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Monday, May 08, 2006 

Gulbeyaz Karahasan

Because of Greece's 400 year occupation by the Turks, some Greeks still harbour distrust and/or resentment towards the Turkish muslim population inside Greece today.

So, when Gulbeyaz Karahasan, a 28 year-old lawyer from northern Greece was chosen as PASOK's candidate for the upcoming prefect elections to represent Drama-Kavala-Xanthi, the decision sparked criticism from both the Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki and the Macedonia-Thrace minister, Giorgos Kalantzis.

Unfortunately, their criticism of PASOK's choice has nothing to do with her qualifications as a politician but rather, with her religion. Mr. Kalantzis questioned her loyalty to her country by asking her if "she would stand next to him during the March 25 celebrations"--the day chosen to commemorate Greece's independence from Turkish rule. This challenge prompted Ms. Karahasan to respond "I am Greek and Muslim in faith. I was born and brought up in Greece and I attended a Greek University. I believe in a modern society that stands no discriminations. A society that appreciates and respects everyone’s opinions."

Even though Mr. Kalantzis states he never questioned her nationality, he has questioned her loyalty to Greece on the basis of her religion which shouldn't have been an issue either since the Greek Constitution specifically states...

Article 4
1. All Greeks are equal before the law.
2. Greek men and women have equal rights and equal obligations.
4. Only Greek citizens shall be eligible for public service, except as
otherwise provided by special laws.

If anyone has any criticism about Ms. Karahasan, then it should be restricted to the scope of her abilities and qualifications as they pertain to her capabilities as a politician. I wish her well in the upcoming elections because Greece certainly needs more elected women officials and hope that voters' opinions won't be clouded by religious intolerance and past prejudice.















Because of Greece's 400 year occupation by the Turks, some Greeks still harbour distrust and/or resentment towards the Turkish muslim population inside Greece today.

A lot has happened since the Ottoman occupation. The notion that Greek sentiments towards Turks and Muslims are a remnnant of the Ottoman occupation and unrelated to subsequent history and current events is a gross oversimplification.

Mr. Kalantzis questioned her loyalty to her country by asking her if "she would stand next to him during the March 25 celebrations"--the day chosen to commemorate Greece's independence from Turkish rule. This challenge prompted Ms. Karahasan to respond "I am Greek and Muslim in faith. I was born and brought up in Greece and I attended a Greek University. I believe in a modern society that stands no discriminations. A society that appreciates and respects everyone’s opinions."

In other words, she declined to say that she would celebrate on March 25.

If anyone has any criticism about Ms. Karahasan, then it should be restricted to the scope of her abilities and qualifications as they pertain to her capabilities as a politician.

"Abilities and qualifications" pertain to her efficiency and effectiveness as a politician. Her loyalty to the Greek nation is as -if not more- important than her qualifications.

Anonymous, would you answer that question? I would not, and neither Mr Kalantzis. That question is an insult.


Yes, of course I would answer that question. I celebrate every 25th of March our War of Independence against the Ottoman Turks. I don't know any Greeks -save a few hardcore commie internationalist dinosaurs, perhaps- who'd be insulted to affirm their admiration and love for the "Heroes of '21".

zardoz says:

so hardcore anonymous
youd stand next to her
on march 25, right.?

agreek woman from an ancient
thracean lineage ,
who only has a different belief
from you ....right..?


It is clear that this turkish lady should be barred from her functions as a Turkish Trojan horse. If she is intent in entering politics, she should be capable of doing so in her Turkish homeland. We all know that PASOK is a bus load of opportunist vagrants maurading on the political kaleidoscope of "modern Greece".

The nomination of this woman, independent of her qualities and abilities which are certainly very good, will be the harbinger of intercommunal violence, violence is bound to erupt into a never ending spiral of incrimination and hatred. The seeds of future conflict are slowly being sown.

Only a masochist would desire the multiethnic fray of Yugoslavia to be replayed in Greece.

The traitor Papandreu and his gaggle of mephistofelian followers, paladins of multiculturalism -they are in the wrong place and in the wrong country- refuse to understand this, and continue to trumpet their treasonous belief in utopia, particularly to brain-washed impressionable Greek youth. It has now been abundantly proven that multiculturalism is academic nonsense and works nowhere in the world.

There is no such thing as a Greek of muslim faith except in the raving imaginations of political merceneries.

Ahh, I can smell a heated argument from miles away so here I am. Like the wise Zardoz says, I'm no papandreou fan either, but it is a good move.
As far as I know, in this country as in many other, people are innocent until proven guilty. What has Mrs Karahasan ever done to deserve being called a "Turkish Trojan horse"? Do you have proof she has spied for our neighbours? Or is it that any muslim is automatically a spy? As far as I know and you can correct me if I’m wrong, she is a Greek national like me and possibly you. So why is Turkey suddenly her homeland?
It's a mystery to me.
She's a Greek national and therefore, based on the constitution as posted above has a right to represent people and enjoy all the freedoms we do.
You call her a "harbinger of violence". Again what has she ever done. You say that violence is bound to erupt, and although I doubt it, even if it is so, would it be her fault for exercising her democratic rights as defined by the constitution. Should we start strippng pensioners and the disabled from their benefits because it’s a burden on the rest of us?
I’m all for multiculturalism and although you are entitled to your opinion, I reserve the right to my own as a Greek
In your last statement you make yourself perfectly clear, and nullify all your pseudo-arguments. You are judging this person based on their religious beliefs and there is a word for that. It’s called racism. So have the guts to at least admit to that in which case we have nothing to talk about and spare us the pseudo-nationalistic rhetoric.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Update: I just read this:
Pay attention petrine, 52,9% of Greeks asked in todays poll found Papandreou’s nomination a positive development. So if you want to label me as art of that “brain-washed impressionable Greek youth” know that you are living in a world of fiction created by your own inability to accept reality.

Was she supported by just over half those asked because she's a woman, or because she's a Muslim? I wonder. Or rather I don't. Remind me, approximately what percentage of the population are female?

From one anoynmous poster to another, George's tactic is a good one. He knows she'll never get the support to win, but this move allows him to look good for the PASOKI party as a whole to Muslims. Just think how many Muslims will now vote for PASOK during the next big election. But, what I think ND should do is to have a ROMA candidate to counter.

Anonymous number one, how about putting cameras in our streets, identifying the people who attend the march, and those who don’t? You could make the lists. It would be a “patriotic” service…


to "sunny side up":

the female population in greece
is much greater than the males
if my memory serves me right
about 57% 0f the population
and even greater in younger ages
which means that women of greek
origin bent
on marriage will integrate
with many races , albanian,pakistani , polish , ect


=== ZARDOZ ===

You missed my point, =Zardoz=, and have me all wrong. I merely questioned your assumption that because x% of people supported the candidature, it was because of race. I just wanted to demonstrate that it could easily have been her sex that engendered the support. The information in your post makes that even more likely.

As to Greek women marrying men of other nationalities, why ever should you think I'd be against that? I'm not and, indeed, if I were a Greek woman I might well prefer to marry a non-Greek man especially if his mother were still alive :)

I applaud Papendreou wholeheartedly. This is one of the best political moves he has ever made.

Now I can rest easy that he will never be elected Prime Minister of Greece and further destroy the people that he so despises.

I see you're getting it over here too, SeaWitch? LOL. It's incredible how heated people have got over the fact that she happens to be muslim. I've got the anti-immigration argument thrown in too! Let's hope the issue of her greek identity fizzles out and people get on with discussing what her opinions and policies are. I have read nothing on that.

Lack of Education = Fear = Hatred

zardoz...I'm not sure that the reasons Papandreou chose Ms. Karahasan were all that noble. It is probable that he chose her as a candidate to incite rivalry amongst the NDP and at the same time improve his status amongst the Turkish constituents at the next election. I support his decision to nominate her because she is an educated representative of the muslim population of the prefect. The media should be devoting more time to her political compentencies and not her religion so voters can make an INFORMED decision.

anon...The only questions she should answer are those related to her performance as an elected official. If any politician's loyalties should be questioned, it should be demanded of those who have already held office and have plunged this country into the corrupt, economic mess it now is.

eleni...I agree. Questioning her loyalty is an insult.

petrine...her nomination will only incite violence amongst the bigoted, uneducated and close-minded people. If she is a capable politician, she could well prove her detractors wrong and garner much needed tolerance to people of all ethnic backgrounds.

buru...good to see you here again with another well-written comment. Greece has a future with people like you in it.

sunni...Again, if people would stop concentrating on her relgion and start concentrating on her qualifications to hold political office, then voters can make an informed decision when they cast their ballots.

diva...I'm personally not 'getting it over here' too...Ms. Karahasan is. At 28, she's very young to hold political office so I hope she can withstand it all. By accepting the nomination already proves she's got more backbone than those who have preceded her. It's just too bad people make the leap in equating her nomination with immigration. She's not an immigrant. I am.

traveller...I used to think that equation was true but after having known many 'educated' people, I've found that they can be just as racist as those who don't have university diplomas framed on their walls.

I didn't quite mean it like that but you are right. She is facing a lot of flak.

diva dahhhhlinggg...I just re-read my reply to your comment. Well, that came off more than just a little snarky didn't it? It wasn't meant to be I do apologize...I was in my mass commenting mode. LOL
But even though our blogs attract the anti-immigrant commenters, at least we get some level-headed responses as well.



I also agree that papandreou
reasons were not so noble,
but in a country
were the real problems of
suffering people are
not discussed,, this was
heavensent for discussions
within communities,, for the
betterment of greek society.

and yes sunny side up the info was
to support your idea.


I wonder if the primary motivation for the distrust towards Ms. Karahasan is due to the continued threat from Muslim Turkey and a perception that all Muslims inside Greece are Turks. If Greece had truly peaceful relations with its former occupier, would the issue of religion come into play here? From a Greek historical and current events point of view, I'm simply not surprised by all this. As anonymous said earlier, this is an oversimplification. I will not disagree with that, but I do believe it is human behavior that a homogenious group of people will garrison themselves against perceived and real threats.

In addition, We all know that we Greeks are not exactly an understated people, no?

No problem. I know how easy it is to do and I wasn't particularly clear in my comment in the first place.

Interesting debate, there is something for everyone with a penchant for dialectical gymnastics.
The essence of the debate is the never ending conflict between the proponents of the egalitarian utopias- rather dystopias - (e.g foreigners, internationalists, cosmopolitans, globalists ) and the representatives of nation, nationality, identity, tradition, religion, blood, in summary what makes a Greek a Greek.

Contemporary egalitarian modernity is besieged and threatened by the advance of Islam. A noteworthy example of this surreptitious advance is the nomination by a sell out political party like PASOK of a foreigner muslim to represent it in regions of Greece.

It is bad politics, bad policies, anti national policies, anti greek.

It is to be expected that the PASOK leadership passed the ruling baton from a crypto Greek ,like Aaron Avouris ,to another crypto Greek like Papandreu.
No one else will protect and defend Hellenism than Greek themselves.
With the advance of Islam and the future accession of Turkey into the EU, Greece is under threat of reverting to become an Islamic province. The nomination of a Turk in any position of relative power and influence is an alarm signal to the most dumbed down Greek under the opiate of egalitarian brotherhood to wake up and stop the erosion of nationhood and national sovereignty.

A bankrupt political party + a bankrupt political oligarchy + bankrupt policies + spineless leadership + a tottering economy = bankrupt political candidates. Politicians are untrustworthy, liars, cheats and perfidious. Their abilities and skills are measured against the background of how well and good they may knit political alliances and groupings( garnering a handsome return on their investments to perpetuate themselves in their political positions) with expediency as their primary objective as opposed to guarding national interests. Unfortunately the country is in their control. Greeks, it appears have no problems afflicting their national lives ( how fortunate we are ) that now as enlightened polites, overblown with hubris, are desirous of engaging in "ethnic-minority-religious" political jousting.

Papandreu should sent an e-mail to Erdogan and ask him to appoint a Greek , Armenian, or a Kurd, female gender ( they are all Turkish "nationals") as candidates for their next electoral contests. A quid pro quo would be in the best civic interest to encourage love and respect between nations thus blurring any differences. To Erdogan blood is thicker than water, an a Greek or an Armenian or a Kurd, no matter how well versed his command of the Turanian idiom, customs, religion and history is, will always remain a Gayvour, Horom and "other", not fit to be a Turkish national "with a non-muslim faith".

They are playing with fire and, in due time, they will burn themselves more than just their fingers on their hands.

Just the usual unstudied Greek bashing, with "devious diva" joining in.

The opening tells all: "Because of Greece's 400 year occupation by the Turks,..."

It isn't the 400 year occupation, it is the genocides and denial of genocides, the absolutely agressive language out of Turkey, the constant military provocation, dare we say Cyprus. All of this began 100 years AFTER the 400 year ocupation ended.

the post then ends with:
"Greece certainly needs more elected women officials and hope that voters' opinions won't be clouded by religious intolerance and past prejudice."

"Past prejudice?" "Relgious intolerance? That is laughable.

Religious intolerance is a core value of Islam. Indeed "past prejudices" "intolerance" and women as slaves and second class citizens are the hallmarks of the religion.

Woemn in parliament? Yes, the more the better. Greeks with Turkish background? Yes, why not! Moslems who identify with modern Turkey? Bad idea.

Well, only able to respond to a few things.

Traveller, for quite some time I have felt that the excuses of fear and ignorance for hatred are just that, excuses as in the lazy connotation of the word. It is more often stupidity or a weak ethical predicate that is behind racism. It takes no great ability to reason to understand the fundamental unfairness and disrespect for the pursuit of the truth of an individual's character to see how weak the reasoning is that concludes origin and religion are all that is needed to judge a person by.

Whatever the reason(s) for Karahasan's nomination, whatever the theoretical affects it might have, whether just as a candidate or if she makes it into office, no amount of cynicism, or even citation of precedent, if any exists, amounts to fact, and, no matter how rooted the concerns are, if moving forward in relations is the goal, risks must be taken, and consequences accepted to an extent, or things cannot improve. How can you move forward if her character and those of her detractors whom might act negatively toward her, are not given the benefit of the doubt at some point?

Like Anonymous posts refers to a bankrupt party, bankrupt policy and a bankrupt candidate.
I never was able to fathom Ppapadreu, he was neither fish nor fowl. Now he and his Pasok party have solved my riddle.

I'll never vote Pasok ever again.

Since her religion and sex should not be held against her, I find it equally "racistic" to hold it in her favor.

To choose someone BECAUSE she is female and Muslim is just as bad as critising her for that.

I agree with the commenter who said that this is just a move to impress, to show how modern PASOK is, while playing it safe.

In the same sense, I think you are wrong in the phrase "Greece certainly needs more elected women officials". Greece needs more efficient elected officials is the right one.

It reminds me of a Dilbert strip:
Woman: They didn't give me the job because I'm a woman.
Dilbert: Are you saying there should be more women on board?
Woman: Yes.
Dilbert: So you say that they should choose employees by their gender.

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