Despite how often the age-old Thucydidean warning that those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it is repeated, the ease with which people allow the usurpers of history to enact their dastardly deeds never ceases to cause amazement.
Especially for a land like Greece, which was invaded as much as any other, or a people like the Hellenes, who suffered dearly from the hands of those invaders, one would hope that the burning oil lamp of their historical conscience would keep them vigilant and enlighten them so as to avoid the traps and snares set by their enemies lurking in the dark.
One has to look no further than the Christian genocides of the early 20th Century committed by the Neo-Turks and founders of the modern Turkish state to see this axiom proven in practice.
Over the first two decades of the 20th Century through 1922, the indigenous Christian peoples of Asia Minor (Pontians, Thracians, and other Greeks of Asia Minor, Armenians, and Assyrians) were wiped out from their ancient homelands by a practice that – by admission of Hitler himself – served as the blueprint for the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews.
The eyewitness accounts by people like U.S. Consul at Smyrna George Horton who wrote that he was “embarrassed to be a member of the human race,” are staggering. Likewise, the trial of Armenian genocide survivor Soghomon Tehlirian, who assassinated former Ottoman Interior Minister Talaat Pasha in Berlin in 1921 amongst a multitude of people for his role in orchestrating the Armenian genocide, and was found innocent after a two-day proceeding, speaks volumes.
Although admitting to committing the murder, he was found innocent by a German court due to the traumatic experience he had undergone during the genocide, in which he watched his immediate family be butchered in front of him, including his pregnant sister endure rape by Ottoman soldiers who subsequently disemboweled her and removed her dead child from her womb.
Tehlirian’s trial became a major media event exposing the German government’s prior knowledge about the Armenian massacres, which had been kept from the German public during the war. The jury, hearing the eyewitness testimony of German officers, acquitted Tehlirian.
Incidentally, as for Talaat’s remains, they were returned to Istanbul in 1943 by Nazi Germany and given burial with full honors. Naturally, a trip to the War Museum in Istanbul leaves visitors thinking that Talaat, who went as far as to explicitly order the murder of young Armenian orphans, was an innocent victim of Armenian aggression.
Every story about the victims of this protracted genocide contains its own uniquely horrific account of savagery and inhumanity. The accounts of the martyrdom of Bishop Chrysostomos of Smyrna leave no doubt about this.
The mob to which the modern-day Nero, Nureddin Pasha, turned him over to so as to avoid a trial (and the ethnomartyr’s acquittal) left no part of his body intact. Not even his right hand, with which he blessed his murderers in an exhibition of Christian love that maddened these modern-day barbarians even further – as documented by the man who reportedly shot him out of pity to put an end to his torture.
The remains of his body were never recovered. Along with him, 347 priests of the 459 serving in Smyrna were martyred, along with three more Bishops, Metropolitans Apostolos of Moschonisia, Grigorios of Kydonies, Zilon of Iconium. An estimated 1-1.5 million Greeks were killed in these genocides and the same number fled as refugees.
These stories, which some members of the Hellenic Parliament like Maria Repousi – a deputy in the party of Fotis Kouvelis, who is among those rumored for the largely ceremonial office of the Presidency of the Republic – try to downplay in their unjustifiable attempts to argue against the existence of the Christian Genocide of Anatolia, serve as dark reminders of what can happen if people forget their history.
Aside from the historic insult to the memories of the victims and their families, the danger of denial of a genocide is that it is the surest indicator of further genocidal massacres. Just 33 years after the Asia Minor Catastrophe, Turkey struck again, targeting the Greeks of Constantinople and launching a pogrom, which according to historian Alfred-Maurice de Zayas met the “intent to destroy in whole or in part” criterion of the Genocide Convention.
Less than a decade later, Turkey forcibly deported around 40,000 ethnic Greeks from Constantinople, while seizing all their worldly possessions. Similar ethnic depopulation occurred on the islands of Imvros and Tenedos, including the closing of ethnic schools and seizure of church property.
Today, with all the furor over the savagery being exhibited by the Islamic fascist organization (turned army) known as ISIS, it is worth examining the role played by Turkey in the support and growth of this group.
The media is replete with reports of jihadists operating in Syria and Lebanon who enjoy the full support of the Turkish state apparatus, such as a steady flow of Turkish arms, free passage across the Turkish border, transportation to strategic locations, treatment in Turkish hospitals, hotel accommodations, funding etc.
Furthermore, former Turkish foreign minister and current premier Ahmet Davutoglu went as far as to defend ISIS against accusations of terrorism, arguing that their members were oppressed by governments of Syria and Iraq.
And while the ugly boot of Kemalism appears to have been pushed aside by the yatagan of the Neo-Ottoman crypto-Islamist agenda of Tayyip Erdogan, the one constant that remains is Turkey’s complicity in acts of genocide. During this period of geopolitical positioning, Hellenism worldwide must remain watchful and vigilant.
The plight of the Christian peoples and other minorities in the Middle East is shaped by the history of the perpetrators of last century’s genocides.
Furthermore, vulnerable areas like Cyprus and Thrace continue to whet the appetite of Greece’s hostile neighbor to the east. To remember history is to keep alive the memory of those who unjustly perished and to keep such a tragedy from repeating.
The post History Remembered: Turkey’s Propensity For Violence appeared first on The National Herald.Source: The National Herald