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Viewpoint: Turkish expansionism and the responsibility of the Greek diaspora

The Turkish threat towards Greece, Cyprus, and the Hellenic nation is perhaps greater than ever before. The Greek diaspora has a responsibility to act.

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After taking a long look at today’s world and the position of Hellenism in it, I’ve come to the conclusion that today more than ever before, we the Hellenes of abroad, must come together to examine the problems concerning us. It is no coincidence that at this juncture in history is the anniversary of the destruction of the Hellenic population of Asia Minor. We regret to say that it seems to have been forgotten among the Hellenic communities around the world.
Following the tragic events in Cyprus in 1974, which resulted in the occupation of almost half the island by the hordes of “Attil”a and the expatriation of 200,000 Greek-Cypriot refugees, the Greek-American community stood faithfully on the side of Cypriot Hellenism and offered great help, economically and politically (e.g. lobbying for the arms embargo to Turkey), both on an individual initiative basis and through various organizations (the Orthodox church, AHEPA, the Hellenic-American Institute, the United Hellenic-American Congress, the Hellenic-American Development Alliance, etc.).
Lately, however, in spite of the continuing occupation of Cyprus, and despite the national threat and crisis in Greece, an inexplicable indifference can be observed on the part of global Hellenism, which will prove disastrous if it is not halted and reversed. It is on the shoulders of Greek-Americans that most of the burden of the cause of Cyprus and the Aegean threat by Turkey, lies. This is because Washington is the center where the levers of power are pulled.
This indifference is an ominous reality, and it is due, as I see it, not to apathy on the part of each individual Hellene, but to the lack of an appropriate medium, a carrier of ideas if you will or a conductor, to urge, direct, illuminate and enlighten the Greek-American community, and to keep us always in a state of wakefulness and vigilance.
The formation of such an entity has become imperative today as never before, because along with the occupation of Cyprus, the Aegean is increasingly becoming the object of expansionist designs on the part of Turkey. Both the islands and the maritime waters of the Aegean are in direct danger from Turkish greed and aggression. Furthermore, the very territorial integrity of our land of birth is in danger. It would not be an exaggeration to say that for the first time, the very existence of the Greeks as a nation is endangered.
Some people think erroneously, believing that there are only legal differences between Greece and Turkey which must be solved in the framework of International law and International practice. I believe that Turkey has expansionist designs which aim at annihilating Hellenism. The problem, therefore, is political and not legal.
Consider this: In the period from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Greek revolution of 1821, the Turks exterminated millions of Greeks. In 1821, Greeks numbered five million, of which one million constituted the newly established state of Greece in 1830, and the remaining 4 million remained under Turkish yoke in Asia Minor and were exterminated during the Asia Minor catastrophe. And while at the time of the signing of the Lausanne treaty in 1923 there were 200,000 Greeks living in Constantinople, today there are reportedly 4,000-6,000 left, their numbers dwindling because of persecutions and purges. Already, the Turks seek to have the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate closed down, to once and for all seal the destruction of the last token of Hellenic life in that area.
In the aforementioned period, we lost the Hellenism of Byzantium, of Pontos (the north shores of Asia Minor to the Black Sea), Eastern Thrace, Asia Minor proper, and Eastern Romylia.
Turkish president Tayip Erdogan has called for “border treaty review.” He is probably asking for the borders before the hordes from the East settled in the Greek areas. The following ancient Greek toponyms, with today’s modern names in parentheses, testify to the Hellenisity of those areas will help you:
Aesani (Cavdarhisar), Alexandria (Troas), Amisos (Samson), Adrianople (Edirne), Ancyra (Ankara), Antioch (Antakya), Antioch of Pisidia (Yalvac), Antiphellus (Kas), Aphrodisias (Geyre, nr. Caracas), Aspendos (Belkis), Assos (Behramkale), Attaleia (Antalya), Brusa (Bursa), Claudipolis (Mut), Cnidos (Datca), Colophon (Degirmendere), Constantinople (Istanbul), Dephne (Harbiye), Didyma (Yenihisar), Edessa (Urfs), Ephesus (Efes, nr. Selcuk), Filyos (Hisaronu), Flaviopolis (Kadirli), Galipoli (Gelibolu), Gordion (Yassihuyuk), Halicarnassus (Bodrum), Heraklea (Erekli), Hierapolis (Pamukkale), Issos (Dortyol), Kanes (Kultepe), Lampsacus (Lapseki), Laodices (Denizli), Magnesia ad Sipylus (Manisa), Magnesia and Meander (soke), Midas (Yazilikaya), Milidia (Nr. Arslantepe), Miylassa (Milas), Myra (Demre), Neocaesarea (Niksar), Nicaea (Iznik), Nikomedia (Ismit), Nyssa (Sultanhisar), Olba-Diocaesarea (Uzuncaburc), Pergamum (Pergama), Philadeiphia (Alasehir), Philomenion (Aksehir), Phocea (Foca), Phoenicus (Finike), Pompeiopolis (I) (Viransehir), Pompeiopolis (II) (Taskopru), Sardis (Sart, nr. Salihli), Seleucia (Silifke), Smyrna (Ismir), Telmessos (Ggulluk), Theodosiopolis (Akhisar), Thyatira (Trabzon), Tripolis (Buldan), Troy (Truva) and Xanthos (Kinik).
Indeed, if we are not extremely careful and responsive, we will lose the Hellenism of Cyprus as well.
What will then be left? Hellenism of insular and mainland Greece. Turkish expansionism is already unfolding and threatening the Hellenism of the islands, which is its immediate target, along with the Hellenism of Cyprus. After that, nothing else would be left but the taking and destruction of mainland Greece. That constitutes the Turkish target for the foreseeable future. After such a horrible tragedy, there would remain only the emigrant Hellenism, which would inevitably disappear eventually in the melting pots of the host countries. I have the unshakable belief that the Greeks of abroad must have their own homeland if we are to survive as a nation, and that is desirable and necessary can be seen in the classic examples of the Jews or the Armenians.
Our native land is facing the specter of annihilation, as do the Greeks as a nation. And we, the Greek-Americans of the United States, cannot bear to remain indifferent and cannot view this matter lightheartedly, because Turkish expansionism has been planned, nurtured, strengthened, imposed, and thrust forward by certain circles in the American capital. I am referring in particular to Henry Kissinger, and to recent case of Michael Flynn. These circles, by rote repetition of the stale story about the “strategic importance of Turkey,” the “impending Russian attack,” “impending Islam,” etc., mislead and disorient the political leadership of the United States, the legislators, the intelligentsia, and the American public in general.
Turkey has already formed an Aegean army of 150,000 troops and has placed 120 landing craft opposite the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. This is a clear indication towards a specific policy, the policy that brought the Turkey into Cyprus, and the policy that keeps arming Ankara under the pretext of acting in the framework of NATO. Such a policy is aimed at the occupation of the Aegean islands and the destruction of the insular Hellenism of the Aegean.
However, this policy against Greece can be reversed with a well-planned, methodical, and continuous dissemination of information to the political leadership, members of the legislative and executive branches, intellectuals, public figures, and the American public at large. This can be accomplished only with the creation of an organ, the purpose of which would be to embrace the Hellenes of the United States, to bring them together, to come in contact with the prominent leaders, statement, scientists and men of letters among them, to inform, coordinate and direct them, so that they, the Hellenes, in turn, will become carriers of the developed ideas to points of impact, e.g. the president, senators, the secretaries of various governmental departments, and other faces of power.
If this concept comes into fruition here in the United States, it can later can be expanded to other countries with sizable Hellenic communities, such as Canada, Australia, etc., so that all the Hellenic elements around the world would be united into an international bond of Hellenism, aimed at saving our native land from the Turkish peril and threats, which are manifest and lurking. This must be done as soon as possible, because if Turkish expansionism over the Aegean materializes tomorrow, it will find us unprepared, and the consequences will be catastrophic.
In view of all the above, we all have to take an action, which under the present crucial circumstances for our native land, I considered a struggle for country and family, for altar and hearth, for the survival of Hellenism.
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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Greek Opposition Leader Mitsotakis Coming To Moscow For High Level Talks

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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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