Friday, March 26, 2010

Megalomania Greece

For centuries Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. Piece by piece they liberated themselves in the 19th en 20th century. Their goal was to ‘liberate’ also the areas on mainland Turkey, over where many Greeks lived, and to make Constantinople, present day Istanbul, their capital (instead of Athens). Many Greeks and Armenians lived in Constantinople, in 1900, from the million people living in Constantinople less than 50% was Muslim.

By the treaty of Sevres (1920) large parts of mainland Turkey were indeed assigned to Greece (Troas and Iona). The Greeks started a war to gain even more land, but the Turks, led by Ataturk, counter attacked and the Greeks lost all the land the had gained before. The red dotted line show roughly the advance of the Greek troops c.q. the proposed great Greece ('megali Hellas').

1 comment:

  1. A curiosity that few people know. One of the most important football clubs in Greece is A.E.K. F.C., playing its home matches in Athens. But A.E.K. means Αθλητική Ένωσις Κωνσταντινουπόλεως (=Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos, "Athletic Union of Constantinople"). The colours are yellow (in memory of the ancient Eastern Roman Empire) plus black (mourning).
    Coming back to the question of a "Big Greece", as a cultural area it would be included for sure also a big part of Southern Italy and Eastern Sicily. Ruins, toponyms and even minorities of people speaking Greek dialects would justify that. The biggest cities in Southern Italy have a name originated from ancient Greece: Rome (Roma, from Romes=Strength), Naples (Napoli, from Nea Polis=New Town) and Palermo (ancient Panormos=Entirely Harbour).


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