On Saint George Day (April 23), British Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham, Alice Roberts, said that the Greek Saint was “Turkish Roman.”
The point of her tweets is to mock and make fun of patriotic Englishmen, who celebrate Saint George since the time of the Crusades when he was adopted by Norman and English knights.
Saint George was then formally established as a national saint after the Hundred Years War against France.
She wanted to mock patriot Englishmen for allegedly having a “Middle Eastern“ hero while at the same time being “xenophobic“.
However with her snarky comments on Saint Georges ethnic heritage (calling him a Turkish Roman) she erases Greek identity and whitewashes genocide, thus herself has become xenophobic.
Saint George was a Greek who came from Cappadocia, a region in modern day Turkey, that was inhabited by Greeks for millennia.
His mother was a Greek from Palestine.
However, it was not until the 11th century, so many centuries after Saint George’s martyrdom, that the Turks migrated from Central Asia into Anatolia, and therefore Cappadocia.
Her statement is not only unfounded, but is historical revisionism.
Cappadocian Greeks suffered immense oppression under Ottoman Turkish rule, where they were treated as second class citizens and ultimately completely wiped out in the beginning of the 20th century.
Cappadocian Greeks were either massacred or deported from their ethnic homeland to the Greek nation state during and after the Greek Genocide.
By claiming the Greek Saint is Turkish, she not only makes historical mistakes at fusing ethnic identities with modern concepts of nationhood, but she also relatives the suffering of Cappadocian Greeks by erasing their identity.