The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a conference entitled the “The Spirit of Turkey’s New Security,” referring to the Treaty of Lausanne, said:
“The Turkish Republic is the last state that we founded with whatever was left over from all the self-sacrifices we were able to make… We are heirs of a nation that saw its territory expand to 22 million kilometers. Shortly before the Republic was founded, we had 3 million kilometers which kept diminishing until all we had left was 780,000 kilometers. Some may be offended at my mention of Lausanne. But why does it bother you? Unfortunately, in the Lausanne Treaty, some of our 3 million kilometers were taken away from us, leaving us with only 780,000. They took land right from under our noses and are proud of it. And they say that we came out of the treaty successfully. How can you call giving your land away success?”
The Treaty of Lausanne was signed in July 1923, by Turkey, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Roumania, and the Serbo-Croat-Slovene state to “close the state of war which has existed in the East since 1914.” The Treaty fixed the borders of Turkey with all of its neighboring countries.
In his speech, Mr. Erdogan failed to mention to his audience that the nation he was talking about was built by slaughter, rape, enslavement, forcible Islamization, and the taking of what belonged to those who lived in the territory of the “22 million kilometers” for thousands of years before any Turk set foot upon there. I do not know how many million people were slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks and their predecessors to build this nation. But it is an established fact that for some hundreds of years many millions of people suffered severely under the yoke of the Ottoman Turks, who treated them as rayah (cattle, according to the translation given by the courageous Turkish historian Taner Aksam). It is also well established that modern Turkey, presided today by Mr. Erdogan, was built on the elimination of 1.5 million Armenians (Armenian genocide), of about half a million of Syriacs, Assyrians and Khaldeans, of over one million of Greeks (genocide of Asia Minor Greeks), and the expulsion of over one million of Greeks from Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace.
Last October, Mr. Erdogan speaking at the Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, said:
“We cannot draw boundaries to our heart, nor do we allow it,” and that “Turkey cannot disregard its kinsmen in Western Thrace, Cyprus Crimea and anywhere else.”
Erdogan failed to tell to his audience that he can talk about “kinsmen” in Western Thrace, because the Moslem minority in Western Thrace, Greece, is thriving. Greece has respected its obligations under the Treaty of Lausanne, while in Turkey, in violation of the Treaty and in violation of international norms on human rights: from the 110,000 Greeks living in Istanbul (Constantinople) in 1923, after the pogroms of 1955, and the forced expulsions of 1964, about 2,000 were left; from the 9,500 Greeks living in the Greek islands of Imbros and Tenedos in 1923, which were ceded to Turkey by the Treaty, after the forced expropriation of their properties in 1965 and their terrorization by the Turks, only about 200 elderly remain today on Imbros. He did not tell to his audience that: Turkey, in violation of the UN Charter invaded Cyprus, another UN member, in 1974; it forcibly divided the island into two communities; and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, has settled in the occupied Northern Cyprus about 150,000 – 160,000 of its own nationals, who enjoy the houses and properties of about 200,000 Greek Cypriots forced out of their land by the Turks. For the last forty two years, all efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem have failed, because of Turkey’s insistence to retain its control over the occupied North of the island, and the unwillingness of the U.S., the dormant UN Security Council member on this issue, to displease Turkey.
About a month ago, Mr. Erdogan, speaking on the occasion of 93 years since the creation of the Republic of Turkey, said:
“I am giving a history lesson here…The islands under our noses, I am shouting that these are our islands. I am yelling that these are our islands. At these islands we have our history, our monuments, and our mosques.”
Mr. Erdogan failed again to tell to his people that these islands are inhabited by Greeks as far back as it can be attested by history. He did not tell them that their country was for thousands of years, before any Turk showed up on these lands, the ancestral home of massacred, Islamized, or expelled (by the Turks) Greeks, Armenians, and other indigenous Christian people of Asia Minor. He failed to tell them, that everywhere you turn your eyes in Turkey, you cannot avoid to see the monuments of the Greeks. And he did not tell them, that in large part, tourism in Turkey is thriving because of the monuments left behind by the massacred and expelled Greeks.
Mr. Erdogan also said:
“Of course we salute all of Lausanne’s successes, but Lausanne is not an unquestionable or holy scripture. Of course we will discuss it. Looking towards 2023, we are aware that this may upset the interests of many, but we will still go ahead with it.”
Mr. Erdogan’s repeated statements on his flaming desire to grab lands from his neighbors, are reminiscent of Hitler’s doctrine that the German people had “the right to a greater living space than other peoples… Germany’s future was therefore wholly conditional upon the solving of the need for space.” Hitler’s flaming desire for more land for the German people, and his appeasement by Britain and France until it was too late, cost the humanity the lives of over 60 million people, and the devastation of the countries where the Nazis set foot on.
Erdogan seeks to set in motion the slaughter of the people of Turkey’s neighbors and the usurpation of what belongs to them to reestablish the “dark” lost empire he longs, or to divert the attention of his people from the demolition of whatever elements of democracy may still stand in Turkey by engaging his neighbors in dangerous provocations.
For many years, Turkey is violating on a routine basis Greece’s airspace and its national maritime borders. Greece’s American and European allies in NATO, to appease Turkey, wash their hands like Pilate, and ask Greece to seek a compromise with the aggressor.
Despite Iraq’s stern refusal to accept Turkish assistance in the Mosul offensive against ISIS – because Turkey has sinister designs for the Iraqi land in the area of Mosul – to appease Erdogan, the American secretary of defense, Ash Carter, after meeting with him, said Turkey has had a historic role in the region and it will “appropriately have a role in the counter-ISIL campaign in both Syria and Iraq.”
The incoming National Security Advisor, Lt. General Michael Flynn, on the day of the U.S. presidential elections, wrote:
“We need to adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority. We need to see the world from Turkey’s perspective.”
To appease Erdogan (a despot, a warmonger), it is recommended that the U.S. – which claims to be “the leader of the free world,” the “defender of democracy” in the world – should see the world from Erdogan’s perspective!!!
None of the major players in the international political stage has yet reacted to the dangerous paranoia of Mr. Erdogan. Let us hope that we are not witnessing again the appeasement of another butcher of humanity.
Originally published in January 2018.
Author: Constantine Tzanos
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