Some time ago I came across the news that there is a proposal made by Iannis Butaris in Thessaloniki to re-name "St. Dimitrios Street" into "Mustafa Ataturk street" . Originally I thought it was just a tasteless joke. But to my amazement I learned that between 1938 (Kemal's death ) and 1955 (anti-Greek pogroms in Constantinople) there had existed such a street name in Thessaloniki ( now St. Paul Street) . To honour , nay - even to think of honouring this worst persecutor and hater of Hellenism and mass murderer with a street name in any decent Greek city is - mildly speaking - outrageous. One can hardly believe that such an idea was born in a Greek brain. But if the Greeks have completely lost their senses , then they should go ahead. To promote the (imaginary) "Greek-Turkish friendship" ( or the interests of those - non-Greeks - who stand behind it ) , they could re-name some street in Athens into " Mehmed II Porthitis Street" . After all he was also a ghazi ( "destroyer of the Christians") just as Mustafa Kemal Pasha officially bore this title too. The sultan's exploits in exterminating Hellenism were almost as spectacular as that of Kemal Pasha . As a foreigner I just wonder why the circles behind of the "Greek-Turkish friendship" have never suggested the Turks should rename a street in Smyrna into "Metropolitan Chrysostomos Street" and make a little mausoleum in the place where the Turks slaughtered him , with a Greek consulate nearby. The house where the worst anti-Hellene ever, was born serves as a little mausoleum within the Turkish consulate .
Although you have not a Greek name you are very good in Greek history. I ´m further very amazed that nobody has replied to this topic??? It´s very important. What signals do we give the world with this action to give a name after a great murderer. He is perhaps a good man for many Turks but not for me. He is responsible for Genocides of many people (example, my people Pontians in the black sea); why contribute him in Thessaloniki?
The street issue in the name of friendship between Greeks and Turks is a bad idea for the Greek population because this man hurt, killed and left many Greeks in disaster. We can promote friendship with the Turks in other ways, but shame on the decision-makers for having voted for this street name.
Thanks Mr Jan for being concerned for our history and reminding us of it.