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Greek Historic Events 

 

The Balkan Wars

The Balkan Wars occurred  only a couple of years before the first world war began, as a result of these wars Greece's area and population doubled.   The Ottoman Empire  no longer the super power that it once was, and now known as "The Sick Man of Europe", was assured defeat at the onset of the First Balkan War. 


The Balkan Wars reshape the map of Europe, doubling the size of Greece.

 

In the early years of the 20th century the Ottoman Turks allowed  the Bulgarians to change the ethnic "Greek" character of Macedonia through persecutions, see Paulos Melas.  The persecutions of the Greeks of Macedonia and  the inability to free Crete by Greece, damaged the national conscience of Greece.  The end result was a revolution by the military that overthrew the Greek government on the 15th of August 1909.   

The overthrow of the government was widely accepted throughout Greece and brought a new sense of pride to the nation.  The military placed Elefterios Venizelos who would later become prime minister of Greece, see Elefterios Venizelos as their representative in power.  Venizelos managed to bring sweeping reforms to Greece.  One of his reforms was to create a very powerful army which would eventually be used in the liberation of the "Greek Speaking" territories.  

The  arrival of the Neo-Turks into power in 1908 in the Ottoman Empire foreshadowed an impending war in the Balkans.  The Neo-Turks were an educated class and with members of the military in the Ottoman Empire they managed to overthrow the Sultan Abdul Hamid and place on the throne his brother Muhamad the 5th.  

The occupied populations of the Balkans cheered the arrival of the Neo-Turks as it was believed that this new class of educated leaders of the Ottoman Empire would promote equality of all.  The Neo-Turks became the opposite of what it was believed that they would have become.  These "new thinking Turks" were in fact far crueler than the previous Turks.  Massive persecutions swept the Balkans and hundreds of thousands were murdered under their direction.  A massive attempt was made to wipe out the ethnic groups in the Balkans, and force them to become Turks and Muslims.

The countries of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro  feared for their brothers in the enslaved Balkans.  The countries then  decided that their differences had to be put aside as  they shared the common desire to free their populations from Ottoman occupation.  The time to act was now when the weakened state of the Turkish empire assured them of a Turkish defeat.  To not act by the combined forces would mean the eradication of their people either through murder or through assimilation into the Turkish race.

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Directly Related:

Elefterios Venizelos Possibly the greatest Greek politician of the 20th century.  He was Prime Minister of Greece during the most trying of times.
Paulos Melas A national Greek hero who fought for the preservation of Hellenism in Macedonia in the early 20th century.

 

Other Greek Historic Events:  

  • Oxi "No" - Greece's response to an ultimatum by Italy  in the second world war which would have resulted in the subjugation of Greece to the Axis. Greece enters the war against the Axis powers.
  • Katoxi A sad time in modern Greek history when Greece was occupied by the Axis forces between 1941-1944.
  • Article on the Asia Minor Disaster (by the New York Times) A great disaster for Hellenism, the forced expulsion and murder of millions of Greeks in Turkey in the early 20th century.

 

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