Για όσους δυσκολεύονται με τα Αγγλικά, μπορούν να επιλέξουν "ΜΕΤΑΦΡΑΣΗ" από την οριζόντια μπάρα στο κάτω μέρος του ιστολογίου. Αυτόματα θα έχουν μία σχετικά καλή μετάφραση του κειμένου.
As every columnist, I too receive some harsh criticism from readers sometimes. One such piece was “From the barbarians to Papoulias with love,” dated Jan. 24, in which I humbly criticized Greek President Karolos Papoulias’ reported remark that “[the Greeks and Armenians] were butchered by the same barbarian," namely the Turks. “According to the evidence presented by the great Ottoman historian Halil İnalcık,” I objected to that biased and insulting statement, “Greece and Cyprus experienced their golden years under Ottoman administration.” From the content of the messages I received from Greek readers, nevertheless, I soon realized that it was a huge mistake to reveal such a historical fact. To be honest, I questioned my sanity. Instead of trying to defend Turkey over things that she cannot reasonably be solely held responsible for, I thought I should have said, “Yes, it is we, the Turks, who are responsible for even Adam and Eve’s fall from grace.” Even Hungarian President Pal Schmitt, who said the Hungarians were “lucky” to have been ruled by the Ottomans for 150 years because our ancestors “did not intervene in either [their] religion or [their] language,” could not calm me down. I thought in those days that we should have done away with this man long ago because he was not only distorting our history but also ruining our reputation as barbarians! Yet I am very pleased to see nowadays that I am evidently not alone in my madness. The Greek writer Petros Tatsopoulos and his team of international historians including William St. Clair, Thanos Veremis, and Fikret Adanır who prepared the documentary “1821” are also apparently the neighborhood nutters. The documentary, aiming to present an objective narrative of history, clearly displays that the idea the Greeks suffered under the Ottoman yoke during centuries is nothing more than a myth. Rather, it was the most prosperous era of the Greeks. More importantly, in contrast to the claims that the Ottomans slaughtered thousands of Greeks during the riots, some 20,000 innocent Muslim men, women and children were killed during the first weeks of the insurrection by Greek rebels. As usual, the documentary caused an uproar among the Greek public. Hard core nationalists and the clerics harshly reacted to it because it was not only distorting Greek history but also was “biased” in favor of the Ottomans. Mr. Tatsopoulos was accused of being an “agent on the payroll” and “servant of foreigners.” The project was presented as a deliberate calculation of its sponsor, the National Bank of Greece, to serve its interests in Turkey, since it bought the majority shares of a Turkish bank in 2006. Does this criticism sound familiar to you? Are the accusations different from those made in Turkey in a similar event? If someone sincerely wants to get an healthy improvement of relations between Turkey on the one hand and Greece and Armenia on the other, (s)he must take two points of grave importance into account: First of all, both the Greeks and the Armenians are as much indoctrinated as the Turks with an ultra-nationalist version of their history that makes them too blind to reconcile with reality. Secondly, the Turks must immediately reconcile with their history, but the same is particularly valid for Greeks and Armenians, otherwise their obsession with the Turks will ruin them. Without change, there will never be a normalization of relations among these countries. Having said this, I would like to wrap up with a little joke which I dedicate to Mr. Tatsopoulos and his colleagues who really make me optimistic for the future of Greek-Turkey relations: In the beginning, God created the Earth and rested. Then God created man and woman and partially rested. Finally, God created Armenians, Turks and Greeks. Since then, God has never ever rested. Amen! ΠΗΓΗ: Hürriyet