Why are Armenia and Greece against Turkey and Azerbaijan?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-03 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: History, Modern Greek

As Ayse Temmuz said, this has been gone over very often.

Let’s go through the pairs.

  • Armenia–Azerbaijan. I’m married to a diaspora Armenian, which means I know very little of Armenia. We spent 3 days in and around Yerevan during our honeymoon last year. And that was enough to convince me there’ll be war again soon. That enmity is live.
  • Armenia–Turkey. The hostility is live as well, though not on a war footing. The sheep are only wandering into no-mans land at Khor Virap because they don’t know what guns are. The genocide is a big part of why the hostility is fresh on the Armenian side; I can’t speak to the Turkish side.
  • Greece–Azerbaijan. I don’t think Greeks know enough about Azeris to hate them. I’m assuming vice versa.
  • Greece–Turkey. Ah, Greece–Turkey. The reason is not just Cyprus or the Istanbul pogroms or the massacres in Chios and Tripolitsa. The reason is that Greeks and Turks have defined themselves in opposition to each other for the past millennium, around their creed. (That’s how the Turkic emirates and the Byzantine Empire did business, and the Ottoman Empire enshrined it in the millet system.) They’ve defined themselves as such, in fact, at the expense of their own ethnicities.
  • And yet, since the earthquake diplomacy thing, that hostility has mostly gone away. There’s some residual unease; I suspect there always will be. But there are Ottomanists in Greece now, and experts on Ottoman art music. They simply did not exist 30 years ago. (Turks will need to let me know if there’s been something similar on their side. Ömer Aygün does Aristotle, but that’s Yunan, not Rum 🙂 )

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