Archaeologists discovered Greek statues of Aphrodite and Dionysus in Anatolia (Turkey)
Archaeologists from Kütahya Dumlupınar University have discovered statues representing Aphrodite and Dionysus in the ancient city of Aizanoi.
Aizanoi was an Ancient Greek city in western Anatolia, located in what is now Çavdarhisar, near Kütahya in present-day Turkey.
Aizanoi has been occupied since the Bronze Age, emerging in the Hellenistic period as an important political and economic centre. In 133 BC, the city was bequeathed to Rome, becoming part of the Roman province of Phrygia Pacatiana.
Surviving remains from the period include a well-preserved Temple of Zeus, a theatre-stadium complex, and macellum inscribed with the Price Edict of Diocletian.
Excavations were conducted as part of the Penkalas project, where archaeologists found two heads depicting Aphrodite, an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, lust, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation, and Dionysus, the god of the grape-harvest, wine, of fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.
Previous excavations have uncovered fragments of a statue depicting Hygieia, a goddess of health, cleanliness, and hygiene, which combined with the latest discovery sheds new light on polytheistic worship in Roman times, and suggests the presence of an ancient sculpture workshop in the region.
Archaeologists told GEO: “We know that Aphrodite and Dionysus existed under different names in Roman times. These findings are important to us because they show that the polytheistic culture of ancient Greece existed for a long time without losing its importance in the Roman era. The findings suggest that there may be a sculpture workshop in the region.”
28 October 1940, the date when Greeks said “OXI” (NO!)
Ohi Day or Oxi Day is celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on 28 October each year. OXI Day commemorates the rejection by Greek Dictator Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 October 1940, the Hellenic counterattack against the invading Italian forces at the mountains of Pindus during the Greco-Italian War, and the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation.
This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador to Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, shortly after 03:00 am on 28 October 1940, who had just come from a party in the Italian embassy in Athens, demanded Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified “strategic locations” or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι (No!). However, his actual reply was, “Alors, c’est la guerre!” (Then it is war!).
In response to Metaxas’s refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 am—the beginning of Greece’s participation in World War II (see Greco-Italian War and the Battle of Greece).
On the morning of 28 October, the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting ‘ohi’. From 1942, it was celebrated as Ohi Day, first mostly among the members of the resistance and after the war by all the Greeks.
During the war, 28 October was commemorated yearly in Greece and Cyprus and Greek communities around the world, and after World War II it became a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus. The events of 1940 are commemorated every year with military and student parades. On every anniversary, most public buildings and residences are decorated with national flags. Schools and all places of work are closed.
The Greek genocide (Greek: Γενοκτονία των Ελλήνων, Genoktonia ton Ellinon), including the Pontic genocide, was the systematic killing of the ChristianOttoman Greek population of Anatolia which was carried out during World War I and its aftermath (1914–1922) on the basis of their religion and ethnicity. It was instigated by the government of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish national movement against the indigenous Greek population of the Empire and included massacres, forced conversion to Islam, forced deportations involving death marches[where?], expulsions, summary execution, and the destruction of Eastern Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments. Several hundred thousand Ottoman Greeks died during this period. Most of the refugees and survivors fled to Greece (adding over a quarter to the prior population of Greece). Some, especially those in Eastern provinces, took refuge in the neighbouring Russian Empire.
By late 1922, most of the Greeks of Asia Minor had either fled or had been killed. Those remaining were transferred to Greece under the terms of the later 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, which formalized the exodus and barred the return of the refugees. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Armenians, and some scholars and organizations have recognized these events as part of the same genocidal policy.
The question of the number of victims of persecution during the decade that lasted until the Asia Minor Catastrophe concerns scholars and activists seeking the recognition of the events as genocide and is related to the question of the multitude of Greeks living in Asia Minor at the beginning of World War II. In the case of Pontus, the scholar and refugee Georgios Valavanis himself established in 1925 the number of 353 thousand victims, which was then reproduced by the activists of the Pontian genocide, as a result of which it was officially accepted and repeated in all relevant commemorative ceremonies. Political scientist Rudolf Rammel estimates that it cost the lives of approximately 326,000-382,000 Greeks. The number of 350,000 dead in the Pontus during the period of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923, is repeated by the genocide scholars Samuel Totten and Paul Bartrop. As the journalist Tassos Costopoulos proved, however, this number of Valavanis came with the arbitrary addition of 50,000 to the number of 303,238 displaced mentioned in a 1922 pamphlet, who were presented not as displaced but as exterminated. Costopoulos estimates that about 100-150,000 were exterminated in the period 1912-1924 in Pontos.
On February 24, 1994, the Greek Parliament unanimously voted to declare May 19 a “Day of Remembrance for the Greek Genocide in Asia Minor,” the day Mustafa Kemal landed in Samsun. Also in 1998, Parliament unanimously voted to declare “September 14th as a day of national remembrance of the genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor by the Turkish State.”
In December 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) officially recognized the Greek genocide, along with the Assyrian genocide, and issued the following resolution:
"CONSIDERING that the denial of a genocide is universally recognized as the final stage of genocide, ensuring impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and well-prepared the ground for future genocides,
CONSIDERING that the Ottoman genocide against the minority populations during and after the First World War is usually presented as genocide against the Armenians only, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities,
DECIDES that it is the belief of the International Union of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against the Christian minorities of the empire, between 1914 and 1923, constituted genocide against the Armenians, Assyrians, Pontians and Greeks.
"THE UNION DECIDES to ask the Turkish Government to recognize the genocides against these populations, to formally apologize, and to take appropriate and important steps towards restoration (non-repetition)."
Commemorative plaque of the Pontian Brotherhood of South Australia for the exterminated Pontians in Adelaide, Australia.
The Pontian genocide is officially recognized as such by four states, Greece by law of 1994 (N. 2193/1994), Sweden by a vote in the Swedish parliament on March 11, 2010, Armenia by March 2015, along with the genocide of the Assyrians and the Netherlands, together with the genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians, on April 9, 2015.
Turkey does not acknowledge that there was genocide and attributes the deaths to war losses, plague and disease and does not admit that there was genocide. Most modern Turks are partially or completely ignorant of these events. However, Turkish historians have publicly described the events as genocide.