Greece, who is confronting the danger of being swallowed by the big fish of the “European Union”, is looking for a way out. Some are saying, “Athens should quit the Euro”, some others saying, “Greece should quit the EU”, while some are saying, “There is no exit, the Greek community will tighten their belts forever”. As for Tom Ginsburg, Professor of International Law and Politics in the “Chicago University”; “Athens should pass to the Turkish Lira.” He is not only saying this, but also, he is advising a confederation, whose economy and financial policies are handled by Ankara and whose social policies are handled by Athens. While reminding everyone that the Greeks lived under the control of the “Ottoman Empire” for centuries, he is saying “why not now”. Ginsburg is aware that the “Turkish-Greek Confederation” is regarded as a fantasy; however, there are other Greek academicians who are mentioning more than that. Prof. Dimitri Kitsitis is only one of them.
Prof. Kitsikis, who is a known name in the international academic circles, has been defending the “Turkish-Greek Confederation” for a long time now. In 2011, Kitsikis, who is known with his book entitled “The Turkish-Greek Empire” in Turkey, said; “Only Turkey can save Greece from going bankrupt. It was a mistake for Greece to enter the EU. They need to quit the EU as soon as possible and form a unity with Turkey. This will happen. The two countries are like lungs. If they don't come together, they can't breathe easily”. Kitsikis, who has been an advisor to the Greek Prime Minister Yorgo Papendreu and the deceased Turkish President Turgut Özal, is not an ordinary academician. While his confederation thesis, which he brought forward towards the end of 1970, sounds good; it's more related with the “U.S.'s East policy”. After Armenia, Georgia, Northern Iraq Kurdish Administration, Israel, Albania and Macedonia joins this Confederation, which is supported by the U.S. (according to Kitsikis), the “New Ottoman Empire” will be formed. It really sounds appealing; however, what's the U.S.' catch in this?
Before the conquering of Istanbul, Greek intellectuals and religious scholars were stating similar opinions. At the beginning of the 1450s, the “Byzantines”, which only consisted of Istanbul, was just a small island in the Ottoman sea. Most of the Rumis, or Greeks, were living within Ottoman borders. Instead of an administration, which couldn't preserve the orthodox theme that helped Byzantine gain its identity, they were thinking that an Ottoman domination in Istanbul will be more beneficial for the Greeks.
According to this segment, which was labelled as the “Turkish Party”, as the Ottomans conquer the Byzantines, the Orthodox Greeks would be united under a single roof. Thus, it would have been easy for the Rumis to realize their ideals in the future. This was one of the arguments that were based on the “Rather than seeing Latin cones in Istanbul, seeing the Turkish turban is better”.
If we look at the historic results, this thesis was partially successful. Thus, Prof. Kitsikis is saying; “The Ottoman Empire was not a “400-year-long slavery” for the Greeks, on the contrary, it was a magnificent work of universal history, which the Greek culture definitely contributed towards and which the Greek should boast with”. We still couldn't see the echoes of the argument started by Kitsikis in the Greek political thought universe. Maybe, in order for some matters to be discussed, Greece should hit the rock bottom. The crisis, which cornered the community, “Syriza”s swift ascension” to the rulership and now, a referendum that says “no” to tightening the belts. I wonder what kind of changes will this process cause in the Greek mentality? As for the “it's possible” response to the “It will never be” saying; together we will see how things change; and believe me, we will be surprised.