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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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21 November 2006



The tragic fate of occupied Cyprus is an enormous crime that Greece, especially, has silently accepted as she continues to kowtow in the direction of Ankara.

The harsh fact of history is that the barbarian conquest that has befallen Cyprus cannot and won't be reversed by doing the two-step and the back flip in which the Greeks and Greek-speaking Cypriots are currently involved, but by evicting Turkey by force. This is the ONLY way, even if we have to wait another 100 years.

But the notion of defending one's own by going to arms has been dying in "European" Greece a slow, agonizing death for the past four decades... and we can see the results in front of us every day. Without a change of direction, and massive reform at all levels, we will continue to sink.

PS: When Kolokotronis, the leader of the Greek Revolution in the Peloponnese, realized many Greeks were offering obedience to Ibrahim Pasha in 1827, and even becoming willing collaborators of the enemy, he had one solution only: fire, sword, and the stake for those kowtowing AND their families. Predictably, Ibrahim lost his followers in the briefest of times and the Revolution was saved.


Excellent post, Stavros, and I'm glad you stressed that the Greeks of Cyprus have 'adapted and overcome'.

Amid the despair induced by the Turkish invasion and occupation, this Greek ability to survive, rebuild and remember has characterised the Cypriot refugee experience and suggests the Turks won't, in the long run, win in Cyprus.
Here's an interesting article by an Israeli diplomat comparing the way Cypriot and Palestinian refugees have confronted their plight.

Cyprus' defiance of Turkey, Greece, America, the UN, the EU, is indeed something all Greeks should be proud of and learn from; though, if we are honest, Cypriots, under unbelievable pressure, nearly capitulated to the Annan plan – and it was the heroism of one man – Tassos Papadopoulos – that prevented this third Attila from passing.


"The harsh fact of history is that the barbarian conquest that has befallen Cyprus cannot and won't be reversed by doing the two-step and the back flip in which the Greeks and Greek-speaking Cypriots are currently involved, but by evicting Turkey by force. This is the ONLY way, even if we have to wait another 100 years."

Ted, I agree 100%. Although I would add the force has to be back up with covert operations and 'soft power'. It has to co-ordinated. I have been advocating this position for years. This is the ONLY way my friends. The only way.


The most impressive thing about the Greeks between 1821 and 1922, and the Cypriots until 1974, is that despite enormous setbacks they kept having a crack at the Turk and Bulgar. They had a mission and they pursued it. This attitude is what is missing most today. You know to fail to succeed. But today we are not even prepared to fail.


I just came upon your blog after reading the fresh news about Turkey's gas exploration in the waters of Cyprus. I can tell you it's an absolutely stomach churning combination eventhough i'm neither greek nor affiliated with greeks. The turkish government is now openly threatening Cyprus and uses it's territorial waters as if they were of Turkey's(not even TRNC!)and "protecting" the "research" vessel with warships.
Cyprus has been betrayed and sacrified so we can pretend everything is ok.
Unfortunatelly these are the last steps to annihilate Cyprus and the chipping away our heritage, faith, history and eventually land won't stop there unless we stand firmly behind Cyprus. We let the door slightly open for the "wolf" to put it's paw inside thinking it pleases him and scares the fox away. But he's not after the fox.
I'm sorry for lashing out but it's hard to find comfort among the facts.
I hope you and your family are well.
Please keep your excellent blogs coming.



Please forgive the lateness of this reply. I have just returned from Greece where I went to see my son for a few days. I intend to write about my impressions as well as the explosive situation developing in the eastern Mediterranean.

best wishes as always to you and yours.

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  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy


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