What do former Turks think about Greek Independence Day?

1821 Greek War of Independence

Every Greek, before the internet became widely available, heard stories about Turkey's "Hidden Christians" who are waiting to become Greek or Armenian again.

The truth is, there are no more Hidden Christians in Turkey waiting to remove the mask that they are Muslim Turks - the Hidden Christians were all successfully Turkified.

What we have today is a completely Islamified and Turkified population after decades of intense Turkish propaganda.

However, many people in Turkey, through genetic testing, reading family archives, or just plain and simple history reading, are beginning to realise that they are not Turks from Central Asia, but Turkified Anatolian people.

Thanks to the internet, more and more people in Turkey have greater access to information to find their true origins.

Greek City Times spoke to Yannis Vasilis, Elias Ypsilantidis and Uzay Bulut, all born in Turkey with the false idea that they were Turks rather than Greek and/or Anatolian people.

We asked for their thoughts on Greek Independence Day.

Yannis Vasilis (Left), Elias Ypsilantidis (Centre) and Uzay Bulut (Right).

Yannis Vasilis, formerly Ibrahim Yaylalı, is a former Turkish ultra-nationalist turned Greek Christian after discovering his true Greek roots when he was captured by Kurdish guerillas.

Being born in Pontus and trained to kill Kurds, he now lives in Thessaloniki as a proud Greek and human rights activist. You can read his fascinating story on Armenian Weekly.

He said.

March 25, 1821; It is the starting day of the successful struggle of the Greek people against the tyrannical Ottoman Empire between 1821-1830, which resulted in the establishment of an independent state.

There is a huge mistake in our geography, in fact, this is due to the lies of Turkey's official ideology. It is said that the struggle of Mustafa Kemal and his companions was an example for oppressed peoples and has affected many struggles for independence.

Musta Kemal did inspire, but not the oppressed peoples, Adolf Hitler and Mussolini.

If we need to consider our geography as the Balkans, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Kurdistan and the Middle East, the independence war of the Greek people against the tyrannical Ottoman was also a source of inspiration for the oppressed peoples living here.

Even after the Ottoman Empire, while the Turkish state, which inherited the Ottoman legacy, continues to play the same mission, that is, continuing to break and destroy people, the Kurds, who follow the path of the Greek independence war, continue to carry out their struggle for independence today.

On this occasion, congratulations on the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution against the tyrant Ottomans, the Greek revolution continues to inspire the oppressed peoples from yesterday to this day.

I wish a long life by adhering to the revolutionary principles of Greece.

Long Live the Revolution
Long Live Greece
Many Years!

Elias Ypsilantidis, formerly Memed Ali, was born in Trapezounta (Τραπεζούντα, Turkish: Trabzon) and only discovered later in life that he was a Turkified Greek.

He said:

Ancient Greek civilisation was establishing cities wherever it could reach, developing trade and improving art and philosophy to advance humanity.

The Roman Empire inevitably adopted their ideas and philosophy. After thousands of years we still find pride in the philosophy, law and civilisation we inherited from them.

However, instead of sustaining and developing this advanced civilisation, they occupy or destroy it, and sequestering all the wealth as an ingenuity.

And consequently Constantinople was occupied in 1453 and Trapezounta in 1461.

Hellenic culture was condemned to a deep darkness.

But every night has a morning and every civilization a keeper… After three and a half centuries, the Hellenic sun had started to rise again behind the mountains.

A flare that had glided from the wild sea and highlands of Pontos to Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις, Turkish: İstanbul) and then to Athens to change the course of history: Alexandros Ypsilantis.

29 years after he was born in Constantinople as a child of a family from Trapezounta, or in other words, 200 years ago today, he gave rise to the Hellenic culture like a phoenix from ashes.

His last wish before dying was to have his hearth buried in Greece. And so it happened.

His body was brought to Athens after 136 years.

When you think about the concept of time in terms of great Greek civilization, a century is just like a second.

Certainly by virtue of its descendents who have scattered all around the world, the Hellenic sun will one day rise again in Pontos, which for now is condemned to darkness.

Long live the Greek revolution!

Uzay Bulut, a journalist born in Turkey, describes herself as a Hellenophile and Anatolian.

She said:

"I celebrate the Greek Revolution that liberated Greeks from the Ottoman occupation and tyranny. The world - particularly Anatolians- owe so much to the Greek civilization.

Anatolia”, which is today's Turkey, means “place of the rising sun” in Greek. “Asia Minor” comes from Greek “Mikra Asia”/Little Asia.

The tragedy of Turkey is that people there have for decades have been fed with propaganda about their own history and hostility against Greek people.

The level of hatred for Greeks in Turkey is not only heartbreaking but also ironic given the fact that most cities across Asia Minor, that are now inhabited by Turkified people, were built by Greeks, an indigenous people of the land.

The history of Turkification and Islamization of these territories is well-documented.

For those who want to learn more about that history, the book "The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century" by Professor Speros Jr. Vryonis is a great source.

It details the methods of Turkification used after the Turkic invasion of the Byzantine Empire in the eleventh century.

The 1453 Fall of Constantinople, the subsequent Islamization that took place during the Ottoman era and 1913-23 Christian genocide in Ottoman Turkey should also be studied from objective sources.

Unfortunately, children and youth in Turkey are taught a completely distorted version of history that glorifies invasions and bloody conquests that slaughtered the indigenous peoples and then oppressed the survivors throughout the centuries.

Learning about the true history of the region will help people in Anatolia – particularly the younger generations – understand that so many of today's Turks actually have non-Turkish roots.

When Turks hate Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and other native peoples of the land, they actually hate their own ancestors and then continue attacking and violating those who have been able to preserve their ethnic and religious identity – like Turkey has done in northern Cyprus since the 1974 invasion.

Even if some people in Anatolia might have Turkic roots, the truth will help many of them side with justice and civilization, as well.

By violating Greece or Cyprus and continuing the destruction of Greek cultural heritage of Anatolia, Turkified people of the land are actually attacking their own history, heritage and siblings.

They must stop attacking the Greek civilization. They must honor it.

Despite the fact that the political situation in Turkey is deteriorating by the day, there is always hope.

The truth will one day set people in Anatolia free.