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Trip to Chios, a glimmer of hope for peace and coexistence

Reader comment on item: Rampaging Islamists
in response to reader comment: No Enemy, No War

Submitted by Mozere (United Kingdom), Sep 26, 2012 at 00:37

I recently was on a trip to the Greek Island of Chios from The nearby Turkish town of Cesme. In 1822 Chios was the scene of a particularly brutal ottoman vengeance attack in reprisal to Greek rebellion and massacre of turkish population.

The Greek government had waived the visa requirements from Turkish nationals wishing to visit the nearby Greek islands. Thousands of Turks now visit these islands,given the historical background it is remarkable that no incidence of hate crime was recorded, same is true with the Greeks visiting Turkey.

I was part of a group of Turkish day trippers,our guide was a young Greek girl with fluent Turkish whose granddad was of Turkish origin.His family had converted to Greek Orthodoxy in order to stay on in Chios after the 1923 population exchange. She was studying at a uni in Izmir.

We were treated with the utmost courtesy by the Greek people,not one person was rude to us ,they eagerly helped us when we asked for directions etc,we went to a shop run by a Turkish woman who married a Greek. We did not feel we were in a foreign country as the land, the food, the people,the buildings looked so familiar.

I am relating this to show that the people whether christian or muslim background are mostly decent have common sense and are pragmatic.They know that perpetual fighting neighbours will make them miserable whereas traveling and trading will bring joy and money. So the lesson is to ignore the nationalistic and religious bigots who spew hatred and intolerance 24/7 and who categorise people as if they are a herd of sheep saying muslims all do this others all do that what a bs. To those who say Turkish women do not marry christian men ,well they are wrong, i have seen many, not everybody obeys the rules a lot do not.


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