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Jan Gluszak

Poland
3 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2007 :  16:25:41  


Although the Greeks had many enemies in more than three thousands years of their astonishing uninterrupted history , yet no other enemy has done so much evil to them as Turkey. So I presume it would be worthwhile to take a look at what "contributions" the Turks have made to world civilization.

On a website on ancient Turks I once came across the author also devoted an obligatory chapter on their "achievements". Seeing the word "achievements" one might think of many things but not exactly of what followed , namely a/ a rigid saddle with harness to make it possible for the Turks to roam around comfortably and devastate a larger area than before this "achievement" was popularized in their horde ; b/ a terim yurta (a lattice frame tent ) which faciliatated penetration into and occupation of regions with no or few roads as before they had relied upon carriages and carts which imposed limitations on their immigration routes. Now the tirim yurtas where a large Turkish family could be housed were easily transportable on horseback. The ancient Turks also "modernized" their weapons . They used extensively c/ a composite bow introduced by the Huns and a scimitar which replaced a heavy unhandy straight sword.
These were therefore their "achievements" as they emerged on the scene of history in the second half of the first millenium A.D. Their nomadic way of life of cattle-breeding tribesmen should not , however , mislead us into believing that they had many achievements in this peaceful province . Most oldest Turkish words for cattle come from Indoeuropean languages - predominantly from Iranian.
As to their spiritual achievements , if they had any , they have not been recorded at all. Yet their conversion to Islam in the 10th century turned out to be a most fateful event in history. Islam reinforced their innate barbarity and backwardness inculcating on them immunity to and contempt for the higher kafir (Christian) civilization which they were about to ruthlessly subjugate and eventually annihilate.


 

George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2007 :  04:57:58  

 

Hi Jan,

Let me start with a rherorical question. What kind of culture a people would have had or want to have, when they change their very writing in order to submit themselves to another culture? The Turks latinized their writing, because no significant culture was based on that writing, and because in any case they are not interested in culture.

Another remark, to soften the sadness of past events, is that, despite the massacres and opression which ended to the present situation, when no more than a few thousand Greeks live in Asia minor and Constantinople, Turks have not realy destroyed everything: we managed to keep our language and faith, and many peoples all over the world are Orthodox, which means that to a certain degree they are also Byzantine.

For the rest, to return to your observations, I just quote an excerpt from George Horton, former USA ambassador to Turkey, who writes:

"At the time of the birth of the Prophet, about A. D. 570, Christianity had covered, in addition to the area known in general to-day as 'Europe', the ancient province of Asia, extending as far east as the Caspian Sea, a broad strip of Syria, and a wide belt of North Africa clear across to the Atlantic Ocean. In A. D. 30, according to Kurtz, historian of the Christian Church, there were five hundred Christians in the world; they had increased to five hundred thousand by A. D. 100, and they numbered thirty million in the year 311.

Asia Minor and Africa are famous in the history of the Church as the habitat of many of the most famous Christian fathers and martyrs, such as Polycarp of Smyrna, Tertullian of Carthage, Clement of Alexandria, Chrysostom of Antioch, Origen of Tyre, Cyprian of Carthage and a host of others. Saint Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia....

The object of the Emperor Constantine in founding his capital was to build a distinctly Christian city that should be the metropolis of Christendom. Its splendors, its refinement, its art and culture, its wealth, its power, its fame as a center of learning and of piety are unforgettable even to-day. In the presence of its gentlemen and great dames, the knights and ladies of Western Europe were mere boors and hoydens. Wrecked, plundered and mismanaged by the Latin knights, a calamity from which it never recovered, there was enough of its culture left, when the Turks finally laid hands on it, to scatter over Europe and regenerate the West. The Renaissance, that wonderful awakening from the darkness of the Middle Ages, was largely due to the learning brought into Europe by the scholars of Constantinople, fleeing from the Turk. Those scholars had kept the light of the old classic culture burning during all the years of European darkness and ignorance.

If Constantinople could have been spared and Christianity saved in the Near East, the results to civilization would have been incalculable. What a glorious city a Greek Constantinople would be today, if it had always stayed Greek, with its long traditions and its immense treasures of ancient culture! Another and more beautiful Paris, bestriding the Bosphorus, great in commerce, learning, science and all the graces and influences of Christian civilization.

Thus says Sir Edwin Pears, in his well-known history:

"The New Rome of Constantine Augustus passed under the power of a horde of Oriental adventurers, Turanians by original descent, mongrels by polygamy. This was the greatest victory ever won by Asia in her debate with Europe. For many decades thereafter there seemed at least a possibility that the East might destroy all the fruit of Marathon."

Quoting again from the same author:

"Under the rule of its new masters Constantinople was destined to become the most degraded capital in Europe, and became incapable of contributing anything whatever of value to the history of the human race. No art, no literature, no handicraft even, nothing that the world would gladly keep, has come since 1453 from the Queen City. [...]

This description of the condition of Asia Minor as the result of the capture of Constantinople continued down to the ultimate complete destruction of the Christians by the Turks. Nothing changed in the nearly five centuries that have passed. The Turk has not altered either in his character or his methods. The scenes described by Pears as following the taking of the Queen City, the massacres and violation of women, were duplicated at Smyrna, with the added horror of the sufferings of the Christians on the quay. [...]

Full text at http://www.ellopos.net/politics/turkey-blight/historic-importance.asp where a remark by M. Stenton is also to be found:

"Islam is a religion born in battle and formed by war. Its adherents nourish their faith and their imagination with this story and derive a sense of manifest destiny from it. The faithful have no notion of the damage Islamic conquest did to Christian civilization, which, thanks in part to the impact of Islam, became Latin, not Greek, at the center. The destruction of the Byzantine Empire was a catastrophic loss that deprived many young nations of their patrimony and potential."

More links on Turkey at http://www.ellopos.net/politics/turkey.html

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Jan Gluszak

Poland
3 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2007 :  16:03:56  

 

Hi George ,
Thanks for your kind reply and so valuable comments and links. I knew the first time I came across this site that it was a great place to be in with plenty of choice in-depth material and many thoughtful and knowledgeable commentators.

> What kind of culture a people would have had or want to have, when they change their very writing in order to submit themselves to another culture?

With Latin writing it was like with wearing cylinder hats instead of the fez. The new headwear didn't change the way the Turk thinks. He thought and thinks in terms of his Arabic religion. His language vocabulary bears testimony to this fact. The Turks as nomads didn't have any term for "homeland". They simply had no homeland. Later they adopted an Arabic word for that and so they now still use the Arabic word "vatan" to denote "homeland" .
Mustafa didn't like all of that foreign vocabulary and so he created a language commission to "purify" the Turkish language where more than 60 % or so are not Turkish at all. The commision travelled to Central Asia , to Crimea to find the "genuine" Turkish language . They produced a "true' Turkish dictionary which Mustafa decreed to impose upon his subjects !

The Latin alphabet , like all other "reforms" in Turkey, had very little , if anything , to do with what is usually meant by "reforms". It was no spontaneous collective act , accepted and agreed upon by discussion with people. It was imposed instead on them by force. And it was very dangerous to question Mustafa Pasha's infallibility and wisdom ! His "reforms" were carried out the way all the Turkish sultans had used to do before.
What is the result of this and other "reforms" ? A "secular" hijab (veil) -so to speak - was put upon the old wry Oriental Moslem face of Turkey. The militarists and policemen keep a watchful eye threatening anyone who would like to speak his or her mind in a way different from the official dogma , so that the West can't see or hear too much of what's hidden behind this veil. Hence the illusion of Turkey's "modernity" and "secularism". But illusions have a short life.

> The Turks latinized their writing, because no significant culture was based on that writing, and because in any case they are not interested in culture.

The only thing the Turk -true to both his nomadic origins and Islamic upbringing - understands and respects is force or power , not culture. Mustafa Pasha was himself a notorious xenophobe . Yet to achieve and preserve power and to save his bankrupt rump Turkey from certain ruin he was ready to enter most incredible alliances - the Soviets , the Italians , the French , the Brits were all his allies.
The idea behind all his 'reforms' was not a cultural rebirth - what could barbarian Turkey be reborn to , anyway ? - but the rejuvenation of traditional rabid Turkish militarism and nationalism in Anatolia. This is well reflected in the Turkish national anthem where we read in the fourth stanza :

" The lands of the West may be armored with walls of steel,
But I have borders guarded by the mighty chest of a believer.
Recognize your innate strength, my friend! And think: how can this fiery faith ever be killed,
By that battered, single-fanged monster you call "civilization"?

By the way , his alleged 'secularism' is illustrated in the 7th stanza

" Oh glorious Allah (ilahi) , the sole wish of my pain-stricken heart is that
No infidel's hand should ever touch the bosom of my sacred Temples.
These adhans (calls for prayer) , and these shahadahs ( the formula : "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet" J.G.) that my hearing is accustomed to, are the foundations of my religion,
And may their noble sound last loud and wide over my eternal homeland."

The modern flag of Turkey is identical with the banner of the Ottoman empire.

> Another remark, to soften the sadness of past events, is that, despite the massacres and opression which ended to the present situation, when no more than a few thousand Greeks live in Asia minor and Constantinople, Turks have not realy destroyed everything: we managed to keep our language and faith, and many peoples all over the world are Orthodox, which means that to a certain degree they are also Byzantine.

Yes , converting the South Slavs , especially the Russians, to Orthodoxy , was one of the most important and fortunate deeds of the Greeks. I have always been amazed by the incredible far-sightedness of the Byzantine statesmen of the 10th century . By converting the Russians they assured Orthodox Christianity's survival and hope of rebirth in the blackest hours of its existence. They really thought ahead in terms of centuries , if not millenia. What a contrast to today's nihilists who have come to power in Europe and exert it to create Eurabia - without caring about generations to come who will have to face the dire consequences of this momentary folly and blindness.

> For the rest, to return to your observations, I just quote an excerpt from George Horton, former USA ambassador to Turkey, who writes:

"At the time of the birth of the Prophet, about A. D. 570, Christianity had covered, in addition to the area known in general to-day as 'Europe', the ancient province of Asia, extending as far east as the Caspian Sea, a broad strip of Syria, and a wide belt of North Africa clear across to the Atlantic Ocean. In A. D. 30, according to Kurtz, historian of the Christian Church, there were five hundred Christians in the world; they had increased to five hundred thousand by A. D. 100, and they numbered thirty million in the year 311.

The major difference between Christianity and Islam is the way both religions spread. Christianity was spread by missionaries - in the course of discussions , conversations , by arguing , convincing people. No one was forced to get baptised by force. Quite the opposite Islam! Almost from its very birth it was spread by force and intimidation. Muhammad was a mass murderer (at least 900 Banu Quraissa Jews were decapitated at his instigation , his innumerable other opponents an critics -including women- were assasinated ). Whoever wants to leave Islam faces a death sentence , since apostasy is a capital sin. Whoever doesn't want to accept Islam , if he or she survives their boldness , has to pay the most humiliating jizya (infidelity) tax and is subject to innumerable restrictions and discriminations under Islamic law.
That sort of "religion" is best adapted to accomodate the most primitive and brute natures and so small wonder that wherever Islam prevails it inevitably produces cultural decay and barbarity.

> Asia Minor and Africa are famous in the history of the Church as the habitat of many of the most famous Christian fathers and martyrs, such as Polycarp of Smyrna, Tertullian of Carthage, Clement of Alexandria, Chrysostom of Antioch, Origen of Tyre, Cyprian of Carthage and a host of others. Saint Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia....

Yes, these were the heartlands of Christianty. Now they are suffering under Islam's oppressive yoke. The Greek heritage has been stolen or wantonly destroyed and no Moslem cares about the Christian or pagan past of these places which all belong -in their eyes- to the accursed jakhilya ("the Age of Ignorance") . The Moslems call "jakhilya" all mankind's history before the advent of Muhammad who allegedly has at last brought the light of "true knowledge" ("ilm al-yakin") to ignorant humanity.

> The object of the Emperor Constantine in founding his capital was to build a distinctly Christian city that should be the metropolis of Christendom. Its splendors, its refinement, its art and culture, its wealth, its power, its fame as a center of learning and of piety are unforgettable even to-day.

Until St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was completed Hagia Sophia was the most magnificient Church all over the world.
In the Church of the Holy Apostles lay the graves of the Byzantine emperors and patriarchs. What remained of them after the Latin conquest , the dervishes wantonly destroyed in the wake of the capture of the city in 1453. In a traditional Turkish way this church and so many others were changed into a mosque , a practice still faithfully followed in Northern Cyprus by "secular" Turks.

> In the presence of its gentlemen and great dames, the knights and ladies of Western Europe were mere boors and hoydens. Wrecked, plundered and mismanaged by the Latin knights, a calamity from which it never recovered, there was enough of its culture left, when the Turks finally laid hands on it, to scatter over Europe and regenerate the West.

Ivan the Terrible inherited from his grandmother Sophia Palaeologue , the niece of the last Byzantine emperor, a library full of unique Greek works . This library , now lost , is said to have been one of the finest in the world . It contained many classical works not extant now. What a symbolic gift of the dead second Rome to the new resurgent Third Rome !

> The Renaissance, that wonderful awakening from the darkness of the Middle Ages, was largely due to the learning brought into Europe by the scholars of Constantinople, fleeing from the Turk.

If the Turks' plan to conquer Europe ( they besieged Vienna twice , occupied Otranto in Italy , occupied temporarily Ukraine and attacked Poland and Moscovy too ) had materilaized , we would live today still in the deepest abjection of Moslem ignorance , probably instead of enjoying the beauty of Homer we would be discussing the eternal "virtues" of the Quran , praising Muhammad's "miracles" and denouncing the yunani Jakhilya ...
After the Arabs' threat was averted thanks to Greek fire and Leo III's genius , it was the Turks that took up the sword of barbarity to enslave the lands of the infidels.
And yet , forgetful of the sad past experiences , Turkey was prompty wooed by and found (and still finds) strong infidel protectors in Europe who didn't mind accelerating the demise of Eastern Christianity as long as "the sick man on the Bosporus" gave them commercial privileges and satisfied their political interests which the said Christians were either unable or unwilling to do.

> Those scholars had kept the light of the old classic culture burning during all the years of European darkness and ignorance.

I have always thought that we owe all ( or almsot all) good things to Greece. It's a little disconcerting then to learn that there are not few who think that barbarity brought back by the Turks to Europe was (and is) preferable to the classical tradition and values.
Building mosques in Europe and spreading Islam here is nothing else than digging a grave to our own culture.

> If Constantinople could have been spared and Christianity saved in the Near East, the results to civilization would have been incalculable. What a glorious city a Greek Constantinople would be today, if it had always stayed Greek, with its long traditions and its immense treasures of ancient culture! Another and more beautiful Paris, bestriding the Bosphorus, great in commerce, learning, science and all the graces and influences of Christian civilization.

It would be probably a more splendid city than Athens has ever been.
To see the minarets around Hagia Sophia is such a deeply disgusting view .... comparable only to the well-known scenes of the Parthenon as the main mosque of Athens ( from c. 1456 until 1832) .

> Thus says Sir Edwin Pears, in his well-known history:

"The New Rome of Constantine Augustus passed under the power of a horde of Oriental adventurers, Turanians by original descent, mongrels by polygamy. This was the greatest victory ever won by Asia in her debate with Europe. For many decades thereafter there seemed at least a possibility that the East might destroy all the fruit of Marathon."

This possibility is by far not gone. With the explosion of Moslem population across Europe both through immigration and high birth rates , the destruction of the fruits of Marathon is within their reach within a few generations. This time the battle will be fought as a civil war and woe to this Europe if some ambitious John Cantakuzinos turns up and relies on these Moslems' assistance and secures the support of the politically correct spiritual janissaries Europe-wide.

> Quoting again from the same author:

"Under the rule of its new masters Constantinople was destined to become the most degraded capital in Europe, and became incapable of contributing anything whatever of value to the history of the human race. No art, no literature, no handicraft even, nothing that the world would gladly keep, has come since 1453 from the Queen City. [...]

How true! And yet the Turks celebrate the conquest of the city every year with a parade in the streets wearing old Ottoman costumes and weapons !
The barbarians of old have many willing imitators and admirers of today who dream of nothing else but of reviving the Ottoman "glories" .

> This description of the condition of Asia Minor as the result of the capture of Constantinople continued down to the ultimate complete destruction of the Christians by the Turks. Nothing changed in the nearly five centuries that have passed. The Turk has not altered either in his character or his methods. The scenes described by Pears as following the taking of the Queen City, the massacres and violation of women, were duplicated at Smyrna, with the added horror of the sufferings of the Christians on the quay. [...]

Yes, these were two most agonizing events in modern history. And in both cases , indifference and political cynicism of foreign powers played a decisive role in the tragedy.
The allied ships were waiting in the bay of Smyrna and yet not a single shot was fired to stop or just warn the pillaging and murdering Turks. The Brits were perhaps happy that the "megali idea" was drowned in the sea of Greek blood. The French and the Italians had been seeking favour with Mustafa who in the meantime was using Soviet guns and military advisors to smash the Greeks.

> Full text at http://www.ellopos.net/politics/turkey-blight/historic-importance.asp where a remark by M. Stenton is also to be found:

"Islam is a religion born in battle and formed by war. Its adherents nourish their faith and their imagination with this story and derive a sense of manifest destiny from it. The faithful have no notion of the damage Islamic conquest did to Christian civilization, which, thanks in part to the impact of Islam, became Latin, not Greek, at the center. The destruction of the Byzantine Empire was a catastrophic loss that deprived many young nations of their patrimony and potential."


Islam has declared war on all non-Moslems the moment it was born. The Arab Moslems conquered and Islamized Persia and North Africa. They tried to do the same with Byzantium and failed. But what the Arab Moslems didn't achieve in the 8th century, the Turkish Moslems managed to do in the 15th. An unfortunate accident helped them. For centuries it was the Greek fire and the impregnable Theodosian walls that protected the city. Now a Hungarian traitor sold to the sultan the secret of how to make a huge cannon to crush the walls.
Examining closer the Muslim -be it Turkish or Arab- expansion the same story is repeated everywhere. It's always some traitors , misplaced well-wishers , divisiveness and discords among non-Muslims that are the desisive factor in Muslim victories. Wherever they met a united and strong enemy they always failed.

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