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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 9 May 2015
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 9 MAY 2015 OPINION PANAYIOTIS DIAMADIS Proposed Mustafa Kemal Statue An open letter to Hume City Council Mayor Adem Atmaca and councillors, As an Australian genocide scholar, I write to you regarding the statue of Mustafa Kemal (also known as Atatürk) proposed for your city. In brief, Mustafa Kemal is not a suitable subject for commemoration in modern Australia. Beyond Kemal's role in the killing of Anzacs on the Gallipoli peninsula, he is an inappropriate subject for such an honour given the inspiration he provided to Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists (Nazis). In his landmark book Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination, Dr Stefan Ihrig, Polonsky Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in Israel, demonstrates why Hitler called Kemal his "shining star". Between 1919 and 1924 Mustafa Kemal was responsible for the second phase of the genocides of the indigenous Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenes of Anatolia (modern Asiatic Turkey). This included systematic massacres of genocide survivors returning home after World War One. Kemal's responsibility culminated with the state-sanctioned destruction of the city of Smyrne (Izmir) in September 1922, and the subsequent expulsion order Kemal is- sued: all non-Muslims were deported from the territory controlled by his forces. The Nazi-affiliated Heimatland newspaper gave oneeighth of its space each week, from 1 September to 15 October of 1923, to features on Kemal. Papers throughout the country would refer to Kemal's Turkey as Germany's "role model." "If we want to be free, then we will have no choice but to follow the Turkish example in one way or another," the right-wing military man and journalist Hans Tröbst announced in Heimatland. Those "bloodsuckers and parasites," Hellenes, Assyrians and Armenians, had been "eradicated" by the Turks, Tröbst explained in Heimatland. "Gentle measures - that The Food for Thought Network presents The 9 Muses Cafe The Food for Thought Network is establishing a new initiative titled The 9 Muses Cafe, which will be launched on 19 May at the Living Room restaurant in Templestowe. In an endeavour to forever inspire, connect and empower women in Australia, The 9 Muses Cafe is an initiative that will provide a safe avenue for women to discuss topics that have been previously unarticulated. Speaking about controversial and somewhat unspoken experiences in a small, supportive and safe space will enable women to have a strong voice and to talk about their lived experiences. The initiative was inspired by a challenge posed to the Food for Thought Network by Dean Kalymnios in a Neos Kosmos article in March. Here, Kalymnios posed a moving idea in saying, "self-knowledge can only come from a deep respect and sensitivity to the unique and largely unarticulated experience of Greek Australian women within our community." From this, The 9 Muses Cafe was inspired in the hope that these unarticulated experiences and stories can inspire solutions that can benefit individuals, families and the Greek Australian community. The program will offer a defined topic for discussion in the first session, surrounding current issues raised in the mainstream and ethnic media, and will be followed by a survey to gauge audience interests. The program's first topic is 'mixed relationships', discussing how to make inter-racial relationships work in the face of common traditional pressures felt by Greek women to marry Greek. The topic raise questions as to how to deal with the pressure, the reactions of others, marriage and children, and processes and life challenges that mixed marriage couples may experience. Psychologist Kia Atoniadis will be the guest speaker for the first discussion. Atoniadis has been working with the Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) for the past four years as a family counsellor, counselling families around ageing issues and from different cultural backgrounds. The topics for the following months will depend on the survey's results. The 9 Muses Cafe occurs every second month on the third Tuesday of the month at 7.30 pm. Entry is free for Food for Thought members, $15 for non-members, and food and drink is an additional cost. For more information, please contact Varvara Ioannou at email@example.com history has always shown - will not do in such cases." The Turks had achieved "the purification of a nation of its foreign elements on a grand scale." He added that "almost all of those of foreign background in the area of combat had to die; their number is not put too low with 500,000." Shortly after his articles appeared, Hitler invited Tröbst to give a speech on Turkey to the Nazi militia, the SA. From 1923 on, Hitler consistently praised Kemal in his own speeches as well. Berlin, like Constantinople, was cosmopolitan and decadent. Munich, the site of Hitler's beer-hall putsch, was the place for a German "Ankara government." Having completed the de- struction of the indigenous non-Muslim population, Kemal turned his sights on other non-Turks. In the late 1920s, Kemal's government conducted the massacre of Alewites/Alevis in the Dersim district. In 1934, Kemal's government organised and conducted a pogrom against the remaining Jewish community of eastern Thrace (European Turkey), known as the Trakya incidents. When Hitler seized power in 1933, the official Nazi party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter cited Kemal's victory as the "star in the darkness" that had shone for the beleaguered Nazis in 1923, after the putsch's failure. Turkey was "proof of what a real man could do" - a man like Mustafa Kemal or Adolf Hitler. For the above and many other reasons, any monument to Australian-Turkish friendship cannot include any reference to Kemal. Councillors, far more preferable would be a monument to the Anzac prisoners of war held in captivity across the Ottoman Empire during World War One or to the anonymous migrants from across Anatolia who settled in the City of Hume following the abolition of the White Australia Policy in the late 1960s. *Dr Panayiotis Diamadis is a Lecturer of Genocide Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. MUnGA donates $1000 to Fronditha Student members of the Melbourne University's Greek Association (MUnGA) have donated one thousand dollars to Fronditha Care through their fundraising efforts. The donation was made on Monday 20 April when MUnGA's former president Christian Raspa, along with the current cultural affiliations officer Jordan Moschovitis, met with Fronditha president Mike Zafiropoulos AM JP. Mr Zafiropoulos expressed his gratitude to the two students, along with the other members of the association, stating "all of us here at Fronditha are very pleased that the younger generation are showing their empathy once again, to an organisation that aims to improve the quality of life of older people in our community," he said. "It's very significant that these young people, while putting in the effort to succeed in their studies, can find the time to get involved and help organisations of the community." Mr Moschovitis responded to the message of thanks, saying "I feel both happy and proud at the same time, that we have the opportunity to offer a little joy to our people, to our grandfathers and our grandmothers." Last week MUnGA also elected its new committee for 2015/2016, the successful candidates were: presi- MUnGA members, along with Fronditha president Mike Zafiropoulos and residents of the facility. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM (L-R) Former MUnGA president Christian Raspa, current cultural affiliations officer Jordan Moschovitis, and Fronditha president Mike Zafiropoulos. dent Nick Tzoutzidis, vicepresident Tia Kallianis, treasurer John Liacopoulos, secretary Pamela Papadopoulos, cultural and affiliations officer Jordan Moshcovitis, media officer Anna Vass, NUGAS representative Eleni Angeletos, along with general committee members: John Papaemmanouil, Stephen Liondas, Stylianos Nikias, Perry Athanasopoulos, Yiorgios Yiappos, Alexandros Yiappos, Ioanna Yiappos and Arthur Gioulekas.
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