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Reader comment on item: Kastelorizo - Mediterranean Flashpoint?
in response to reader comment: Florida of Europe

Submitted by Alexandros (United Kingdom), Feb 29, 2012 at 06:19

Dear Mozere,

This aspect of the Ottoman history you presented is Davutoglu's version, the one that wants to present itself as nice. Of course there is another version as well. First of all Greeks prospered in trade during the Ottoman empire because the Ottomans new nothing about trade and the Greeks had well established connection through the empire and Europe, this does not mean they were happy with the Ottomans and it definitely does not mean that the standard of living of the nations under Turkish occupation was similar to that of the West. You should just visit the Greek mainland and then the Ionian islands and compare the way towns and villages were built and you will understand what i mean. After 1453 which was the official fall of the Byzantine empire Greeks all over the empire started 111 revolutions, all drowned in blood, so i think they were not that happy. They had almost no wealth except for that to make sure they would survive to work another day, they were hunted because of their religion their male children were kidnapped so to create the Gennitsaroi. Similar things were going on for the rest of the people and each people adapted in different ways to survive. Albanians became muslims and collaborated with the Turks, Jews did what they did best being used to these conditions, they controlled the money, and Greeks tried to exploit their education and trading abilities.

But Greeks were also separated in two sides, the one which believed, due to former experience with the Romans, that they can "control" the empire from inside by gaining important positions and the others who could not wait for this to happen. Even the Greeks who had privileges like land and money so to control the main mass of the Greek population were in both sides. Freedom was the main privilege and they did not have it. I am referring to Greeks because i am Greek and this is the history i know best, but i know that similar things were happening all over the empire. And lets not mention what happened to Greeks, Armenians and even Jews who lived in Turkey, during the 19th century or what is the Turkish policy against the Kurds, 15 million "terrorists" are a lot.

I agree completely with you on your second paragraph, but the balkans is not the main political "Battlefield" of Turkey, Aegean and the Middle East is. The Turkish Government lacks of any respect towards International law and neighbour countries' sovereignty. They want to become the big brother, but the region is not in a need of a big brother, they intervene everywhere, in Syria, in IRAQ, they exploit that the Americans are in need of their assistance and they use this advantage not to solve the problems but to expand in every way, they are supposed to be in alliance with Greece because of NATO and in alliance with Israel, well if this is how allies treat each other what does anyone need to have enemies. In the end they will abandon the States as well. The States have fallen into similar traps before and they keep doing it with great repeatability. The problem with Turkey is that they do not want stability, collaboration and peace, they say so, but their actions speak for themselves, nobody has threatened them after the second world war, people just did not want war any more, well not them, they consistently induce one crisis after another.

I do not know if you are Turk Mozere,, and i do not judge against the will of people to want their countries to prosper, i just think that the best is for everyone to prosper together, in peace and freedom, this region has so many potentials, i mean it is easy to understand this since civilisation began from this region, but policies like the turkish government has chosen to follow, do not exactly lead towards prosperity. It is a shame! We have been born in paradise and instead of wanting to live together some want it just for themselves. Israel was following a similar policy as well, i think though that their leadership has realised that there is no future in this, the palestine issue is one of the most important for the region, but this is another topic.


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