To the Editor:
The glory and miracle of 1821 cannot be overestimated. After centuries of Turkish occupation, humbled and downtrodden but never defeated, the Hellenic World rose up for liberatation. But the emphasis on the number ‘400’ as the time of Hellenism under occupation is something of an injustice. Only a tiny part of the Hellenic world was part of the new Greek state in 1830, and only a part was ultimately liberated by the Balkan Wars and WW II. After what was immediately known as “that” terrible day, the Battle of Manzikert, in 1071, the Greeks of noble Cappadocia were enslaved … for 850 years and those of Southern Asia Minor for 750. The Pontian Greeks were conquered in 1461 and endured 450 years of Turkish oppression. In northwest Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace it was more than 600. Exterminated or expelled in the 20th century, their lands were never liberated. What was gained, an independent Hellas, cannot be underestimated, but what was lost: 3000 years of Hellenism on Asia Minor, can never be replaced. Everlasting be the memories of the genocide victims and the glories of Hellas’ Eastern half.
New York, NY