17 readers online now  |  69 million page views

An outpost against Turkish jihad

Reader comment on item: Kastelorizo - Mediterranean Flashpoint?
in response to reader comment: Kastelorizo an Italian name

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Feb 22, 2012 at 11:16

Mozere wrote :

> So it is right and proper a very small ex-Italian islet with a population of 450 should trump rights of a nation of 75 million with a very long Mediterranean coast?<

What "rights" are you talking about? Maybe those favorite inalienable Turkish "rights" to organize pogroms, genocides, forcible conversions to Islam, aggressions and annexations?

Now if you subtract the number of Kurds who do not consider themselves to be Turks at all and who want to form a big independent state, you will find that the "nation" you mean isn't that big and united in the first place. And I agree Turkey's Mediterranean coast is too long. But if you give the vilayet of Alexandrette back to Syria ( instead of smuggling weapons and Islamic terrorists across the Syrian border under the disguise of "humanitarian aid"), then the coast will be reduced considerably. It shrinks further if you think of Cilicia as a historical part of Magna Armenia. The last Armenian villages there were exterminated by Kemal in 1923.

You also say something about "an Italian name" and "an ex-Italian island with a population of 450". You sound like an expert on the island's history,don't you? Well, let's listen to a better expert. In his "Journal of a tour in Asia Minor "(London 1824) William Martin Leake , a famous British scholar and military officer employed by the Ottoman empire, writes on page 127 "Of those places which I visited on the coast , and which deserve to be more thoroughly described than they have yet been , the most remarkable are ... 2 /the island called "Καστελόρυζον" by the Greeks and Castel Rosso by the Italians. It is a flourishing little Greek town , carriyng on a considerable commerce of timber and charcoal with Egypt. In the plain in the interior of the island, I found some remains of ancient buildings, of Hellenic construction . The importance of the situation must have at all times attracted inhabitants".

As to the ancient Greek name of the island "Megiste" it is , paradoxically enough, preserved in the Turkish name of the island 'Meis'. The island's history is by all means worth recalling. It begins around 1600 BC as a remote outpost the Mycenaean civilization. As we know, Mycenaean Linear B preserved the most archaic form of Greek. On the island Mycenaean graves were found as well as remains of Cyclopic walls and inscriptions. There was a big temple of Apollo Triopios whose worship was popular in the island. A Mycenaean golden crown from Megiste is now in the Archaeological Museum in Athens. The Dorian Hellenes who occupied the island boasted of having taken part in the Trojan war. Later they were controlled from the Dorian island of Rhodes by officers called "epistates". But between 334-304 BC they issued their own coins which shows they were autonomous at that time. As a result of the wars of the diadochi the island came under the domination of Ptolomey I of Egypt. In the later Roman republic it was an important naval base from which the Romans successfully fought pirates in the Eastern Mediterranean. Perhaps thanks to this role the island enjoyed a brief period of autonomy in the early Roman empire. In the Byzantine times it belonged to the insular thema (military province) Kyvyraeoti and was affected by all the wars Byzantium had to wage against the Arab and then Turkish jihad.

The idea to combat Moslem jihad which had conquered ancient Christian territories in the East was staunchly upheld by Western religious military orders. One of them were the Knights Hospitaller or the Knights of St. John. Under their Grand Master Foulques de Villaret in 1306 the island was occupied and a castle built on the red rocks which gave its new Frankish name to Megiste. The Knights themselves established their headquarters in Rhodes which for more than two centuries was the impregnable stronghold against Turkish jihad. In 1480 these men did what 27 year earlier the Greeks couldn't do. They decimated the army of Mehmet II and captured the legendary standard of the prophet and thus thwarted Islam's attempt to impose its yoke on Rhodes.

Being more exposed to attacks Kastelorizo itself changed hands many times. After it had been ravaged by the Sultan of Egypt Jelal ad-Din, it was controlled briefly by the Catalans, the king of Naples and then Venice. It didn't see see any Turkish occupiers until 1523. The Turks lost it again in 1570, but regained it in 1659. In 1788 Lambros Katzonis with a small Greek fleet acting on behalf of Russian Empress Catherine II who was waging her second Turkish war, captured the island. Between 1828-1833 the island was again liberated but the Great Western Powers preferred to transfer it back to their naughty darling -Turkey.

Dramatic was the island's history in the 20th century. It started as a prosperous island with c. 12 000 inhabitants , with schools that counted up to 1000 children, beautiful churches like those of St. Constantine and Helen Cathedral , St. George Church , St. Lucas Church and other smaller ones, with monasteries and chapels. But when Turkey began to draft young people into its notorious army in 1904-1905 mass exodus set in. More dramatic changes came soon with WWI and later with WWII. First the French ships and German artillery dug in on the Asiatic shore shelled the island in WWI. In WWII British, Italian and German aviation and commandos engaged in fierce fighting that devastated the island. The most tragic event the island saw in July 1944 when a vast fire that spread to the ammunition depots with explosions and heat that destroyed c. 1400 houses.

It is also worth stressing that Italy gained Kastelorizo in 1921 as a result of the Treaty of Sèvres which Kemalist Turkey has always strictly rejected. Yet, it solemnly and officially did recognize the fact created by the Treaty it did denounce in virtue of Article 3 of the Turkish-Italian Convention of Januray 4th,1932. This convention applies to today's frontiers as the Paris Peace Treaty signed with Italy on February 10th, 1947 stipulates in Article 14 "Italy hereby cedes to Greece in full sovereignty the Dodecanese Islands indicated hereafter, namely Stampalia (Astropalia), Rhodes (Rhodos), Calki (Kharki), Scarpanto, Casos (Casso), Piscopis (Tilos), Misiros (Nisyros), Calimnos (Kalymnos), Leros, Patmos, Lipsos (Lipso), Simi (Symi), Cos (Kos) and Castellorizo, a well as the adjacent islets. the island automatically became part of Greece."

Now if we look back at Kastelorizo's 2600 year-old history we can make a few interesting observations. Between the 17th century BC and AD 1306 it was to all intents and purposes a purely Greek territory in terms of population, culture, tradition and politics. What is more, even those Westerners who controlled it later used it to fight Turkey's jihadist war on Europe as Byzantium had done as long as it was physically able to do so. But then unlike now nobody asked if a small island could trump the "rights" of a nation that was the spearhead of worldwide jihadist aggression. On the contrary, then as now the island was an effective barricade to contain Ottoman and Neo-Ottoman terror and aggression in the Mediterranean and the Aegean.

If Turkey, true to her jihadist tradition and mentality, chooses to break international law that is clearly against her encroachments, baseless claims and bullying, then I am afraid that her neo-Ottoman jihad will have to be answered with the language the Knights Hospitaller from Castelrosso and Rhodes once spoke to Mehmet II and his jihadist hordes.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submit a comment on this item

Submitting....

Reader comments (70) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
8Kastelorizo is just a sign [583 words]AlexandrosFeb 27, 2012 11:47193708
2Florida of Europe [292 words]MozereFeb 28, 2012 10:26193708
5other benchmarks [45 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanFeb 28, 2012 20:27193708
3Not exactly [724 words]AlexandrosFeb 29, 2012 06:19193708
11"Wounds which a mentally sterile Asiatic horde inflicted on Christian civilization still bleed after 500 years " [2725 words]IanusFeb 29, 2012 16:47193708
3A question or two [417 words]IanusFeb 29, 2012 17:47193708
3Answers to Ianus, hope to hear more opinions and from others [1445 words]AlexandrosMar 1, 2012 11:41193708
1regional cooperation [322 words]MozereMar 1, 2012 12:22193708
9Additional reply to Mozere comments [1856 words]AlexandrosMar 2, 2012 08:05193708
6Wrong side repenting and apologizing [902 words]IanusMar 11, 2012 12:07193708
Islamic civilisation [635 words]MozereMar 13, 2012 11:57193708
3The so salled "Islamic civilisation" [59 words]Young MCMar 13, 2012 18:39193708
6"Islamic civilization" = the Skull Tower of Nis and the Skull Cathedral of Otranto [864 words]IanusMar 13, 2012 19:26193708
1Answers to both Ianus and Mozere. [444 words]AlexandrosMar 15, 2012 10:51193708
3Sackcloth and ashes while the hungry wolves are howling around [749 words]IanusMar 16, 2012 18:38193708
1Ianus [350 words]AlexandrosMar 18, 2012 07:28193708
2A prominent former board member of the American Turkish Council [2050 words]IanusMar 21, 2012 16:37193708
"Moved" was describing the action [14 words]AlexandrosMar 23, 2012 18:43193708
7Those who didn't manage to "move" [538 words]IanusMar 24, 2012 11:15193708
2Not what i meant [298 words]AlexandrosMar 25, 2012 05:13193708
3The Turkish massacres of Phocea 12.06.1914 [763 words]IanusMar 28, 2012 17:16193708
1I would suggest another book [70 words]AlexandrosMar 29, 2012 03:46193708
Thanks [99 words]IanusApr 1, 2012 16:30193708
2Not so easy! [209 words]Pantelis GiannopoulosJun 25, 2012 14:00193708
6EU Turkish Arranged Marriage Plans [263 words]RebeccaFeb 25, 2012 23:24193650
Give them blank cheques [69 words]MozereFeb 27, 2012 00:39193650
4Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo - a strategic bridgehead for the Second Ottoman Invasion of Europe ? [564 words]IanusFeb 27, 2012 18:23193650
3a shame [69 words]mythFeb 23, 2012 16:35193593
steady on [203 words]MozereFeb 25, 2012 05:24193593
4Washington and the Turkish octopus there [1584 words]IanusFeb 25, 2012 11:09193593
10Recidivist Turkey [1225 words]IanusFeb 26, 2012 18:12193593
Who is a cheat? [344 words]MozereFeb 27, 2012 02:31193593
11The slave hunters' state of the Crimean Tatars and a second disciple of Ataturk [1422 words]IanusMar 1, 2012 15:09193593
1Slavery [279 words]MozereMar 2, 2012 07:37193593
4Adampol (aka Polonezkoy) an moribund ethnographic zoo in Turkey and Nazim Hikmet vs. Ataturk's police state [1142 words]IanusMar 3, 2012 08:10193593
15Tripolitsa or from Lord Byron to Mozere the Turk [2270 words]IanusMar 4, 2012 17:30193593
4Islamic slavery then and now [1588 words]IanusMar 16, 2012 14:54193593
1Kastelorizo an Italian name [31 words]MozereFeb 20, 2012 08:44193512
1Criminal Minded State Propaganda [17 words]Young MCFeb 21, 2012 14:17193512
1Continental shelf [199 words]MozereFeb 22, 2012 06:12193512
23An outpost against Turkish jihad [1265 words]IanusFeb 22, 2012 11:16193512
5Bellicosity and Misleading Propaganda [275 words]Young MCFeb 23, 2012 09:36193512
7Islands have a full right to continental shelf [1199 words]IanusFeb 24, 2012 08:18193512
1Islands do not have an automatic right to EEZ [278 words]MozereFeb 26, 2012 04:08193512
3Continental Shelf and Mozere's "Vikings" [430 words]Young MCFeb 27, 2012 12:15193512
6Tyrkjaránið - An Ottoman slave-hunting raid in Iceland 1627 [1574 words]IanusFeb 27, 2012 16:48193512
4more details [62 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanFeb 27, 2012 21:57193512
p.s. [18 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanFeb 27, 2012 22:25193512
Law applies to everybody equally [143 words]MozereFeb 28, 2012 06:49193512
1Islands and constructed EEZ claims [461 words]Young MCFeb 28, 2012 11:51193512
7Turkey has implicitly admited to be a thug. [805 words]IanusFeb 29, 2012 13:56193512
6The biggest mosque in Kosovo to be built by the (Islamic) Republic of Turkey [167 words]IanusFeb 29, 2012 17:13193512
1Turkey can't pick and choose the territory it claims as and when it discovers oil and gas [377 words]Francis WilsonDec 25, 2012 08:14193512
10Imia [1045 words]IanusFeb 17, 2012 15:28193427
1game of interests [98 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
athinagorasFeb 17, 2012 09:06193421
8Another Crusade? = ... damn the locals [378 words]Kali SimpsonFeb 10, 2012 09:40193269
6Turkification through extermination [580 words]IanusFeb 17, 2012 10:43193269
Dear Ianus - you say tomato, I say potato. [416 words]KaliFeb 17, 2012 21:50193269
11Clarification on EEZ map [220 words]HamiltonAFeb 9, 2012 19:55193256
4eerily similar to the 1970s and 1980s [192 words]JohnFeb 9, 2012 04:56193244
15Just a remark! [67 words]Jim Pap.Feb 8, 2012 08:09193200
re transport info [36 words]annmarieJul 31, 2013 20:45193200
1Kastelorizo - Mediterranean Flashpoint [119 words]JudithFeb 7, 2012 21:40193186
1reason for war [116 words]havasFeb 12, 2012 08:31193186
2"Not too different..." - In Your Dreams! [51 words]Young MCFeb 12, 2012 19:08193186
2The Reasons Are Plenty - Which One is the Most Tempting [206 words]M. ToveyFeb 13, 2012 13:44193186
25Israel, Cyprus and Greece are natural friends and allies [179 words]Andrew M.Feb 7, 2012 19:36193175
1Greece [95 words]Lujack SkylarkFeb 8, 2012 19:30193175
Remember the Name Kastelorizo; You Heard It Here First- Kudos Dr. Pipes [43 words]M. ToveyFeb 7, 2012 18:18193172
3Diaspora [79 words]NickLlewellynJul 26, 2012 11:29193172

Comment on this item

Name
Email Address (optional)
Title of Comments
Comments:

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

ADVERTISEMENTS

eXTReMe Tracker

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials written by Daniel Pipes on this site © 1968-2014 Daniel Pipes. Email: daniel.pipes@gmail.com

You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes