Dr. George Nakratzas
Open Letter to the Greek Prime Minister
May 3, 2003
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To the Right Honourable
Prime Minister of Greece
From: Dr. Georgios Nakratzas
Physician and Writer
Rotterdam, 3 May 2003
Two years ago I visited Turkey as a member of an international delegation,
in support of Turkish writers suffering persecution.
During the course of this visit I made a pilgrimage to the home of
my father, the village he was forced to abandon when he fled as a refugee
in 1922. This tragedy was a consequence of the forced exchange of populations,
proposed and implemented by the government of Eleftherios Venizelos
- not by the Turks, as Greek propaganda claims.
Despite all we hear in Greece about Turkish barbarity, no one forbade
me to enter Turkey, nor to visit the land of my forefathers.
Recently we have seen the free movement of refugees on the island
of Cyprus, once again as a result of a Turkish initiative.
During a recent visit to the capital of the Republic
of Macedonia, I was witness to the keen emotions felt by the children
of the Civil
War of 1946-1949, the children who were driven from Greece during the
hostilities and are now middle-aged men like ourselves.
These people are denied the right to return to their
homeland, to return to the homes and fields of their forebears; some
of them are even denied
the right to make a simple visit to Greece.
Sir, do you believe that the conduct of our country, a country currently
President of the European Union, is the humane conduct befitting a
modern European state?
I am writing to convey to you the cry of despair and protest of Rainbow,
the party of our country's ethnic Macedonians. This letter will be
copied - in English - to the European Commission, the members of the
European Parliament, and the whole global community.
Dr Georgios Nakratzas