1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Tripolitsa or from Lord Byron to Mozere the Turk

Reader comment on item: Kastelorizo - Mediterranean Flashpoint?
in response to reader comment: Who is a cheat?

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Mar 4, 2012 at 17:30

Mozere wrote :

> You seem to be an expert on genocides and massacres so tell me what happened to 30000 men women and children of moslem faith when they surrendered in Tripolitsa in the Morea on promises of safe passage to Anatolia<

Why shall I tell you anything? Historical sources, to which you are as alien and indifferent as you are to questioning corrupt agenda-driven historians on the Turkish payroll like Justin McCarthy, will do it much better than me. Of course, I don't consider you to be rational enough to change your primitive and obscurantist Turkish mind in accordance with historical sources you never quote or bother about.

The outstanding French scholar and diplomat François Charles Hugues Laurent Pouqueville in his book "Voyage en Morée , à Constantinople et en Albanie et dans plusieurs autres parties de lempire ottoman pendant les annéees 1798,1799,1800 et 1801" Paris 1805 , writes [t.1, p.63-64]:

" I will just be content myself with noting that the Morea is still bearing marks and scars of the fury of the Albanians who during the war of 1770 showed their barbarity through horrifying excesses. Having defeated the soldiers of Catharine I who succumbed to the numerical superiority of their cruel enemies of 1 to 1000 no sooner did these barbarians stop burning, destroying and exterminating than there was nothing more to burn,destroy and exterminate. In these dismal times the province of Faneri which embraces the territories of Megalopolis was ravaged; Tripolitsa was drowned in blood; Messenia was pillaged just a Laconia was. The mountains and the valleys were covered with corpses, villages fell victim to flames."

And further on p. 71-72 :

"Tripolitsa , just like several other towns in the Morea rebelled in the sight of the victorious banner of the Czarina. But later succumbing to the grim fate that made a grave of this beautiful province and changed into a desert the city was conquered and sacked by the Albanians who within two hours decapitated 3000 people. One still shows near the castle of which I have spoken , in a place called "The Cemetery of the Muscovites" the bones of the brave men of this nation who fell then. One sees still two pyramids made of white-weathered skulls which were built on this blood-soaked spot. [ Mr Foucherot and Fauvel still saw them during their travel through the city a few years later.]

The mosques of Tripolitsa contains precious columns and inscriptions spoiled by the stupid use of marble upon which they exist."

[ In original : "Je me contenterai de prévenir que la Morée porte encore les marques de la fureur des Albanais, qui, dans la guerre de 1770, signalère leur barbarie par des excès épouvantable. Vainqueurs des soldats de Catharine, qui succombèrent sous le nombre mille fois supérieur de de ces cruels ennemis, ces barbares ne cessèrent de brûler , de dètruire et d'exterminer que lorsque leur fureur ne trouva plus d'aliment . A cette époque lugubre , la province de Faneri , qui embrasse le territoire de Megalopolis , fut saccagée ; Tripolitza nagea dans le sang ; la Messénie fut pillée ainsi que la Laconie ; les montagnes et les vallons furent jonchés de cadavres , les villages devinrent la proie des flammes. ...

Tripolitza , comme plusieurs villes de la Morée, s'insurgea à l'aspect du pavillion victorieux de la Czarine...Mais cedant ensuite au destin funeste, qui fit un tombeau de cette belle province et la transforma en un désert, elle fut prise et saccagéee par les Albanais, qui dans deux heures de temps, y fire tomber trois mille têtes. On montre encore, près du chateau dont j'ai parlé, dans un lieu appelé Cimetière des Moscovites, les ossements des braves de cette nation , qui succombèrent alors. On voit également les crânes blanchis de deux pyramides des têtes , qu'on eleva sur ce territoir abreuvé de sang. ^MM Foucherot et Fauvel , à leur passage de cette ville , quelques années plus tard les virent encore.

Les mosquées de Tripolitza renferment des colonnes précieuses, des incriptions profanéees par le stupid emploi des marbres sur lesquelles elles existent...]

So let's note that Tripolitsa had seen scenes of terrible Ottoman massacres, atrocities and ethnic cleansings whose traces were never removed from the landscape and the memory of the local Greeks. Now when you behead 3000 people within two hours,change a flourishing province into a desert, then how can you in earnest complain about the backlash your actions and nothing else provoke? It's your bloody tyranny and the usage of building towers of skulls to commemorate your cruelty that one day you are given something of your own medicine in the end and the Turkish butcher out of a sudden swaps places with the victim. In value-neutral language this is called 'backlash', isn't it ?

But let's take another contemporary source closer to the events. Its author is Samuel G. Howe, an American surgeon, scholar and philanthropist who took part in the Greek war of independence where he gathered copious first-hand experience of the realities of this conflict. In 1828 in New York he published "An historical sketch of the Greek revolution".

He mentions a very interesting episode of the spring of 1821:

"Meantime, Kourchid Pashaw (commanding general) despatched his lieutenant, Mohammed, with 6000 men,to quell the insurrection, by overrunning every part of the Peloponessus. This brave,active,and bloodthirsty Tartar, crossed the gulf of Corinth, at Patrass; marched rapidly to Corinth,and garrisoned that fortress;then went to Argos ; the flames of which, marked the moment of his departure. He reinforced Napoli, and then threw himself into Tripolitza ; having left behind him a track, marked by devastation of the fields,the ashes of villages, and the blood of the peasantry."[p.45]

Interesting,isn't it?You have never heard of the massacres the Turks perpetrated in the Morea, and in particular around Tripolitsa in the spring of 1821,have you? Notice that the capture of Tripolitsa took place only on 23.09.1821and to understand the event we have to know a bit what had been happening before there. Samuel How writes on that clearly and realistically enough :

> for except those who received some most lucrative employ from the Turks, no Greek, however base he might be, could help bearing a most deadly hatred toward them, or longing for the hour when he might take deadly-vengeance for the horrible injuries done to his race ; and wash out in Turkish blood the insults and injuries he had received from the hour of his birth. [p. 32]

For centuries the people had been suffering the most horrible slavery, without daring to groan aloud ; and now at the sound of the word liberty, they raised the cry of vengeance ; and seizing upon whatever arms were at hand they fell upon their oppressors— hewed down those who resisted, and butchered those who yielded. Vain was it to urge the policy of making prisoners; Vainer still was the cry for quarter and mercy : too many Greeks could remember their houses burnt, a father murdered or a mother or sister violated ; perhaps themselves treated in a way that makes nature shudder; and they would not miss the opportunity of revenging their wrongs in the blood of their oppressors."[p.40-42]

So this is the background you didn't include and most probably are ignorant of . You can't understand that you can't torment and humiliate a nation with 4000 years of recorded history and hope to preserve this criminal system of oppression and humiliation you created for ever.

Let's include something still more important to understand what happened between the Turkish butcher and his rebellious victim who one day successfully refused to be slaughtered, decapitated , burnt alive and changed into an ornament in a Turkish skull pyramid near Tripolitsa and gave his tormentor something of his own medicine.

" When the news reached the Sultan of the insurrectionary movements, he resolved upon a mode of revenge which showed that he merited the title of butcher, bestowed upon him by the Greeks. Let us pass over the murder of the young, learned, and accomplished Demetre Morouai, his Grand interpreter : for this there was the shadow of an excuse. But to his followed that of ten Greeks of the first families of Constantinople ; among others one of the Mavrocordato family. But in order to outrage in the highest possible degree the feelings of every Greek, it was resolved to strike a blow which should excite their indignation and horror ; not only by the enormity of the crime, but by the sanctity and rank of the victim. The head of the Greek church, the Grand Patriarch, resident at Constantinople, was then Gregory, a man who had been raised to that office on account of his genuine piety, and induced to bold it against his will, by the universal and strongly urged wishes of his countrymen. Nothing could be more interesting than the appearance of this venerable man, then nearly ninety years of age ; nothing more mild and engaging than his demeanour ; nothing more blameless than hid whole life ; yet on, Easter Sunday, after the performance of church ceremonies, he was seized as he came out at the door by the Sultan's emis- saries'; dragged off to his palace, and hung up over the gate like a dog ; and his body left for two days to be scoffed at and spit on by every good Mussulman, and then dragged by the heels to the sea shore and thrown into the water. This brutal act, accompanied by every aggravating circumstance that could render it worthy of the imperial butcher by whom it was perpetrated, was the signal for the commencement of outrages upon the Christians ; then began those massacres of men, women, and children, with the sickening details of which the European journals teemed for months. Then the streets of Constantinople ran down with Christian blood ; then murder and rapine had full sway in tile lair of the Sultan. Churches were broken into and pillaged, the ornaments torn down, and the pictures of the saints defiled in every way ; nine bishops, besides hundreds of priests were hung ; and many thousands of the common people butchered in cold blood, and without possibility of defence.

The bloody signal given at Constantinople, was heard through Asia Minor, where the Turkish population greatly outnumbers the Greek; and they began an indiscriminate slaughter of all whom they could find. The smoke of hundreds of peaceable villages, and the blood of tens of thousands of Greeks, were made to atone for the fault of their countrymen in a distant part of the empire, who had dared to revolt.

If there was a Greek who till now had hesitated, desperation decided him ; the die was far ever cast ; and Greek sad Turk hud become open and irreconcilable enemies. The Moody tale spread rapidly. through that country ; those in arm were rendered tenfold more determined and vindictive ; those wbo had not taken them up, hastened to do so."

Now your question "what happened to 30000 men, women and children of moslem faith" reminds strongly of a surprise and indignation of a Nazi who heard that in Sobibor and Treblinka the Jews rebelled against their sadist Nazi oppressors and massacred a number of them together with their Ukrainian and Latvian guards. If you don't know what had been happening in Treblinka and Sobibor before the autumn of 1943, you may well sympathise with a Nazi's logic and moral point. However if you realize the background , you will rather be surprised by it. You behave exactly this way. You don't know what had been happening in the Morea and across the empire to the Greeks in the spring of 1821 and which Samuel Howe outlined and yet you hypocritically complain of the backlash which nothing except the sadist discriminatory Ottoman system provoked. You blame the victim to whitewash the butcher.

> while they were at it what did the greek fighters do to Morean Jews who were innocent 3rd party.Tell me what happened to Cretan Turks and their mosques.<

The Jews were not an innocent third party because the Turks didn't allow them to be so. They needed an ally and that's why the Jews were invited to participate in the public desecration of body of the hanged patriarch Gregory in Constantinople. The Turks knew that after that the Jews had no other option but to support the Turk and either to survive or go down with them. This perfidious skill in enslaving and ruling by is described in more detail in my comment that hasn't been published yet.

As to Crete before 1821 let' note that there were 160 000 Greeks there before the revolution. After its suppression there remained 90 000. Statistics for other areas are also revealing and explain a lot. In Kasos there were 7000 people and all those who were not slaughtered were sold on Turkish slave markets. The massacres in Chios reduced the Greek population from 120 000 to 30000. Athens had 14 000 people before 1821 and after 1828 the ethnic cleansings by the Albanians and Turks made the city literally a desert. Psara had 30 000 people out of whom 3 000 only survived.In Messolongi where Lord Byron died , from 14000 hardly 1300 were found alive after the Turkish massacres.

Well, once upon a time Britain produced valliant friends of truth and liberty like Lord Byron. Now the same country seems to produce and shelter merely ... Turks like Mozere. ..

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Tripolitsa or from Lord Byron to Mozere the Turk by Ianus

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)