The Greeks of Egypt

A SECOND HOME: According to George Vallas, the head of the Greek Community in Cairo, the Greeks started settling in Egypt almost three centuries ago. At one point, they numbered 250,000, established in the cities and in the provinces. Today, the colony is down to approximately 2,000, but recently, several Greek businessmen, convinced that the privatisation programme is improving market potential, are planning a comeback.

Actively encouraged by Mohamed Ali, who relied on several members of the community to bring his dreams of industrialisation to fruition, larger and larger numbers of Greeks began to establish themselves in Egypt during the 19th century. Their implantation was so successful, indeed, that they soon became an integral part of the economic, social and political life of the country, leading Lord Cromer to remark that «the Greeks are so numerous that they deserve consideration by themselves» and also, more flippantly perhaps: «Wherever you turn over a stone in Egypt, you find a Greek.»

Mohamed Ali, however, was far from being the first ruler to seek Greek expertise: «In 1791, fearing an Ottoman invasion, Murad Bey organised a small war flotilla on the Nile, entrusting its command to a Greek convert, Nicolas Papas Oglou, known as Hajj Niqola or Nicolas Ra’is. The crew was made up of Greeks, who were completely devoted to their leader: they did not hesitate to revolt against Murad himself when he attempted to discipline them after a scuffle with the Cairene population. Murad was forced to backpedal carefully, incurring the contempt of El-Gabarti, who accused him of favouring the Christians to the detriment of the Muslims, writes Henry Laurens in L’Expedition d’Egypte. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Democracy vs Mythology: The Battle in Syntagma Square

I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly.

What is going on in Athens at the moment is resistance against an invasion; an invasion as brutal as that against Poland in 1939. The invading army wears suits instead of uniforms and holds laptops instead of guns, but make no mistake – the attack on our sovereignty is as violent and thorough. Private wealth interests are dictating policy to a sovereign nation, which is expressly and directly against its national interest. Ignore it at your peril. Say to yourselves, if you wish, that perhaps it will stop there. That perhaps the bailiffs will not go after the Portugal and Ireland next. And then Spain and the UK. But it is already beginning to happen. This is why you cannot afford to ignore these events. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Greek community in Turkey fears for its survival

Valendi Mihailidis (r) is the only pupil at Kadikoy Greek Primary School

By Jonathan Head

This week members of the Greek Orthodox Church celebrated one of the most important dates in their calendar, the Feast of Epiphany, with young men competing to retrieve crosses thrown by priests into rivers and seas around the world.

The most important ceremony takes place in Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul, where the spiritual head of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew, throws a cross into the Golden Horn.

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55 years pass since İstanbul pogrom

Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Sept. 6-7 İstanbul pogrom, when many houses and places of business belonging to non-Muslims in İstanbul were destroyed after a newspaper headline reported that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s home in Greece had been bombed by Greek militants.

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The last days of Elder Sofronios of Essex (+11 Ιουλίου 1993)

Four days before he died, he closed his eyes and did not want to talk to us anymore. His face was radiant but not sad; full of tension. He had the same expression like when he was ministering the Devine liturgy. He would not open his eyes, or utter any words, but he would lift up his hand and bless us. He was blessing us without words but I knew that he was going away. Before, I used to pray that God should let him leave longer, just as we pray during the liturgy of St. Vasilios: “prolong the time of the old”. However during those days, when I knew he was leaving, I started praying: “My Lord, give your servant a rich welcome into your Kingdom”. I was praying using St Peter’s words, as we read it in his second letter. (2 Peter 11)
Thus I was praying intensely: “Please God give your servant a rich entry into your Kingdom and place him among his Fathers”. Then, I would call the names of all his brothers, ascetics, in Ayio Oros, whom I knew he had connections with, beginning with Saint Silouanos and then all the others.  read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

No word mincing: Even if it was true that public property was awarded to Vatopedi as a gift, it would have been a proper reward!

by Spyros Mpazinas

VatopediFriend: A very apt reply to the lies spread by those servile to the IMF (and not only to this organization). A must read…

There was no forthright and honest truth ever been told about the Vatopedi case, even by those who regarded it as part of their family and thought they had a duty to defend it. Yes, I dare expose this omission because I regard this as my sacred duty. Very few people have publicly conceded that even if the monks had done what they have been accused of, we would still have a duty to defend them, just as one defends his father or his brother no matter what they have done.  read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Half Million Greeks Were Massacred In Ottoman Turkey

The first wave of repression against Greeks in the Ottoman Empire  began along with the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians at the  outbreak of World War II.

Mass deportations and killings of Greeks stated in 1916. Turkish  authorities did not even conceal that the violent massacres of the Greek population were plotted under the same scenario as was the Armenian Genocide.

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The first known Greek to arrive in America after Columbus is honored with a statue at Clearwater Beach.

Stories about the Greeks and Pinellas County often begin with the arrival of Greek sponge divers in Tarpon Springs around 1905.

But Michael Servos thinks the history of the Greeks in Pinellas should start much earlier – nearly 500 years ago.

Servos, 57, of Belleair Beach is president of the Panhellenic Federation of Florida. This Saturday at Clearwater Beach, the federation will dedicate a statue of Theodoros or Theodore, a Greek crewman in an ill-fated Spanish expedition that arrived in Florida in the spring of 1528.

The federation, a nonprofit umbrella group for more than a dozen Greek organizations, donated the 900-pound bronze statue to Clearwater. Clearwater city commissioners voted to accept it in September 2003.

«We’re delighted to have it,» said Art Kader, Clearwater’s assistant parks and recreation director.

The statue stands at Pier 60 Park. The federation chose Clearwater as a home for the monument after learning that a Spanish expedition that included Theodore came through the area on its way to North Florida.

«We were doing a lot of research for the first Greek who came to America,» Servos said. «After a long search that we did (learn) that the first Greek came to the Clearwater area. … We were very surprised, very pleased and very blessed, too.»

The statue, made in Italy, cost the federation $75,000, Servos said. The base, shaped like the prow of a ship and sheathed in sparkling black granite, cost another $25,000.

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Main Swedish Party Recognizes Turkish Genocide of Assyrians

Sweden’s largest political party took a decision on Thursday during its annual convention to acknowledge the genocide of Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians during World War one. The genocide, called Seyfo in Assyrian, occurred between the years 1914-1918.

«I was very moved when the decision was taken,» said Yilmaz Kerimo, who is an Assyrian and a prominent member of the Social democratic party. «It is a positive standpoint and a great step forward. The party will now work for the recognition of the genocide within Sweden, in the European Union and the United Nations.»

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What happened on 6-7 September 1955? (With photographic documents)

Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople inside the ruins of the destroyed Orthodox church of Saint Constantine, Istanbul.

Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople inside the ruins of the destroyed Orthodox church of Saint Constantine, Istanbul.

Supporting the views of Democratic Party, Istanbul Express Newspaper was owned by Mithat Perin, editorial director of that time was Gökşin Sipahioğlu. «Our father Atatürk’s house has been bombed» made the headline of the newspaper’s second issue. On 6 September 1955 290,000 issues were printed, exceeding the usual newspaper circulation of 20,000 papers by far. Members of the Cyprus Turkish Association started to distribute the issue all over Istanbul to agitate the people.

Due to reports from eyewitnesses, the riot started from a place in Pangaltı, nowadays the location of Ramada Hotel owned by a Greek citizen. In 1955 this was the place of popular localities such as the ‘Haylayf’ pastry shop. The riot started with attacking Haylayf pastry shop at 7.00 pm. From here the attacks spread all over Istanbul and all over the country.

Years later journalist Fatih Güllapoğlu interviewed retired general Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu about the Istanbul Riots. Yirmibeşoğlu described the attacks by saying «It was an excellent special warfare operation and it reached its goal.» In those days the Greek authorities announced that the bombings in Thessaloniki were a provocation organized by the Turkish state. Oktay Engin, scholarship student at the Thessaloniki Faculty of Law and agent of the National Intelligence Agency (MİT), and Hasan Uçar, tipstaff of the consulate in Thessaloniki, were arrested in regards with this event. After some time in detention Engin and Uçar were released because of the immunity of consular officials. Later on, Engin was appointed to important tasks in MİT, progressed quickly through the different administrative levels of the state and was promoted to the Governorship of Nevşehir in 1992.

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Christian Peoples Genocide in Turkey – Germany also apologizes through spoken word

A historical day in St. Mary Church in Gütersloh. A day that will never more be forgotten: August 30, 2009. A day of forgiveness, when finally also the Germans spoke out an apology for the devastating crimes, emerged as genocide of 1914/15 against the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks – as it was already done by Philip Kiril Prince of Prussia 10 years ago for the Armenian people in a letter to the Armenian Embassy.

Around 250 Assyrians have assembled in the church hall of St. Mary Church in Gütersloh. Cameras and Spotlights built up, a curious crowd of people in view of the guests of this day. Sabri Atman from Seyfo-Center in Sweden, the Kurdish activist for human rights and writer Berzan Boti, and Ingrid Seigis, director of Human Rights Organization Christian Solidarity International (CSI) Germany.

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Pogrom. Painting of Manuil Shechtman 1927

Pogrom. Painting of Manuil Shechtman 1927

Christian houses in Ferikoy und Kurtulus, areas in Istanbul, where  many Armenians and Greeks live, were marked with red or green labels  in the past weeks.

 Kurdish representatives in the Turkish parliament requested  clarification after Agos, Istanbul based Armenian newspaper, had  reported about the incident. It is still unclear who was behind the action.

Agos editor Aris Nalci confirmed to the Austrian news-source, Der  Standard, worried and mainly older members of the Armenian community  called the newspaper and reported about the fact of small red or  green papers hung on their houses. After Agos investigated, they noted that about 100 houses in which, not always but very often,  Armenians still live were plastered with these labels.

«We do not know what all this means,» Nalci said, but some people are  worried. Demands at the city administration and the police brought no results until now. «Nobody knows about it,» says Nalci. «It can be a bad joke; it can however also have a serious background,» said Nalci.

The indictment against the nationalist Ergenekon group is accused of having planned a coup against the government of Prime Minister Erdogan, including planned attacks on Armenians as a tool for targeted destabilization. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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The Genocide of Iraqi Christians


The oppression of the Iraqi Christians started when Arabs occupied the land in the seventh century. Their method of wiping out Christianity from the region involved the implementation of a simple rule; either convert and follow the Islamic banner, or pay heavy taxes (which many Christians could not afford) or war.

Looking at more modern history, the first genocide of the 20th century began on April 24, 1915. By 1918, 2.65 million Christians including 750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians, and 400,000 Greeks were killed by the Ottoman Empire and the Kurds. The Assyrians called this genocide “seyfo” which means sword. In 1933, the massacre of Semel, in Northern Iraq resulted in the death of 3000 Christians at the hands of Kurds and the Iraqi Army. This was the first atrocity committed by the new Iraqi state under Prime Minister Bakir Sidqi, after gaining independence from the British in 1932. My village Tin, in Northern Iraq, shared a similar fate in 1961. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Turkish War Crimes in Cyprus Confirmed, yet again


Monday, August 10, 2009

For 35 years the story of these five Cypriot solders, (picture in the link above) immortalized in this 1974 photo taken during the illegal Turkish invasion of Cyprus, has been the same as thousands of other missing Cypriots. An entire generation has grown up wondering, as has their relatives, what happen to these young men after they surrendered to Turkish forces? What type of horrors awaited them after this photo was taken? At last that question has finally been answered, as officials with the United Nations led Committee on Missing Persons announced today, that the five solders as well as 14 others Cypriots were found in an abandoned well near the village of Tziaos, inside Occupied Cyprus. The bodies had been exhumed sometime in 2006, and have finally been identified. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Τοιχογραφία του 1568 στο Άγιον Όρος χαρακτηρίζει τον Αλέξανδρο ως «βασιλέα των Ελλήνων» – Mural of 1568 on Mount Athos calls Alexander “king of Hellenes”

Mural of 1568 calls Alexander king of Hellenes

Από την ελληνική εφημερίδα «Καθημερινή». Η τοιχογραφία χρονολογείται από το 1568 και βρίσκεται στην Μονή Δοχειαρίου του Αγίου Όρους. Η Μονή Δοχειαρίου φαίνεται ότι ανάγεται στα πρώτα χρόνια του 11ου αιώνα.

Από τη μιά μεριά λέει «Βασιλεύς Ελλήνων Αλέξανδρος» και από την άλλη «Βασιλεύς Ρωμαίων Αύγουστος».

VatopaidiFriend: Είναι ξεκάθαρο ότι το «Έλληνες» εδώ αναφέρεται στον λαό και όχι στο ειδωλολατρικό θρήσκευμα, εφόσον για τον Αύγουστο, που και αυτός ήταν ειδωλολάτρης, λέει «Βασιλεύς Ρωμαίων». Επίσης είναι ξεκάθαρο ότι ο Αλέξανδρος που απεικονίζεται εδώ δεν είναι ο άσημος βυζαντινός αυτοκράτορας με αυτό το όνομα (912-913), γιατί τότε θα έλεγε «Βασιλεύς Ρωμαίων», μια και οι Βυζαντινοί αποκαλούσαν τους εαυτούς τους Ρωμαίους λόγω της Νέας Ρώμης – Κωνσταντινούπολης, και οι αυτοκράτορες λέγονταν «Βασιλείς Ρωμαίων». Εξάλλου αυτός δεν θα είχε καμμία θέση σε μια τέτοια τοιχογραφία. Εδώ απεικονίζεται ο Μέγας Αλέξανδρος της αρχαιότητας.

From greek newspaper ‘Kathimerini‘. The mural dates from 1568 and anyone can see it in Moni Docheiareiou in Mt. Athos. The monastery of Docheiareiou appears to date back to the early years of the eleventh century.

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World Classical Scholars: Macedonia is Greek (Letter to President Barack Obama)

The Honorable Barack Obama
President, United States of America
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500 

Dear President Obama,

We, the undersigned scholars of Graeco-Roman antiquity, respectfully request that you intervene to clean up some of the historical debris left in southeast Europe by the previous U.S. administration.

On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia.” This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great.

We believe that this silliness has gone too far, and that the U.S.A. has no business in supporting the subversion of history. Let us review facts. (The documentation for these facts [here in boldface] can be found attached and at:

The land in question, with its modern capital at Skopje, was called Paionia in antiquity. Mts. Barnous and Orbelos (which form today the northern limits of Greece) provide a natural barrier that separated, and separates, Macedonia from its northern neighbor. The only real connection is along the Axios/Vardar River and even this valley “does not form a line of communication because it is divided by gorges.” Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »