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Είναι εξαιρετικά ανησυχητική η αυξανόμενη επιθετικότητα της Τουρκίας στο Αιγαίο και  την Ανατολική Μεσόγειο στην ΑΟΖ της Κύπρου. Υπάρχουν καθημερινές παραβιάσεις του Ελληνικού εναέριου χώρου που αναχαιτίζονται από την Ελληνική αεροπορία γεγονός που αυξάνει τον κίνδυνο θερμού επεισοδίου, αλλά και επιβαρύνει σοβαρά  τις αμυντικές δαπάνες της χώρας σε περίοδο κρίσης. Είναι συνεπώς εύλογο να με απασχολεί αυτή η εξόχως επικίνδυνη και επιβαρυντική για την οικονομία κατάσταση.

Το τελευταίο διάστημα ανταλλάσσω απόψεις στο Facebook, σχετικά με την τρέχουσα αυξανόμενη επιθετικότητα της Τουρκίας τόσο στο Αιγαίο  όσο και στην Κύπρο αλλά και στην Δυτική Θράκη.

Πολλοί από τους φίλους αναρωτήθηκαν γιατί ασχολούμαι με την  ανταλλαγή απόψεων, και μάλιστα να δημοσιοποιώ τις απόψεις ενός ατόμου, Τουρκικής καταγωγής και Εθνικότητας με δηλωμένη θέση εναντίων των Ελληνικών θέσεων αλλά και των θέσεων των Ηνωμένων Εθνών όσο και της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης αλλά και του Δυτικού Κόσμου γενικά.

Είναι προφανές ότι θεωρώ ότι είναι σημαντικό σε ένα πολιτισμένο περιβάλλον να επικοινωνούν οι άνθρωποι  προκειμένου να κατανοούν ο ένας την θέση του άλλου.

Από την επικοινωνία αυτή πιστεύω ότι απέκτησα μία ευρύτερη αντίληψη των ιστορικών γεγονότων και του τρόπου προσέγγισης από την Τουρκική πλευρά που μου προσέφερε πληρότητα για τα γεγονότα, χωρίς βέβαια να αλλάζει την άποψή μου για την γενοκτονία που πραγματοποιήθηκε σε βάρος των Ελλήνων και άλλων χριστιανικών πληθυσμών που ζούσαν αιώνες κάτω από την Οθωμανική αυτοκρατορία, με βοήθησε όμως να καταλάβω πως η Τουρκία ανέπτυξε την ψυχολογία του καταφρονημένου Μουσουλμάνου από την συμπεριφορά του Δυτικού κόσμου.

Βέβαια το συμπέρασμα μου είναι αρνητικό όσον αφορά την Ελλάδα δεδομένου ότι διαπιστώνω ότι η μέχρι στιγμής ακολουθούμενη στρατηγική των Ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων ήταν σαφώς λανθασμένη, πιστεύοντας ότι η είσοδος της Τουρκίας στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση  θα έλυνε και τα Ελληνοτουρκικά προβλήματα.

Δυστυχώς από την μέχρι στιγμής ανταλλαγής απόψεων ο βαθύτερος στόχος τόσο της Τουρκίας όσο και της υπόλοιπης Ευρώπης ήταν να συμβιώσουν με βάση ορισμένα οικονομικά συμφέροντα χωρίς να πλησιάσουν η μία την άλλη πολιτισμικά η γεωπολιτικά.

Αυτό αφήνει την Ελλάδα εκτεθειμένη στις ορέξεις της Τουρκίας που ουσιαστικά εξακολουθεί να συμπεριφέρεται σαν το καταφρονημένο από την δύση  κράτος  που ενδιαφέρεται να την διαμελίσει όπως προσπάθησε να κάνει παλαιότερα μετά τον Πρώτο Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο.

Αυτό σε συνδυασμό με τον Νέο Οθωμανισμό και μεγαλοϊδεατισμό της Τουρκίας που πιστεύει ότι αδικήθηκε από τις διεθνείς συνθήκες αλλά και το δίκαιο της Θαλάσσης αλλά και την πίστη ότι το διεθνές δίκαιο, το δικαστήριο της Χάγης,  ο ΟΗΕ και η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αποτελούν όργανα της Δύσης, δεν δεσμεύεται σε τίποτα όσον αφορά τα σύνορα, προς το Αιγαίο αλλά και προς την Ανατολή.

Στην ουσία βρίσκετε σε διάσταση με την Αμερική και τους συμμάχους της στην Ευρώπη και το ΝΑΤΟ και πιστεύει ότι αυτή η κατάσταση έχει αλλάξει από την πτώση της Σοβιετικής Ένωσης και του ψυχρού πολέμου.

Μόνο έτσι εξηγείται η αναβίωση της Εχθρότητας προς την Δύση και την Ελλάδα την οποία θεωρούν όργανο της Δύσης.

Είναι φανερό ότι θεωρεί το μισό Αιγαίο δικό της και την Ελλάδα σαν κατακτητή με δικαιώματα που δεν είναι κατοχυρωμένα ούτε πιστεύει ότι η καταφυγή σε διεθνή δικαστήρια θα την βοηθήσουν εφόσον αυτά ελέγχονται από την Δύση.

Όσον αφορά την Δυτική Θράκη και την Μουσουλμανική μειονότητα αποτελούν τον προμαχώνα για την επόμενη φάση προσάρτησης της περιοχής στην Τουρκία διότι αυτοί είναι τα… “αδέρφια” τους που προσβλέπουν στην προστασία της… ‘Μητέρας’ Τουρκίας.

Γενικότερα η αναθεωρητική κατεύθυνση που παίρνει σήμερα η Τουρκία, ανεξάρτητα εσωτερικής πολιτικής κατάστασης, εγκυμονεί πραγματικούς κίνδυνους           να βρεθεί η Ελλάδα στο μέσον μίας παρόμοιας θέσεις που βρέθηκε το 1922  με τους ρόλους των διαφόρων κρατών, Αμερικής και Ευρώπης που αντιστοιχούν την ‘Αντάντ’ (Λέξη που προήλθε εκ του γαλλικού Entente) του Πρώτου Παγκοσμίου πολέμου.

Οι συνθήκες βέβαια σήμερα είναι αρκετά διαφορετικές, αλλά υπάρχουν και πολλές ομοιότητες.

Η οικονομική κρίση στην Ελλάδα αλλά και η ανάπτυξη της πολεμικής βιομηχανίας της Τουρκίας παίζουν καθοριστικό ρόλο. Όμως το σημαντικότερο είναι ότι το πραγματικό παιχνίδι παίζεται αλλού, και αφορά στις σχέσεις και στα συγκρουόμενα συμφέροντα μεταξύ Ρωσίας, Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης  και Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών .

Η ισορροπία μεταξύ αυτών των δυνάμεων  θα καθορίσει και το μέλλον της Ελλάδας γιατί θεωρώ ότι η απευθείας προσέγγιση της Ελλάδας με την Τουρκία είναι μία ουτοπία.

Ίσως αυτός είναι και ο λόγος που μία Αριστερή κυβέρνηση στην Ελλάδα έχει αναγκαστικά προσαρμοστεί σε ρόλους που παραδοσιακά δεν ακολουθούσε παλαιότερα.

Αυτό καθιστά τις αποφάσεις της Ελλάδας άμεσα επιτακτικές και θέτει όλα τα θέματα πολιτικά και οικονομικά σε δεύτερη προτεραιότητα σε σχέση με την προσπάθεια επίλυσης του προβλήματος των Ελληνοτουρκικών σχέσεων που σήμερα βρίσκονται στο χειρότερο σημείο.

Ποια είναι λοιπόν η θέση της Ελλάδας απέναντι στην ποιο ισχυρή Τουρκία;

Όταν ο Ερντογάν κέρδισε τον άτυπο εσωτερικό πόλεμο με το βαθύ κεμαλικό κράτος και κυριάρχησε στην τουρκική πολιτική σκηνή, άρχισε να ξεδιπλώνει τη δική του ατζέντα. Δρομολόγησε όχι μόνο την ισλαμοποίηση της Τουρκίας, αλλά και το σχέδιό του για πολιτική αυτονόμηση από τη Δύση.

Οι Αμερικανοί και οι Ευρωπαίοι άρχισαν να συνειδητοποιούν ότι ο νεοοθωμανισμός του Ερντογάν δεν ήταν αυτό που νόμιζαν. Όταν, λοιπόν, η Τουρκία άρχισε να διολισθαίνει, άρχισαν και οι Δυτικοί να την βλέπουν διαφορετικά.

 

Τυπικά δεν έχει αλλάξει τίποτα. Η Τουρκία παραμένει χώρα-μέλος του ΝΑΤΟ και υποψήφια προς ένταξη στην ΕΕ. Στην πραγματικότητα, όμως, έχει αλλάξει ο τρόπος, με τον οποίο οι Δυτικοί βλέπουν την Τουρκία. Η ευρωπαϊκή προοπτική της Τουρκίας είναι προσχηματική. Ούτε η ΕΕ θέλει την Τουρκία στους κόλπους της, αλλά ούτε και η Τουρκία είναι πια ένθερμη όσον αφορά την ένταξή της.

Η αλλαγή του τρόπου που οι Δυτικοί βλέπουν την Τουρκία αλλάζει και τον τρόπο που βλέπουν την Ελλάδα. Αυτό ισχύει κυρίως για τους Αμερικανούς, οι οποίοι έχουν πιο σφαιρική ματιά και όχι τη στενά οικονομίστικη ματιά της ΕΕ. Στην πραγματικότητα, η Ελλάδα  επανατοποθετείται στον γεωπολιτικό χάρτη. Αυτός είναι και ο φόβος της Τουρκίας. Μακάρι η Τουρκία να ήταν περισσότερο φιλική στην προσέγγισή της στις απαιτήσεις της απέναντι στην Ελλάδα και την Κύπρο για να μην την σπρώχνει με τον τρόπο αυτό στους παραδοσιακούς της συμμάχους.

Σημείωση:

Σε ξεχωριστή δημοσίευση Άρθρο στο ίδιο blog με το όνομα  THE MAIN REASON WHY GREECE’S EFFORT TO SURPASS THE CRISIS IS MADE IN VAIN υπάρχει μετάφραση στα Αγγλικά με ανταλλαγή απόψεων με Τούρκο φίλο που εκφράζει την Τουρκική άποψη με αντίστοιχες απαντήσεις

 

 

 

 

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Turkey’s growing aggression in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Cyprus is extremely worrying. There are daily violations of Greek airspace suspended by the Greek Air Force, which increases the risk of a ‘hot’ episode, but also seriously damages the country’s defense spending in a period of crisis. It is therefore reasonable to be concerned with this extremely dangerous and aggravating situation for the economy.

Recently I have been exchanging views on Facebook about Turkey’s current growing aggression, both in the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus, as well as in Western Thrace.

Many of my friends wondered why I was engaging in an exchange of views, and even publicize the views of an individual of Turkish origin and nationality with a declared position against Greece as well as against United Nations, the European Union and institutions of the Western world in general.

It is obvious that I believe it is important, in a civilized environment, for people to communicate in order to understand each other’s point of view.

From this communication I believe that I have gained a wider understanding of the historical events and the way the Turkish side is thinking, without, of course, changing my view about the genocide that took place against the Greeks and other Christian populations, which lived centuries under the rules of Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, this discussion helped me understand how Turkey developed the psychology of the “despised Muslim” due to the behavior of the Western world.  I must also admit that these arguments and exchange of information helped me recognize propaganda on both sides.

Unfortunately, as many people would say, it was obvious or made common sense that the deeper objective of both Turkey and the rest of EU was to collaborate on a number of common economic interests without a real intention to achieve cultural, or financial integration or establish common geopolitical objectives.

This leaves Greece exposed to the turmoil and the desires of Turkey, which basically continues to behave like the state-despised nation of West that is interested in splitting Turkey, as it tried to do after World War I.

This, in combination to Turkey’s New Ottomanism and megalomaniatism, which makes Turkey believe that it has been infringed by international treaties and the law of the sea, while also the belief that international law, the international Hague tribunal, the UN and the European Union are institutions controlled by the West, hence Turkey is not bound by anything in terms of expanding its border’s in the Aegean but also towards the East makes Turkey a difficult country to negotiate with.

In essence Turkey’s position is opposing, US and its allies in Europe and NATO. This relationship was basically changed since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

This is the only way to explain the revival of hostility towards the West including Greece, which they regard as an instrument of the West.

It is clear that Turkey’s current strategy is to consider half of Aegean as its own to make Greece appear as an intruder with no rights, nor does it believe that recourse to international courts will resolve any conflict since these institutions, according to its view, are controlled by the Western powers.

As far as Western Thrace and the Muslim minority is concerned, it becomes obvious that they are the bastion for the next phase of annexation of the region to Turkey because they are … their «brothers» who are looking to protection from.. “Mother” Turkey. This is definitely a shift in behavior from previous visits of Turkish politicians in West Thrace who were addressing the Muslim minority as Greek Muslims of Turkish origine, citizens of EU.

In general, the strategic direction Turkey is taking today, irrespective of its internal political situation, poses real risks for Greece to find itself in the midst of a similar situation found during 1922 with the roles of the various states, America and Europe, corresponding to the (Entente Cordiale) powers of France and Great Britain of the First World War.

The conditions, of course, are quite different today, yet there are many similarities.

The economic crisis in Greece as well as the development of Turkey’s defense industry play a decisive role. Yet the most important thing is that the real “power game” is played elsewhere, and it is in the relationships and conflicting interests among Russia, EU and US where a solution will be found.

The balance between these forces will also determine the future of Greece because, unfortunately, Greece’s direct approach to Turkey looks like a Utopia, under current conditions.

Perhaps this is the reason why a Left Government in Greece adapted to roles that, traditionally, did not follow in the past.

This makes Greece’s decisions urgent and puts all issues political and financial at a second priority in relation to its efforts to solve the problem of the Greek-Turkish relations that are currently at the worst point ever.

So what is Greece’s position versus a stronger Turkey?

When Erdogan won the informal inner war with the deep Kemalist state and dominated the Turkish political scene, he began to unfold his own agenda. He worked towards not only to Islamization of Turkey but also promoted his plan for political autonomy from the West.

The Americans and Europeans began to realize that Erdogan’s neo-Ottomanism was not what they thought. So when Turkey began to slip, the Westerners began to see it differently.

Typically, nothing has changed. Turkey remains a NATO member country and a candidate for EU membership. In reality, however, the way in which the Westerners see Turkey has changed. The European perspective of Turkey is pretentious and false. Neither does the EU want Turkey within its borders, but Turkey is no longer anxious about its membership.

Changing the way the Westerners see Turkey is changing the way they see Greece. This is especially true for the Americans, who have a more global look than the narrowly economical view of the EU. In fact, Greece is re-positioned on the geopolitical map. This is the fear of Turkey.

Maybe, if Turkey was friendlier with its demands towards Greece and Cyprus, would not push Greece in this way to rely on its traditional allies.

At this point it is interesting to include as an extract from the discussion that followed the publication of this article to appreciate the positioning of Turkish person who is also trying to defend the Turkish point of view:

Arguments exchanged between Sukan Gurkaynak and Nick Kouzos on the conflict

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos  To improve Turkish Greek relations, you have to understand what really happened in history. I have written you the real population situation and losses based on Ottoman census statistics. The Turkish population losses in Greek occupied Anatolia 1 million were three times as high as Greek losses with 300000. Compare Greece in the 21st century cooking the books on financial data to grab other people’s money through the EU. In the 19th century they were cooking the books on demographical data to grab territories with Muslim majority populations, in Macedonia and Anatolia, after which they cooked the books to misrepresent their losses. Any dead is too much. But keep in mind, Turkish losses were people being murdered because Greek state policy was reducing Turkish population, Greek losses were people dying as the previous sufferers took revenge. Fact is, the Ottomans had as only major European State freedom of religion. Which is what Christianity survived in the Ottoman Empire whereas no pre-Christian religion survived in any Christian state in Europe including the previously Muslim majority territories invaded after 1800 in the Caucasus, Crimea and the Balkans- This was a concerted policy of eradicating the Muslims in Europe most of them the natives of the countries where they were living, who had preferred Islam when given the freedom to decide for themselves. So talking about Turkish invaders who were then pushed out is wrong. Turkey has around 50 to 150 different ethnic groups all of whom see themselves as Turks, the way Americans see themselves as Americans. Greece got her present territories as a beneficiary of this policy. In 1920 the effort to get more by erasing the Turks from the map by partitioning Anatolia between Greeks and Armenians failed. Treaties were signed defining the borders. This held until the cold war ended. After the end of the cold war we are seeing an effort to break up Turkey. Once more Greece thinks she can use the opportunity. It does not matter whether the left or the right runs the country. The Cyprus peace was made by Konstantin Karamanlis, the only real statesman Greece had in the second half of the 20th century, leader of the right in 1960 and destroyed by the left in 1963. The alternatives Greece has are respecting the status quo and living in peace or trying to expand their country by annexing the open seas which at this point belong to us all. Hiding behind the Western dominated UN, which we all remember did nothing to help the Bosnians Muslims of whom 250000 were murdered in the 1990ies with French and British troops assisting after which it authorized the invasion and murder of up to 4 Million Muslims in Iraq is for Turkey not convincing. The West dominates the World, that helps their fellow Christians the Greeks. Turkey is a country with a population of 85 Millions with an economy far more dynamic than Greece. The West might encourage Greece to a confrontation with Turkey to wear Turkey down, but they will not actually help them win a war. The West did try to get what it wanted, land for PKK-Kurds and Armenians and the Sea for the Greeks by using Islamists against the secularist elites. The secularist elites were in love with the status quo Lausanne treaty order, whereas Islamists dislike Lausanne, The hope was they would give up assets, now everyone can see, that went the wrong way. The West has a problem, they have created. This is comparable to the fiasco, Western colonial policies accomplished all over the Middle East. Greed without brains is a recipe for disaster.

Response from Nick Kouzos:

This sounds like a manifest of a Turkish-Eastern, one sided, biased, approach which is self-proven wrong by the international community, which is controlled by the West.

The West political and cultural status cannot be described as “Greed without brains and a recipe for disaster” Especially because it is exactly this attitude that brings disaster. West has values such as human rights, democratic values and many other principles in spite the fact that they are still in the process of evolution. Even the creation of EU and UN are still in a experimental stage but still they are centuries ahead of the way Turkey and many Eastern countries are thinking. Yes history is written by the winner but equally the feeling of the looser is not the basis for progressive thinking on the contrary is dominated by the complex of the looser, or other factors that they have to do with local traditions.

i.e. Turkey, which boycotts Eurovision from 2012, will not participate in its next event, considering that the international song contest is inappropriate for the young audience, according to TRT President Ibrahim Eren.

Greece has gained its independence fighting an Empire which behaved in a cruel way against humanity and Greeks.

The fact that you describe that Ottomans assimilated so many different national entities is a self-proven fallacy and an indication why Turkey is trying to prove that Ottomans inherited every civilization that ever existed in Asia Minor-Anatolia.

Turkey does not want to accept the link between Ancient and modern Greece. It is unacceptable for the Turk that this could ever happened so that a small nation could retain its identity national and cultural characteristics on the basis of which revived and claimed its independence fighting a mighty Ottoman empire.

You quote confrontations that happened in Europe against Muslims, for hundreds of years as a reason for Turkish rights to reprise.

I could quote historical crimes, since medieval times, against Greece.

The Venetians conquered parts of Greece and treated Greeks worst that Ottomans.

This does not give me the right to claim back land and sea in a revisionary strategy accusing the rest of the world for Greed. Is it Turkish Greed to claim Istanbul as Turkey and not Greek Byzantine.

All this has been settled with wars and nobody wants to bring it back.

This revisionary strategy that Turkey adopts so that wants to revive that the Greek islands are not Greek and Turkey needs to teach West nations to behave in a way that will allow an Ottoman revival and reprisal for all the bad Muslims suffered is very close to an Islamic threat.

It is only recently that Erdogan has announced that Turkey will do whatever it likes in the case of Eastern Mediterranean.

Erdogan, with his arrogance, said that Turkey will do what it wants and a new (Turkish) research vessel will be added to investigations into underground natural gas deposits in South Cyprus.

Obviously, Turkey is not in a position to fight together with Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and the United States.

Such a conflict would mean Turkey’s total end and its partition. This is something that personally I don’t want

The Turkish president has only to try to find out if the Eastern Mediterranean allies mean their words.

This arrogance is what can be called “Greed without brains and a recipe for disaster”.

As for Ottoman statics I have reasons to disclaim.

The Greek statistics is a totally different issue which I need a separate session to discuss with you. It is like the German war compensations or the loans made to Germany under the German occupation during the Second World War where Greece suffered 350.000 deaths.

Do you really believe that only 300.000 people died during the years 1914 -1922?

In any case the statistical numbers Ottomans are quoting are wrong, please remember that the total losses just for the Greeks from Pontos were 300.000.

Finally nobody is claiming that Aegean sea is not accessible to Turkey for commercial reasons, but the Greek islands is a different issue, and sending your air force is a different issue as well.

You are pushing Greece to make alliances with Egypt Israel and US. I am not so sure about the rest of Europeans.

Let us see which values and principles will survive in the next few years.

Unfortunately for Turkey the political system is not at its best. You may need west to help you return back to a democratic and stable state.

 

Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos At the time of Greek independence, the Philhellenes were expecting ancient Greece to be reborn when saved from the Turkish yoke. They were horrified by what the Greeks were actually doing and became convinced of a biological break between ancient and modern Greece. This is still the feeling in Germany. You would be offended if I wrote what one leading German daily wrote about that. Turks don’t care about ancient Greece. We are in love with Islamic civilization. If you are willing to read and discuss I will send you copies of one book about demography. The Ottoman statistics were an honest effort of the government to understand what they were governing. Greeks produced highly inflated figures f Greeks living in Anatolia and when they were not there propaganda claimed they had been killed. The West are the people who enslaved entire mankind in their colonies and destroyed ancient civilizations, including the Ottoman. We thought we were their allies in NATO but in 1963 when Greeks started butchering Turks on Cyprus they did not tell the Greeks to stop it. That was the beginning of the end of our confidence in the West. It is the West which has created the present state of affairs in Turkey and in no way are they ever going to help us. Greece would be foolish to trust an Egyptian-Israeli- US alliance against Turkey. Half a billion Muslims around Israel hate them they will not initiate hostilities against Turkey. Egypt is worthless as a military power and needs her army to keep political stability. The US will soon be involved in a confrontation with China and cannot add Turkey to her military challenges. I am no friend of the AKP regime in Turkey and will not defend their policies. The Ottoman Empire made no effort to assimilate anyone, that is why Greece has survived.

Response from Nick Kouzos:

I am really surprised that you quote German newspapers. If you care to to read what was happening in Turkey during the First World War regarding the financial situation you will observe that the Turkish economy was dominated by the Greek, Armenian, Juice people and companies mainly antagonizing German companies even in Banking, commerce and science, including doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers etc. The Turks were mainly occupied with military activity. Germany was training and supporting the Turkish army. Even the Government matters such as accounting was maintained by Greeks. Most of the middle class was Greek, In addition to the army Turks were mainly agricultural occupations. This is the reason why Kemal wanted to eliminate the middle class and create a new pure Turkish middle class by eliminating the old one. Especially in Banking the Germans replaced Greek Bankers. It is not strange to listen to Germans talking against Greeks. They were antagonizing Greeks in the Ottoman Empire and the Balkans in general.

“It is worth emphasizing that 50% of the capital invested in industry of the Ottoman Empire, belonged to Greek minority. 

Also, out of the 18.063 trading companies operating in Turkey 46% belonged to Greeks, 23% to Armenians and 15%  to Muslims, 46% of the Banking sector belonged to Greeks. 

In high professional individuals, Greeks, were:  52% of doctors, 49% of the pharmacists, 52% of the Architects, 37% of engineers and 29% of solicitors.

Further, 528 from a total of 654 companies involved in wholesale trade belonged to Greeks.”

 

Even today I was finding that the real competition between investors in the Balkan countries was between German Greek and Turkish companies. I personally was working in Central Europe for Balkans for more than ten years in Banking and IT industry and I had the opportunity to experience this. So I am not surprised for the German statements. Germany has basically been benefited even by the Greek crisis. Germany is also the main supplier of arms (Submarines and other equipment.)

As for alliances, we are not seeking a war with Turkey, but what do you expect us to do, to give up and enjoy Turkish penetration and attacks as deep to the island of Naxos deep into Aegean sea close to the Greek mainland?

I don’t expect anything else from the Germans that have destroyed Greece during the First World War.

It is very ironic to say that Greece has survived due to Turks since you have destroyed the Byzantines and occupied the country for over 400 tears. You may be right we should be thankful for allowing us to survive as a nation! All this sounds ridiculous since there are only 1000 Greek left in Turkey while there are 150 000 Muslims in west Thrace. The numbers speak themselves.

I don’t expect Egypt or Israel to protect Greece. They will only protect their interest. Greece and Cyprus will defend itself. Greek Cypriots have never Butchered Turkish Cypriots, this is Turkish propaganda. But it has become obvious to me that there is no way that one can speak for justice and common sense. Unfortunately, this has been the problem for hundreds of years, it is strange if we are to find a solution now that Turkey has moved closer to a political crisis that is also leading to a financial crisis a fact that is making any negotiation even more difficult. This is why I spend so much time on this issue which is becoming of grave importance. You represent the biggest threat ever for the Greek nation

Also regarding your statistics they are a result of pure Propaganda.

Your numbers regarding massacres and Ottoman statistics are totally wrong My figure of 1 million killed is definitely smaller than the real number especially if you compare it with either the total population of Greeks at the time which was less than 4.5 million in the mainland and 2.5 m in Asia Minor As a proof I quote: The Black Book of the Pontian Central Council mentions on the genocide the following: «The massacred and in any case exterminated Greeks of the Pontus from 1914 to 1922 amount to the following numbers»: Amasia Region: 134.078, Rodopoli District: 17.479, Chaldeia Region – Kerasounta: 64,582, Neokesareia Region: 27,216, Region. Trebizond: 38,435, Cologne: 21,448: Total: 303,238 people ». Until the spring of 1924 the Pontians’ martyrdom included another 50,000 victims, the total number of Pontians who were assassinated by March 1924 was 353,000, more than 50% of the total population of the Pontians.
The genocide forced the Pontians to flee their homes and move to Greece, the USSR (where they were persecuted by the Stalinist regime during the interwar period), Iran, Syria, and elsewhere (Australia, USA).

The argument will never finish….

Nick Kouzos Markella I have been exchanging views with a number of Turks and I found that they are two types of Turks, the ones that love to approach Greeks especially those that their origin has been from Asia Minor and those that represent exactly the type of person Sukan is, I think it is important to understand the extend of their animosity «Keep your friends close and your enemies closer».

1

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Sukan Gurkaynak
Sukan Gurkaynak Nick Kouzos So I am your enemy? I try to help you understand the real issues and you make me your enemy. That you very much. But one thing is right, the genocide survivors from Rumelia know the Greeks much better than the Anatolians.
Nick Kouzos
Nick Kouzos At the moment Greece is being ruined financially mainly due to the arms race which we could never win. I keep trying to get my figures right regarding the numbers of innocent victims at a particular period 1914 to 1922 and you are rejecting the validity of my figures. I am trying to isolate each part of the history separately.You don;t seem to appreciate that 1 million innocent people killed consisted 25% of the total Greek population of the Greek Nation. This is unquestionable. It also concists 50% of the Greeks of Pontos. This is not a war. this is a genocide. The numbers are relevant. You are referring to Muslim losses in a wider area. I don;t reject all the numbers you are quoting. These numbers were created in a wider area, not caused by Greeks. This is a background story. The reflection of past historic conflicts cannot be curried to present and cannot be used to establish new sovereignty.Turkey behaves as a real enemy at the moment. It is not you personally that you are enemy but the strategies that Turkey is following and the tactics like imprisoning young Greek soldiers under false pretenses,this is a hostile act. In any case the most important part in our discussion is to recognize the mistakes each side has made.Greece has been the party that lost the war during 1922. We have signed a treaty as a looser. We have lost 25% of our total population, you cannot expect Greeks to stop remembering this loss. The issue of Turkey’s position versus West is a much wider geopolitical and cultural issue, we cannot be responsible for such world wide issues. .

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

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

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Εσύ δρομέα της ζωής μη σταματάς για ν’ αναπολείς

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

Μορφές  χτισμένες πάνω στα αρχαία τείχη που ήξερες ότι υπάρχουν.

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

και άλλες που χάθηκαν.

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Είναι ψυχές ή ζωγραφιές: Η μήπως ηχούν σαν μουσικές;

Εσύ δρομέα της ζωής μη σταματάς ν’ αναπολείς.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An exchange of posts follows: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Origin Of Turks | Nick Kouzos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Kouzos inserted the photo:

Massive graves of missing Greek Cypriots descovered in Cyprus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Long Island City, NY 11106

U.S.A.

Dear Sir,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Stephen G. Miller

Professor Emeritus, University of California,

Berkeley

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

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

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

Dora Bakoyiannis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece

Antonis Samaras, Minister of Culture of Greece

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement

Erik Meijer, Member, European Parliament

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

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

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

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

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

I am amazed with what I listen to.

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

 

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

έσει!

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

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

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

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


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

I am not afraid :

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The influence of Renaissance and the French revolution.

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

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

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

Conflict of cultures

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

Every such involvement had both positive and negative side effects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aegean Sea and the islands according to international treaties

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cyprus issue

Cyprus.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can I say as reply?

The whole argument lacks any real foundation.

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

What the German thinker said about treaties is wrong

Treaties are to be respected.

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

There are many ways to protect minorities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Macedonian Issue

Macedonia.jpg

Will we accept the deliverance of Macedonia?

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

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

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

We have subsided and found the ashes.

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

We sacrificed our lives and we found ashes ….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Macedonian roots

Alexander.jpg

Alexander’s the Great letter to Darius III:

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

Another statement from Alexander:

I said to them:

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

Herodotus, Histories. Greek historian – 440 BC.

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

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

Slavs and other Ethnicities, the myth of indigenous people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 The history of Pontos

Attrocities.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

This is an indication of what was really taking place.

Every where we were looking corpses.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have subsided and found the ashes.

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

We sacrificed our lives and we found ashes ….

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

Seferis Nobel winner, Greek from Asia Minor