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Greek people **si!**, Greek state **no!**

Reader comment on item: Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza
in response to reader comment: "50 billion dollars worth of foreign debt is nothing, it is two lorry loads of heroin..." or Turkish capitalism at work

Submitted by Caleb (United States), Sep 6, 2010 at 13:58

None of this is meant as a criticism of the Greek people. Many are highly talented, intelligent and capable of making large contributions to society--**after they leave Greece**. The story of the Greek-Americans is one of achievement upon achievement in diverse fields whether it's the late Paul Tsongas ably representing Massachusetts in the US Senate or Harry Markopolos the modern-day Cassandra of Wall Street; the legendary Nick Dandolos, known to millions as "Nick the Greek", at the gambling tables or Hollywood tycoon Spyros Skouras. One wonders what air they breathe in **Hellas** that holds such people back. It is reported that the Turkish **Koreli** (Korea soldiers) would light huge bonfires at night, as if daring the ChiComs to attack them. Few ever did. Though not the most subtle of tacticians and looking to America for the very boots they wore, the Turkish contingent of 5,000--maintained at that number throughout the conflict--earned a lasting reputation with the US military for toughness, steadfastness under fire and aggressiveness on the attack. Even when surrounded and forced to surrender when South Korean units on their flanks broke and ran, the highly professional Turkish p.o.w.'s survived captivity at a far higher rate than the draftees the US Army had to rely on. If Turkey was pro-Communist, it was not demonstrated on the barren hillsides of Korea. Whatever aid economic and military the US extended to Ankara, it was earned there with Turkish blood. [Greek soldiers also went to Korea though in far smaller numbers.] Yes, cholera is a problem in Turkey, mostly in historic "plague cities" like Izmir with crude sanitation. But then, Izmir was a principally Greek city until 1923 when it was called Smyrna.

Turks accept a lower standard of living than Greeks. It's called "living within one's means". It's not Turkey that has come hat in hand to the EU for a **$145 Billion** bailout, nor its citizens indignantly, and violently, refusing to institute austerity measures so as to have some remote possibility to pay the money back. Drugs? Opium has been cultivated in eastern Anatolia since time immemorial. One Turkish province even is named **Afyon**: opium. The Turkish opium crop is purchased by the government. All of it goes in legal channels for medical use. The territory of Turkey is vast, the long border with Iran wild and rugged, difficult to police. The government does what it can to interdict illegal shipments of heroin produced elsewhere. It moves in small quantities, hidden in truck engines rather than by the truck load. Financial scandals? Where is George Koskotas and more important where is the $210 million that "disappeared" from the Bank of Crete? His larcenies brought down a government.

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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".

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