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Megale Idea

Reader comment on item: Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza
in response to reader comment: What is EOKA AND MEGALO IDEA=

Submitted by Kepha Hor (United States), Nov 2, 2012 at 22:32

The Megale Idea (What's the big idea?--pun intended) or "great idea" was the Greek nationalist dream of an enlarged Greece comprising not only the Peloponesus, Thessaly, southern Macedonia, the islands, and other areas which were pre-1914 Greece, but also a bit more of Epirus, all of Thrace (to be taken from Bulgaria and Turkey), and a very goodly chunk of western Anatolia, with Constantinople as its capital. Venizelos and other Greek leaders thought that adherence to the Allied cause in World War I might net them these gains.

Indeed, there may well have been some historical rationale for desiring this. After all, the ethnic makeup of the Ottoman Empire was very mixed, and there was a LARGE ethnic Greek (variously defined) population in Anatolia prior to the exchanges worked out between Greece and Ataturk's Turkey after their war in the 1920's. In any event, the Megale Idea evaporated in the wake of Greek failure in that war. However, as some of the Turkish posters here have shown, it remains something of an axe for the Turks to grind, much as the Tourkokratia remains an axe for the Greeks to grind.

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