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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 30 September 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2017 25 COMMENT Could this be Thessaloniki? A photo of the city’s coastline, dated from the mid-1860s before the walls surrounding it were demolished, fascinates Greeks and history enthusiasts around the world You might claim to know Thessaloniki; you might have dwelled there, walked around the streets and neighbourhoods, loved the food and people, absorbed the laidback culture. Even if this is the case, you would still have trouble recognising the city as depicted in this photo from the 1860s with the city’s celebrated esplanade enclosed in the coastline walls that surrounded it until 1870. The photo surfaced on Facebook in a group aptly called 'Old Photos of Thessaloniki'. Uploaded by group member Zacharias Semertzidis, who labelled it as the only photographic depiction of the Thessaloniki seaside before the demolition of the wall, the photo was hailed as a 'Holy Grail' by history enthusiasts who delved into speculation. The photo was taken by the Abdullah brothers (known as the Abdullah Freres), legendary Armenian photographers Viken (1820-1902), Hovszep (1830-1908) and Kevork (1839-1918) Abdullah, who had been active for more than 40 years in Istanbul, operating a studio in Pera from 1858 to 1867 (when they sold it to photographer Nicolas Andrei- More elements, other photos, press clippings, and so on were added, slowly confirming the authenticity of the Abdullah Freres photo, which serves as testament of the fleeting nature of things that are seemingly concrete. The 1867 Thessaloniki was radically transformed over the following decades. The walls, which were slowly eroding, and never considered to be very strong (they were easily overcome by the Saracenes in 904 AD) were demolished under order of the sultan, for reasons of public health; for one, the neighbourhood behind them were slums, inhabited by working-class people; on the other hand, they were preventing airflow within the city. omenos) and becoming the official photographers of the sultan's court. It was found in the National Archives of Hungary, labelled 'Szaloniki', as part of an album of 31 photos of Istanbul showcased at the 1867 International Expo- sition of Paris, and purchased by the noble Austro-Hungarian Festetics family. Despite the excitement of the new discovery, many challenged that the city depicted is in fact, Thessaloniki, given that it bears next to no resem- blence to the city we know today. The photo is believed to have been taken from the top of the White Tower; some members of the Facebook group tried to compare it with modern photos, looking for landmarks. Others used Goog- le Earth photos taken from the same angle as verification and identified the mountain skyline. Others confirmed it using different means, identifying the mosques marked by the minarets, such as the Kadı Kemal (Lonca Camii). Demolition began in 1869 and lasted until the first decade of the 20th century. The walls gave way to the 'modern' pier the sultan had envisioned and the debris was used to pave the still-standing Nikis Avenue. The inner city was also permanently changed after the fires of 1890 and 1917. Traces of the walls still exist in parts of the city, most notably behind the local courthouse. How the postal survey is threatening the Aussie meaning of mateship BILLY COTSIS Mateship is what Australia has always been about. I grew up at the tail end of overt racism but I still hankered for the term mateship in our country. I yearned for a game of cricket in my neighbourhood or kicking a footy around with total strangers to the point we all became mates. Our country has had dark moments, though mateship is an element that always makes us great. From our support of drought stricken farmers to fallen mates on a battlefield, Australia knows what mateship is about. This marriage law postal survey which is now wasting $140 million of our taxes (includes High Court challenges and other incidentals) and is non-binding, has started to turn mates against each other. I am saddened by it all and disgusted that a poor Communications Minister who failed me and the nation on the republic issue in 1999, is THAT gutless that he couldn't go to our elected parliament to have a vote; nor could he at least make it a skinny timeframe and one that was binding. No, Malcolm, who just scraped into power by a party coalition and one seat, is making sure society is essentially at war with itself because he cannot be true to himself. His legacy will be divisiveness and more than 30 Newspoll failures, guaranteed. I like my friends and respect their opinions when informed. I will not get angry with them whichever box they tick as long, especially if, they are informed. However, we have bigger issues to worry about in society, yet we turn this into our big play at being a democratic decision-making agora. Hospitals, education, roads, environment, Indigenous health, DOMESTIC (FAMILY) VIOLENCE, drugs, gam- bling. The list goes on and a list that needs to be addressed and we could be talking about them all. Have our leaders sat in traffic in Sydney? Go on, I dare you. We will have six million people by 2028, have you planned for that? I'm disappointed people who know each other and should care about each other, as well as total strangers, are now virtual enemies. Virtual because keyboard warriors have become the norm. If New Zealand invaded us tomorrow, I would be scared to sit in the trenches with most warriors who seem to have forgetten about mateship. Even more scared than the All Blacks running at me. And never forget commercial media is enjoying this as it generates ratings and readership. Ask yourself, how much do they love this issue, how much mileage are they getting? Australia, like most countries, has struggled with equality during its existence, and despite the racism I copped in the 1980s and 90s, I always believed in mateship. I love our nation but I am disturbed by this postal survey. Look at how badly Hellenes have struggled to be united over the last 2,800 years. We always ended up fighting each other. I hope Australia can learn from this episode and I hope too that the prime minister fades into obscurity. I dislike his predecessor who I dare not name but at least everyone knows what he stands for. Same goes for Bill Shorten, he sticks to his beliefs, as opposed to our PM who should look at himself in the mirror and reflect. He should reflect on his failures with NBN, republican movement, his lies about Kevin Rudd, his failings as opposition leader and now his failings on mateship. The biggest loser in this whole mess, mateship.
23 September 2017
07 October 2017