80 Years On From Its Defiance Of Fascism, Greece Once Again Says 'ΟΧΙ', This Time To Turkey

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80 Years On From Its Defiance Of Fascism Greece Once Again Says OXI, This Time To Turkey

In an opinion piece for the Greek media outlet 'The Greek Reporter', Philip Chrysopoulos has likened Greece's heroic defiance against fascism during the Second World War with its current stand-off against Recep Erdogan's authoritarian regime in Turkey.

In 1940 the Italian fascist state under the leadership of Benito Mussolini demanded that Greece join to enter the axis sphere of influence; Greece had remained neutral in the war up until this point. Mussolini thinking a simple ultimatum would be enough for the Greeks to capitulate, was shocked to learn that the Greeks refused to be taken into the fascist sphere of influence and defiantly told Mussolini 'ΟΧΙ' Greek for 'NO', pronounced 'oh-hee' in English.

Enraged, the Italians launched an invasion through Albania but to the surprise of many international observers and the military minds of the time, Greece beat the Italians back. It was only when Nazi Germany launched a huge invasion through the Balkans that Greece eventually fell under fascist occupation. The Greeks then launched a massive guerrilla campaign against the fascist occupiers, mostly organised by the communist aligned National Liberation Front (EAM), and their armed wing, known as ELAS.

Many don't realise just how important the Greek the original resistance to Italian invasion was to the outcome of the war as a whole. As Nazi troops had to be transferred to Greece to take the country, they were diverted away from the war against the Soviet Union which, in turn, slowed their advance into Russia during winter, where they were eventually stopped just miles from Moscow, the Soviet capital. It also halted the fascists gaining early control of the Mediterranean, which would have hampered the British in North Africa.

Chrysopoulos says that just like Greeks said 'no' to fascism in the past, their defiance now towards Turkey is similar. Once again, they are standing up, almost alone, against an authoritarian dictator wishing to expand their territory and who hopes the Greeks, and the rest of the world, will just roll over at the first sign of trouble. He says in the piece:

"Today Greece is facing a familiar enemy — but this time from the East. A military power that has grown much larger than it needs to be, led by a man who dreams of reviving the Ottoman Empire of old. A man who exhibits all the whims and behaviours of a dictator under the veil of a leader whose country is wronged by the whole world. By flexing his military muscle in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan initially believed that Greece would buckle and give him what he wanted — just like Mussolini did 80 years ago until he faced the united courage of the Greeks."

He finishes by stating:

"Greeks have a saying that roughly translates to 'A dog that barks a lot, never bites', and the Turkish leader does a great deal of the former. But if worse comes to worse, much like thousands of Greeks from all political affiliations rushed into the streets, waving the flag and shouting 'OXI!' in 1940, make no mistake –they would do the same today if Turkey pulls the trigger first in the Aegean."

Earlier this month, France sent its navy to back up Greek and Cypriot naval forces in the Mediterranean in order to dissuade the Turkish search for oil and gas reserves in Greek and Cypriot territorial waters. Turkey is currently funding jihadis in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan and last year invaded Northern Syria. It is currently subject to a boycott by many Arab states.

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Thinking Humanity: 80 Years On From Its Defiance Of Fascism, Greece Once Again Says 'ΟΧΙ', This Time To Turkey
80 Years On From Its Defiance Of Fascism, Greece Once Again Says 'ΟΧΙ', This Time To Turkey
In an opinion piece for the Greek media outlet 'The Greek Reporter', Philip Chrysopoulos has likened Greece's heroic defiance against fascism during t
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