On Tuesday May 29, 1453, Constantinople fell into the hands of the Ottomans, then it was the turn of Athens in 1456 and Sparta in 1460. The Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, all this disappeared for 400 years of lead, a black veil covered Greece, the Middle Ages would die, and Greece would never know the Renaissance.
During four centuries, the Hellenes will undergo the Ottoman Empire for which only counted the religion of the Sultan. Either one converted, or one was a dominated subject, cruel and blind system. As for the Greeks, they still had their language, their religion, and this umbilical cord which will hold them for 400 years, their history, which began long before Christianity, antiquity, which the Turks will never have.
The language, their language, they will speak it, read it, write it; their religion, they will protect it, as for their ancient history, they will transmit it to their descendants. And all this will be, among other things, the work of the “night school”, when, at nightfall, they gathered around the priest, the only schoolmaster for the children, who at all times risked being kidnapped and enlisted in the Sultan’s army.
The Turks called “Rum”, Romans, Christians, and Greeks knew they were Hellenes, not Turks. It was the beginning of the awareness of their identity. Although certain wealthy Greek families under the Ottoman Empire, living in Constantinople, were far removed from the feeling of independence, the great majority of Hellenes lived under a foreign domination which robbed them, impoverished them, and left them without any rights, to start with that of the succession.
But the ideas of the French Enlightenment crossed borders, the word freedom took the paths of Europe and the European coasts, all the way to the Ottoman Empire. The sultan did not care, as did the Ottoman system, and since there was talk of freedom, Greeks began to revolt as early as the end of the eighteenth century, and the Ottoman Empire then proceeded with the massacres, including that of 1770. Five years after the Congress of Vienna, which had divided Europe like that of the Kingdoms, the Greeks revolted, little by little, as our guest Alexia Kefalas says, daily journalist Kathimerini, correspondent for France 24 and Le Figaro.
It is not a war of independence, it is a revolution.
Alexia Kefalas, daily journalist Kathimerini
Thus the revolution was underway, it will last a decade, with its share of Turkish massacres, such as that of Chios, in April 1822, which will kill 23,000 people and reduce 47,000 people to slavery … And in relation to this first uprising Greek, Europeans, French, English, Russians, Germans, men and women who have studied Antiquity, speak Greek, these will take up the cause of the Greek revolutionaries, they will become the Philhellenes, the lovers of Greece, and will invest in the fight against the Ottoman. These Europeans are Lord Byron, Dostoyevsky, Victor Hugo, Delacroix. Philhellenism was then gaining strength and vigor. It was not until 1830, or 10 years, that the European states finally recognized Greece.
This day of the Greek national holiday, accompanied by the festivities for the bicentenary of independence, the 40 years of the entry of Greece into the European Union, under the Athenian sun, the ceremony was commented by Nikos Aliagas, the parade military being composed of period uniforms to modern fatigues. Symbol in the sky of Athens, “Rafales” in Greek colors, but French planes, a great symbol for the Greeks who know how historic the links between France and Greece are. Because the Greeks know it well, criticized during the economic crisis by Europe, very little helped during the migratory crisis by Europe, even less recently when the Turkish assaults in the Aegean Sea worried Greece, a single country. came to support Greece as it does today, France. On March 25, 1821 the Greeks entered into a revolution against the Turkish Sultan, today, 200 years later, 200 years of Greek freedom, another sultan does not want Greece to be good.
Source site www.francetvinfo.fr