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Τετάρτη, 15 Ιουλίου 2020
Analysis: Erdogan’s Malefaction and Our Loneliness
Πέμπτη, 16 Ιουλίου, 2020
Turkey s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, backdropped by a photograph of the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul s main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, delivers a televised address to the nation, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, July 10, 2020. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
By Theodore Kalmoukos
Turkey’s President Tayip Erdogan announced and executed his malefaction, or crime if you prefer: the conversion of Aghia Sophia – the Great Church of Orthodoxy and our Genos – into a mosque. As if Constantinople doesn’t have enough mosques. What was revealed, however, one more time, is our loneliness… our isolation.
Of course now, after the fact, we are running around endlessly. Statements upon statements, announcements upon announcements, banging of drums, so many tears and sighs. Even the self-proclaimed leaders Tsipras of SYRIZA and Koutsoumbas of the hard core Communist party made crying statements about Aghia Sophia. For God’s sake!
My aristocratic and extremely wealthy grandmother from Smyrna who became a refugee in 1922 in Lesvos told me often that “the Turks don’t undo what they do.” With my grandfather she lived the Turkish atrocities in Smyrna, in Tsesme, and Aivalick. They were prominent in their homelands and then they became refugees in Lesvos.
Yes, it is very true what my grandmother Vasiliki was often telling me. This is the bitter reality if we dare to remember the closing of the historic and eminent Theological School of Halki 49 years ago or the invasion of Cyprus more than 45 years ago. Through all these years countless resolutions have been issued, and there have been many interventions, pressure on Ankara from everywhere, but the Turks continue their agenda of ‘hava’ as they say in their tongue, because the captivity of Cyprus continues and the Theological School of Halki remains closed, which means that the Turks don’t really care no matter who talks to them.
No, in the enslaved Aghia Sophia from July 24 and on, those fanatic mobs will pray to Allah and to Mohammed beneath the gaze of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, John the Chrysostom, and other Saints of our Orthodox Church. What a profanation of the holies and sacred articles of our Faith!
Someone would have to be consciously ingenuous to believe for a moment that Erdogan will reconsider his decisions because of the protests of Mistotakis, Dendias, or Voridis from the Greek Government or Velopoulos from the Greek Solution Party who promotes and sells those ‘miraculous’ ointments and vaselines from Mount Athos. The one who hasn’t been heard from yet is the globalist Varoufakis to rap one of his usual anecdotes.
Truly, where is Europe? What Europe, you would ask and very rightly so. Where is UNESCO? Ah ill-starred Greece how do you tolerate such isolation?
I don’t believe that Erdogan will take seriously the presidential candidate Biden’s statement. Certainly Erdogan will disregard the resolutions and statements of patriarchs, archbishops, hierarchs and other ecclesiastical officials from Greece and the Diaspora.
But Erdogan took seriously the submissive positions, the concessions of the Armenian Patriarch and also the Roman Catholic Bishops of Turkey who gave him the green light to go ahead claiming that it is “an internal issue.” How shameful!
After much pressure and behind the scenes expressions of disappointment Pope Francis appeared on Sunday and said that he is “deeply pained” by it all. That was it.
Let me say it out loud that it is now obvious that all the compliments paid by popes from time to time to the “free captive martyr” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, all those embraces and brotherly kisses and the rest are simply the well-known hypocritical behaviors of the Vatican.
After all, the history and the tactics of the Roman Catholics in the difficult times experienced by Orthodoxy and Hellenism are known well know – they either they drift away when we need them or they undertake insidious actions. I would dare to state here that they did more harm to Constantinople and to the sacred sites, churches, and symbols of Orthodoxy with their crusades – especially the fourth one – than the Turks did.
Let me say it loud and clear that the Turks understand only one language: power. If for example the President Donald Trump picks up the phone and tells Erdogan keep your hands off Aghia Sophia or I will break them in three (trisect them) – do you think that Erdogan would dare to do what he did on Friday July 10? President Trump can still do it if he wants to write history. The question is, is there anybody to make such a recommendation to him?
Now the question is, what is Erdogan’s next target? Of course automatically and obviously our mind goes to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. After all he has proved that he can attempt to do anything. Without wanting to exclude any possibility, I must say, however, that I am of the opinion that he is not going to touch the Patriarchate for the following reasons: First the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not a threat, but on the contrary Erdogan uses it to brag that the See of the Orthodox Church is in Turkey and thus he sells the myth that there is religious freedom in his country. Second, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a source of income for Turkey.
Since Erdogan faces serious deadlocks on many fronts and also an unstoppable economic decline, his next move will be the islands of Northeastern Aegean with my birthplace Lesvos the first in line.
And one more thing: We shouldn’t forget that Erdogan has the Russian S400 missiles – and there are fears he is secretly developing nuclear weapons.
One does not need to have oracular abilities to understand what this all means and where things are heading. In other words, a monster has grown up among the leaders of the nations of the civilized world who in order to keep the mob bigoted and devoted to him will not hesitate to do anything in his attempts to be in power for life. And we will be running around aimlessly as we usually do and continue to do even now as the Aghia Sophia tragedy unfolds because we live the drama of our isolation.