Our Sincere Condolences to the Victims of the Earthquake in Turkey

The magnitude of the destruction caused by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey – fortunately far from Greece – must be among the worst in memory.

So far there have been 5,000 deaths reported and that number will likely increase. Not to mention the destruction of buildings, infrastructure, etc.

In the face of this disaster of biblical proportions, no human being can stand indifferent.

An earthquake is one of the great equalizers in life. It does not discriminate between nationalities, religions, races, color, economic status or anything else.

So much destruction and so much pain can only evoke strong emotions in everyone.

And it can’t help but force us all to realize that we are fellow citizens on the same small planet Earth.

On this basis, therefore, as Greeks we sympathize with our fellow human beings, the Turks. As we did with the devastating earthquake that struck Constantinople a few years ago.

The Greek Prime Minister has already contacted the Turkish President and expressed the condolences of the Greek people. (Our Archbishop, Elpidophoros, not coincidentally, was one of the first to send his condolences). Greece is sending a team of experts to help, despite the fact that they are needed in Athens because of the bad weather. The Greek government is doing the right thing.

One wonders if this good, humane attitude shown by Greece towards Turkey can be transferred – long term – to the problems that divide the two sides.

I do not think so. Just as it did not happen after the earthquake in Constantinople. This will probably be a short break, a temporary ceasefire in the rhetorical war – make no mistake about it, even that leads to tragic deaths, as the funerals last week of the Greek Air Force pilots remind us – being waged by Ankara until the dead are buried and the region can return to some semblance of normality.

And then it will be more of the same. However, basic human decency requires compassion, the expression of sincere condolences by the Greek leadership to the leadership of that country.

As we said, we are all co-inhabitants on this small planet, even if we don’t realize it….

Therefore, we offer our sincere condolences!


This article is part of a continuing series dealing with reports of Greek POWs in Asia Minor in the Thessaloniki newspaper, Makedonia in July 1936.

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