''It is a sign
that Turkey is purged of the traitors, the Christians, and the
foreigners, and that Turkey is for the Turks.''- Mustapha
The above words belong to the founder of
the supposedly secular and democratic Republic of Turkey. In truth,
Mustapha Kemal put an end to the ancient cultures of the Armenians,
Assyrians, and Greeks in Anatolia. His military ''victory'' in
September 1922 led to the mass slaughter of over 100,000 Greek
and 30,000 Armenian Christians in the historic city of Smyrna.
In 1923, Kemal ordered the expulsions of over one million Greeks
from Asia Minor.
For Greek Orthodox Christians, terms like
jihad, giavhour, and infidel, which are used by modern-day mass
murderers such as Osama bin Laden, are nothing new. Turkish leaders
have used these words to denigrate and provoke hatred of Christians
for centuries, ranging from the era of the Ottoman Empire to the
recent history of the Turkish Republic, which has sponsored violent
pogroms against its Greek and Armenian minorities. Although Mustapha
Kemal became known for secularizing Turkey, he waged his war against
civilian Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian populations in Asia Minor
as a jihad.
Greek Orthodox Christians remember the atrocities
of Kemal and his associates through memorials and through the
martyrdom of clerics such as Archbishop Chrysostomos of Smyrna,
whose dismemberment was ordered by one of Kemal's top generals.
For Orthodox Christians, the demented and murderous policies of
the Taliban and Al Qaeda today resemble those of Ottoman and Kemalist
Turkey between 1914 and 1923.
Like Osama bin Laden and his colleagues,
the Young Turks and Mustapha Kemal's nationalists celebrated the
death of the innocent.
The Young Turks planned and carried out
the genocide and mass extermination of more than 1.5 million Armenian
Christians. As the war against terrorism evolves, Washington should
finally get serious about fighting evil in all its forms and should
recognize the Armenian genocide. The United States should tell
Turkey that it will not allow its censorship of history to be
imported to America. The United States should also recognize Turkey's
extermination of the Greeks and Assyrians.
In the worldwide fight against terrorism,
the United States must pressure allies who are active in promoting
terror. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, spiritual center of Eastern
Orthodox Christianity, is frequently bombed by terrorists in Constantinople.
Turkish authorities must be pressed to stop creating a climate
in which attacks on Christian institutions are encouraged. Discrimination
against the patriarchate is enforced by the forcible closure of
its only theological seminary.
Finally, the United States must pressure
Turkey to end its sponsorship of terror and ethnic cleansing in
Cyprus. Turkey's invasions of Cyprus in 1974 resulted in the forced
expulsions of over 200,000 Greeks on the basis of their ethnic
and religious heritage. Over 1,600 Greek Cypriots remain missing.
The Turkish government, whose forces occupy the north of Cyprus,
are responsible for atrocities which occur there, such as the
brutal killings of several Greek Cypriot civilians during the
summer of 1996.