Yeni Şafak: Turkey will appeal to the International Criminal Court for the... fall of Tripoli!

Fall of Tripolitsa Yeni Safak Turkey

More than two centuries since the Liberation of Tripolitsa, the Turks want to appeal to the International Court of Justice.

The pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak writes that "Greece's crime against humanity, which turned the 1821 revolt against the Ottoman Empire into a massacre of more than 50,000 Turks, Jews and Albanians in Tripoli, will be brought to the International Criminal Court."

It even hosts statements by İrfan Tatlıoğlu, president of the Yörük Türkmen Union, who stated that "they have received support from the parties in the Turkish National Assembly and from the Turkish Historical Society."

Tatlıoğlu also stated that Greece celebrated the 200th anniversary of the "massacre" as a day of honour and added that he intends to bring this inhuman cruelty of Greece to the agenda.

He further explained that they also met with political party groups in the Turkish National Assembly and found support.

"We will turn the information and documents of the massacre into a file and a book, present them to international courts and bring to light that this is genocide, atrocity and massacre," he said.

The Fall of Tripolitsa in 1821 is a stain on history

However, it is recalled that this is not the first time that the Turks "remember" the Fall of Tripoli, since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had labeled it a "stain on history" on a political level as well.

"200 years have passed since tens of thousands of Turks were brutally and mercilessly slaughtered in Tripolitsa," said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a post last year accompanied by a graph showing a map of the Peloponnese with a wound bleeding in place of Tripoli.

"This inhumane massacre aimed not to leave a single Turk in the Peloponnese and thus went down in history as a black stain," the tweet added.

The Liberation of Tripolitsa was an early victory of the revolutionary Greek forces in the summer of 1821 during the Greek War of Independence, which had begun earlier that year, against the Ottoman Empire. Tripolitsa was an important target, because it was the administrative centre of the Ottomans in the Peloponnese.

The liberation of Tripolis had a salutary effect on the morale of the revolutionaries. The Greeks then saw that their way towards victory was possible and secured approximately 11,000 arms, with the entire Peloponnese bearing hardly any trace of Ottomans anymore.

Situated at the center of the Peloponnese, Tripolitsa was the pre-eminent town in southern Greece, and the capital of the Morea Eyalet (first-level province of the Ottoman Empire) since 1786, which made it an important target for the Greek revolutionaries.

Many rich Muslims and Jews lived there, together with Ottoman refugees, such as Turks and Albanians from Vardounia (Βαρδούνια), who had been driven there by the outbreak of the revolt and escaped massacres in the country's southern districts.

It was also a potent symbol for revenge since its Greek population had been massacred by the Ottoman forces a few months earlier, after the failed rebellion at Moldavia in early 1821. Other massacres of the town's Greeks had occurred in 1715 (during the Ottoman reconquest of the Morea) and on Holy Monday, 29 March 1770, after the failed Orlov Revolt.

In the three days following the Tripoli's capture on September 23, 1821, the Muslims and the Jewish inhabitants of Tripolitsa were exterminated. The total number of Muslims killed during the sack was estimated by Thomas Gordon, who arrived in the city shortly after its fall, at 8,000.

Many felt that the massacre was in revenge for the Ottoman massacre of Greeks in Constantinople, including the hanging of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Gregory V and the beheading of the Grand Dragoman, Konstantinos Mourouzis, in April to July of 1821.

Greek Independence Hero Kolokotronis said in his memoirs:

Inside the town they had begun to massacre. ... I rushed to the place ... If you wish to hurt these Albanians, I cried, "kill me rather; for, while I am a living man, whoever first makes the attempt, him will I kill the first." ... I was faithful to my word of honor ... Tripolitsa was three miles in circumference. The [Greek] host which entered it, cut down and were slaying men, women, and children from Friday till Sunday. Thirty-two thousand were reported to have been slain. One Hydriote [boasted that he had] killed ninety. About a hundred Greeks were killed; but the end came [thus]: a proclamation was issued that the slaughter must cease. ... When I entered Tripolitsa, they showed me a plane tree in the market-place where the Greeks had always been hanged. I sighed. "Alas!" I said, "how many of my own clan – of my own race – have been hanged there!" And I ordered it to be cut down. I felt some consolation then from the slaughter of the Turks. ... [Before the fall] we had formed a plan of proposing to the Turks that they should deliver Tripolitsa into our hands, and that we should, in that case, send persons into it to gather the spoils together, which were then to be apportioned and divided among the different districts for the benefit of the nation; but who would listen?

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