Τρίτη, 17 Μαΐου 2011

Γενοκτονία και αντάρτικο






Το Σωματείο "Ενωμένη Ρωμηοσύνη" και ο Σύλλογος Ποντίων Έδεσσας "Άγιος Θεόδωρος Γαβράς" παρουσιάζουν το βιβλίο "Μνήμες του Ποντιακού Έπους, 1913-1922" του Παντελή Αναστασιάδη (Παντέλ-Αγά) καπετάνιου του Ποντιακού αντάρτικου, την Πέμπτη 19 Μαΐου 2011 και ώρα 19:00 στο πνευματικό κέντρο της Μητρόπολης, απέναντι από τον ψηλό βράχο στην Έδεσσα.



Στην εκδήλωση θα παρεβρεθούν και θα μιλήσουν η εγγονή του Παντέλ-Αγά κ. Φωτεινή Αναστασιάδου και ο κ. Θεοφάνης Μαλκίδης.


ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΣ ΠΟΝΤΙΩΝ ΕΔΕΣΣΑΣ "Ο ΑΓΙΟΣ ΘΕΟΔΩΡΟΣ ΓΑΒΡΑΣ"ΜΕΛΕΝΙΚΟΥ 18ΕΔΕΣΣΑΤ.Κ. 58200ΤΗΛ. 2381022729, 6973554438, 6971530312syllogospontionedessas@yahoo.gr

The Greek Genocide



Dr Theofanis Malkidis

19th of MAY: DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR THE GREEK GENOCIDE

1. Introduction: History

The Greeks who once lived along the southern shores of the Black Sea, as well as other parts of Asia Minor, Thrace, Cappadocia, and other regions of the former Ottoman Empire (today Turkey) constituted a significant part of the Greek population living outside Greece, who after a long existence in those regions, were forced to abandon them through violent means.

The persecutions which started just before the beginning of the First World War by the Young Turks, increased in severity during the war, and continued and culminated after 1919 when Mustafa Kemal acquired the de facto authority in the crumbling Ottoman state. The persecutions which then developed into genocide, were tragic and led to the loss of 1.000.000 Greek lives. The Greek Genocide is one of the biggest crimes against humanity which still remains unpunished, since a sizeable part of the Greek minority which inhabited territories of the Ottoman state perished. The Greeks who survived were exiled under inhumane conditions, the end result being total extermination. Thousands were converted to Islam and remained in Turkey, while those who escaped the mass murder became refugees who then became interspersed throughout the entire world. Most ended up in Russia and the former Soviet Union, Greece (and later Germany), the USA, Canada and also Australia. A number of years passed before these people regained their identity recovered from the mental scars of the ordeal. The massive extirpation of the Greeks was undeniably a crime which after a period of silence is now becoming known to the entire world.

Turkey, the Young Turks and the supporters of Mustafa Kemal from 1914 to 1923 organized and implemented the Genocide of the indigenous Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians, yet the Turkish state denies the genocide of these minorities, and distorts reality while trying to deny its responsibility. The reactive policy of Turkey on the case of genocide against its indigenous populations, continually uses the same excuse; the Armenian and Greek threat against the Ottoman empire, the state of the Young Turks, and the established order of Mustafa Kemal. Due to these factors, the Armenians, the Greeks, the Assyrians and others, from 1908 to 1924 experienced extermination and persecution. In this way the massive crime and the uprooting of indigenous populations from their mother country was committed. This was the ‘final solution’ for the Armenian and Greek issue. It was the ‘final solution’ but it was also the first genocide of the 20th century. And as there has been a lack of punishment, the Jewish holocaust then followed. ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’ Hitler once said while planning his own ‘final solution’.

Nearly a century later, Turkish policy on genocide denial hasn’t changed at all, although in recent years more and more people in Turkey are attempting to state the historical truth. The state however does not allow these different opinions to be heard openly or tends to criticize them or suppress them with every possible means, such as the assassination of the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.

However, it seems that violence cannot silence the truth completely. ‘The struggle of humanity against any imposition is the struggle of memory against oblivion’, wrote the well-known Czech writer Milan Kountera. And he is right: although many people, who are not related to humanity, ignore historical crimes because of their political, financial and other reasons, humanity is obliged to strive against these with all its powers. As time goes by, this will not be an obstacle for the next generation of Greeks and of all the democratic people throughout the world, and definitely in Turkey. All these people will not forget and will not abandon this struggle, because they know that sooner or later the time will come that it will be unthinkable to deny the genocide of the Greeks and the battle of memory struggling against oblivion will be resolved. Only then, will all populations live peacefully, harmoniously, on friendly terms, and light will have defeated darkness.

2.The Greek Genocide

The decision to implement the genocide was taken by the Young Turks (Cemal, Enver and Talat Pasha) in 1911, and was put into practice during the First World War, and then completed by Mustafa Kemal in 1919 – 1923. The persecutions originally appeared in the form of violence, destruction of property, deportations and exiles. Soon though, they became better organized, extensive and turned gravely against the Greeks and the Armenians.

The first phase of the Greek Genocide is traced to 1908 and lasts until the beginning of World War I with the rise of the Young Turks to powerful positions in the Ottoman Empire. Germany’s assistance as a strategic ally of the Ottoman state created the right conditions for the initiation of the expulsion of the Greeks of Thrace. During that period, there are no more declarations by the Young Turks regarding fair and equal treatment of all minorities - on the contrary the Greeks were now marked for extermination. A major part of this extermination was the “Special Organization”, whose paramilitary structure made the Greeks and the Armenians their targets.

The second period began in 1914 when fighting during World War I allowed the promotion of the genocidal policies. The Young Turk government ordered a number of actions to be taken in order to further continue the extermination of the Greeks together with the genocide of the Armenians.

The period 1919-1923 is the third and last yet more intense phase of the genocide which saw the establishment of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) into the interior of the Ottoman state. Coincidentally this is the time of the establishment of the Soviet Union which provided aid to the nationalistic movement of Kemal, as well as the change of course in exterior policy affairs of the great European powers.

The Young Turks and the Kemalist authorities pre-planned and realized the genocide. The orders for the deportations of the Greek populations to Kurdistan, Syria and elsewhere either in the form of governmental decisions, either as bills of the National Assembly, such as 1041 of the 12th June 1921 and 941 of the 16th June in the same year, had been signed both by the Young Turks and Kemal himself.
Consequently until 1923, the Young-Turks and the Kemalists, having taken harsh measures against the Greeks through the means of expulsions, rapes, slaughters, deportations and hangings, exterminated hundreds of thousands of Greeks.

Among the victims of the genocide were a great number of women and children, which was one of the particular plans of the extermination plan. This can be verified through the reports and documents of foreign ambassadors, consuls, embassies, and others where one can find references to these acts of slaughter and brutality.


The final chapter of this mass murder deals with the forced removal of the survivors from their homeland. With the treaty regarding the population exchange which was signed by both Greece and Turkey in 1923, the uprooting of the Thracian Greeks from their land is completed, thus ending the case of one of the bloodiest mass murders in the history of mankind. After 27 centuries of presence, prosperity and contribution of a historical nation, the Greeks of Thrace, Pontus, Asia Minor, Cappadocia etc, abandoned the land of their ancestors, their homes, churches, graves, and a culture which had world wide appeal.

The Greeks of the former Ottoman Empire who nowadays reside in Greece, U.S.A, Canada, Australia, the remainder of Europe and throughout the world, want justice to be attributed in the name of their ancestors that were murdered during the genocide by the Ottoman state. A genocide that cost the life of 1.000.000 Greeks and resulted in more than 1.220.000 Greeks becoming refugees.


3. The Epilogue (?)

The presence of influential Greeks in Thrace, Pontus, Asia Minor, Cappadocia following Ottoman domination was considered a threat. The system of authority and the government resulted in discrimination against the Christians. With the creation of the Young Turks in the Ottoman state, a nationalistic ideology appeared and consolidated. And with their coming to power in 1908, there was a desire for the Christian populations to become extinct - a dream which came true during World War I - and the Greeks were a central target.

When the genocide of the Armenians reached its final phase, it was time for the Greeks to be exterminated by the same means: massacres, violence, arrests of women and children, violent conversion to Islam, death marches. These facts are confirmed by survivors of the genocide as well as foreign witnesses. Many people fled the region taking refuge in Russia.

The Greek Genocide continued after the end of WW I. On the 19th of May 1919, Mustafa Kemal arrived at Samsun. Operations of mass assassinations, deportations, banishments, destruction of cultural and religious property took place as well as burning of villages and towns. No one can explain these crimes and this fact is confirmed by the Turks, many foreigners and allies of Kemal’s coup.

Between 1916 and 1923 approximately 1.000.000 of the more than 2.600.000 Greeks (census 1914) were lost due to massacres, deportations and death marches. This premeditated destruction of roughly 50% of the Greek population constitutes genocide according to criteria of the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Article 2, paragraphs a, b, c, d and e).

In order to not repeat this crime, the responsible parties must be identified and held to account. The truth must be sought and presented to international public opinion, which is capable of judging and sentencing without self-interest. On the other hand, the contemporary Turkish state has to answer for the Greek Genocide without making propagandist claims. The Turkish state which was created by Mustafa Kemal, as well as the Young Turks, are responsible for the crime of Genocide. All nation states have the right to intensely demand recognition from the perpetrators. The more the facts are hidden, the more intense this desire for recognition will become. Recognition is a big step towards the fight against genocide; Recognition confirms a nation’s right towards the respect of its existence according to international law and historic truth.

Γενοκτονία



Θεοφάνης Μαλκίδης

19η Μαΐου . Ημέρα Μνήμης της Γενοκτονίας

Η αφετηρία της παρουσίας του Ελληνισμού που ζούσε στο Οθωμανικό κράτος, στη σημερινή Τουρκία, ξεκινά από το μύθο και καταλήγει στην ιστορική πραγματικότητα, εδώ και χιλιάδες χρόνια.
Σε όλες τις χρονικές περιόδους οι Έλληνες είχαν πάντοτε κεντρικό ρόλο, στην φιλοσοφία, στις τέχνες, στις επιστήμες, στην κοινωνική, οικονομική και πολιτική ζωή.
Η κατάληψη της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως από τους Οθωμανούς το 1453, ήταν οι σφαγές, οι λεηλασίες και ο βίαιος εξισλαμισμός, η φυγή προς τη δυτική Ευρώπη και τις παραδουνάβιες χώρες, τη Ρωσία.
Οι Έλληνες αντιμετώπισαν τραγικές στιγμές, όταν πραγματοποιούνται ομαδικοί εξισλαμισμοί των ελληνικών πληθυσμών και η βία κυριαρχεί παντού. Ανάμεσα στους πληθυσμούς που εξισλαμίστηκαν παρατηρήθηκε και το φαινόμενο του κρυπτοχριστιανισμού.
Από τις αρχές του 18ου αιώνα οι Έλληνες άρχισεαν να ξαναριζώνουν στην πατρίδα τους και στις αρχές του 20ου αιώνα οι Έλληνες ήταν πάνω από 2.600.000.
Η ανάπτυξη αυτή θα διακοπεί μετά την απόφαση από τους Νεότουρκους και τους Κεμαλικούς για τη γενοκτονία.

Η πρώτη φάση της Γενοκτονίας των Ελλήνων ξεκινά το 1908 και κρατά μέχρι την έναρξη του Α’ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου.
Η δεύτερη περίοδος ξεκίνησε το 1915 και ολοκληρώνεται το 1918. Το Οθωμανικό κράτος βρίσκεται σε πόλεμο με τις δυνάμεις της Αντάντ και η υλοποίηση του οργανωμένου σχεδίου φαίνεται πιο εύκολη.
Η περίοδος 1919-1923 αποτελεί την τρίτη, τελευταία και πιο έντονη φάση γενοκτονίας, με την εδραίωση του Μουσταφά Κεμάλ στο οθωμανικό εσωτερικό.
Τα τάγματα εργασίας, οι μαζικές δολοφονίες, οι εξορίες, η δίωξη παιδιών και γυναικών, η εξόντωση της ηγεσίας, είχαν σαν αποτέλεσμα να εξαφανισθεί ο μισός πληθυσμός των Ελλήνων του Πόντου.
Τον επίλογο της γενοκτονίας αποτελεί ο βίαιος ξεριζωμός των επιζώντων Ελλήνων. Με τη συνθήκη της ανταλλαγής των πληθυσμών έρχονται στην Ελλάδα και τα τελευταία υπολείμματα της γενοκτονίας. Σύντομα πολλοί θα αναζητήσουν καλύτερες συνθήκες διαβίωσης στο εξωτερικό, ενώ σε λιγότερο από τη χρονική περίοδο μίας γενιάς αρκετοί θα ξαναγίνουν πρόσφυγες με τη λήξη του εμφυλίου πολέμου. Εκεί στις χώρες της πρώην Σοβιετικής Ένωσης θα ξαναβρούν τους συγγενείς τους και συμπολίτες τους και θα μάθουν για την τύχη των αγνοούμενων μετά τη γενοκτονία.
Η εκρίζωση αυτή των Ελλήνων είναι από τα πρωτοφανή εγκλήματα στην ανθρώπινη ιστορία. Ύστερα από 27 αιώνες ζωής παρουσίας και προσφοράς ένα κομμάτι ενός ιστορικού έθνους εκριζώθηκε αφήνοντας πατρογονικές εστίες, εκκλησίες, τάφους προγόνων και κατέφυγε στις ακτές της Ελλάδος. Στον Πόντο παρέμειναν μόνο μέχρι σήμερα οι Ποντιόφωνοι εξισλαμισμένοι.
Στις 24 Φεβρουαρίου 1994 η Βουλή των Ελλήνων ψήφισε την ανακήρυξη της 19ης Μαΐου την ημέρα που ο Μουσταφά Κεμάλ αποβιβάστηκε στη Σαμψούντα το 1919, ως «Ημέρα Μνήμης για τη Γενοκτονία».

Μέχρι σήμερα την γενοκτονία των Ελλήνων έχει αναγνωρίσει η Βουλή των Αντιπροσώπων της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας, η Βουλή της Σουηδίας, η Βουλή της Νότιας Αυστραλίας καθώς και πολιτείες των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών της Αμερικής.
Την υπόθεση έχει απασχολήσει τον ΟΗΕ, τον Οργανισμό για την Ασφάλεια και τη Συνεργασία στην Ευρώπη και την Επιτροπή Ευρωπαϊκών Υποθέσεων του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου.

Σήμερα που άλλοι λαοί υφίστανται νέες γενοκτονίες πρέπει να γίνει το πρώτο βήμα για την αναγνώριση του εγκλήματος της γενοκτονίας των Ελλήνων, ενώ παράλληλα το τουρκικό κράτος οφείλει να αναλάβει την ευθύνη για τη γενοκτονία των Ελλήνων.
Κάθε λαός έχει δικαίωμα στη μνήμη, έχει το δικαίωμα να απαιτεί με επιμονή την επίσημη αναγνώριση από τις αρχές των εγκλημάτων και αδικιών που διαπράχτηκαν σε βάρος του. Όσο μεγαλύτερη είναι η αδικία, όσο περισσότερο χρόνο αποκρύφτηκαν τα γεγονότα, τόσο πιο έντονη είναι η επιθυμία για μια τέτοια αναγνώριση. Αναγνώριση η οποία είναι ένας ουσιαστικός τρόπος πάλης ενάντια στη μάστιγα της γενοκτονίας, αναγνώριση που αποτελεί μία επιβεβαίωση του δικαιώματος του ελληνικού λαού να γίνει σεβαστή η ύπαρξή του σύμφωνα με το διεθνές δίκαιο και την ιστορία.

The Genocide




The Armenian and Greek Genocide

Part of a speech by Τheofanis Malkidis at an event concerning the Armenian Genocide in Athens. April 2011



The decision of parliaments, international organizations and government institutions around the world regarding the Armenians and genocide, is always a historic moment not only for the Armenian people, but for every democratic man and woman who supports history, justice and truth. The efforts to highlight the genocide come despite some non-diplomatic pressures. But many people have worked hard and managed to pass resolutions on the Armenian Genocide.

American diplomat Henry Morgenthaou once wrote, “the Turkish authorities, in giving orders to implement the measure of displacement did nothing more than to recite the death sentence of an entire people."

The genocide of 1,500,000 Armenians and 1.000.000 Greeks in the early part of the 20th century, constitutes a genocide which has not been punished and thus has been a precursor for other mass crimes. Before Hitler began the Jewish Holocaust he said, "who remembers the Armenians?" It has been a remarkable effort by the Armenian diaspora to highlight the issue since it was first discussed, and thus punishing those responsible for the Holocaust. A position that has been consistent regardless of where they reside in the world – a clear fight for recognition of the genocide that claimed so many lives.

A member of the Swedish parliament, Gulan Avci, went against her party and voted in favour of the Armenian Genocide by saying, "every time another country recognizes the genocide, the truth is approaching a little closer for Turkey. It is no longer possible to escape or remain silent about the past. It's time for Turkey to recognize the genocide… The last stage of genocide is denial, and unfortunately Turkey today is at this very stage. It's time for Turkey to come to terms with its Kemalist heritage. The recognition of genocide is not a blow to Turkey. In contrast, non-recognition is a blow for justice… And I'm fairly confident that justice can only be a good thing. Justice must be enforced on Turkey.... While Turkey is trying to cover up the issue there will never be reconciliation. If the memory of the victims is not respected, people will not be able to heal their wounds and continue. It is important that all the forces that believe in human values continue to struggle and exert pressure on Turkey to accept the truth and admit that it committed Genocide ".

Silence, lies and forgetfulness should be a thing of the past and people’s struggle for freedom and the truth should be vindicated. Regimes responsible for crimes against humanity of such magnitude must face their history and justice must be done. Truth always wins against propaganda, falsehood, lobbyists and money.

Theofanis Malkidis is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars .

The political event in memory of victims of the Armenian Genocide in

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-nP4lrWnLs

See also

Armenian Parliament calls for recognition of Armenian, Greek , Assyrian Genocides
MEDIA RELEASE May 3, 2011

The Peak Public Affairs Committee of the Armenian-Australian Community


YEREVAN: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) reports that the parliament of the Republic of Armenia called upon parliaments and legislative bodies throughout the world to recognise and condemn the genocide of the Armenians, Hellenes and Assyrians perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey from 1915 to 1923. In a Parliamentary Declaration on the occasion of the 96th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the Republic of Armenia National Assembly Speaker, Hovik Abrahamyan stated that recognition of the genocides perpetrated against the Armenians, Hellenes and Assyrians would lead to the restoration of justice and the of prevention other genocides in the future.He said: “For the resolution of this injustice, the prevention of further genocides and the establishment of good neighbourly relations between Armenia and Turkey, the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia calls on the parliaments of the world to recognise and condemn the genocides perpetrated against the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian peoples in Turkey at the beginning of the last century.”Directing his message to Turkey, Abrahamyan then declared: “The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia calls upon the legislative and executive authorities of Turkey to remove all the legal, political and other obstacles, that prevent Turkish society from freely studying and discussing the past, especially the facts of the genocide for which Ottoman Turkey is responsible.”ANC Australia Executive Director Varant Meguerditchian welcomed the Parliamentary Declaration.“The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia’s policy regarding Turkish responsibility for and denial of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides is clear and unequivocal,” he said. “ANC Australia takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to work with the Australian Hellenic Council and the Assyrian Universal Alliance Australia to advocate for the recognition of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides by the Federal government of Australia.”
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During the last days of the Ottoman Empire the Government implemented a policy of Genocide upon its Christian Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian population. As a result, up to 1.5million Armenian, 1million Hellene and 750,000 Assyrian men, women and children lost their lives between 1915 and 1923.On July 9, 2010 ANC Australia the Australian Hellenic Council (AHC) and the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) released a joint statement outlining their agreement to focus on genocide recognition:Whereby, Australia is signatory to the UN Genocide Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and has demonstrated leadership on international human rights issues; whereby, the people of Australia provided food, clothing and shelter to victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide, the Hellenic Genocide and the Assyrian Genocide as part of an international humanitarian relief effort known as the Near East Relief; and whereby, throughout World War One, Australian servicemen witnessed the systematic annihilation of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian peoples in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 - 1923; ANC Australia, the AHC and the AUA commit to their moral responsibility to seek recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Hellenic Genocide and Assyrian Genocide by the Federal Government of Australia as a measure aimed at preventing similar crimes against humanity from ever occurring again.

Για την οικονομική κρίση

Μία συζήτηση για την οικονομική κρίση . Ο Δημήτρης Κολιός συζητά με το Φάνη Μαλκίδη για τις νέες εξελίξεις σχετικά με την οικονομική κρίση στην Ελλάδα. Ακούστε όλη τη συνέντευξη που δόθηκε την Τρίτη 17 Μαίου 2011 στο ραδιοφωνικό σταθμό MAXIMUM FM στον ιστοτόπο.

http://www.radiomax.gr/maxsite//modules/mod_jlplayer/standalone.php

Cyprus

Stavros T.Stavridis

Greek-Cypriots and Enosis with Greece 1915 and 1919
Cyprus is a beautiful island which occupies an important strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and Middle East. The Greek Cypriots wanted union with Greece with Britain willing to cede the island so long as Athens went to the assistance of Serbia in October 1915. The offer lapsed with Greek Premier Zaimis carrying out King Constantine’s neutral foreign policy. In early 1919, Greek-Cypriot fortunes for enosis revived once again and only to be dashed by the British government’s refusal to cede Cyprus to Greece.
1 The offer of Cyprus to Greece October 1915
When the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers: Germany and Austro-Hungary in October 1914, Great Britain annexed Cyprus which became a British colony. With the British war effort bogged down on the Western front and at Gallipoli, she looked towards opening up a new front in the Balkans. Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos invited Anglo-French troops to land in Salonika in early October 1915 to go to the assistance of Serbia. Venizelos was very keen for Greece to join the Entente powers: Great Britain, France, Russia and Italy. This action brought Venizelos into direct conflict with King Constantine who dismissed him from office. Alexander Zaimis was appointed Prime Minister to oversee King Constantine’s neutral foreign policy.
Britain offered Cyprus to Greece in October on the condition that she went to the assistance of Serbia. Under the terms of the Greek-Serbian Treaty of 1913, Greece was obliged to aid her ally against a Bulgarian attack. King Constantine refused to come to Serbia's aid "claiming that the Treaty did not apply to a war in which Serbia was not only attacked by Bulgaria but a Great Power (Germany)". Zaimis consulted with the King and his cabinet colleagues before officially responding to the British offer. His response was that Greece wished to maintain its neutrality and even the offer of Cyprus did not offer her many advantages either. The Greek-Cypriots were greatly disappointed to learn of the Greek Government’s refusal to accept the British offer. There was nothing they could do in the present circumstances because of the war. It was also hoped that Britain would cede Cyprus to Greece in the future which would make enosis a reality. Unfortunately Cyprus was divided along Venizelist and Constantinist lines thus relegating any notions of enosis into the background.
The abdication of King Constantine in June 1917 signaled the return of Venizelos to power who immediately entered the war on the side of the Entente. For many Greek- Cypriots, the armistice of Mudros signed on October 30, 1918 offered the hope that the issue of enosis might be taken up by Eleftherios Venizelos at the forthcoming Paris Peace Conference. In order to bolster their position for enosis, a Greek-Cypriot delegation headed by Archbishop Kyrillos 111 visited London and Paris.
2. Paris Peace Conference 1919
Two British diplomats Harold Nicolson and Eyre Crowe attached to the British peace delegation in Paris discussed the future of Cyprus in January 1919. Nicolson noted in his diary that Crowe was “cantankerous about Cyprus” and would not even allow him to outline his concerns. Nicolson stated that Britain had acquired the island “by a trick as disreputable as that which the Italians collared the Dodecanese” and was “no use to us strategically or economically.” He further argued that Britain could not claim the high moral ground by retaining Cyprus and exhibiting “moral indignation at the Italians retaining Rhodes?” The Greek-Cypriots had the right to seek union with Greece for which Crowe described Nicolson’s position as “nonsense…and not being clear-headed.”
On February 3, Venizelos outlined Greece’s territorial claims before the Council of Ten (British Empire, US, France, Italy and Japan). On Cyprus, he stated:
It might be asked why no specific claim had been put forward to the island of Cyprus. He had not done so for various reasons, the most important of these being that he was convinced that the British Government …would at the end of war be sufficiently magnanimous to surrender Cyprus to Greece.
Venizelos believed that Britain would make a gesture of surrendering the island to Greece but his idea was one borne out of hope rather than insistence. On the other hand, Venizelos was more interested in achieving his nation’s territorial gains in Asia Minor, Northern Epirus, Thrace, the Dodecanese, Imbros, Tenedos, Kastelorizo and Rhodes. George Georghallides succinctly describes Venizelos’ ambivalence over Cyprus that “the main task of Greece was to liberate the bulk of the long-suffering Greek communities living in near Asia Minor coast and in Thrace and to consolidate the Greek occupation of the Greek islands.”
The Cypriot delegation visited London in the hope of convincing British officials of their desire to be united with Greece. On February 5, 1919 the Times of London reported that the Cypriot delegation met with the Colonial Secretary, Lord Milner to discuss the future of Cyprus. During the meeting Milner stated that he knew very little about Cyprus but understood the island’s historical importance. He appreciated the aspirations of the Cypriots for union with Greece but would consider their case. The British Foreign Office made it very clear to the Cypriot deputation that “we do not intend to cede Cyprus to Greece and nothing is to be gained by pretending that we do.” Milner’s response appears somewhat insincere whereas the Foreign Office had made its decision of keeping the island under British control.
3. Another appeal for enosis
On July 21, 1919 the Cyprus delegation’s letter was published in the Times where they continued to argue for union with Greece. They appreciated the benefits of British administration but the Cypriots demanded enosis with Greece based on ‘strong ties of blood…their language and religion.” The Cypriots argued that their island was not as important strategically as the British might have thought. Any future British interest in Cyprus could easily be concluded between Greece and Britain. The Muslim minority would have its rights fully respected and would have nothing to fear from a Greek administration. Examples were cited of their co-religionists in Crete, Thessaly and Macedonia who enjoyed the benefits and privileges of Greek citizenship where they were employed in the Greek civil service, they also elected mayors and “deputies to the Chamber.” However the Turkish Cypriots were content with British rule and did not desire to be placed under Greek rule.
The British remained unmoved by the Cypriots call for union with Greece and put forward a number of proposals to justify its retention of the island in October 1919. A British Admiralty memorandum argued that Cyprus occupied an important strategic position which was close to the ports of Port Said, Haifa, Mersina, Alexandretta, Adalia and Beirut which could easily be patrolled by the Britsh planes. Whilst lacking natural harbors, Famagusta situated on the east coast had the prospect of becoming an excellent base for submarines and destroyers. An airbase could easily be constructed at Famagusta for the Royal Airforce.
The Admiralty outlined additional reasons for retaining Cyprus as it possessed minerals (copper, gypsum, copper sulphate and asbestos), grains (wheat and barley), potatoes, and timber which was largely untapped compared to Asia Minor and Syria where forests had been destroyed by wasteful practices. Cyprus was largely self-sufficient which also supplied food and timber to the British army who fought in the Middle East. The Air Ministry concurred with the views of the Admiralty.
The British Government was concerned that should Cyprus fall into the hands of a hostile power, then its position in Egypt and Suez Canal would be under threat. They considered Greece a weak power who possibly might not be able to defend Cyprus in a time of conflict. Furthermore Britain kept a close eye on Italian naval ambitions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Under the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, Britain could not cede Cyprus to a third party without the consent of France.
The proposed British cession of Cyprus to Greece was a hasty decision made under the exigencies of the First World War. Britain was not prepared to part with this important strategic island which played a prominent role in her imperial communications in the Eastern Mediterranean .Unfortunately the aspirations of the Greek-Cypriots for enosis were dashed by both Venizelos and the British Government.
Stavros T.Stavridis

Δευτέρα, 16 Μαΐου 2011

Θράκη




Φάνης Μαλκίδης

Η επέτειος της απελευθέρωσης της Θράκης
ως απαρχή επαναθρακοποίησης των Θρακών

Μέρος της ομιλίας του Φάνη Μαλκίδη σε εκδήλωση του Φιλεκπαιδευτικού Ομίλου Αλεξανδρούπολης για την απελευθέρωση της Θράκης.

Η τελευταία πράξη της τριχοτόμησης της ενιαίας Θράκης, της οποίας το μικρότερο μέρος βρίσκεται σήμερα στην Ελλάδα, γράφτηκε στη Λωζάννη.
Από τότε πέρασε, ένας σχεδόν αιώνας αφωνίας και σιωπής πέρασε από τότε ένας στρατός που δεν ηττήθηκε ακολουθούμενος από πρόσφυγες, όπως έγραψε ο Έρνεστ Χεμινγουέι, πέρασαν τον ποταμό Έβρο.
Ένας αιώνας από τότε που χιλιάδες άνθρωποι, οι γονείς μας, οι παππούδες και οι γιαγιάδες μας, άφησαν τις οικίες τους, τα εκπαιδευτήρια, τους χώρους λατρείας τους, αυτά που είχαν οικοδομήσει, οι δικοί τους πρόγονοι, αιώνες πριν. Την ίδια στιγμή άνθρωποι έξω από κάθε δίκαιο και ηθική, διαπραγματεύτηκαν τις ψυχές αυτές χωρίς αιδώ, σε μία πόλη και μία συνθήκη (Λωζάννη) που μύριζε «αίμα και πετρέλαιο», όπως ανέφεραν οι ελβετικές εφημερίδες της εποχής.

Οι Θρακιώτες της Σηλυβρίας, της Ραιδεστού, της Μακράς Γέφυρας, των Μαλγάρων, των Σαράντα Εκκλησιών, της Αδριανούπολης ξεριζώθηκαν, όπως ξεριζώθηκαν λίγα χρόνια πριν οι συμπατριώτες τους από την Αγχίαλο, τη Σοζώπολη, τη Βάρνα, τον Πύργο, τη Φιλιππούπολη. Και έμειναν οι Θρακιώτες χωρίς Θράκη, να κοιτούν πληγές, να μετρούν τις απώλειες και να ψάχνουν τους αγνοούμενούς τους. Κορυφαία στιγμή του ξεριζωμού η φυγή από την Αδριανούπολη, το Κάραγατς και τα χωριά της περιοχής. Τότε που οι Αδριανουπολίτες θυσιάστηκαν για να σωθεί η Ελλάδα. Η νέα, όπως το συνθετικό στην ονομασία πριν από πολλές πόλεις και χωριά των Θρακών στην Ελλάδα, Ιφιγένεια, ήταν η Αδριανούπολη. Μία Ιφιγένεια που έσωσε την Ελλάδα του 1922.

Κάθε προσπάθεια, κάθε αναφορά, στην ιδιαίτερη μας πατρίδα, τη Θράκη, είναι μία ψηφίδα για να σχηματιστεί ξανά το ψηφιδωτό που καταστράφηκε το 1922. Το ψηφιδωτό το οποίο προσπαθούν θεσμοί, πρόσωπα, σύλλογοι να συνθέσουν ξανά, για να επανέλθουν οι μνήμες, οι εικόνες, οι μυρωδιές. Από τη γέφυρα στο ποτάμι, τα ωραία και φωτεινά σχολεία, τις εκκλησίες, τα όμορφα δέντρα, μέχρι τα αρτοποιεία, τα ζαχαροπλαστεία και το σιδηρόδρομο. Αυτόν που κάθε Θρακιώτης και απόγονός του είχε ως εικόνα ζωής, ορόσημο και ένωση Δύσης – Ανατολής και αντίστροφα, μέχρι που να απαξιωθεί και να στέκεται σήμερα εγκαταλελειμμένος και καταστραμμένος.

Κάθε αγώνας για τη Θράκη είναι αναμφισβήτητα απαραίτητος, αφού μετά από χρόνια στο παρασκήνιο, αναδεικνύονται παλιά αλλά όχι ξεχασμένα και φέρνει στο πεδίο της σκέψης μας την καταγωγή μας, την κληρονομιά μας. Αυτήν που δεν πρέπει να παραδώσουμε ακόμη μία φορά, την ώρα που οι θύτες προκαλούν ζώντες και κεκοιμημένους. Κάθε αναφορά στην ιδιαίτερη πατρίδα μας είναι καθοριστική γιατί από το χώρο των συναισθημάτων και της συγκινησιακής φόρτισης ως μοναδικού τρόπου προσέγγισης της Θράκης, και των άλλων πατρίδων της καθ΄ ημάς Ανατολής, περάσαμε στη δυναμική, παραγωγική, ζωντανή και δημιουργική μνήμη.

Μπορεί να βρισκόμαστε ακόμη στην αρχή για να νικηθούν οι δυνάμεις της αμνησίας, ωστόσο, όπως σημείωνε ο Γκάντι, μία μεγάλη προσωπικότητα που νίκησε μία αυτοκρατορία χωρίς βία, αλλά με τη σκέψη του, «στην αρχή σε αγνοούν, ύστερα σε περιφρονούν, μετά σε πολεμούν, στο τέλος νικάς».

Η μεγαλύτερη συνεισφορά και συμβολή μας, για τη Θράκη είναι η επανθακοποίησή μας, η ανάκτηση της μνήμης και της ταυτότητάς μας που δημιουργεί συνθήκες για την αλήθεια, δηλαδή τη μη λήθη. Όπως έγραφε ο Τσέχος συγγραφέας Μίλαν Κούντερα, «η πάλη του ανθρώπου ενάντια στην εξουσία είναι η πάλη της μνήμης κατά της λήθης».

Στην εκδήλωση διανεμήθηκε ως ελάχιστη προσφορά, η έκδοση του Φιλεκπαιδευτικού Ομίλου Αλεξανδρούπολης, για τη Θράκη.