.- Eventually something unprecedented happened.

The state itself organized and directed looting, displacements, persecution, grabbing, rape, extortion, embezzlement, murder, massacre and genocide of millions of its citizens. This was the only way to succeed the main motto of the Young Turks «Turkey to the Turks».

The Turkish peoplebecame  fanatical to  extreme.

The young Turks attributed the defeats and losses of the Balkan territories, the poverty and misery of the rural masses, the misery of the Muslims to the Greeks and the Armenians.

Thousands of Muslims, Muhammadi (or Macedonians, ie refugees) from the European lands occupied by the Balkan allies, resorted to East Thrace and Western Asia Minor.

Immortalized as they were, they became subterfuge of the Young Turks and broke out on the Greek populations, committing all kinds of violence, grabbing and looting.

At the same time, the fanaticism of the local Muslims, who regarded their non Muslim neighbors as the culprits of the suffering suffered  in the Balkans, flickered.-

The persecution began in Eastern Thrace  late 1913.

Since January 14, the Greek government was warned by its ambassador  Dimitrios Panas of the intentions of the Turks to  expel the Greeks from the Asia Minor coasts.

By pursuing a stumbling policy, on April 6, 1914, the Turks suggested to Venizelos the exchange of the Greeks of the Villaet of Aydin ( Smyrna) with the Muslims of Macedonia. Venizelos initially accepted voluntary rather than forced immigration, but the New Turks had already launched systematic persecutions.

At that time Venizelos denounced threats from the parliamentary stage and threatened Turkey with war, because, during these negotiations, Turks had already started persecutions against Greeks

The climate, due to persecutions, was so bad that in June the diplomatic relations between the two countries were almost interrupted.

As early as May 14, the Turkish government had sent all commanders, even to the mercenaries of the villages, orders to prepare the persecution of the Greeks in the rural regions of Thrace and Western Asia Minor.

In a telegram from Interior Minister Talat to the Smyrna administrator Rachmie Bey explicitly states that «the Greek Ottomans … work day and night to realize the Great Idea. Therefore, the … existence of the Greek-Ethnologists is a nasty disgrace for the state … To give our Muslim brothers a verbal instruction, to use all kind of deeds, to force Greeks out willingly or not … «Two days later, Talat sent a new order to Rachmis to displace the Greeks of the Villaet of Smyrna in Theodosioupolis (Erzurum) of Ottoman Armenia.

Fortunately, in the course of things, this order changed and it was considered more expedient to expel the Greeks from Ionia.

CONCLUSIONS

The conflict between Greece and Turkey is continuing even after 100 years from the establishment of the modern Turkish state.

This conflict reflects the greater picture of relationships between Turkey and West.

I don’t object that many of the conflicts had to do with financial interest, mainly for the control of energy resources. But there is also a second reason that has to do with the spread of western democratic culture against a Theocratic or oligarchic political culture.

There is no comparison between these two cultures, we cannot compare Sadam Hussein of Iraq, a real dictator or even Kaddafi of Libya with western democracies, so there is no comparison between these two cultures. This is part of the problem that cannot be overlooked in many cases.

Turkey has very good trade relationships with West. The real distance that Turkey is taking from West and specifically from EU has more to do with human rights and International low, that Turkey does not want to comply with,  than any other reason.

It will take years till Turkey could become a real member of EU and coexist with West in general, in spite it’s membership to NATO, which is coincidental, and in spite it’s industrial development which has been achived due to its relationshio with West and the low cost production.

Greece cannot be compared with Turkey in terms of industrial development and defence expenditure  due to huge population difference. Turkey has critical mass while Greece can only specialise in certain vertical sectors such as high quality tourism and services .

Till the time Turkey will approach West,  Turkey will always be an unstable, unreliable, dangerous neighbor or partner for Greece Cyprus EU and USA.

This may be the opposite than what Turkey aims for, which means further distance from West, which will mean very difficult times for the world in general. Many analysts believe that the real conflict will  evolve to a conlict between USA and China.

Cyprus is an ideal opportunity to proove that such coexistance is possible even under such negative circomstances.

 

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Οι τελευταίες ομιλίες των Ελλήνων πολιτικών σχετικά με τις Ευρωεκλογές 2019 σε συνδυασμό με τις Τουρκικές προκλήσεις- εισβολές στο Αιγαίο και την Ελληνική και Κυπριακή ΑΟΖ μου προξενούν μεγάλη απογοήτευση.
Βλέπω να ξαναγεννιέται μπροστά μου το αιώνιο πρόβλημα του Ελληνισμού, ο διχασμός.
Μόνο που αυτή την φορά η ζημιά μπορεί να αποδειχθεί θανάσιμη.
Οι παγκόσμιες συνθήκες που επηρεάζουν ακόμα και την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, πάνω στην οποία βασίστηκε ολόκληρη η πολιτική της Ελλάδας, η σύγκρουση των συμφερόντων της Τουρκίας με τις ΗΠΑ, το BREXIT σε συνδυασμό με την δραματική οικονομική κατάσταση της Ελλάδας μετατρέπουν την χώρα σε αδύναμο κρίκο στο μέσο μίας διαμάχης που εύκολα μπορεί να την καταντήσει θύμα μέσα στα μεταβαλλόμενα συμφέροντα μεγαλύτερων συνασπισμών κρατών και των ευρυτέρων διεθνών επιπτώσεων του εμπορικού πολέμου ΗΠΑ-ΚΙΝΑΣ, του προσφυγικού που έγινε όπλο εκβιασμού του δυτικού κόσμου αλλά και της μετανάστευσης μεγάλου όγκου πληθυσμών λόγω επιδείνωσης κλιματικών και οικονομικών συνθηκών στην Αφρική και άλλων περιοχών της υδρογείου.
Στο εσωτερικό βλέπω τις πολιτικές διαμάχες πολύ σοβαρότερες από τις διαμάχες παλαιότερων πολιτικών όπως πχ του Τρικούπη με τον Δεληγιάννη, σοβαρότερες ακόμα και από τον εμφύλιο, η ακόμα και μετά την μεταπολίτευση, των συγκρούσεων Καραμανλή Α. Παπανδρέου η Γ Παπανδρέου και Κ Μητσοτάκη κλπ.
Η κρίση που έφερε την ουσιαστική πτώχευση της Ελλάδας της αφαίρεσε την πολυτέλεια να ενδώσει σε μία ακόμη ανταλλαγή λαϊκισμών από οπουδήποτε και αν προέρχονται.
Ο λαϊκισμός έχει την ιδιαιτερότητα να προσελκύει μάζες απλοϊκών ανθρώπων που αποτελούν και τα ευάλωτα θύματα και την πλειονότητα των λαϊκών πληθυσμών που ταυτόχρονα είναι και η βάση της δημοκρατίας.
Γι’ αυτό ακούμε τόσο συχνά εκφράσεις και συνθήματα όπως ‘ Δημοκρατία των πολλών’ Εξυπηρέτηση των πολλών, ‘ανάπτυξη επιτυγχάνεται με την ανταπόδοση από την βελτίωση του βιοτικού επιπέδου των πολλών. Κλπ
Γιατί ποιος θα μπορούσε να αντιταχθεί στο συμφέρον των πολλών;

Όμως το πρόβλημα είναι πιο σύνθετο γιατί η διανομή πλούτου είναι το εύκολο μέρος της εξίσωσης. Το δυσκολότερο μέρος είναι πρώτα η παραγωγή, τα μέσα παραγωγής και μάλιστα μέσα σε μία αυξανόμενα ανταγωνιστική κοινωνία.
Δυστυχώς ο προβληματισμός στο σημείο αυτό μένει σε θεωρητικό επίπεδο, έτσι που δεν αντιμετωπίζονται οι συνέπειες από την καθυστέρηση στην ανάπτυξη, που με κάθε τρόπο υποβαθμίζονται η έντεχνα αποκρύπτονται .

O λαϊκισμός αποκρύπτει,

Πως φορτώνεται ο λογαριασμός στις επόμενες κυβερνήσεις ή ακόμα στις επόμενες γενιές,

Γιατί δεν γίνονται δημόσιες επενδύσεις προκειμένου να ικανοποιηθούν προεκλογικές σκοπιμότητες,

Γιατί οι επενδύσεις από το εξωτερικό αναστέλλονται ή καθυστερούν,

Γιατί δεν υλοποιούνται φορολογικές μειώσεις σε επιχειρήσεις εξαγωγικού εμπορίου,

Γιατί δεν εφαρμόζονται αξιολογήσεις προσωπικού στο δημόσιο τομέα,

Γιατί δεν επιτρέπουν την δημιουργία ιδιωτικών πανεπιστημίων,

Τι σημαίνει και γιατί επιβλήθηκαν  capital controls,

Ποια η ζημία που προκαλείται από την μετανάστευση των νέων

Ποια η συμμέτοχή στην ευθηνή της διοίκησης ενός κράτους της αντιπολίτευσης και των συνδικάτων.

Γιατί οι Ελληνικές τράπεζες εξαγοράστηκαν

Πως δημιουργήθηκαν οι προβληματικές επιχειρήσεις τις προηγούμενες δεκαετίες

Τι πρόβλημα υπάρχει με την αριστεία όταν το μέλλον εξαρτάται από τις νεοφυείς επιχειρήσεις.

Γιατί πτωχεύει η ΔΕΗ.

Τι σημαίνει για την οικονομία η πολιτική αστάθεια.
Η ανεπαρκής οικονομική ανάπτυξη έχει διαφορετικές επιπτώσεις σε διαφορετικά κράτη ή κοινωνίες.
Δυστυχώς για την Ελλάδα η ανεπαρκής ανάπτυξη έχει πλέον φτάσει σε σημείο να αποκαλύπτεται ο πραγματικός κίνδυνος σταδιακού αφανισμού του Ελληνισμού που μέχρι πρόσφατα δεν γινόταν αντιληπτός.
Ο Σεφέρης είχε αναφερθεί σχετικά με τον αφανισμό του Ελληνισμού από την Μικρά Ασία ότι ο θάνατος ή εξοστρακισμός ενός πληθυσμού δεν αφορά τον αφανισμό του συγκεκριμένου πληθυσμού αλλά και τον πληθυσμό και τις γενιές που θα ακολουθούσαν στα μελλοντικά έτη
Αυτή η φράση κάνει κάθε σκεπτόμενο άνθρωπο να αναλογιστεί τις συνέπειες λόγω και άλλων τύπων αστοχιών από τις επιπτώσεις της έλλειψης οικονομικής ανάπτυξης.
Με αυτή τη βάση καταλαβαίνουμε γιατί ο Τούρκος Πρόεδρος, πρόσφατα προέτρεψε τον λαό του να αυξάνει τις γεννήσεις. Προφανώς για να αντιμετωπίσει την αύξηση των γεννήσεων του Κουρδικού λαού. Το πρόβλημα των άλλων εθνοτήτων το έλυσαν με μία τρομακτική εθνοκάθαρση.
Ο Τούρκος Πρόεδρος ακολουθεί την πάγια στρατηγική της χώρας του που βασίζεται στην πληθυσμιακή υπρτοχή που ανεξάρτητα από την οικονομική ανάπτυξη ή το βιοτικό επίπεδο καταφέρνει να επιβιώνει διατηρώντας την πληθυσμιακή της αύξησης με οποιεσδήποτε συνέπειες.
Σε αντιδιαστολή, στην Ελλάδα η πτώση του βιοτικού επίπεδου είναι τέτοια που επηρεάζει άμεσα την υπογεννητικότητα, στοιχείο που υπονομεύει ουσιαστικά το μέλλον και την επιβίωση του Ελληνισμού.
Επιπλέον η ανεμική ανάπτυξη προξενεί πρόσθετη αφαίμαξη της Ελλάδας λόγω της μετανάστευση εκατοντάδων χιλιάδων νέων που και πάλι μας θυμίζει τα λόγια του Σεφέρη…

Από το 1980 και μετά  η ελληνική γονιμότητα κατέρρευσε φτάνοντας στο 2011 όταν οι
γεννήσεις ήταν λιγότερες από τους θανάτους (αρνητικό ισοζύγιο γεννήσεων και θανάτων) ,για πρώτη φορά από το 1944.
Επομένως η σημερινής πτωχευμένη Ελλάδα δεν μπορεί να κάνει αποδεκτό τον λαϊκισμό καμίας πολιτικής παράταξης που είτε για ιδεολογικούς λόγους η λόγους τακτισμού υιοθετεί στρατηγικές που αναπόφευκτα οδηγούν την χώρα σε αφανισμό.

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Δεν μπορεί παρά να πιστέψει κανείς ότι η ανθρώπινη μνήμη είναι πολύ κοντή όταν αναλογιστεί  τα  σημερινά γεγονότα, με τις συγκρούσεις, τους εμπορικούς και συμβατικούς πολέμους  και τις επιπτώσεις που βιώνουν οι σημερινές γενιές σε σχέση με τις προηγούμενες.

Είναι εμφανές ότι οι μνήμες και οι εμπειρίες της κάθε γενιάς δύσκολα μεταλαμπαδεύονται στις επόμενες, με αποτέλεσμα η κάθε γενιά να περνά, υποχρεωτικά, από την οδυνηρή διαδικασία της ωρίμανσης μέσα από τα δικά της λάθη και εμπειρίες.

Τα λέω αυτά παρατηρώντας τα σύννεφα των πολέμων και των συγκρούσεων κάθε μορφής που βρισκονται μπροστά μας.

Η ιστορία κάτι διδάσκει, αλλά δυστυχώς τίποτα δεν  αντικαθιστά τις βιωματικές εμπειρίες.

Τις μόνες διαφορές, στην σημερινή πραγματικότητα, αποτελούν η ταχύτητα στην εξέλιξη  των γεγονότων, και τα μεγέθη των κινδύνων αλλά και των επιπτώσεων που δημιουργούνται.

Τα προβλήματα υπήρχαν και παλαιότερα αλλά σε μικρογραφία  και επαναλαμβάνονται,  για λόγους, επιβολής εξουσίας, οικονομικούς, ιδεολογικούς, θρησκευτικούς, γεωπολιτικούς., μόνο που σήμερα στις επιπτώσεις έχουν προστεθεί και άλλοι παράμετροι όπως, οι κλιματολογικές συνθήκες, πληθυσμιακές διακυμάνσεις, περιβαλλοντολογικές καταστροφές, που έχουν ακόμα μεγαλύτερες ανθρωπιστικές επιπτώσεις σε νεκρούς και μεταναστευτικά και προσφυγικά κύματα.

Εμείς σαν Έλληνες  βιώσαμε πολλές από τις επιπτώσεις αυτές λόγω γεωπολιτικών, Ιστορικών, οικονομικών και ιδεολογικών παραγόντων.

Στην πράξη η μία γενιά θυσιαζόταν για την επόμενη, κυρίως με βάση τις οικογενειακές και πολιτισμικές παραδώσεις.

Η θυσία έπαιρνε την μορφή μετανάστευσης, κυρίως των ανδρών αλλά και γυναικών, εργατών και ναυτικών σε κοινωνίες που μπορούσαν να προσφέρουν συνθήκες επιβίωσης.

Αυτός ήταν ένας από τους λόγους που συνέβαλε στην επιβίωση. Όμως υπήρξαν και άλλοι λόγοι που συνέτειναν, όπως, η μορφολογία του εδάφους και η τοποθεσία, δημιουργούσαν δύσκολες συνθήκες επιβίωσης που πέρα από το προσφυγικό, λόγω των Ελληνο Τουρκικών,  από τον 19 αιώνα, έσπρωξαν  τους Έλληνες στο ελεύθερο εμπόριο και την ναυτιλία  .

Τι βλέπουμε όμως σήμερα;

Νέες συνθήκες  υποχρεώνουν ξανά  νέους παραγωγικούς Έλληνες να μεταναστεύουν ενώ ταυτόχρονα, άλλοι πρόσφυγες και οικονομικοί μετανάστες κατακλύζουν την Ευρώπη και την Ελλάδα λόγω πολεμικών συγκρούσεων αλλά και κλιματολογικών συνθηκών.

Αυτοί οι πρόσφυγες που μοιάζουν πολύ στους Έλληνες  του 19ου και 20ου αιώνα βλέπουμε να  διακινδυνεύοντας ακόμα και την ζωή τους, για τι αντάλλαγμα; Για ένα διαβατήριο! Ελληνικό η Ευρωπαϊκό η Αμερικανικό.

Η Ιστορία επαναλαμβάνεται, η σημερινή γενιά θυσιάζεται για την επόμενη για ένα διαβατήριο που θα επιτρέψει την επιβίωση των παιδιών της. Πόσο ευγνώμονες πρέπει να είναι η δική μας γενιά για τις θυσίες των προηγουμένων, γονιών και Παππούδων;

Ένα διαβατήριο για την επιβίωση και βελτίωση των συνθηκών ζωής της επόμενης γενιάς.

Εμείς οι Έλληνες είμαστε ακριβώς στη θέση να εκτιμήσουμε τον πόνο και τις θυσίες αυτών των γενεών.

Ευγνώμονες για αυτούς που θυσιάστηκαν αλλά και σε θέση να επαναλάβουμε το ίδιο.

Την ίδια ευγνωμοσύνη αισθάνομαι ότι οφείλω σε αυτή την γενιά των σημερινών παραγωγικών  Ελλήνων,  νέων,  που τόλμησαν είτε από ανάγκη η επιλογή να προτάξουν το όφελος και την επιβίωση της επόμενης γενιάς.

Στην πραγματικότητα γίνονται ένας βατήρας,  πλατφόρμα για το άλμα που είναι σήμερα απαραίτητο για την επιβίωση αυτού του παραπαίω ντος έθνους.

timesforchange

Σύλληψη, Επεξεργασία Πληροφοριών, Διασύνδεση.

Η εφαρμογή Στρατηγικής Διαχείρισης Εταιρικης Πληροφοριας  (Enterprise Content Management)  είναι η πλέον πρόσφατη εξέλιξη στην εφαρμοσμένη  πληροφορική των επιχειρήσεων που επιβλήθηκε σαν   χιονοστιβάδα ακολουθώντας και συμπληρώνοντας στην έκρηξη των εγκαταστάσεων  ERP που έγινε πριν από μερικά χρόνια στη διεθνή αγορά.

Η εφαρμογή μιας λύσης ECM σε οποιοδήποτε τομέα, είναι βέβαιο ότι θα αποφέρει σημαντικά και άμεσα οφέλη στους περισσότερους οργανισμούς και επιχειρήσεις.

Η διοικήσεις των επιχειρήσεων  έχουν αρχίσει να  συνειδητοποιηθούν αρκετά από τα οφέλη και τα πλεονεκτήματά της στρατηγικής αυτής.

Παρά την θετική εξέλιξη αυτή προκύπτουν ορισμένα  προβλήματα, κυρίως  όταν επιβάλλονται διαφορετικές προτεραιότητες για διάφορους λόγους, είτε από συνθήκες αγοράς, είτε από αλλαγές στην τεχνολογία καθώς και από εσωτερικές ανάγκες της κάθε εταιρείας.

Για τον λόγο αυτό η διοίκηση πρέπει να κατανοήσει πλήρως και στην λεπτομέρεια την χρήση της τεχνολογίας ECM, προκειμένου να αποφασίζει πώς και από ποιους τομείς μπορεί να ωφεληθεί περισσότερο. Θα…

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