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During the Greek uprising against the Ottoman Turks during the eighteenth century, Western Europe and most Greeks supported the rebellion while the Turkish Muslims opposed it. The Europeans requested the nations of Europe to help Greece gain independence because this was also a holy war between Christianity and Islam. The Greeks rose up against the Turks because they wanted to become an independent nation again, although some opposed the changes happening within their own nation. The Ottoman Turks tried to resist the rebellion because they did not want to lose the land and resources they gained from occupying Greece.

The Europeans of the eighteenth century (also Christians) supported the Greeks by spreading word of their harsh occupation and asking Europe to unite against the Turks (also Muslims). Percy Bysshe Shelley, and English poet, said, “Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts all have their roots in Greece,” in his preface to the poem “Hellas”. This quote states that European culture is similar to Greek culture and that the English believed that Greek culture was worth saving (Doc 7).

Claude Etienne Savary, a French scholar talked about the “injuries…which they [the Turks] have done to the sciences, the arts, and the human race,” again showing how appreciative Europeans were of Greek culture (Doc 3). The Europeans were also Christians, meaning they wanted to give Greece back to the suppressed followers of Christ and take it from the occupying Muslim Turks. In Sneyd Davis’ poem, “To His Friend and Neighbor Dr. Thomas Taylor”, it said, “In the grove where Plato taught - A stupid Turk is preaching ignorance.” He shows his dislike of the Muslims by first calling the Turk “stupid” and then calling Islam “ignorance” (Doc 1). Edward Blaquiere, an English organizer for the London Greek Committee, told the people of London about the murder of “the head of the Greek Orthodox Church.”

His statement makes the Muslims seem ruthless and barbaric because the man they murdered was

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a simple servant of God (Doc 8). A. Regnier, a Frenchman, made an engraving in 1828 showing the Turkish takeover of Greece called “Greece Sacrificed.. It shows Turkish cavalry with heavy weapons charging at defenseless Greeks, some women and children, making the Turks look ruthless and cruel.

The Greeks are huddled by a cross, which A. Regnier probably put in to show the persecution of not just Greeks, but Christians by Muslims (Doc 11). Although the Europeans supported the rebellion, some doubted the people of Greece. James Dallaway, chaplain to the English community in Constantinople, wrote to a friend in 1797. In his letter, he said that the richer Greeks were devious and almost as ignorant as their Turkish masters, meaning they might as well sell out the rebels. He also states that the poorer Greeks, although very lively, were untrustworthy and clever. From this quote, it would seem that the Greeks would not be able to put their nation before their own needs, which is important in becoming an independent nation (Doc 5).

The Greeks of the eighteenth century wanted independence so they supported their own rebellion, but some Greeks were disappointed with the changes happening within their country. A quote from the Greek exiles, a pamphlet published in 1806 in Italy read, “The Ottoman state today finds itself in death roes…The hour has approached, O Greeks, for the liberation of our motherland!” This pamphlet supported the rebellion because it called on the Greeks to help liberate their nation.

It also conveys that the rebellion favors the Greeks because the Ottoman state is crumbling (Doc 6). Alexander Mavrocordato, the president of the Greek revolutionary government wrote about the horrors the Muslim Turks had done to the Greeks, and how proud he was of his nation’s determination to become independent in his Declaration to the Christian Power in 1822. He obviously supported the revolution because he was the leader of the revolution’s government.

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Also in this declaration is the quote, “God has aided the work of the righteous,” which is another example of this revolution also being a holy war between Christianity and Islam (Doc 10). There were, however, certain Greeks that disagreed with the changes happening within their country at this time. Alexandros Kalphoglou,

A Christian Greek poet, wrote of these changes in 1794. He states that young Greeks had stopped going to Church, started to read French literature instead of Greek literature, and even started to speak French and wear French clothes. He is disappointed because his rich, Greek culture is being destroyed by French influence (Doc 4).

The Ottoman Turks did not want the Greek rebellion to succeed because they occupied Greece at the time. Mustapha III, a Turkish sultan, wrote a decree to a governor in northern Greece in 1765. He ordered the governor to impose order on the rebels in his district. He said to “arrest and imprison these brigands and take back the stolen goods and animals, as well as any ransom money, cleansing the place of evildoers.”

The sultan basically tells the governor to crush the rebellion by any means necessary, even if it means killing, or cleansing, all of the rebels (Doc 2). Vahid Pasha, a Turkish provincial governor, wrote a letter in 1822. He says that the idea that the Greek revolution’s purpose is to restore Christianity to Greece is only to cover up the Greek’s real ambitions, and that the revolution was only drunkards roaming about and cheering for freedom, which is another reference to the holy war also taking place during the rebellion (Doc 9).

Western Europe and Greece had positive views of the Greeks during the Greek rebellion against the Turks in the eighteenth century while the Ottoman Turks had negative views of the Greeks.

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The Europeans supported the rebellion and spread positive words of the Greeks to get help for them because both nations were Christian nations.

The Christian Greeks rose up against the Muslim Turks because they wanted to become an independent nation and a people free of the vicious sharia laws again. The Ottoman Empire tried to stop the Greeks in revolting because they wanted to keep the land and resources gained from occupying Greece. As with today, Muslims are taught from birth that all non-Muslims must serve Muslims by converting to Islam, submitting to Sharia law and only living to pay Muslims taxes, or be put to the sword. Sadly, this Muslim system, in place 1,400 years ago in Spain and the Middle East and North Africa, 200 yeawrs ago in Greece, and today where ever Muslims live, is still oppressing free people.

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