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

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

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

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

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

An exchange of posts follows: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Origin Of Turks | Nick Kouzos

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Cyprus zone.png

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

Nick Kouzos inserted the photo:

Massive graves of missing Greek Cypriots descovered in Cyprus

Μαζικοι τάφοι αγνοουμενων.jpg

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


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

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

Islam and Human rights.jpg

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


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


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

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

Long Island City, NY 11106


Dear Sir,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Stephen G. Miller

Professor Emeritus, University of California,


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

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

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

Dora Bakoyiannis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece

Antonis Samaras, Minister of Culture of Greece

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement

Erik Meijer, Member, European Parliament

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

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

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

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

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

I am amazed with what I listen to.

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

I am not afraid :…/

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

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

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