My Weblog

September 18, 2006

Take Back the Culture

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Terror — limewoody @ 6:47 am

The photograph at right shows the ruins of the Agora at Izmir, a Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor. “Wait a minute,” you say; “isn’t the Agora a feature of Greek cities?”

Indeed it is; the agora is the marketplace of a Greek polis. The word αγορά is from αγείρειν, meaning “to gather” or “to collect”, and is related to the words “aggregate” and “gregarious”. It’s the gathering place at the heart of a Greek city.

And the city of Izmir hasn’t always been called that. Before it became a Turkish city, it had been Smyrna, a major Greek port and trading center for more than two millennia. Even after becoming part of the Ottoman Empire it remained a primarily Christian city, home to many thousands of Greeks and Armenians.

The burning of SmyrnaUntil 1922, that is. The week of September 11-17, to be precise. During that period the city was occupied by the forces of Mustafa Kemal, a.k.a. Kemal Attaturk. The Christian areas of the city were looted and torched, and the Armenians and the Greeks were driven from their homes to flee the city or be slaughtered. Of the 400,000 Christians resident in the city beforehand, virtually none remained, and more than 190,000 were never accounted for. The Archbishop Chrysostomos was among the victims, murdered at the hands of a mob while under the “protection” of French marines. The city, except for the Turkish quarter, was reduced to a smoking ruin.

So here we are at yet another anniversary. Another 9-11, and also a 9-17.



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