Athens, Antiparochi, Turkey, Syria, Hevrin and the blundering dolt

Athens, Antiparochi, Turkey, Syria, Hevrin and the blundering dolt

andevzone_HDRGreece is great for many reasons. When Syria’s crisis began, after the drought which led to the over-measured response to protesters by Assad, millions fled the IS crisis fomented in Syria by (you know who). After 2012, up until 2016, 2.5 Million refugees from Syria’s religious war for oil arrived on the shores of Greece.  A population of 10 Million Greeks accepted the desperate refugees with philotimia. The kindness we are taught as children, which follows many Greeks for life. This is one reason why there is much good feeling for Greece that explains why terror attacks from Muslim groups in Greece are way below the European average.
Athens has a tremendous History as a modern city.
Originally designed to the highest standards of the day as a beautiful city for 200,000 after the war of Independence from the brutal murderous barbaric Turks in 1821. The same Turks who ironically are causing more millions of displaced people to flee Syria even as I write.

What is it about Turks? For real. This is a dark culture with a dark history who are now invited to revisit their terrorising occupations. Try this article for context.
Turkish “defence” minister posts map of Turkey that includes pieces of Syria, Iraq, Bulgaria, Greece, and all of Cyprus. ‘The Great Idea’. Take back the lands they lost centuries ago that were never theirs to begin with. Imagine if they had the military means to achieve this? Like 50 nukes. That would change the playing filed. But where would Turkey get 50 nukes?

 

What it is about Athens is; the population more than doubled in 1921, during the Turkish genocide of Greeks in Asia Minor. And the need for cheap housing began, affecting the city planners perfect vision for this beautiful city. The population doubled overnight. The beautiful design was half as well accommodated by the new builds.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-11-18-58-amThen came the Nazi’s. Awful awful people whose agenda was to destroy the infrastructure and starve the local population to death. They almost starved my Mother to death. She survived on one protein meal a week provided by the Church, remembering days where she stepped over the bodies of her school friends on the way to school as they literally dropped dead from starvation.  Bloating out 6 year olds on the sidewalk. No parent with the strength to carry them to a burial.
At the beautiful Acropolis, every morning a detail raises the Greek flag. When the Nazis arrived and presented the flag officer with a swastika to raise, he wrapped himself in his Greek flag and hurled himself over the edge. Konstantinos Koukidis is his name, and although this character and deed was a morale boosting myth, death before dishonor is the Greek way. As is making up mythical figures to represent deeds and ideals.At the ceremony to mark the end of the German occupation, 75 years later, symbolically the day the swastika flag was taken down, Mayor Bakoyannis,  said;

Above all, we must not forget. We must not forget what happened then and afterwards. We must keep in our memory the parts of our history that wanted us to become divided, separated and to turn on ourselves…we forgot the common enemy. Fascism, intolerance, racism and all that stems from fascism. This  enemy is still alive throughout the world. It may not conquer countries but it invades societies, corrupts souls and governs people. This is a daily, constant battle,  fought with the weapons of justice, democracy, meritocracy and respect for people and civilisation.
Words every Trump fan has read or heard? Because they know a genius when they see one. And if he is a genius, then they must be genius as well.
Greece survived even those 4 years of attempted genocide with Philotimia and a great deal of Orthodox faith. And a ‘to the death’ Communist led resistance. But after the war Communism was perceived as a threat – and Civil war followed. The Marshal Plan rebuilding money went not to rebuilding Athens as intended, but to fighting civil war. Right versus left. Problem was – the right were right wing; Elites enriching elites, and the left were the heroes of the resistance who fought the Germans with enormous courage and success. Churchill got that one badly wrong.Understanding civil war is one reason Greeks helped the Syrians in 2012 when the financial reality of austerity Greece is they could not afford it.After the war and the civil war, late forties, the population of Athens doubled again as poverty drove desperate people to the city. And  the need for housing became critical. What happened next has a word in Greek that has no literal translation. (Like philotimia.)
Antiparochi – has no exact translation in English but can roughly be defined as ‘mutual exchange’ – would become the defining feature of Athens’ urban landscape. To put it simply, antiparochi is why Athens looks like Athens.
 
Here’s how it worked: a contractor would approach the owner of a house and offer him a deal. He would knock down his house, and build a block of flats in its place. In return, the homeowner would be given a certain number of flats (usually two or three), while the contractor would then make his money by selling the remaining flats to Greeks who were seeking accommodation. Generally, no money was exchanged and no contracts were signed. Builders called it ‘polykatoikia’ construction in the early 1950s
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What’s so incredible about antiparochi is that it emerged spontaneously out of the housing crisis in Athens. “There was no specific law saying ‘OK now you have the right to collaborate and build whatever you like’. It was the people themselves that found out this possibility.” City hall played no part. Greeks, long accustomed to working things out as a community, found a way.Thousands of unemployed Greeks found work as builders, making enough money to send remittances back to their families in the provinces. The state, meanwhile, could focus its resources on building up other sectors of the economy such as infrastructure, agriculture and tourism.Between 1950 and 1977, the Greek economy grew by 7.7% each year (only Japan recorded higher GDP growth). Construction was one of the main drivers of this boom. The system also managed – very successfully – to diminish the political polarisation in Athens.“
There are some who say that the end of the Civil War took place with antiparochi,” says Panos Dragonas, “because antiparochi was the system that transformed the polarised society of the 1940s into a wide middle class, so there was no reason for conflict anymore. Instead of a highly polarised city with expensive, bourgeois districts in one area and slums in another area, what happened was that the upper-middle class and the lower-middle class were living together in the same building.This created a social and economic integration that helped obscure the class divisions of post-War Athens.”“The building boom benefited a large part of society, not just the 1%, but the 95%,” adds Ioanna Theocharopoulou.
Construction acted as a tool, a way for those who flooded the city from the countryside not only to create shelter for themselves but to also make a living and even within a generation, move from an agrarian way of life that was harsh to a new urban middle class.A further 680,000 internal migrants arrived in Athens during the 1960s, with the city’s population reaching 2 million by the mid-1970s. By this point, Neoclassical Athens had almost entirely vanished. In its place, a sea of ugly, low-rise concrete apartment blocks stretching as far as the eye could see. In the Grexit crisis, many Europeans learned that  the Greek system did not include property taxes. In 2006, a property tax was introduced which made antiparochi financially unviable for most individuals. For the first time in its modern history, the population of Athens actually started to decline. In this climate, construction effectively came to a halt. Antiparochi was dead – for now.
And so Athens came to look as it does today. Some beautiful suburbs with palatial homes. But mostly low cost boxes, like the 55 m square single level home my Mother and two siblings was raised in in Piraeus.

All Greek boys to this day do 2 years of national ser
vice for one reason. The threat posed by Turkey. 
We are all raised knowing the threat posed by Turkey. By the age of ten I knew a thousand stories about the Turks. Ataturk. The Smyra fires. The bodies of children crucified on doorways of their homes. The 400 years of brutal barbaric Ottoman occupation. The murderous skinning alive of one of my relatives in Crete by the Moslem Pashas troops after rebellion there.

I am disgusted with the French football authorities for allowing Turkey to play the European match in Paris last night even while Turkish soldiers are doing what they do so badly. Brutal barbaric murder in Northern Syria. Even after several Turks in the team posed saluting their ‘Proud Troops fighting for Turkey.
Shame on France.
Now, Athens is back again for its latest renaissance. The economy has tuned after the years of austerity and property developers are once more able to borrow. A new generation of antiparochi has already begun. No doubt Athens will change again, only this time, thanks to EU legislation, with City Hall red tape to guide the polykatoikia builders.
 
To this day Greek boys continue 2 years conscription to remain vigilant against the eternal enemy. One driven by religious belief into all manner of barbarism, as we see unfolding this week in Syria.  Greece depends on the US Military to keep them supplied with the tools of war for their NATO position as well as national security against the Erdogan era Turks.
 
Into this wonderful, tragic, complex History, comes a novice. An illiterate. Untraveled. Unread. Unfamiliar with any urge beyond his self gratification. A blundering dolt with nuclear codes and anal porn stars and a following of people who believe invisible men, many with great white beards, all with unlimited power to do anything except stop killing in His name,  chose this particular believer specifically to be their leader.
In other words, the mentally  ill chose a mentally ill leader. The majority of Americans did not.
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Unsurprisingly this idiot  has made a catastrophic error of gut led judgment, as the former US Ambassador to Greece points out in detail. (Google him. R. Nicholas Burns. On CNN Last night.) “President Trump, however, sees the world through a radically different lens than his predecessors did. He is dismantling, block by block, the foundations of our power that made America great from FDR’s time to Obama’s.”

This blundering dolts gut-led stupidity  last week with Erdogan has already cost hundreds of valuable lives.
Last Thursday Trump spoke to his clan in Minnesota. He said:
“We don’t have any soldiers there because we’ve left. We won. We left. Take a victory, United States.
Yet, hours later, the Defence Department announced that 3,000 US soldiers – including two fighter squadrons – were being dispatched to Saudi Arabia “to ensure and enhance the defence” of that nation. Even as he spoke to the baying cheering crowd of winning Christians, children were dying under Bombs dropped by F-16’s. Sold by the USA to Turkey. On Friday, even more died. Civilian targets were bombed by planes made in America. On Saturday Hevrin Khalaf, 35, was targeted. Her end was brutal. Filmed by her executioners, the brutal death by American-sponsored-Turk according to The Washington Post,  “almost certainly constitute(d) a war crime, under international law”. In which case the instigator must be brought to trial.
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Actions have consequences. So do idiotic, poorly thought out actions. Stupidity is no defense in law. But that is just the beginning and unlikely to end the consequences of a blundering dolt trying to be smart with no reason to believe he could. Without even making the effort to learn the local history. A lazy idiot product of a lazy idiot christian clan.And as a result, almost certainly, many new homes will be built in Athens to accommodate the new generation of refugees. The Trump refugees. Fleeing the blundering dolt.The man who was paid for playing golf at $500,000 per 18 holes by American taxpayers, while Hevrin Khalf was being brutalized on video by the consequences of his stupidity and greed. The product of Trump and his followers.

What next for the most idiotic least qualified leader in America’s storied History.
Retirement to a Whites-Only golf course, or a life in prison?
Heverin Khalaf has neither option.

Words: 1700

 

 

 

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