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Hellenic Insider

Aggression against Greece by Turkey shows Muslim leader's true colors

Erdogan refuses to back down from threatening Greek islands and Cypriot interests – What kind of EU or NATO partner nation is this?

Seraphim Hanisch

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, is not backing down from his country’s intimidating behavior towards Greece. This, from a nation that is supported by NATO and wants to be a full part of the European Union. From Greek Reporter:

After a four-and-a-half hour session in Ankara, the country’s Security Council decided to not [pay] heed to the EU warnings about Turkey’s provocative behavior against Greece in the Aegean and in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
Turkey claims that certain Greek islands in the Eastern Aegean belong to Turkey and challenge the Lausanne Treaty. At the same time, they don’t recognize Cyprus’ right to explore for gas and oil and claim that Turkish Cypriots of Cyprus’ northern occupied part have equal rights to the [Exclusive Economic Zone, or] EEZ.
On Monday, Erdogan met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Varna, Bulgaria and discussed issues pertaining to the Mediterranean. In particular they talked about the refugee issue, Turkey’s accession to the European Union, and Turkey’s behavior towards EU Member States Greece and Cyprus.
Juncker and Tusk said that Turkey’s challenging the sovereignty of certain Greek islands in the Aegean and its blocking of exploratory ships in Cyprus’ EEZ do not constitute good neighborly behavior for a country that wants to be part of the EU.
During the meeting, Turkish officials said that it is Greece’s attitude that does not constitute good neighborly behavior, according to Turkish media. It was decided that Turkey will continue to protect its interests and defend its rights at any cost.
Regarding Turkish military operations in northern Syria, the country’s Security Council also decided that they should continue unabated.

This behavior from Erdoğan is undoubtedly aggressive, and his behavior towards the Greeks is one example of several situations this leader has been bellicose about. In addition to threatening Greece, he has also alternately threatened Russia, the United States and Syrian interests, due to his wish to get rid of the Kurds along the Syrian – Turkish border at Afrin.
In addition, according to this report from The National, Erdogan has raised threats against Iraq as well.

Had this been a case of mere patriotism, it would not matter as much. But Mr Erdogan’s fantasies are dictating Turkey’s foreign policy. Having breached the sovereignty of Syria by deploying his forces in Afrin, he is now threatening to intervene militarily in Sinjar in northern Iraq.
Mr Erdogan’s threat on Monday to the sovereign government of Iraq, threatening to do “what is necessary” if Ankara’s wishes weren’t immediately fulfilled by Baghdad, was delivered with the hauteur of a sultan. The president’s claims that he is taking action against insurgents from the Kurdish Workers’ Party does not legitimise his aggression. Mr Erdogan is plainly pushing to see what he can get away with; he is effectively justifying Turkey stamping on the sovereignty of other nations.
How long will the international community tolerate this egregious behaviour? Certainly, Ankara’s aspirations to become a part of the European Union, stalled for a decade and all but obselete, were further frustrated at a summit on Monday in Bulgaria, where EU leaders ranked Mr Erdogan’s propensity for illegal foreign interventions among their chief concerns but fell short of outright censure.

Looks like Erdoğan has established himself as the latest new troublemaker in a part of the world that already has a lot of problems. As with other nations in the Middle East, the politics are very complex, but one this is certain: When a leader insists that his country’s “rights” will not be infringed, it is very difficult to negotiate a true peaceful solution to anything.
Opinions expressed are those of the author alone and may not reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Hellenic Insider, its publisher, its editors, or its staff, writers, and contributors.

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Archons of Greek Orthodox Church issue toothless letter about abortion law

The good news is the Archons did say some good things in reaction to the New York abortion law. But there was no consequence.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In relation to our previously published piece about Governor Andrew Cuomo signing abortion into the New York State Constitution, we noted that at the time of the article’s writing, no entities within the Orthodox Church in any jurisdiction issued any kind of statement condemning this law. Of all fourteen universally acknowledged Local Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church was particularly of note, since their Archons awarded a humanitarian award known as the Athenogoras Award to extremely liberal, pro-abortion politicians, Andrew Cuomo being one of these.

Well, the Archons did issue a statement yesterday:

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Condemns New York’s New Abortion Law

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, strongly condemns the State of New York’s new Reproductive Health Act that was passed on January 22, 2019. This new law allows abortions up to the moment of birth and gives people who are not doctors the right to perform abortions.

The Order also deplores the celebratory atmosphere surrounding the new law, as One World Trade Center was lit pink to commemorate the passage of the law, as if it represented a great advance for the rights of women. The rights of no human being are ever advanced at the expense of another. The State of New York will not truly have respect for the rights of women until it once again restores legal protections for every human being, from his or her first moment of existence until natural death.

Hailed as progress, New York’s Reproductive Health Act is not actually an advance, but a regression, a return to a time of barbarism when the weak were at the mercy of the strong and had no protection from legal structures or governing authorities.

The Order implores New York’s legislators to reconsider this dangerous new law and reinstitute protections for all human life, no matter how weak and vulnerable. Only when such protections exist can any society truly prosper.

Rev. Alexander Karloutsos
Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Spiritual Advisor of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Is this enough?

It does not seem to be so. Governor Cuomo and his award, along with pro-abortion Roman Catholic Vice President Joe Biden, also received this award at the same time Governor Cuomo did.

What did not happen in this letter was that neither politician was named, nor were the four (out of five) Greek Orthodox politicians in the New York State Assembly that voted FOR this law.

Neither did the Archons move to rescind the Athenagoras Awards they gave to Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Biden. This move appears to be still far too politically calculated, and keeping with the tragic, curious and distressing behavior of the leadership within the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Monomachos.com is a popular blog site whose editor, George Michalopulos, is undoubtedly one of the giants among those Greek Orthodox who seriously uphold at the notion that the Church ought never compromise herself. Yet, he was very happy with the letter that is shown above because for him it represented a “180-degree turnabout” in terms of the history of the Archons’ behavior, which he noted elsewhere as smacking of “the feeling that their primary job is to raise money for Istanbul.”

He neglected to mention the lack of mention of the Awards, but perhaps understandably, his surprise at any sort of traditional statement by this group was leading to exuberance where perhaps it is not deserved.

The Greek Orthodox Church seems to have an overall alignment with very liberal figures, and it is unclear as to why. But this tendency of people that are considered good and faithful Greek Orthodox churchgoers to align with liberal politics in the United States is very different than the sharply conservative tendencies of Russian Orthodox churchgoers, or Greeks or Romanians in the US.

The other rather liberal church is the US is the Orthodox Church in America, but this group does tend to involve itself in social causes in the US – especially abortion – in a very conservative, if rather feeble, manner. They do make their presence known at the annual March for Life and this is of great value.

We wish to name all the Greek Orthodox elected New York assembly members here, with their votes regarding the state abortion measure:

Michael Gianaris             (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.
Andrew Gounardes         (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.
Nicole Malliotakis           (R)                            – No. (and she is a woman!!)
Aravella Simotas             (D)                            – Yes.
James Skoufis                  (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.

This measure enshrined abortion at any point in a woman’s pregnancy as a constitutional right. The law stipulates several following procedures are now “rights:”

  • The law allows non-physicians to perform abortions.
  • The law allows abortion through the third trimester.
  • and the law repeals protections for babies that survive abortions (this means that if the baby gets delivered alive, it will still be killed.)

This is a barbaric law, and a resounding victory for people aligned with some very dark ideas about life and death. It is a tragedy, and while the Archons’ letter condemning it is at least a token statement, it really wants a full-throated response from the Christian world.

In fact, even Muslims and religious Jewish people ought to be outraged as well. All the Abrahamic religions understand that only God is the author of life. In this viewpoint, people do not themselves create life. We only cooperate with God to bring it into existence, by his blessing.

But we can cause death, and this power is influenced by forces that are not interested in God, traditional values, family, children or anything of the sort.

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Greek MPs pass Prespes deal with 153 votes in 300-seat House

Opinion polls indicate that most Greeks oppose the settlement, a fact which may not bode well for Tsipras in an election year.

The Duran

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Via Ekathimerini


Greece’s parliament on Friday ratified a landmark accord that changes the name of neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), ending a decades-old dispute and opening the way for the ex-Yugoslav republic to join the European Union and NATO.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who hammered out the deal with his FYROM counterpart last year, secured the parliamentary majority needed to get the accord approved with support from independent and opposition lawmakers.

“Today we are writing a new page for the Balkans. The hatred of nationalism and conflict is giving way to friendship, peace, and cooperation,” Tsipras wrote on his social media account.

FYROM has already ratified the deal, brokered last year, and its prime minister promptly sent a tweet hailing the Greek parliament’s vote.

The settlement seeks to end a 28-year old row between Athens and Skopje over the use of the term “Macedonia” by renaming the tiny Balkan state “Republic of North Macedonia” to differentiate it from Greece’s northern province of Macedonia.

Greece’s European Union allies welcomed the ratification.

“They had imagination, they took the risk, they were ready to sacrifice their own interests for the greater good,” European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted. “Mission impossible accomplished.”

Opinion polls indicate that most Greeks oppose the settlement, a fact which may not bode well for Tsipras in an election year. A general election is due by October, and his party is trailing the opposition New Democracy by up to 12 points.

The debate in the Greek parliament was heated, with voting almost interrupted on Friday when an MP for the right-wing Golden Dawn Party, asked to cast his vote, responded: “No to treason!”

Several MPs in favour of of the accord reported attempts to intimidate them.

Many Greeks fear the agreement could lead to territorial claims against Greece and say it constitutes an appropriation of their country’s ancient cultural heritage. Macedonia was the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Protests against the deal have at times turned violent this week, and on Thursday evening police fired teargas to disperse crowds outside parliament. Smaller groups of people braved heavy rain on Friday to demonstrate outside the parliament.

New Democracy slammed the agreement.

“This deal should never have been signed or brought to parliament for ratification,” party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament. “It is a national defeat … a national blunder that is an affont to the truth and history of our country.”

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