Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Asia Minor and Why I fight

Pim's Ghost at the excellent blog What Would Charles Martel Do? has a haunting piece on what happened to the Christians-Greeks, Armenians and others-at the hands of the Turks..and an account of the Turkish slaughter of Armenians and Greeks in Smyrna in 1922..while the West stood by and watched.

This issue resonates today, as Pim's Ghost relates this to the prosecution in Belgium of an Aramaic Priest who fled Asia Minor to Belgium for the crime of "incitement of racial hatred".

As the Ghost writes, `If the same observers so quick to prosecute Priests such as Father Samuel were really in the mosques of Europe or at the cartoonifada protests and felt like applying their laws equally, then Muslims throughout Europe would be being prosecuted instead of people like Father Samuel and Orianna Fallaci who are simply warning people and not advocating mass murder.'

I suppose that since very early on in my life I knew that there was fear associated with the word "Turk". One of the few memories I have of my Grandfather is of him showing me his turquoise colored prayer beads on an old leather band and saying something about Turks. I think that he was telling me about our family and how we came from what is called Turkey and that something had happened with the Turks. What I mainly remember is thinking that I was perhaps Turkish and being corrected adamantly on that point. As with many childhood memories, this one remains vague. But I always knew that somehow the Turks figured into family history in a very bad way. As I got older, I still knew little about being half-Greek, but I did learn that it was de rigeur for Greeks to hate Turks, and just assumed that that was all that was behind my Dad's occasional comments regarding Turks or his outrage when Newt Gingrich claimed that Kemal Ataturk was a hero of his. I never imagined what I would come to discover, both about my family and about all of the Christians of Asia Minor.

Read the rest: What Would Charles Martel Do?: Asia Minor and Why I Fight

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