Archives for category: Πολιτικές Σκέψεις

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The problem with Turkey is the fact that insist to pursue destructive and not constructive policies.

Turkey is not trying to cooperate with its neighbors but to force every nation to accept  Turkey’s  ambitions to  play the role of a regional and global superpower.

Turkey is trying to exploit all strengths and weaknesses of players in the international and local power game irrespective of any issue, that bears  no respect to any right of other members.

The most obvious aggressive policy, is demonstrated with Turkey’s position against the rights of the Greek islands to have their own EEZ.

We all understand why Turkey has not signed conformance to international law of the sea, but this does not mean that a country consisting of a major part from a group of islands looses all is rights to have their own  EEZ.

This attitude will not help Turkey to play the role of even a regional power not to mention the role of a global super power.

It is also obvious that Turkey wants to capitalize on the weaknesses of a country in the middle of a civil war, as in the case  of Libya. They claim they support  a crippling government, which is recognized by UN while at the same, it totally discards UN resolutions against Turkey as well as the government of Cyprus.

Turkey is taking advantage of the Russian interest to maintain a monopoly in being the main energy supplier.

At the same time Turkey is trying   to protect its interest to provide the only alternative  to forward   gas and oil supplies from Middle East.

Finally, Turkey is also capitalizing on the fear of EU to accommodate millions of Muslims refugees from Syria, Africa and Afghanistan,  who may include a number of Islamic Terrorist.

Nobody is claiming that Turkey should not participate, in many ways, to share the profits of East Med project on the basis of International law regarding EEZ even if the profits may take into account Turkey’s position as a large mainland country that would abandon some of  its own alternatives, in preference of joint cooperation with the rest of Mediterranean  neighbors.

East Med project would have  brought closer Turkey to EU, USA, NATO , Italy, Israel and the rest of its Mediterranean countries.

 

 

 

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Όπως για πολλά χρόνια η Ελληνική πολιτική εικόνα μέσα ατο 2019 εξακολουθεί να είναι αντιφατική και να προκαλεί σοβαρό σκεπτικισμό.
Ένας πραγματικά ουδέτερος παρατηρητής προβληματίζεται.
Ο τρόπος που ερμηνεύει η κάθε πολιτική παράταξη τα γεγονότα είναι αντιφατικά τόσο που είναι αδύνατο ο απλός πολίτης να βγάλει κάποιο συμπέρασμα.
Ο εορτασμός του Πολυτεχνείου στις 17 Νοεμβρίου έχει μετατραπεί από μια εορτή ηρωισμού της Ελληνικής νεολαίας κατά της φασιστικής δεξιάς σε εκδήλωση μίας αναρχικής μειονότητας η οποία ενισχύεται από πολλαπλές ομάδες διαφόρων πολιτικών αποχρώσεων που περιλαμβάνουν αντιφρονούντες αντιστασιακούς, ακροαριστερούς άτομα της εξωκοινοβουλευτικούς αριστεράς, τραμπούκους κλπ΄
Το λυπηρό είναι ότι αρκετά κόμματα της κοινοβουλευτικής Δημοκρατίας για λόγους κάποιας περίεργης σκοπιμότητας στηρίζουν τις ομάδες αυτές.
Σαν αποτέλεσμα δημιουργούνται παράπλευρες επιπτώσεις όπως κατηγορίες των πολιτικών αντιπάλων ότι επιβάλουν αστυνομοκρατία σε κάθε προσπάθεια καταστολής σε άνομες πρακτικές.
Σε ένα τέτοιο περιβάλλον είναι πολύ δύσκολο για τον απλό πολίτη να βγάλει ξεκάθαρα συμπεράσματα.
Αναρωτιέμαι ποια θα πρέπει να είναι τα όρια της νομιμότητας ΄΄ώστε να μην αμφισβητείται η κάθε προσπάθεια της αστυνομίας και να μην θεωρείται υπέρβαση εξουσίας.
Πως είναι δυνατόν να λειτουργήσει αποτελεσματικά η αστυνομία αν στο επίπεδο της πολιτικής αντιδικίας υπάρχει διαφωνία;
Είναι ή δεν είναι απόφαση της συγκλήτου ενός Πανεπιστημίου να κλείσει προληπτικά συγκεκριμένες μέρες το πανεπιστήμιο όταν υπάρχουν ενδείξεις για επερχόμενες παράνομες πράξεις;
Εάν αμφισβητεί η αντιπολίτευση την δικαιοδοσία της συγκλήτου στο δικαίωμα αυτό πως είναι δυνατόν να επιβληθεί η έννομη τάξη στους παραβάτες;
Και αν αμφισβητείται το δικαίωμα της πλειοψηφίας από την μειοψηφία , να ψηφίζει νόμους πως θα λειτουργήσει η δημοκρατία;
Έτσι παρέχεται στήριξη και δικαιολογία σε κάθε είδους παραβατικές ομάδες να επιλέγουν πότε θα εκτελούν παρανομίες και πότε όχι.
Αυτό δεν είναι δημοκρατία.

ΝΚ

FROM CANDIA TO CRETAN ‘BOW’ TO OTTOMAN TURKS AND UNION WITH GREECE

(OR CRETE THROUGH THE AGES.)

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El Greco, Dominikos Theotokopoulos  a famous Cretan painter

A historical overview of the centuries covering the description of characteristics  of Cretans and their efforts to retain their identity, after being attacked and occupied by Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Venetians, Egyptians and Ottomans. At the same time it is worth noting the Cretans ability to absorb and exchange cultures with all invaders including exiles who found refuge in the island, like exiles from Andalusia or even Greek refugees from Asia Minor after the defeat of the Greek army during 1922.  Finally a bird’s eye view is given to the complex situation that led to the existence of Turkish Cretans who many of them still speak the Cretan dialect, as well as the causes that created the Crypto-Christians.

The following report contains enough details that can be used as a source of reference to support credible conclusions. I would ask to be excused for making this article too long but it was necessary to include extensive chronological details to support events that took place over extensive periods which had special importance for historical developments for Crete, Greece and Turkey.  

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Arabs arrive in Crete exiles from Andalousia to join Sarakynes already occupying Hadakas

The recent Turkey’s attempts to question the sovereignty of Cyprus and its rights to its own EEZ as well as it’s attempts to extend Turkey’s EEZ in Aegean Sea violating Dodecanese’s EEZ even Crete’s EEZ, motivated me to recollect in this article historical events for the benefit of every person who is interested to learn about Cretan history through the ages including medieval period.

This may also be of interest to Turkish people with origin from Crete, after all, these are their roots as well.

I have heard many Turks of Cretan origin stating:

“Turkey shouldn’t allow the same thing to happen in Cyprus, and become a Greek island like what happened in Crete ”.

The history of Cyprus resembles very much to the history of Crete exempt for the origin of Turkish minority of Cyprus and the cultural difference developed during renascence.

To properly understand the history of Crete and its current position as a purely Greek island one needs to go through from the Roman and Byzantine time, and three periods of foreign occupations the Arab, the Venetian and the Ottoman.

The name Crete comes from the Mythical “Kourites” the first inhabitants of Crete according to Greek Mythology.

Crete during the Roman period

Crete as a part of the Roman Empire managed to retain some independence but became part of the Eastern Empire, during 396 AD, due to its geographical position, yet, remained under Pop’s jurisdiction for a longer period.

With the exception of an attack by the “Vandals” in 457 AD the island remained peaceful and prosperous for centuries.

The population at this time is estimated at 250,000

The “Vandals” were an East Germanic tribal group that moved throughout Europe establishing kingdoms in Spain and later in North Africa during the 5th century.AD

Before that during the 2nd century BC the Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the Oder and Vistula rivers around 330 AD. They were confined by the Goths to Pannonia, where they were licensed to settle by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great.

Around 400 AD the Vandals were driven west again, this time by the Huns, crossing the Rhine towards Galatia, In 439 AD after many struggles, they conquered “Carthage” and made it their capital.

They built a fleet and began pirate raids that reached as far as Greece, where they tried to invade Peloponnese, but were defeated by the Greeks.

The “Vandals”, in 455, came to Italy with a powerful pirate fleet and occupied Rome. Their troops plundered the city for two weeks and brutally destroyed all works of art: buildings, statues, artifacts, etc. This act remained in history under the name of «vandalism».

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Many Vandals embraced “Arianism”. Eventually they were defeated by the Byzantines.

The remains of the “Vandals” were mixed with other tribes of North Africa (Berbers, etc.) and gradually disappeared.

Many of the captives were incorporated into the imperial army and assimilated into the multinational Byzantine Empire

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The relationship between Crete and Byzantium.

The relations between Crete and the Byzantines were not always smooth, the problems were generated due to Saracens who occupied part of Crete and the religious conflicts within Christianity at the time.

It is most important to appreciate the effect that the internal conflicts, within the Christian world had on Crete, at the time.

To make Christianity more easily accepted in the Greek and Italian peninsulas, hagiography and sculpture were originally developed as part of Christian worship, as the peoples of these areas had pagan origins and the form of ancient religions included worshiping of cults and sculptures in their temples.

This approach caused animosity from Byzantine Emperors coming from regions of the East where purely Jewish religions with the anti-icon typical prevailed. Such Emperors thought of worship of Western images as a remnant of ancient religions that had to be eliminated.

Byzantines, eventually, failed to impose “iconoclasm” on the Italian peninsula, hence Constantinople-Rome relations deteriorated.

After the issue of an “iconoclastic” decree, which made iconoclastic teaching an official doctrine of the state and the Church, rupture was inevitable. The Pope urged the faithful to revolt against the Byzantine authority

The Cretans who were mostly influenced by the Pope, revolted against Constantinople.  With the help of other Greeks, from other areas, ranged an attack against Constantinople using a fleet from Crete and the Cycladic islands. The fleet was, eventually, completely destroyed by “liquid fire” off Constantinople.

Religious disagreement was followed by political alienation. The first political consequences of the iconoclasm were the widening of the gap between Constantinople and Rome and the weakening of the eastern Roman state’s position on the Italian peninsula. This had a serious effect in the coming years during the renascence.

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Nikiforos Focas Byzantine Emperor that Liberated Handakas from Sarakynes

Foreign Occupations of Crete

Crete, situated at the crossroads of three continents, has a history of 3000 years and has experienced three main periods of foreign occupation in medieval and later times.

 

  1. The Arab occupation

The Arab occupation, from 827 to 961, left almost nothing in the way of material remains and little or no evidence of cultural interchange.

The Arabs fortified the main town with a deep defensive ditch which gave its name to the town: El Khandak, or in Greek Chandax. Later the name prevailed as Candia. This appellation came to be applied to both the town and the whole island in the later Middle Ages.

During the iconoclastic internal Christian conflict period, a group of exiles from Andalusia landed in Crete with their families, having a long history of wandering in the Mediterranean.

Legend has it that after their arrival in Crete, they burned their ships. They were the survivors of the failed coup against Emir al-Hakam I of Cordoba.

The exiles of Andalusia, who were mostly Mozartes of Roman origin, led by Abu Hafez, established the city of Chandaka in a possibly uninhabited area, with no reaction from the local Cretan Greek population, as the exiles did not move to the rest of the island. In addition, Roman rule was characterized by corruption and heavy taxation as well as extreme persecutions against the island’s iconoclasts such as St. Andronicus and the martyred Saint Andrew

The story of the Arab emirate inside is not clear as very few survived the Byzantine attack during 961.

However, it is certain that Crete was not a colony of pirates as described by some Byzantine sources. Archaeological findings and references from the Arab world show that Chandakas was the only town that. Islam appears to be confined and does not spread in other areas of the inland.

The existence of leading Greek personalities suggests the involvement of many Greeks, collaborated with the exiles from Andalusia during the 9th and 10th centuries.

Gradually these exiles were totally assimilated by the Cretans

It is interesting to note that the exiles of Andalusia helped the Cretans react against Byzantines, not so much with their numbers, which was insignificant in comparison with the Byzantine Empire as in their alliances with the Arab world.

So Crete, a sparsely populated island at the time, became part of a larger whole and de facto autonomous state that survived as such for one and a half centuries. This also indicates the capacity of the Greek population and culture to absorb alien groups due to culture and language.

Finally the Byzantines, defeated the Arab Satakynes the sprig of 96i.

At this time, the Byzantine Emperor Romanos II, of the so-called Macedonian dynasty (867 – 1056) – many historians claim that he was Armenian,   launched a huge campaign, under general Nikiforos Fokas who also was false fully referred as Armenian and managed to concur Chandakas and finished the Emirate state.

Nikiforos Fokas was later celebrated by Cretans as a liberator from the Arabs.

 

 

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  1. Venetian occupation.

The second occupation, by the Most Serene Republic of Venice, is by far the longest of the three, it lasted 440 years, from 1211, when the Venetians finally succeeded in taking possession of the prize for which they had paid 1,000 marks to Boniface of Montferrat, until the Fall of Candia in 1669, following a siege lasting twenty-one years.

The Republic of Venice was a rally of citizens of the Western Roman state that has ceased to exist since 476 AD. It was the last Roman occupation of the eastern Roman state in the Italian peninsula, with the Goths plundering Rome until 726 AD, at the time of the issuance of the iconoclastic decree of the Byzantines.

Since then it has enjoyed autonomy from the Byzantines due to the regular military assistance they were giving.

This historical coincidence will prove valuable, in the future, for the island of Crete, as the presence of the Venetians in the Aegean and the extensive fortifications carried out on the island during this period which kept Crete unaffected from most developments in the East over the next centuries, especially the early years of the Ottoman Empire, which were the darkest for the whole area.

The Venetian occupation of Crete was not free of numerous revolts and fighting from the Cretans.

The first Venetian Duke of Crete, Jacob Tiepolo, settled in Chandakas in 1209.

Two years later, while the Venetians were still in the process of trading with Malta’s Genovese Count, Errico Pescatore, the «Saint’s» revolution broke out.

It was a Cretan family who took up arms. The Cretans united around them, occupied the fortresses of Mirabellos and Sitia and dominated Eastern Crete.

The efforts to liberate Crete from Venetians was going on with intervals of piece especially because the aristocrats of Crete did not always rebel in search of national restoration but in order to regain their own feudal privileges when they happened to be affected.

As a result aristocrats from Crete assimilated with the Venetian feudal lords, as they preferred to be subordinate to Venetian aristocracy.

A characteristic example took place after a revolt, in 1299, the Venetians were forced to propose peace.

The treaty included 33 articles. Among them:

  • The Venetian and local people are free.
  • The re-establishment of the Orthodox Bishop is permitted.
  • The release of slaves is permitted.
  • Moving and creating a home is free throughout the island.
  • Feudal property may be transferred to third parties.
  • The purchase and possession of horses by local feudal lords is permitted.
  • The leader of the revolt himself and his descendants are recognized as Venetian nobles (and not merely equals) he acquire new lands (12 feudal lords).

The main message is that a new mixed society was evolving that included a unified aristocracy and middle class, Venetians were becoming Cretans and Cretans were becoming Venetians.

The Cretans secured the right of local aristocrats to marry Venetian or to give wives of their families as wives of Venetian feudal lords.

At that time, the Venetians of Crete were fewer than 10,000, with locals were  at least ten times more. The Cretans hoped that by mixed marriages, the Venetians would soon be absorbed.

Most Venetians were already speaking Greek!!!

Progressively, the metropolis of Venice itself functioned as a federation center with its holdings administered by the Venetians, but operating as federations. In the Ionian Islands, the Venetian presence seemed suffocating, because the Ionian Islands were regarded as advanced guardians of the Venetian Aristocracy, guards at the entrance to the Adriatic.

Crete, however, as a location, as an area and as a composition of the population, functioned differently. The Venetians there were Hellenized.

The feudal lords lived in their world in the countryside but in the cities the nobles were few, the bourgeois more, the people even more so.

The cities were transformed into great ports that allowed free contact with all strangers, the opening of society to more flexible morals, the marriage of nations. The few Venetians brought with them the western lifestyle. The Cretans seeking higher education in Venice went on to study in addition to the education that the island was already providing.

They came back enriched with their knowledge of Venetian culture. Such «educational exchanges» led to the creation of at least one theater in the city of Heraklion during the last century of Venetian rule.

Hagiography and organized bibliographic laboratories testify to the existence of an advanced cultural level. Names of prominent Greeks signify the existence of spiritual infrastructure on the island that brought them to life.

The first popular songs about local heroes must be traced back to the time when “Nikephoros Fokas” recovered Crete from the Arabs.. The verse from the epic poem «the tombstone” sounds similar to the epic for the Greek hero, protector of remote frontiers, “Digenis Akritas”.

Battle events were transformed into folk songs but at the same time, during   night, in the taverns, people were singing songs of joy and entertainment «The young man seeks a kiss and the daughter asks for a ring». And then, the composers envied the glory. All signs of a happy and quite period.

The boom in commerce, the transformation of cities into big and busy ports, the creation of a banking system have helped for freed morals to evolve.

The wind of the Renaissance made religion change its heavy and dark side. Faith remained deep, but the faithful did not associate “life after death” transition to paradise with forced abstinence from the joys of life. There, around 1600 AD, Numerous “Cultural Academies» sprang up in Crete, including private literary associations, with member subscriptions of high society, Venetian lords, officers, and public officials. The Cretans stared to organize «evenings» of culture, in mansions either with theatrical performances or with simple recitations. In Italian. These theatrical plays and poems did not claim literary laurels. They were mainly guided by the elements that would make the evening enjoyable.

Yet there were no theatrical works written in Greek. But soon Cretans started writing works themselves. Initially based on Italian standards which were converted in Greek, European morals were gradually replaced by the ones prevailing in Crete, at the beginning the started with foreign successes. Subsequently, works began to be written fully in Greek, original or abstracted from foreign works but adapted to Greek reality.

Some works, admittedly, were naive, others had some artistic value, and some reached the level of masterpieces: Tragedies, dramas, comedies.

Clubs of amateur actors were created. There were performances of Greek works, for, the first time since the time of the ancient drama, everywhere, in houses, in open squares.

Erotokritos modern performace l ink

The competition of the authors created what we call the «flourishing of Cretan literature».

Even the existence of one theater in Handaka makes us suspect that there was also a professional effort.

Subsequently, works began to be written, as original or extracted from foreign works but adapted to Greek reality.

This was the period many works of Greek literature, poems and theatrical plays were written by Greek personalities of literature and art, realizing the passage from the dark years of medieval times to renascence. We could refer to many names that acquired international status in art and literature including names such as El Greco and others.

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El Greco- Dominikos Theotokooulos

The golden age of Cretan literature was abruptly interrupted on its take-off, when Crete bowed to the Turks. When the Greek consciousness was also consolidated.

It is worth emphasizing that this was taking place at the same time the rest of Greece was deep in dark ages under the Ottoman occupation that even basic Greek schooling was suppressed and taking place underground in secret.

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Secret schooling in Greece under Turkish ocupation

All this under the umbrella of Ethnic or religious imperialism.

Crete represented, excluding the islands of Ionian Sea, the only case of retaining Hellenism in culture and identity that was influenced by renascence.

 

 

 

  1. The Ottoman occupation

Thus began the third period of occupation, by the Ottoman Turks, which was to end only in 1897. In fact was the smallest period

In the 17th century, and after the Ottomans had secured the preservation of Constantinople in their hands, they turned their eyes to new conquests.

It was the time of the plots in the Ottoman Empire. One-time sultans descended on Constantinople. In 1640, Ibrahim succeeded Murat II, who had just abolished child molestation. He managed to prevail.

Crete has assumed a central role in their expansionist policy because of its strategic position in the Mediterranean.

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After fierce battles, the Ottomans managed to conquer Chania in 1645 and Rethymnon in 1646, but the last fortress, the Grand Castle of Chandaka, remained in the hands of the Venetians and Cretans who jointly defended the island until 1669, when it fell out of betrayal. After 21 years siege, Handaka surrender to the Ottomans and this marked the beginning of a martyrdom for the islanders and interrupted the commercial and cultural progress achieved over 400 years with integration of Cretans and Venetians as described above.

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Battle between Venetians and Turks over Crete.

( Two donkeys were quarreling in a foreign barn)

After the fall of Chandaka, in September 1669, a dark period begins, full of turmoil, for Crete.

While enlightenment followed in the western world, medieval regeneration followed, in Crete, for almost two centuries.

The existence of the fortress of Chandaka was one of the reasons why the Ottomans did not attack Crete earlier than 1644 and did not move populations to the island, as they had done in Cyprus and other areas.  .

Chandakas was the strongest fortress in the Mediterranean of its time, allowing the island of Crete to be controlled with a small number of troops, as it could withstand a threat until reinforcements would arrive.

It is noteworthy that for the fall of Chandaka fortress, after the last rebuilding from the Venetians, it took an Ottoman empire at its peak, 25 years of effort and thousands of dead to concur.

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Handakas fell to the Turks on September 27, 1669, when the Turkish occupation in Crete was already a quarter century behind.

The Ottoman Empire counted 70,000 thousands of dead soldiers in total during the Cretan war of 1644-1669, many of which fell outside the walls of Chandaka.

The island of Crete was proclaimed a province of the Ottoman Empire in 1646 after the Ottomans occupied its western part during the Great Cretan War.

The Venetians retained control of the capital, Heraklion, until 1669, when Francesco Morosini , famous for the bombing of Athens Parthenon, handed over the keys to the city to the Ottomans. The sea forts of Souda, Gramvousa and Spinalonga remained under Venetian control until 1715, when they also fell under Ottoman control.

After the conquest of Crete by the Ottomans, the economy and trade of the Venetians, in the East, suffered a great blow, while the prestige and influence of Venice, as a world great power, declined dramatically.

The refugees from Crete, who fled to the Venetian controlled Ionian Greek Islands, transplanted elements of Cretan culture there.

The formation of the social structure of the Ionian Islands will be greatly influenced by the vibrant cultural presence of Cretan refugees, carriers of long-standing cultural traditions..

 In Crete, a new period full of martyrs begins for the island, the «Turkish occupation» with disasters, oppression and heavy taxation.

Trade and economic activity declined, the locals lost their land and most of them became slaves, and the majority of Christians fled to the mountains, where living conditions were difficult, but there was no Turkish oppression and occupation.

The island of Crete, since its conquest, was the worst ruled province of the Ottoman Empire.

The power during the Turkish occupation was exercised by the so-called «Turkish Cretans». They were Greeks of Cretan origin and speakers in most cases only of the Cretan dialect who were converted to Islam for economic and social reasons but mainly because of the role played by the Orthodox Church during the great Cretan war. They were referred to as shameless believers in Islam and oppressors of Christians, often autonomous and in conflict even with the «High Gate». Some were superficially presenting themselves as Muslims and some not, they reached, even 47% of the island’s population, at one time or another.

On paper, the Turkish occupation was perfectly designed.

Crete was a separate vilayet with a general commander based in Chandaka.

The Venetian administrative division was maintained and the four districts (Sitia, Chandaka, Rethymno and Chania) were simply renamed

The settlements were supposed to be taxed in five tax categories:

The tax system was based on the «sharia», the sacred law of the Ottomans.

In practice, nothing of above worked, there was only the head tax (percentage of income and the «property») as the sultan prohibited any other taxation, which was supposed to make the island one of the most privileged areas of the Ottoman Empire.

Yet, non-Muslim residents were required to pay a head tax and two land taxes, one of which was the so-called harac-I mucaseme,  which typically accounted for 1/5 of production which in practice ended up to 60% of production.

The countryside was obliged to provide other products such as animals, wool, hay, firewood, cheese, oil, honey, raisins, etc. In the summer they had to carry 6,500 cargo of snow from the mountains.

In order to avoid the tax, the Cretans stopped cultivating their fields.

To overcome this problem, a tax was levied on uncultivated land, based on former year’s volumes of production!

The most privileged, however, were the Sfakians who maintained their autonomy, as did with the Venetians, and had the sole obligation to send two snow loads each year to the Valide Sultana (the mother of the king). And later, they paid a token and 5,000 “grosia” a year.

In practice, the Turkish occupation proved cruel and merciless.

The Turks who settled there were the army and the administration staff itself. And any pasha sent (commander) who did not agree with the local power and administration, was either persecuted, slaughtered, or forced to resign. This behavior was such as to annoy even the fanatical Islamists. But no one dared object the local Ottoman status quo, which was even aided by ordinary clerics.

Life, property, family, women and children were at the mercy of the Turks.

Violence was on the agenda.

The Christian was at the disposal of any random Muslim.

The Cretans sent an embassy to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, asking what would happen if they were to pretend that pretending to be Muslims, to save themselves. The answer was a verse taken directly from the Gospel:

«If you deny me in front of people, I deny that in front of my Father in Heaven.»

The Cretans were desperate. Many have decided to voluntarily join Islam.

Some Cretans also remembered the Cretan Patriarch of Jerusalem, Nektarios Pelopidas (1664 – 1682), and thought to put the same question to him. Nektarios replied that in order to save their heads, tit was ok to pretend. As a result, entire villages seem to have changed their faith.

Many of their decedents managed to remain secretly Christians. Others did not find the reason to have an obvious and hidden religion and remained Muslim.

It was the Turks who grabbed and made their own whatever Christian women liked. Their children became Muslims.

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Ethnic map of Crete during Turkish occupation

A few generations later, Muslims constituted almost the majority on the island. Greek Christians and Greek Muslims, however, were waiting for the first opportunity to rise against Ottomans.

The «revolutionary activities» was never lacking in Crete.

In the remote mountains, the Cretans lived freely and always armed. There were those who co-existed with the Venetians who lived in the three fortified islands.

At every opportunity, either in collaboration with «Cretans from the mountain» and «islanders» or on independent initiatives, these guerrillas organized attacks against the most brutal of the Turks and annihilated them.

On the other hand the Turkish «Pasha» was tolerant to any Turkish aggressiveness but he had also to face the cruel punishment from the Cretans. These disobedient Cretan rebels were called: “Chainides”: by the Turks.

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“Chainides”

The Venetians had not totally abandon Crete.

The Venetian admiral appeared with his fleet off the coast of Crete in 1692. He landed on the island and besieged Chania, telling the Cretans that it was time to expel the Turks from the island.

Plenty of Cretans from the mountains and islands of the Venetians rushed to step up the siege. Others, , besieged and took the castle of Kissamos. And as the revolution began to spread, the Venetians dismantled the siege and left.

The Turks took back the fortress of Kissamos. Turkish reprisals broke out with massacres against Christians. By1715, the Venetians had decided that they would not recover Crete.

They also abandoned the fortified islands of Spinalonga and Souda.

The Turks rushed to take possession of them.

The Venetians of Spinalonga became Muslims. The Greeks of Souda were scattered back to the mountains.

 

The Russians

The next who promised Cretans freedom and convinced them to revolt were the Russians.

In 1768, another war between Russia and Turkey broke out. The Russian fleet came out to the Mediterranean, Russian agents promised everything to the Cretans, as well as the rest of the Greeks. The revolutionary wind blew on the island.

On March 25, 1770, Cretans raised the flag of the revolution at Sfakia. The Russians never came to help.

The revolution was confined in Sfakia. It lasted a whole year. They gave up after the death of their leader’ : 3,600 Sfakians were killed or sold into slavery, 1,500 died of the hardships of war, over 2,000 migrated to the Ionian Islands,  Cyclades, Italy and Russia. The remaining 4,000 were ordered to pay an annual Charats tax. They never paid it.

Using this revolt as an excuse, the Turks ranged savage persecutions against the Christians who suffered terribly. The atrocities were such that the sultan himself was obliged to send an army twice to suppress the atrocities:

In 1812, Hatzie Osman succeeded Kyoutachi. They both hanged many Turks as an example to prevent further atrocities, but were forced to flee, chased by their own furious compatriots.

The Cretans took to the mountains.

The situation after 1821. The Greek revolution in the Greek mainland

In 1821, Crete numbered 120,000 Turks and 140,000 Greeks. The Turks had 20,000 well-armed soldiers and the Greeks had 1,200 weapons (eight hundred Sfakians and four hundred, other villages at the foot of the White Mountains).

A first meeting of Greek leaders at Sfakia (April 7, 1821,) gave the message that it was time for Crete to rise.

A letter was sent to Hydra and Spetses requesting the grant of 2,000 rifles and 15 ships.

The first battle took place on June 14, when the Turks of Chania came out for “head haunting”. The Greeks fell on them and forced them to flee.

The Turks were throwing away their weapons that the attackers had devotedly collected as they desperately needed them. Greek successes continued in July.

In August, Serif Pasha, launched a combined campaign.

He lost many battles but managed to reach Sfakia, his first conquest after half a century (since the revolution, of 1770).

The civilians paid for it as the armed population scattered in the mountains.

Serif Pasha returned to his base. The Cretans took up arms again.

By the end of 1821, all of Crete was free except for the castles, where the Turks had fled.

In May 1822, a sultan fleet of forty warships ships arrived in Crete. In Souda, an army of 10,000 Albanian mercenaries landed under General Hassan Pasha. In the summer of 1823, there were also fifty Egyptian war ships, and a number of carrier ships under Ismail Gibraltar, also in Souda. Egyptian troops landed on the island under Hussein Bey.

In 1824, Crete was again under Turkish control.

Greeks continued fierce fighting within Crete as well as moved to Peloponnese, forming Cretan fighting units, in support of Peloponnese, hundreds of Cretans fought and were sacrificed there.

Out of the Cretan civilian population, 2,500 women and children were sold by Turks in Egyptian slave markets.

The Cretans, however, were not kept quiet. In July 1825, the Cretans of “diaspora» reunited, came back to Chania, they took over the fortresses of Gramvousa and Kissamos and hence, revived the revolution.

Soon the Turks confined themselves in the fortresses of Chania, Chandaka, Rethymnon and Ierapetra.

More victories of the Greeks in Sitia, Heraklion, Rethymnon, and Kydonia liberated the rest of the island, except for the coastal fortresses where the Turks were concentrated.

Crete, however, was not on plans to reunite with Greece.

By letter (June 6, 1830), the first Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias announced that the great powers had left the island to Turks.

In September 1830, 3,000 men of the Egyptian Regular Army under Nurendin Bey arrived on the island, accompanied by French, English and Russian officers. They occupied Crete. In 1831, the Sultan assigned the island to Mohammed Ali of    Egypt. The sale price reached 25,000,000 grossia. Crete became an Egyptian province.

The «Egyptian» parenthesis:

Nurettin Bey was appointed military commander of Crete with Albanian General Mustafa Pasha in command.

Local councils were established with Turkish and Greek councilors according to population ratios in each region (30 members in Chandaka, 12 members in Rethymnon, 17 members in Chania etc.).

Civil courts were set up, policing was organized by Albanians to restrict the arbitrariness of the Turkish population and all would go well unless public works that needed money to be executed started.

Properties were confiscated, and Cretans were cruelly taxed once again.

Dissatisfaction reached Egypt. Mohammed Ali visited Crete (1833) to see closely the problems. He left with no result, and a new law was published: The best estates were confiscated and the inhabitants were lead to poverty

In Mournies, Kydonia, 7,000 Cretans gathered and, at a convention (September 1833) decided to send a report to the consulates of the great powers demanding autonomy of Crete under international protection.

Instead of great powers, the Egyptian army arrived, hanged fifty on the spot and began marching in the province, setting up hangers without even questioning.

Mohammed visited Crete again. He found it all right.

Fight for independence against Turks once again.

In 1840, a war was launched against the sultan for self-determination.

It achieved independence from Egypt. Crete, came under Turkish rule once more (July 15, 1840).

On the island, nothing had changed. Even Mustafa Pasha remained general commander.

Greeks started organizing their revolutionary units, as many volunteers had come down to the island.

Letters were sent to the consuls of the great powers. In April, while the Cretan assembly had invited and was expecting Admiral Stewart of the English squadron to arrive from Souda, he came with Mustafa Pasha and his Turkish counterpart, Admiral Tahir Bey. He brought them to listen to the Cretans’ request to bring the island under English protection.

That’s how he thought. The Cretans, instead, called for union with Greece.

Stewart allowed Mustafa to «do whatever he wanted». This reminded me the Cyprus situation during 1955,

On May 14, a Turkish army of 15,000 men, after a three-hour battle, killed the 250 Cretans who were defending the Apokoronas Provence.

On the 17th the same month, at Wafe, the Turks were defeated.

On the 23rd, in the village of Kastamonitsa, Heraklion, a thousand Cretans defeated 3,000 Turks.

Turkish aid arriving from Istanbul reversed the situation.

After repeated battles, the Cretans were repulsed to the mountains.

The great powers proved indifferent and the revolution ended peacefully.

Sultan Abdul Mejit visited Crete in 1850.

On leaving, he also recalled Mustafa, who had spent 20 years as governor of Crete.

His replacement was Salih Vamik. He allowed the establishment of schools,   stopped illegal interest bearing practices, controlled  Turkish arbitrariness at the expense of the Greeks, and, like the «good old days», was expelled by his local Muslim compatriots after four years of good administration (1854)

In 1856, the Sultan published Hati Humayun («Brilliant Document») in which he established freedom of religion, recognized the privileges of Christians and granted them equality in civil rights.

But the Turks soon forgot their signature and oppressed the Cretans with arbitrariness and heavy taxation.

In May 1866, about 4,000 Cretans gathered in Perivolia, near Chania, demanding that the terms of the treaty to be applied. The Turks refused.

Revolution broke out once more. Official Greece maintained a neutral stance but its government Dimitrios Voulgaris  formed guerrilla corps of volunteers and sent them to the island, while two  vessels were used to provide supplies to the rebels.

It was the vessel «Arkadi» that broke the naval blockade of the island, by the Turkish fleet, 23 times and the vessel «Enosis», which managed to make 46 routs, until the Turkish fleet, in December 1868, blocked it at the port of Syros.

Revolutionary heroism was not enough for the struggle to win.

In a decisive battle, the Turks won.

The blow up of Akadi Monastery

Three hundred fighters together with 643 women and children retreated and closed themselves in Arkadi Monastery in Rethymnon. 28,000 Turks besieged them.

An Officer from Tripoli, a volunteer in the Cretan revolution, Ioannis Dimakopoulos (1833 – 1866) organized the defense of the ancient monastery that tradition wanted to have been built by the Byzantine emperor Heraclitos  (575-641).

The Turks attempted to take the monastery with attacks in groups.

They were all repelled. They also brought cannons to bring down the monastery.

On November 9, 1866, a rift in the building allowed the Turks to brake in.

Dimakopoulos fell dead. The abbot of the monastery, Gabriel Manesis, did not want to fall into the hands of the invaders. The women and children agreed. They gathered on the side where they kept the gunpowder.

When the Turks arrived, Gabriel gave the sign. Constantis Giamboudakis shot the barrels with the gunpowder. They were all blown up in the air, along with the Turks. The up rise was extinguished in the spring of 1869.

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The blow up of the Monastery of Arkadi which was blown up and 700 people killed together with the Turkish troops so that they would  not fall in the hands of Turks

In 1878, Crete gained a kind of autonomy that guaranteed the equal coexistence of Turks and Greeks with a Treaty Yet Turkey was fighting unconventionally by trying to change the population composition in Crete

Settlement  of new foreign Muslims in Crete in the 18th century

During the 18th century,  the settlement of foreign Muslims in Crete from Asian, African and Albanian regions began to increase.

Ethiopian Muslims, Arab Muslims from Egypt, and Benghazi settled in the three major cities of Crete and mainly in Chania.

Of course, the settlement of the island with foreign Muslims was part of an organized plan to change the population composition of Crete and to contribute to the Islamization of the island.

 

The end of Ottoman Crete

The Ottoman reform, which took place in Crete during the last period of the 19th century, attempted the introduction of new institutions , along with existing ones.

The new institutional framework brought about the relative liberalization of the regime, partial autonomy of the island which allowed limited political domination of Christians over the Muslims, which was accompanied by their growth, in economic and   social terms.

Moreover, limited liberalization and limited democratization also shaped the conditions for the collapse of the intermediate regime. As, in the wake up of the economic crisis of the last three years (1887-89), socio-political conflicts between social groups were intensified.

The failure of the intermediate regime constituted the end of any attempt at consensual reform and brought about the end of Ottoman occupation of Crete, which was formally confirmed in 1898, by the establishment of the new regime of Autonomy.

The 1866 Revolution

The 1866 revolution was the most significant of a series of 19th-century revolutions where the Ottoman Empire lost control of much of the island, bringing Crete to a period of lawlessness and anarchy that predicted the independence that was to follow.

The blast of Arcadius Monastery, where more than 700 women and children were blown up sacrificing themselves, sparked international sentiment and attention, and volunteers from Italy, Serbia and Hungary arrived on the island in 1866.

Money and equipment received from the United States gave substantial aid, while the newly formed Greek state expressed support for this effort.

The short lived Cretan State

The Cretan state is the state created after the intervention of England, France, Italy and Russia in Crete in 1898 separating the island from the then Ottoman Empire on the grounds that it could no longer maintain control.

The Cretan state lasted 15 years until it joined the Greek republic in 1913.

The 1905 summer revolt against Prince George of Greece, who held power on the island, highlighted Crete’s most important politician, Eleftherios Venizelos, who was elected 7 times prime minister of the Greek republic. Under his leadership, the Greek Republic reached the largest territory in its history, but much of it was lost after his defeat in the November 1920 elections. However, much of the hatred of the present-day Greek Republic was annexed to his leadership. .The Cretan Gendarmerie (1907) was the military corps of the Cretan state, which was tasked with defending the island and policing the cities, while also serving as an expeditionary force. It participated, in the Balkan wars and in the national defense movement of Eleftherios Venizelos.

Union with Greece

After the end of the First Balkan War in May 1913, Crete joined Greece with the Treaty of London.

The union took place on 1 December 1913 with a formal ceremony in the fortress of Firka, Chania.

 

Islamization Islamisms

Islamization was a common practice during the prime years of Ottoman occupation

But Islamization of part of the Cretan population is a different and more complex phenomenon whose main characteristic is its early start before the island’s total conquest.

The most important reason for achieving such large dimensions was the preservation of local Greek speaking language and the local identity. This helped to create a a solid core of the Muslim population

All of the above make the case of Crete special and perhaps only analogous to that of Bosnia .

Islamization in Crete had two main forms, individual Islamism and Islamism originating from mixed marriages.

The process of individual Islamization took place before “Ierodikia” (Religious courts, juries), where the devotee proceeded to proclaim the Muslim symbol of faith and obtain a new Muslim name.

For mixed marriages, Islamization could have arisen if the spouse preferred to maintain custody of the child in the event of the marriage’s dissolution or death. Considering Jennings’ report that in the case of a woman converting to Islam and her husband unwilling to follow the marriage dissolved, we might suppose that an incentive for many women to Islamize was their desire to leave a marriage. , a desire that could hardly be fulfilled, if ever, under normal circumstances.

On the other hand, the cases of mass Islamization were not uncommon, at least during the period of Cretan war, as reported by Evliya Celebi and Naima.

Islamism in Crete was accompanied by the phenomenon of crypto-Christianity

Cretan Islam took a more mystical direction with renowned representatives such as Izz ed-Din Wall and Saint and founder of Haggi Bectasi Teka of Chandaka .

Otherwise there were no major Islamic shrines as created in Cyprus.

The above phenomenon may be explained by the fact that in Crete the overwhelming majority of the Muslim population were converts of Cretan origin whose acceptance of Islam was mainly driven by the improvement of their living conditions.

In Cyprus, however, the Muslim population came from a movement of people from the Ottoman interior who were already familiar with the Muslim Religion, its principles and theology, which would probably allow it to grow further in the new territory.

Adding to the above could be the fact that Cyprus is closer to the major Muslim centers of the Middle East and Egypt and therefore closer to the influence of Arab theological thought.

The Islamized Cretans had no ritual relationship with the religion they adopted.

An important part in this was evidently the conservation of Greek-speaking worshipers (in addition to the mechanical reproduction of prayers in the Arabic language) which cut them off from Islamic theological philosophy.

Whatever the main motives for Islamization, the desire to improve living conditions and to gain opportunities for social development remained.

.

Note: This article consist a collection of historical information from various sources selected from published articles in respected news papers

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

ΔΙΧΑΣΜΟΣ

<<Αν μισούνται ανάμεσα τους ,δεν τους πρέπει η λευτεριά>> Διονύσιος Σολωμός

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Πάντα ο διχασμός έβλαψε την Ελλάδα και πάντα οι οικονομικές δυσχέρειες έδωσαν την ευκαιρία ανάπτυξης του λαϊκισμού, όμως τα τελευταία χρόνια φλερτάρουμε με τον πραγματικό αφανισμό του Ελληνισμού.

Γι’ αυτό αντιδρά και ο απόδημος Ελληνισμός που σε διάφορες φάσεις της ιστορίας έχει υποστεί  τις συνέπειες  του καταστροφικού διχασμού.

Η διχόνοια υπήρξε η ‘κερκόπορτα’  που άνοιξε διάπλατα την ευκαιρία να προσβληθούν τα Εθνικά συμφέροντα της Ελλάδας από τα μεταλλασσόμενα συμφέροντα  του διεθνούς παράγοντα.

Η δυσκολία είναι να αναγνωρίσει κανείς, σε κάθε εποχή,  τους υπεύθυνους η μάλλον το ποσοστό της ευθύνης που αναλογεί στον  κάθε συντελεστή της τραγωδίας που κάθε φορά ακολουθεί.

Το ίδιο σημαντικό είναι να αναγνωρίσει κανείς τα μεταλλασσόμενα συμφέροντα του διεθνούς παράγοντα, αυτή είναι και η ευθύνη των πολιτικών μας

Παρά τις επανειλημμένες  δραματικές εμπειρίες φαίνεται ότι εμείς οι Έλληνες δεν καταφέρνουμε να συνειδητοποιήσουμε την ζημιά που κάθε φορά συντελείται. Αυτό μας έχει στοιχίσει την συνεχή συρρίκνωση της πατρίδας και του ευρύτερου Ελληνισμού διεθνώς.

Σήμερα το σημαντικότερο πρόβλημα είναι η μρταναστευση των νέων στο εξωτερικό που προσομοιάζει με την απώλεια νέων ζωντανών κυττάρων ενός οργανισμού.

Η Ελλάδα δυστυχώς πεθαίνει ενώ εμείς τραγουδάμε με φωνή στρουθοκαμήλου..  ‘Η Ελλάδα ποτέ δεν πεθαίνει’

Ο θάνατος όμως συμβαίνει και από άλλους ποιο ύπουλους λόγους όπως ο διεθνισμός που μπορεί να  πάρει διαφορετικές ερμηνείες, πολλές φορές θετικές αλλά και άλλες τόσες  αρνητικές, όπως και η γλώσσα με την άλωση της νέας γενιάς με την διάδοση της Greeklish.

Ένα ακόμα ‘Δούρειο ίππο’ αποτελεί η πατριδοκαπηλία, τακτική που χρησιμοποιούν οι εκάστοτε διαπλεκόμενοι της  εξουσίας.

Πατριδοκαπηλία; Ποια Πατριδοκαπηλία:

Μήπως ξεχάσατε πως προκλήθηκε η επέλαση του Αττίλα στην Κύπρο;

Μήπως ξεχάσατε τα λόγια του Τσώρτσιλ προς στους Κυπρίους; Πολεμήστε για Ένωση με την Ελλάδα.

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Μήπως ξεχάσατε στο τέλος του εμφυλίου το παιδομάζωμα, και τους συμμάχους Σλαβομακεδώνες;

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Δεν θα ξεχάσω τα τρέχοντα , ‘Η εμείς η αυτοί’,

Τους Γερμανοτσολιάδες που τελικά καταλήξαμε να εκχωρήσουμε την Μακεδονική γλώσσα και ιθαγένεια. Ποιος ξέρει που θα μας οδηγήσει αυτό. Στους Γκρεκομανους;

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Αλλά και η αντιμετώπιση της Ευρώπης σε συνδυασμό με τα Ελληνοτουρκικά.

Τι μας κόστισαν τα περίφημα ’Αγγλικά Δάνεια’;

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Ο φόνος του Καποδίστρια;

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Δεν θα συνεχίσω γιατί θεωρώ αυτονόητο ότι η διχόνοια είναι κατάρα και η αμετροέπεια ασθένεια σοβαρής ανωριμότητας.

Προέχει σήμερα η οικονομία από την ενίσχυση της οποίας μπορούμε να αποκαταστήσουμε τις αστοχίες ώστε ρεαλιστικά να αποτρέψουμε την επερχόμενη καταστροφή.

Η οικονομία που έχει σχέση με την παραγωγικότητα, που συνεπάγεται δυνατότητα μέτρησης της αποδοτικότητας,και αξιοποίηση του πλούτου, και του ανθρώπινου δυναμικού.

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Οικονομία, που έχει σχέση με την ευρηματικότητα, την ευφυία, την γνώση, την προσαρμοστικότητα, την ικανότητα προγραμματισμού και πρόβλεψημότητας που είναι τα καινούρια χαρακτηριστικά της νέας πραγματικότητάς.

Η ένταση εργασίας είναι πάντα σημαντική αλλά στις σημερινές συνθήκες ανταγωνισμού ο ρόλος της είναι περιορισμένος.

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Στην οικονομία απαραίτητος συντελεστής είναι και το κεφάλαιο. Το κεφάλαιο είναι η κινητήριος δύναμη αντλείται τόσο από εσωτερικές όσο και από εξωτερικές πηγές χωρίς να  αναλίσκεται ή να διανέμεται πριν ολοκληρωθούν επενδύσεις για παραγωγικές διαδικασίες.

Κεφάλαιο αποτελεί και το ανθρώπινο δυναμικό, σωστή αξιοποίηση του ανθρώπινου δυναμικού μπορεί να συμπληρώσει  την ανάγκη εξεύρεσης κεφαλαίων.

Αυτοί οι παράγοντες μπορούν και πρέπει να συνυπολογιστούν και να συμμετάσχουν στο πρόγραμμα οικονομικής ανάπτυξης χωρίς ιδεοληπτικές προκαταλήψεις.

Δυστυχώς όμως όλα αυτά που στις περισσότερες δυτικές χώρες αποτελούν αυτονόητες αρχές της οικονομικής ανάπτυξης στην χώρα μας γίνονται αντικείμενο νέου ιδεοληπτικού  διχασμού.

Η διανομή του παραγόμενου πλούτου, το πλεόνασμα, όταν υπάρχει διανέμεται με στόχο την ικανοποίηση ψηφοθηρικών αναγκών με τον ίδιο τρόπο  που χρησιμοποιούνται τα κεφάλαια που προέρχονται και από τον κρατικό δανεισμό.

Αυτά αποτελούν σήμερα τα σύγχρονα εγκλήματα του πολιτικού μας συστήματος.

Η έκφραση  ‘ή αυτοί ή εμείς’ επεκτείνεται πέρα από βραχυπρόθεσμη μάχη για την εξουσία, κρύβει μέσα της βαθείς κινδύνους  για καθεστωτικές συμπεριφορές που ξεπερνούν τα κλασσικά δημοκρατικά πολιτεύματα που συχνά οδηγούν σε εθνικές συμφορές γιατί στην μάχη για την εξολόθρευση  του αντιπάλου διακυβεύονται και εθνικά συμφέροντα.

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Αυτό είναι και το σημαντικότερο στοιχείο τόσο για την βλάβη που προκαλείται στα  Εθνικά συμφέροντα αλλά και στην βόμβα που βάζουν στα θεμέλια των θεσμών του δημοκρατικού πολιτεύματος.

Τα ανησυχητικά σήματα που σήμερα εκπέμπονται όσον αφορά τα εθνικά συμφέροντα και τα θεμέλιά του δημοκρατικά πολιτεύματος γίνονται όλο και περισσότερα δυνατά με τις εξελίξεις στο θέμα της Βόρειας Μακεδονίας, την Ελληνική μειονότητα στην Αλβανία και την αύξηση της επιθετικότητας της Τουρκίας στο Αιγαίο και την Κύπρο. Είναι εμφανές ότι η Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση εναποθέτει τις ελπίδες της και πάλι στις συμμαχικές δυνάμεις αγνοώντας τα μαθήματα της πρόσφατης και παλαιότερης ιστορίας.

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Οι διαπραγματεύσεις αυτές με αντιπάλους και συμμάχους υπόκεινται σε  δημοκρατικές διαδικασίες που απαιτούν μία εθνική εξωτερική πολιτική ευρύτερης συναίνεσης.

Οι κίνδυνοι εσφαλμένων χειρισμών είναι τεράστια. Ας θυμηθούμε την αλλαγή των συμφερόντων των συμμαχικών δυνάμεων το 1922 που κατέληξε στην μεγαλύτερη εθνική τραγωδία.

Αλλά και στην Κύπρο για την οποία ακόμα εγκυμονεί μία δεύτερη πιθανή τραγωδία που έχει αρχίσει να συντελείται με την αποπήρα της Τουρκίας να αμφισβητήσει την  υπόσταση της Κύπρου σαν ανεξάρτητο κράτους.

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Είμαι βέβαιος ότι ο Ελληνικός λαός θα αντιμετώπιζε την αναδιανομή των πλεονασμάτων με διαφορετικό τρόπο αν κληθεί να διαλέξει μεταξύ υποτέλειας  και Εθνικής ανεξαρτησίας.

 

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Δεν φαίνεται η Ελλάδα να μπορεί να χειριστεί την προσαρμογή της στην σημερινή πραγματικότητα.

Επαναλαμβάνει τα ίδια λάθη. Εξακολουθούμε να πάσχουμε από τις χρόνιες ασθένειες μεγαλοϊδεατισμού, πατριδοκαπηλίας, πολιτικαντισμου, διχόνοιας, πολιτικού αμοραλισμού και  φανατισμού. Όλα αυτά επιτρέπουν στους  άσπονδους φίλους και εχθρούς να εκμεταλλεύονται τα εθνικά μας ελαττώματα και επιπολαιότητες και να κεφαλαιοποιούν σε βάρος μας τα περισσότερα θέματα εθνικής κυριαρχίας. Βλέπε ΑΟΖ  Ελλάδας και Κύπρου, αιγιαλίτιδα ζώνη, βραχονησίδες, αποστρατικοποιημένες ζώνες, μειονότητες, Σκόπια κλπ.

Εξακολουθούμε και πιστεύουμε  ότι κάποιοι σύμμαχοι προστάτες  θα μας σώσουν από την αιώνια απειλή εξ ανατολών.

Η μάχη του Ναβαρίνου

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Πόσες φορές θα υποστούμε Εθνικές καταστροφές για να βάλουμε μυαλό;

Άλλοτε είναι το.. ξανθό γένος, πόσες φορές θα μας οδηγήσουν στα μονοπάτια της ελπίδας για να μας εγκαταλείψουν στο έλεος των κινδύνων από κοινούς εχθρούς; Αυτό γίνεται από την εποχή των Ορλόφ.orlof.jpg

Άλλοτε οι Άγγλοι σύμμαχοι που μας προέτρεψαν και παίξαμε το παιχνίδι τους στην Μικρά Ασία ενώ μας πρόδωσαν δύο φορές, τόσο στην Μικρά Ασία όσο και στην Κύπρο.

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Άλλοτε στην προστασία του ΝΑΤΟ που το μόνο που λένε σε σχέση με τις παραβιάσεις του διεθνούς δικαίου από την Τουρκία, ‘Βρείτε τα με την Τουρκία’. Βλέπετε η Τουρκία εξακολουθεί και να είναι μέλος της….Ατλαντικής Συμμαχίας

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Άλλοτε πιστέψαμε  στο Ευρωπαϊκό κατεστημένο και την προστασία των κοινών Ευρωπαϊκών συνόρων την στιγμή που η μεγαλύτερη Ευρωπαϊκή βιομηχανική δύναμη επενδύει στην Τουρκία με περισσότερες από 70.000 επιχειρήσεις γίγαντες της Γερμανικής βιομηχανίας, ακόμα και σήμερα, προσπαθώντας να εκμεταλλευτεί την γεωπολιτική σύγκρουση των ΗΠΑ με την Τουρκία στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο και να προσποριστεί δικά της οφέλη.

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Άλλοτε στις συμμαχίες με το Ισραήλ και την Αίγυπτο που θα συμβιβαστούν μόλις τα συμφέροντα των ΗΠΑ αλλάξουν.

Τέλος πιστεύουμε στις ΗΠΑ ότι θα μας στηρίξουν εφόσον ταυτιστούμε με τα δικά τους συνολικά γεωπολιτικά και οικονομικά συμφέροντα.

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Η εικόνα της Ελλάδας διεθνώς εμφανίζει μία χώρα υπερχρεωμένη, σε κατάσταση πτώχευσης με μειωμένη την αμυντική της δύναμη, με τις πολιτικές της δυνάμεις να αντιπαρατίθενται αγγίζοντας τα όρια του παραλογισμού προσπαθώντας η κάθε παράταξη να επιρρίψει τις ευθύνες στην άλλη ανάλογα με την ιδεολογική κοσμοθεωρία που πιστεύει ή εξυπηρετεί.

Αλληλοσπαράσσονται θυσιάζοντας στον βωμό της εξουσίας τα ευρύτερα και μακροχρόνια  Εθνικά συμφέροντα υπονομεύοντας ακόμα και τα θεμέλιά του δημοκρατικού πολιτεύματος.

Συνθηματολογία, σκοπιμότητα, ψεύδος, σκανδαλολογία και παρανομία έχουν γίνει τα λάβαρα της αντιπαράθεσης, παρασύροντας το κοινοβούλιο, τον διαχωρισμό των εξουσιών, την ανεξαρτησία λειτουργίας του δημοσίου, και την ελευθεροτυπία.

Αυτό το παλιό πολιτικό παιχνίδι γίνεται και πάλι μέσα στην δύνη των διεθνών στρατιωτικών πολιτικών και οικονομικών εξελίξεων που φέρνουν στην επιφάνια τόσο τα συγκρουόμενα συμφέροντα όσο και τις αδυναμίες των διεθνών οργανισμών να αντιμετωπίσουν τις διεθνείς κρίσεις.

Για την Ελλάδα η ιστορία επαναλαμβάνεται δύο διχασμοί δύο καταστροφές, μία το 22  μία την δεκαετία 40-49.

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Και από τις δύο καταστροφές υπάρχουν ακόμα τα κατάλοιπα και οι γενεσιουργικές αιτίες.

Πέρα όμως και από αυτές τις καίριες αδυναμίες που διέπουν το πολιτικό μας σύστημα, δυστυχώς μας  έχουν προλάβει και οι καταιγιστικές αλλαγές που συντελούνται στην παγκόσμια οικονομία.

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Δεν αρκούν πλέον οι γενικόλογες ιδεολογικές κατευθύνσεις, της μίας ή άλλης οικονομικό- πολιτικής  κοσμοθεωρίας, για την ανάπτυξη, σήμερα οι συνθήκες απαιτούν πρώτα απ’ όλα. γνώση και ικανότητα διοίκησης και διαχείρισης τόσο στον δημόσιο όσο και στον ιδιωτικό τομέα.

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Σε αυτά είμαστε τελείως απροετοίμαστοι. Απλώς σκεφτείτε ότι στο δημόσιο αρνούμεθα την αξιολόγηση ενώ στον  ιδιωτικό ισχύει ακόμα η γνώμη του ενός.

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Ας μην θεωρηθεί αυτό αυτονόητο γιατί οι έννοιες της απόδοσης ευθυνών είναι συνυφασμένη με την αξιολόγηση που επεκτείνεται όχι μόνο στον έλεγχο του δημοσίου υπαλλήλου και την μέτρηση της αποδοτικότητάς  του αλλά και με την απόδοση της εκάστοτε κυβέρνησης με βάση τα πεπραγμένα και υπεσχημένα.

Και εδώ φθάνουμε σε ένα καίριο σημείο ενός από τα  βασικότερα προβλήματα του Ελληνικού πολιτικού προβλήματος δηλαδή των πελατειακών σχέσεων.

Πελατειακές σχέσεις  σημαίνει απόκλιση από την εγκεκριμένη διαδικασία και την νομοθεσία που γίνεται εφικτή λόγω της έλλειψής ελέγχου της  εκτελεστικής εξουσίας.

Να γιατί η ικανότητα διοίκησης και διαχείρισης στα δημόσια πράγματα έχουν άμεση σχέση με την λειτουργία, το δίκαιο και την αποτελεσματικότητα.

Η γνώση και η ικανότητα διοίκησης δεν αποκτάται από την υιοθέτηση  και μόνο ιδεολογικών η ιδεοληπτικών θέσεων και πρακτικών.

Μερικά ακόμα χαρακτηριστικά της ικανής διοίκησης είναι η δυνατότητα προβλέψεων των εξελίξεων, η μεθοδικότητα στην υλοποίηση των προγραμμάτων και η ιεράρχηση των  προτεραιοτήτων και τέλος η προσαρμοστικότητα στις προκλήσεις που οι ταχύτατα μεταβαλλόμενες συνθήκες στην οικονομία και τις γεωπολιτικές ανακατατάξεις  διεθνώς, επιβάλουν.

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Οι καταιγιστικές εξελίξεις καθιστούν ακόμα ποιο καθοριστικά τα παραπάνω χαρακτηριστικά των διοικούντων που απαιτούνται.

Αντ’ αυτού παρατηρούμε καθημερινά έξαρση στα μεγαλύτερα και μόνιμα ελαττώματα της φυλής μας, συνεχή προσήλωση στο παρελθόν, πρόσφατο και απώτερο, σαν μέθοδο διαφυγής από τα σημερινά προβλήματα.

Ποια είναι αυτά τα δεσμά που μας φυλακίζουν ακόμα στο παρελθόν;

Τι σχέση έχει το μεγαλείο του Μέγα Αλέξανδρου με την αξιοποίηση των απορριμμάτων για την εξοικονόμηση της ενέργειας; Διότι και αυτό ανοίκει στν κατηγορία των προβλημάτων που καλουμεθα σήμερα να λύσουμε.

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Ποια η συμβολή του καπετάνιου πλοιοκτήτη σε ένα «start up» που του προτείνει ο εγγονός  του;  Διότι και στον ιδιωτικό τομέα καλούμεθα να προαρμοστούμε στις ταχύτατα μεταβαλόμενες συνθήκες.

Αλλά ας πάμε στα ακόμα ποιο δύσκολα, τι αντίκτυπο θα είχε στον μέσο Έλληνα η δημιουργία στρατιωτικών και αστυνομικών τμημάτων για Έλληνες Μουσουλμάνους;

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Πως θα αντιμετωπίσει η Ελλάδα την πληθυσμιακή γήρανση με βάση τις σημερινές προβλέψεις ότι από 10 εκ που είναι ο πληθυσμός της Ελλάδος σήμερα θα σμυκρινθεί σε 8.5 εκ μέσα στα επόμενα λίγα χρόνια, ενώ ταυτόχρονα υπάρxει πληθυσμιακή έκρηξη στις  χώρες της Αφρικής και όχι μόνο; Ιδιαίτερα όταν οι περισσότερες χώρες της Ευρώπης έχουν εμπειρία προσαρμογής στο πρόβλημα εδώ και πολλές δεκαετίες;

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Αυτοί είναι μερικοί από τους ελάχιστους προβληματισμούς που θα έπρεπε να απασχολούν τόσο τους ηγέτες όσο και τα μέσα ώστε να αφυπνίσουν και τον λαό για τα μέτρα που θα πρέπει να ληφθούν και να μην τους απασχολούν τα πρόσκαιρα και απολύτως ψηφοθηρικά ψεύδη με τα οποία καθημερινά μας βομβαρδίζουν.

Η Αρχαία Ελλάδα έλαμψε και υπάρχει σαν πρόγονος του δυτικού πολιτισμού, η σημερινή Ελλάδα σβήνει και δεν θα υπάρξει αν δεν μετεξελιχθεί με ανάπτυξη σε μία παγκόσμια οντότητα με πυρήνα τουλάχιστον των 20 συνολικά εκατομμυρίων των πανταχού Ελλήνων που θα μπορέσει να πρωτοστατίσει στην απορρόφηση τμήμα του ανθρώπινου δυναμικού που  εμφανίζεται καλλιεργώντας τις βασικές πολιτιστικές αρχές που την βοήθησαν να επιβιώσει αυτά τα 3 χιλιάδες χρόνια χωρίς απομόνωση. Αυτή θα μπορούσε να είναι και η μοναδική μας ελπίδα και μέλλον.

Ασφαλώς δεν θα μπορούσε να γίνει αυτό χωρίς βασικούς συντελεστές της οικονομικής ανάπτυξης που έχει τόσο εξωγενείς όσο και εσωγενείς παράγοντες,

Εσωγενείς όσον αφορά την παραγωγικότητα που ρόλο πέζει η διοικητική ικανότητα όσο και εξωγενείς που είναι η εκμετάλευση των πλουτοπαραγωγικών πηγών που σήμερα εμφανίζονται να υπάρχουν στον υποθαλάσιο χώρο της Ελληνικής ΑΟΖ.

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ΝΚ

 

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Οι πολύπλοκες σκέψεις στην πολιτική και την οικονομία βοηθούν στην συγκάλυψη των αποτελεσμάτων μίας τακτικής, είτε αυτά είναι θετικά είτε είναι αρνητικά.

Είναι εύκολο κανείς να λαϊκίζει με τα  αυτονόητα.

Τα αυτονόητα ήταν και  η στήριξη  των αδυνάτων, ψωμί-παιδία-ελευθερία, δωρεάν παιδία και υγεία, αλλά και η δίκαιη ανακατανομή του πλούτου, ίσες ευκαιρίες σε όλους, θέσεις εργασίας σε όλους, η εργασία είναι δικαίωμα, ανεξαρτησία των εξουσιών είναι θεμέλιο της δημοκρατίας.

Τώρα προστέθηκαν και μερικά νέα όπως λιγότεροι φόροι στην μεσαία και κατώτερη κοινωνική τάξη, βελτίωση της λειτουργίας του κράτους, διαφάνεια, ανάπτυξη, επενδύσεις.

Και αναρωτιέται κανείς μα όλοι το ίδιο λένε, γιατί δεν συμφωνούν τα κόμματα; Γιατί βρισκόμαστε στις τελευταίες θέσεις στους πίνακες των Ευρωπαϊκών αλλά ακόμα και των υπολοίπων χωρών σε ότι αφορά την οικονομική κατάσταση, και το χειρότερο χωρίς εμφανείς προοπτικές βελτίωσης;

Γιατί μετά από μία προνομιακή μεταχείριση τόσο μετά τον Β Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο που βγήκαμε στο πλευρό των νικητών αλλά και με τη είσοδο στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, γιατί βρισκόμαστε σε αυτή την κατάσταση;

Είναι  το καπιταλιστικό σύστημα; Είναι η γεωγραφική θέση που μας καθιστά το σύνορο με την  Τουρκία που αντιπροσωπεύει την συνεχή  σύγκρουση της δύσης με την ανατολή;

Είναι οι ιστορικές καταβολές της μακροχρόνιας υποδούλωσης στον Τουρκικό ζυγό που αλλοίωσαν τα χαρακτηριστικά και την   προσωπικότητα του Έλληνα και τον μετέτρεψαν σε ένα μείγμα ανυπότακτου αναρχικού και δουλοπρεπή υποτακτικού που αναζητά την επιβίωση μέσα από την κουτοπονηριά;

Μάλλον λίγο από όλα αυτά, αλλά πιστεύω το πιο σημαντικό είναι ο διχασμός που επέφερε ο εμφύλιος. Η Ελλάδα είναι η μόνη χώρα που δεν πρόλαβε να χαρεί την νίκη και έξοδο από τον Β Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο και κατασπαράχτηκε από ένα εμφύλιο που την έκανε το μήλο της ‘Έριδος μεταξύ των δυτικών δυνάμεων και της Σοβιετικής ένωσης.

Οι περισσότεροι από τους χθεσινούς ήρωες της αντίστασης έγιναν ξαφνικά  προδότες που εκδιώχτηκαν φυλακίστηκαν ή εξορίστηκαν. Αυτές είναι πληγές που άφησαν υπολείμματα ιδεολογικά και εθνικά που μεταφέρονται στις επόμενες δύο και τρεις γενιές των Ελλήνων.

Αυτές οι πληγές δεν έχουν επουλωθεί ακόμα και κρατούν τους Έλληνες δέσμιους ενός παρελθόντος που δεν τους επιτρέπει να προσαρμοστούν στις κοινωνικές και πολιτικές συνθήκες της εποχής. Το βλέπει κανείς ξεκάθαρα με τις μεταβολές που γίνονται από την παρούσα κυβέρνηση της αριστεράς, η οποία προσαρμόζεται για λόγους επιβίωσης αλλά εξακολουθεί να ονειρεύεται τα ιδεοληπτικά της  όνειρα. Είναι μία πολύ επικίνδυνη μεταστροφή γι’ αυτό παρατηρεί κανείς αντιφατικές συμπεριφορές και αποφάσεις.

Χαρακτηριστικά στοιχεία αποτελούν οι ανοχές στις παράνομες ομάδες τύπου Ρουβικώνα, στο Πανεπιστημιακό Άσυλο, την έννοια της αριστείας. στην εφαρμογή φορολογικών μέτρων που στηρίζει την επιδοματική πολιτική αντί την καθαρά αναπτυξιακή που επιτυγχάνει σταθερότερα και πιο μόνιμα αποτελέσματα, μπερδεύουν την έννοια της  ισότητας με ανταμοιβή της αποτελεσματικότητας, της ομαδικότητας  με την πρωτοβουλία. Τέλος απεχθάνονται κάθε μορφή αξιολόγησης.

Γενικά προτάσσουν την ανακατανομή πλούτου πριν την παραγωγή του.

Μία τελείως αντιπαραγωγική διαδικασία που οδηγεί στην πτώχευση κάθε οικονομίας.

ΝΚ

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The result of the public referendum from Skopje (FYROM) generates some interesting but also contradictory conclusions.

It indicates how deep the nationalistic roots are in this country, how much pride they derive from the ancient Greek history that makes them forget their own origin, their roots, their history their language.

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They denounce the fact that Greece in ancient times consisted of different city states but they did share the same language, the same religion, the same nationality, the same culture, the same love for art and philosophy.  They united to fight the same enemies and they considered their civilization superior to all foreign races and nations. They declared, “Every non Greek was a Barbarian”. This conviction kept them together, Athenians, Spartans, Corinthians, Aeolis, Dorians, Ionians, Cretans, Lesbians etc

They admired and shared the same teachers like Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and Hippocrates from Samos Island, the same Historians like Homer and statesmen like Solon. They united under Alexander the Great against the mighty Persian Empire and conquered the world spreading around the Greek spirit and civilization.

What a glamour this story gives, even Slavs, Vlachs, Bulgarians and Albanians could unite to inherit part of this story.

Serbs’ ancestors settled in the Balkans somewhere in 6th and 7th century, according to the Byzantine sources. Serbs came to South Yugoslavia in similar times and assimilated with the indigenous people who lived there. Montenegrins – same time period. Croats lived in the territory that was a subject of rivalry between the Franks and Byzantine Empire, yet they united in 10th century. Slovenes in the second half of 6th century. Bosnians settled in similar period, Bulgarians as well.

Tito was very clever to sow seeds of this story to make the inhabitants of this mixture of nationalities, in the area, feel as successors of this proud past while at the same time the story was serving his plans to expand in North Greece and get access to Aegean Sea.

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He almost forgot the Greek minority in Monastir area, a minority for which, even today, nobody talks about.

So the area of a district that used to belong to Ancient Macedonia, a City state of Greece, gives the inhabitants of this, although have nothing to do with Ancient Macedonians, who were pure Greeks, to claim Macedonian nationality living aside Greek Macedonians who have the right to claim that they are  the real successors of Ancient.

All this conflict that remains for more than 75 years, could have been solved with the name of the country to be North Macedonia and the nationality to be North Macedonians the same like New Zealand. One cannot understand the insistence of Macedonian nationality that is hiding irredentist aspirations.

The Times report that Greece has so far opposed any reference to the term «Macedonia» in the name of the country, pointing out that Alexander the Great had no relationship with FYROM and that the Skopje government was appropriating the Greek hero, perhaps by looking at territorial claims.

It is really a pity that that these two countries Greece and FYROM cannot find a solution that will help both to improve their future.

The fact is that both countries are victims of conflicting interests derived from previous years, when FYROM and the Greek part of Macedonia was the center of fights and claims between Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Turkey and USSR.

Now the conflict has been extended to include EU, NATO, Turkey, Albania, Greece and USA.

The result of the recent referendum is being considered as a success of Russian influence that is stopping the entry of FYROM in NATO and EU. It is also to the benefit of Turkey which is always taking advantage to promote its own commercial and military interests

Especially during recent developments that challenge the relationship between Turkey and USA the outcome of the public referendum gives a better opportunity for Turkey to take advantage of the situation destabilizing further the relationships of Turkey with Greece and West. Yet it Greece is becoming a strong hold for USA which is expanding its military basis in the area.

Politics is coming back to the Balkans and Greece is becoming a central point of conflict between East and West.

Russia is threatening that they will exercise veto in the security council of UN for the acceptance of FYROM under the name North Macedonia, but this in no way an issue that comes under the responsibility of the Security council of UN .

Turkey is also objecting the agreement signed between Greece and FYROM in Prespes and they recognize FYROM under their constitutional name Macedonia. What else one may expect from Turkey? They would always stay against Greece’s interests.

Turkey is going through a period with its worst relationship with West , mostly with  USA.

Germany is trying to protect its financial interests as they have significant investments in Turkey, but they cannot bridge the gap all the way. The distance Turkey  is taking from the European ways and regulations keep these two countries apart.

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Turkey is also playing a double game, they maintain contact with Europe while they are also shifting towards Russia and China, not to mention Iran while they stay a NATO member, a very delicate position to maintain for long.

Turkey is also trying to establish a status quo in both Aegean and Cyprus regarding Mediterranean Sea and exploration rights. We can hear Erdogan advocating the famous Turkish statement, “Kazan-Kazan” which means “win-win”, everyone would agree with such statement but when Turkey speaks of “win –win” what they really mean is something like “karagkiozis” statement: “What is mine is mine and what is yours is 50% mine”. The following graph indicates the six miles limit set on Greek islands in Aegean Sea.

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Greece has enough experience in negotiations with Turkey, this is why they would never negotiate directly with them, this is why Turks are afraid that Greece will always bring other western powers to such negotiations, hence the Greek boarders become EU boarders, and their interests become EU and USA interests. The following map indicates the real  conflict of interest with Cyprus where Turkey is denying the right for Cyprus, an UN and EU member to be an independent nation with its own AOZ. This is the risk that can cause a real war.

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Ankara’s recent statement that they will start explorations in  Cypriot AOZ caused the decision of the Cypriot cabinet to invite companies to express interest to receive authorization for explorations   bloke  7. of Cyprus AOZ

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