Eastern Party in Greece

The Eastern Party in Greece reflects the concept of the Eastern Party, in the countries of the Third World, in opposition to that of the Western Party, a concept used by both the peoples concerned and the social sciences, for more than a century to define the opposition of the majority of the population to the attempts of their westernization. Since the West sees Greece as its mother, many refuse to accept that it can be part of the non-West and persist in believing that the eastern party in this country is a marginal phenomenon. But, according to Dimitri Kitsikis, “the Eastern Party has always been the best advocate of the Greek tradition which is inseparable from Orthodoxy. Hellenism is not only a nation, it is a civilization that once radiated the entire surface of the Intermediate Region. ”

The Greek Orthodox Church uses, to define itself, the expression “ἡ καθἡμᾶς Ἀνατολή” (our East) and calls Jesus Christ “Ἀνατολὴ Ἀνατολῶν” (East of the Orients). The Byzantine Empire, a political expression of the orthodox ideal, had founded its wealth and power in Asia Minor, which it called “Ἀνατολία” (East) and not in the Balkan peninsula. Even today, Asia Minor, now Turkey, is called in Turkish “Anadolu” (East). The Roman Catholic Church always refers to Orthodox churches as Eastern Christian Churches, while Orientalism of Western intellectuals places Greece in the East.

Herodotus remarks that “Tyrienne Europe was of Asiatic birth” and Aristotle writes: “The nations inhabiting the cold places and those of Europe are full of courage, but sometimes deficient in intelligence and skill, so that they remain comparatively free, but lack political organization and the ability to govern their neighbors. The peoples of Asia, on the other hand, are intelligent and skilful in temperament, but lack courage, so that they are always subject to subjection and slavery. But the Greek race participates in both characters, precisely because it occupies the geographically central position, so that it is at once courageous and intelligent … It is capable of governing humanity if it achieves unity. For Byzantium, the West never ceased to be the supreme enemy. The historian Anne Comnenus, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexis I Comnenus, wrote that Europe was “all the barbarian nations that stretch from the Adriatic Sea to the pillars of Hercules.” When the Ottomans were At the gates of Constantinople, Lucas Notaras, prime minister (megadux) of Byzantium, as well as Gennadios II orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, exclaimed “κάλλιον εἰδέναι φακιόλιον τουρκικὸν παρὰ καλύπτραν λατινικήν” (better to see [at Constantinople] the Turkish turban than the Latin hat).

The father of the anti-Western ideology of Hellenoturquism was the philosopher Georges de Trebizonde who after the entry of Mehmet II in Constantinople in 1453, proposed to the latter the creation of a two-headed Greek-Turkish state to perpetuate Byzantium and free the Empire from the Western grip. He wrote to the Sultan in 1466: “No one doubts that, by right, you are Emperor of the Romans. Because, indeed, is emperor the one who legally, holds the seat of the Empire … The one who is emperor of the Romans is also emperor of all the terrestrial globe “.

The formation of the Greek state, following the revolution of 1821, took place in a strongly pro-Western climate, inspired by the myth of the resurrection of ancient Greece and was capped by a Bavarian king. Nevertheless, all the fighters of Greek independence, such as Theodoros Kolokotronis and Ioannis Makrygiannis, were fervent supporters of Orthodoxy and belonged to the anti-Western pro-Russian party. The leader of the pro-Russian party and former foreign minister of Russia, who represented the tendencies of almost all the inhabitants of the new state, first governor of Greece, was Ioannis Kapodistrias who was assassinated in 1831, at the instigation Western Powers. Henceforth, Greece was ruled to this day by pro-Western rulers, the most famous of which was Eleftherios Venizelos, which gave the impression that this country had been definitively westernized and that the Eastern party had disappeared. The last act of this development was the entry of Greece into the European Union in 1981. Nevertheless, below the surface, the Eastern Party continued to express the deep tendencies of the Greek people. Under the banner of Hellenoturquism, the dream of the constitution of a confederation of Greece and Turkey, three men, a writer Periklis Yannopoulos, a diplomat Íon Dragoúmis and an officer Athanasios Souliotis-Nikolaidis, struggled through their writings and their actions to undo those they calllet the “fanatical Franks”.

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