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Just how much trouble can a 137 page book for 12 year olds cause?

The book in question being the standard Greek history text book for junior Hellenes.

It has managed to upset the Orthodox Church by downplaying its role in the War of Independence, and nationalists are less than keen on the downplaying of Turkish atrocities and the recognition that the Greeks might have behaved badly themselves too.

Elsewhere, "Education Minister Marietta Giannakou paved the way yesterday for the authors of the controversial primary school history book to counter one of the textbook’s main criticisms by providing more detail about certain events in Greek history". Erm, more detail in a 137 page book? That should not be enormously difficult, should it?

The Turks are regarding this with what looks like amused detatchment: "In response to the criticism against the textbook that is devoid of animosity towards the Turks and exaggerations of martyrdom, Greek Education Council Chairman Thanos Veremis told the Greek daily Eleftheros Tipos that it was not correct to accuse the Turks continuously. "Textbooks are not bibles, and therefore they can be re-written" he explained. "Violence is an integral part of history, but there's no sense in continuously narrating it. That is not the aim of textbooks".

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Blogger CityUnslicker said... 1:50 pm

not quite the Japanese 'history' books with their rather inaccurate hisotry of WW11.

on the other hand I remember well reading Modern World History for my GCSE at the age of 14 and being astonished even then at the outrageous socialist bias present. Pol Pot was all our fault, as were African droughts.

The parts on decolonisation were particularly inept.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 2:39 pm

No such nonsense at my school
The headmaster once took me to task for befriending an Iranian pupil(it was a private school)
"Im not a racist if I wa i wouldnt have them in my school , however , I think it best that you stay away from them"

Mr Rogers , a wonderful old boy even though he once beat me unconcious (I deserved it)
A real eccentric

Oh my point?
It beats the "greek" studies our children are forced fed
"and then daddy john shoved his penis up daddy james 'shitter"  

Anonymous Phil Hellene said... 2:58 pm

What the Greeks I know object to here is not accepting the obvious historical truth that the Greeks did some bloodthirsty things in the course of the national liberation struggle against the Turks, but the attempt to blur the basic moral lines of that struggle in the prevailing decadent Western spirit of moral equivalence.

The Balkan Christian peoples look raw and savage by Western Enlightenment standards, but these are nations which missed out on the Renaissance and Enlightenment precisely because they were captive for centuries within a backward, declining empire that stamped down on any rebellion with incredible brutality. If, for centuries, you make whole nations despised second-class citizens in their own lands, punishing resistance with slow execution or slavery, they are unlikely to be gentle once the boot is on the other foot.

The Turks sowed the dragon's teeth in the Balkans and were paid back in their own coin. The Greeks are to be congratulated on the speed of their progression in the 19th and 20th centuries from the raw tribal hatred of the insurgency to a more 'enlightened' and Western mode of conducting the ongoining liberation struggle than any other Balkan state (being the first to gain independence helped of course).

The abominations perpetrated by the Ottoman / Turkish state on all of their subject peoples well into the 20th century - and to the present day in the case of the Kurds - have long been swept under the carpet by the various great powers for geopolitical reasons, and the imposition of false moral equivalency in historical perception between tyrants and their rebellious subjects - perceived as imposed on Greece by the EU - is considered an integral element of this dishonourable process by my friends, and a kind of moral disarmament that is not being reciprocated and is dangerous for the future.

Greeks have no historical reason to join in the Western European orgy of self-flagellation for the past. Their experience of imperialism and slavery (since the decline and collapse of the Eastern Roman Empire) has been on the receiving end. Thus, to bring them into line with the EU, history must be falsified.

It occurs to me that the overwhelming majority here in Britain don't even know that large parts of Europe were under Islamic imperial rule into the early twentieth century. Certainly I left school none the wiser, and followed the Balkan Wars in the 90s on TV without ever learning the pre-WW2 background. Unlike Moorish Spain, Ottoman Turkey in Europe is too recent in historical memory to sugar-coat plausibly (there are plenty of horrific photos to document it), so it is largely ignored altogether in the liberal media as outside the paradigm of Western imperialism against a blameless Islamic world. Who knows what could happen if the masses knew?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:01 pm

Bravo Philip (of Macedon....)  

Anonymous Phil Hellene said... 3:30 pm

Hardly such an illustrious Phil as he or indeed HRH the Duke of Edinburgh (surely the best and most entertaining king Greece never had) but a mere writer of cranky letters and boycotter of Turkish produce...Philhellenism really isn't what it used to be when fiery young Englishmen went off to fight for Hellas in battle, but I do my bit.  

Anonymous this guy said... 4:34 pm

Very interesting.

(I see the Geek (sic) version of Kathy Merini has an attack on "Atheismos - o neos fondamendalismos" with a pic of the Ayatollah (Ayat-non-Ollah?) Dawkins. Bout time too.)

Nice to see the Bubble-n-Squeaks being more adult than the the Nippers.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:50 pm

Presumably everyone read about the YouTube spat across the Aegean, with the Hellenes being rude about Ataturk and generally baiting Johnny Turk.  

Anonymous Phil Hellene said... 6:10 pm

Presumably everyone read about the YouTube spat across the Aegean, with the Hellenes being rude about Ataturk and generally baiting Johnny Turk.

Indeed, very amusing it was too. :D

They banned YouTube altogether for a while as it is of course punishable by law in Turkey to be rude about Kemal, Kemalism or 'Turkishness', or to dispute the official version of history (e.g. referring to The Armenian Genocide, the official line on which is a bit like the David Irving et al. take on the Jewish Holocaust - i.e. roughly 'it never happened, and they deserved it anyway').

This thread may well get your site banned in Turkey. :)  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:19 pm

YouTube has just been banned in Thailand for a minor outbreak of lese majeste too.

I've never been especially sympathetic to the Kurds, as they did much of the killing of Armenians, and much of their would be Kurdistan is in fact Armenia rendered Armenischrein.  

Blogger james higham said... 12:49 pm

Which simply illustrates that history is all to do with politics.  

Anonymous Phil Hellene said... 10:24 am

I've never been especially sympathetic to the Kurds, as they did much of the killing of Armenians, and much of their would be Kurdistan is in fact Armenia rendered Armenischrein.

True, but the Kurdish orgs I've seen do all at least admit this and are quite prepared to admit and apologise for the crimes of their ancestors - the precise location of the borders can be debated later once the Turk has been defeated once and for all and their Empire broken up for good. :)  

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