Greek faithful return to pray in ancient Turkish homeland

Reuters

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew leads prayers at St Theodore in central Turkey on June 27/Photo by Simon Johns

About 1,000 Greek Orthodox gathered in central Turkey this weekend for a pair of emotional liturgies led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as the Greek faithful seek to reclaim a cultural and religious link to their ancient homeland.

Elderly women wept as black-clad nuns and monks recited mournful chants on Sunday in the 19th-century St Theodore’s Church in Derinkuyu, a sleepy hamlet Greeks once called Malakopi in the popular tourist region of Cappadocia. Most of the worshippers were the descendants of Greeks who were expelled from Turkey almost 90 years ago with the collapse of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire.

Bartholomew of Constantinople faced the altar flanked by three crowns: Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria, Archbishop Ieronymos of Greece and Archbishop Hilarion, the head of Russian Orthodox external relations. Hilarion has been a key player in a rapprochement between the Churches of Moscow and Istanbul. Bartholomew said Hilarion came on a pilgrimage to Cappadocia.

Hilarion urged worshippers to continue returning to the land of their forebears to maintain Orthodox holy sites. “Cappadocia is a much suffered land, as its churches, once magnificent and beautiful, have fallen in desolation,” he said. “We believe that the light of Christian faith will be rekindled in this holy land.”

Bartholomew began presiding over annual June services a decade ago in Cappadocia’s deconsecrated churches as Muslim Turkey, a European Union candidate, relaxed restrictions on Christian worship. In a sign of the growing tolerance, Bartholomew recently won permission to celebrate the Divine Liturgy this August at the more politically sensitive Sumela Monastery on the Black Sea for the first time since 1923. Last year, local authorities and residents tried to block Greek and Russian tourists from praying there.

cappadociaSt Theodore’s frescoes are almost completely gone and its Corinthian columns are etched with graffiti. The basilica, like most churches outside of Istanbul, is no longer a functioning house of worship but the property of the Tourism Ministry.

On Saturday, the liturgy was celebrated in the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, built in 1729, at the other end of Cappadocia. The church in Mustafapasa, a pretty little town of stone houses formerly called Sinasos, was reportedly used as a stable for animals in the past; this year it bore a banner from the mayor that welcomed the town’s “friends from Greece.”

The warmer reception has been a saving grace for the descendants of the Mikrasiates prosfyges, or Asia Minor refugees. An estimated 1.5 million ethnic Greeks departed Turkey, while 500,000 Muslims fled Greece in a population exchange after World War One. Today, 3,000 Greeks remain in Turkey, residing mainly in Istanbul, still home to the ecumenical patriarchate, spiritual centre of the world’s 250 million Orthodox.

The population transfers included tens of thousands of Christians from Cappadocia, famous for its fantastical landscape of so-called fairy chimneys: natural, free-standing columns of volcanic tuff. The earliest Christians carved thousands of homes, monasteries and churches into the rock.

“For more than 1,000 years, there were Greek Orthodox here, and then they were gone. Now we have this special day with the patriarch here again,” said Georgia Dimaki, who traveled from Thessaloniki in northern Greece for the services. She pointed to goose bumps on her arm. “It means so much. It’s fantastic, but it is still very sad to think about those who came before us.”

Comments

  1. We need more of the same.

    • The title is a misnomer. There is no ‘ancient Turkish homeland’ anywhere west of Ferghana. Whatever happened to the perfectly good English usage of the name proper to Cappadocia and all ‘Asian Turkey”: Anatolia? The Greeks use it; the Turks use it (‘Anadolu’ in Modern Turkish) so why can’t western journalists use it? The term ‘Turkish’ is originally a linguistic identifier; then cultural and political. TO say, for instance that St. Nicholas lived in Turkey is so wrong even a smart 4th grader would bridle at the usage. ‘Turkey’ and ‘Greece’ are terms largely alien to the broad subject of Orthodox Christian history.

      • Dean Calvert :

        Fr. John,

        Sure there is…Turkmenistan! LOL

        That one really does offend doesn’t it?

        But then again, keep in mind that for most people, the Byzantine Empire was generally covered in about 3 paragraphs, as a footnote to the Classical Greek and Roman civilizations. Justinian, Hagia Sophia…next.

        I’ll never forget my junior high school days when we hit that period..I think my teacher, a classic bleeding heart liberal, tried to cover it in an afternoon.

        “Are you kidding me?” I asked. “And now you want to spend a month studying the Tuaregs?”

        Today, a young Russian subdeacon (who works for us) walks into my office with a package from Amazon. It had just been delivered for me. “Oh great…my book on Heraclius by Kaegi” I said.

        “Yeah..it looks like a real page turner,” the young kid said sarcastically.

        “Well…he’s the only reason we have the true cross,” i told him.

        Later, at lunch, I see him checking wikipedia. He tells me, “Hey – St Constantine and Helen found the cross, not Heraclius – it says so right here on Wikipedia.”

        “Keep reading….Heraclius recovered it from the Persians in the 7th century…and wait till i see your dad (an OCA priest)!” i told him.

        We need better history teachers in the worst way. This is what happens when history teachers are so bad that the students are completely turned off, and end up learning history from Cliff notes and Wikipedia.

        “Ancient Turkish homeland”….ouch.

        Best Regards,
        Dean

      • George Michalopulos :

        Fr John, you are absolutely correct. I wonder if Helen Thomas will have the courage of her convictions and tell the Turks to “go back to wherever the hell they came from.” I somehow doubt it.

  2. No mention of the 20,000+ Russian Orthodox in Turkey.

    No goosebumps from them, I bet.

  3. Geo Michalopulos :

    Looks like the Russians are flexing their muscles.

  4. Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

    Take a look here: OBL News. Met. Hilarion was in attendance. I wonder if the apparent softening of the Turkish government towards the Phanar isn’t the result of Russian influence.

  5. I am no fan of all the political shenanigans of the EP. Green Patriarch, Davos, riverboat cruise etc. But I have to say when the EP puts all that aside and lives his vocation as Patriarch and pastor then he looks authentic. He looks authentic here to me…..

    • Yes, doing what HAH should be doing. And if he would drop the shenanigans here (and so we didn’t have to watch our backs), he would have the undivided support of all the Orthodox here in his actions there.

  6. Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

    Isa, Andrew, absolutely true. I am not sure anymore however, if HAH understands this. It might be that dhimmitude has permeated the thinking and administrative structures of the Phanar so deeply that every action is predicated on self-interest and survival. They simply may have no other frame of reference. How else to explain coddling up to the European statists and the plan to centralize the European economies under the pretext of global warming? How else to explain their incomprehension that an American Church administrated by Constantinople is simply not viable?

    Having said that, the pictures reveal a stunning beauty, and a good part of that impression is the range and sweep of Orthodox Christianity that once filled those lands. It’s such a pity that this legacy is subsumed under such an impoverished apologetic (Hellenism as ethnic identity, Canon 28, and all the other indefensible rationales we’ve heard the past decade or so) rather than drawing out the Gospel that informed and vivified that rich culture. If Constantinople understood this and put aside all the nonsense, the American Orthodox would easily embrace and support the EP.

    Bat Ye’or wrote:

    Dhimmitude derives from the surrender of the Christian clergy and political leaders to the Muslim jihad armies, and their submission to Islamic domination of both their lands and peoples. In exchange, they received a pledge of protection (‘dhimma’) from the Muslim sovereign – and the cessation of the jihad war. This “protection” was conditioned on a ransom payment (jizya) that was extorted from the vanquished Christian and Jewish populations (dhimmis). Sometimes, Christian submission to Islam was rooted in personal ambition. Dhimmitude often induced self-hatred, and hatred against Jews and Christians who resisted the jihad and Muslim domination. Christian dhimmitude has been a world force for Islamization throughout history.

    Also see:

    Introduction to “The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam”

    Eastern Christians Torn Asunder: Challenges new and old

  7. They simply may have no other frame of reference. How else to explain coddling up to the European statists and the plan to centralize the European economies under the pretext of global warming? How else to explain their incomprehension that an American Church administrated by Constantinople is simply not viable?

    HAH is, after all, European. Remember, all those European governments were freely elected.

  8. cynthia curran :

    Well, that true besides Justinian, the one who is covered the most is Constantine but he is before the fall of the western empire in 473, he is thought more of as a part of the old Roman Empire instead of Byzantine even though he built New Rome or later on Constantinople. Both Constantine and Justinian are not easy figures of history, a lot of good and bad. I know most of the Eastern Emperors up to Tiberius II. Constantine, Constantius II, Julian, Jovian, Valens, Valentian, Theodosius I, Arcadius,Theodosius II, Marcion, Leo, Zeno, Anastasius, Justin L, Petrus Sabbatus-Justinian I, Justin II, Tiberius II. I have a hard time naming all the western emperors which reign in Ravenna not Rome since the senate was still in Rome in the 5th century. Dean and Issac have a lot more knowledge.

  9. cynthia curran :

    Well, I don’t always agree with Merkel or Cameron but they are to the right of Obama. Merkel is doing some spending cuts and is not against nuclear power as much as the Greens in Germany. Cameron also I believe some spending cuts.

  10. Dean Calvert :

    Fr. Hans,

    Re: Bat Ye’or wrote:

    Dhimmitude derives from the surrender of the Christian clergy and political leaders to the Muslim jihad armies, and their submission to Islamic domination of both their lands and peoples.

    I’ve always been fascinated by the period just prior to the Muslim conquest…I think it’s a particularly misunderstood period of history. There was unrest in the empire, the emperor Phocas had just viciously usurped the throne (first time something like that had happened since Constantine), there were climate changes occurring (this was the time that Egypt ceased being the supplier to the entire Mediterranean), as well as tremendous religious antagonisms (Monophysite vs Orthodox throughout the Middle East).

    As you read the history of that period, you are struck by the fact that this is the last time all four Eastern patriarchates will be in Christian hands…forever. Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem….all still important Christian metropolises…until the Persian and then Muslim conquest.

    While it is not stated explicitly – you get the sense, reading the history of that time, that it was really the first time that “ethnic” rivalries began to surface…”ethnic” at that time being defined as “imperial” vs local…nothing more than that. But this was an enormous change from the previous monolithic “Roman” state…nothing like this had occurred in the East since the Hellenistic period….600 years earlier.

    As the Persians advanced, attacking and conquering Antioch, the empire was cleaved in two…with the southern provinces, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt…all left to their own. Can you imagine the impact on the US if Canada suddenly invaded and took Chicago? That’s the kind of “shock” to the system we are talking about.

    It may sound irrelevant – but this was the thing, the single event, that lead to the increased “Greekness” of the Church. After this event, and the subsequent loss of the Middle East to Islam, the empire would never again be truly ethnically “diverse”…it would become a “Greek focused” church – in language at first, and in ethnicity later during the Turks.

    To think that the remnant of this system, the ecumenical patriarchate, is ever going to be able to relate to “ecumenical” concerns again….that is really pushing the limits of the possible.

    Just a thought…

    Best Regards,
    Dean

    • Geo Michalopulos :

      Dean, you are more right than you know. However, I believe ethnic fissures were becoming apparent before the Islamic conquest. The Greek and Latin-speaking elites of Byzantium seemed to be indifferent to the Coptic Monophysites and the Syriac-speaking Nestorian Christians. Imperial policy reflected this disdain and that is why the Arab invaders from the desert were welcomed as liberators from the hated “Greeks.” This also played a significant part in the conquest of Palestine. The Byzantines continued the policy implemented by the Emperor Hadrian, who forcibly routed all the Jews from the city of Jerusalem proper (but not Palestine). The desire to re-occupy the city of Jerusalem caused the Palestinian Jews to make common cause with the Muslims. Although upon retaking the city the Caliph Omar agreed to the Roman terms of excluding the Jews officially, within no time at all, Jews were back in force.

      • Dean Calvert :

        George,

        I think you are right…but one of the things that this most recent book that I’m reading (Heraclius – Emperor of Byzantium by Kaegi) makes is a good one…it’s difficult to discern whether those “fissures” were really a factor in the loss of the Middle East, or whether they were simply blamed in hindsight for a failed imperial policy (let’s face it…the survivors wrote the history). It’s an interesting perspective.

        What I’m wondering is “why” there was such a degree of unrest throughout the Middle East, in the non-Greek areas – was it massive taxation? was it imperial colonial policies? was it the result of the religious tension and intolerance by the imperial church? Was it the blues/greens political fallout (this seems to have been a bigger issue than i realized).

        For some reason, the entire Middle East, the Levant, was ripe for the taking..and when the Persians came in – pre Islam – they ripped the entire Levant away from the Empire…fairly easily. And there was no local resistance..no uprising against the “foreigners”…the area made peace with the invaders as best they could. The process was repeated 50 years later, this time for good…with the Muslims.

        It makes me recall a comment from a Syrian of the age..can’t remember the source – the person said something to the effect of “whoever these people are (Arab Muslims) they can’t possibly hate us as much as the Romans did.”

        There was clearly something that had been going on for a long time that had angered the local citizenry…to the point of insurrection and despair.

        None of the historians talk about it much…but i know there was a dramatic climate change that occurred..right around the same period if i’m not mistaken. Prior to that time, Egypt had been the granary of the Mediterranean…and the source of much of the wealth in the East…going back to Ptolemaic times. With the climate change…we got the Egypt that we have today. I’m pretty sure this happened around the 500’s…just prior to the period we are talking. You have to wonder if it was something that basic..no food suddenly.

        Anyway..it’s a fascinating period…it really is “the beginning of the end” for Christianity in the Levant. And it happened very very suddenly….you get a sense of the whirlwind and bedazzling effects on the people of the time from the histories. There were actually coins issued during this period inscribed with “May God help the Romans”.

        The participants seemingly understood the far reaching effects of the changes they were witnessing…but were nevertheless powerless to stop, mitigate or harness them.

        A real lesson.

        Best Regards,
        Dean

        • George Michalopulos :

          Dean, there’s no doubt, the taxation that the Romans (Byzantines) imposed on the citizenry was onerous to the extreme. By contrast, the Arab conquest resulted in a massive tax cut. When all was said and done, all of the taxes that the Caliphate imposed on the Jews and Christians –even with the dreaded jizya tax–was less than what they paid under the Romans. You could say that the Arabs were the first “supply-siders” in history.

  11. Jan Rogozinski :

    Every American is taught from birth that she was born knowing everything. Religious persuasion does not matter.

    I refer to the way everyone is interjecting his own opinions and theories re the 7th century, an extraordinarily obscure era, from which little evidence and thus fewer facts have survived.

    One guy asserts with absolute conviction that Middle Easterners were taxed very highly by the Greek imperial government. But, of course,he gives no footnotes, since he has no evidence to footnote. (As an aside, by documents, an historian means something like a tax roll or receipt for taxes paid written in Seventh century Greek. Comments by some monk or other that “taxes are high” are of no value, zero value. It does not matter if the monk lived during the 7th century. To say his comments have value is exactly the same as saying that everything Glen Beck says about Obama is absolutely true because they are living at the same time.)

    What is immediately striking is how the Christians in the middle east just gave up, rolled over in bed, and did not fight. Compare this to the West, where many everyday folk did fight to keep the Muslim conquest out. Take the battle of Poitiers that ended the Muslim invasion of France in 732. There is no question that–whether or not Charles Martel was there– there were a lot of local folk fighting to stop the invasion.

    And beginning in the 790s, the Spaniards that had managed to hold out in the Pyrenees began their 600 year battle to throw the Muslims out.

    Why did Western Christians fight for Christ and Eastern Christians not fight for Christ? There is something in the Orthodox way of thinking that does not take the real world seriously. Something politely called “mysticism.” Take the Russian Orthodox clergy. They were PR flacks for the stars. They were PR flacks for Stalin during World War II. And now they are PR flacks for Putin (who is a Stalinist member of the KGB). Which is why slavery ended in France by 1000 A.D. but continued in Russia until 1863. Precisly because no monk or priest in Russia cared that slaves were being starved and whipped to death.

    Right now in 2010, at every “Orthodox” parish I’ve been too, folk actually think there is something wrong with politics. “You mustn’t talk about politics in the church–or even the Church kitchen.” But, of course, politics is the only way we have of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. One-to-one Charity is OK and not practiced enough by the Orthodox. But it can never be sufficient. For example, an individual can only feed the hungry that he knows about, and he can’t know about all of them. Which is why only the government can do an adequate job of feeding the hungry.

    Which is why Christians love politics. If one does not love politics and consider it the most important subject there is (or rather the only truly important subject), one is not a Christian in any sense. See the “Beatitudes”; See Matthew 25, 10, read as a gospel during Lent.

    Something is very wrong with Eastern practice and has been since the 5th century. Because something went wrong with Eastern theology somewhere that leads to this total lack of concern for whether one’s neighbor is starving or being tortured. And this total refusal to sacrifice anything to defend Christianity.

    Some even criticize the Crusades because the Western Christians tried to take back Palestine and Jerusalem from the Sultan–cynically trying but failing to justify the apathy and laziness of the local “Christians.”

    • Jan:

      Why did Western Christians fight for Christ and Eastern Christians not fight for Christ? There is something in the Orthodox way of thinking that does not take the real world seriously. Something politely called “mysticism.”

      Wow … never expected to hear this!

      Stephen III of Moldavia or Stephen III (c. 1432 – July 2, 1504), also known as Stephen the Great

      During his reign, he strengthened Moldavia and maintained its independence against the ambitions of Hungary, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire, which all sought to subdue the land. Stephen achieved fame in Europe for his long resistance against the Ottomans. He was victorious in 46 of his 48 battles, and was one of the first to gain a decisive victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Vaslui, after which Pope Sixtus IV deemed him verus christianae fidei athleta (true Champion of Christian Faith). He was a man of religion and displayed his piety when he paid the debt of Mount Athos to the Porte, ensuring the continuity of Athos as an autonomous monastical community.

    • Jan:

      Some even criticize the Crusades because the Western Christians tried to take back Palestine and Jerusalem from the Sultan–cynically trying but failing to justify the apathy and laziness of the local “Christians.”

      APOCALYPSE OR REPENTANCE:
      THE SEVEN DAYS OF WESTERN HISTORY

      It was the beginning of a new ‘Judeo-Christian’ West, called ‘Catholic’. It was an arrogant, Scholastic, imperialistic West, which reached its apogee under Pope Innocent III (1198-1216). This new Aristotelian West set out to conquer the world through ‘Crusades’ and the persecutions and massacres of Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, Cathars and any other ‘dissidents’.

      The Crusades restored Christian control of the Holy Land but the savagery of the Roman Catholic clergy and laity at that time was later described as “animal barbarity”. The Orthodox were not safe near them.

      Do you know why the Orthodox were the ones allowed to serve the Divine Resurrection Liturgy at the Holy Sepulchre? Because when the Catholics served after their battles, the Holy Light did not descend! Quite frightening! The RC then decided to call the Orthodox to serve. With fear of being massacred by their “christian brothers”, the Orthodox did serve and the Holy Light descended even though the service was held later than it was supposed to be. This is why the Orthodox serve to this day at the Holy Sepulchre.

    • George Michalopulos :

      Jan,

      your criticisms regarding our historical analyses are well-taken. All I can say is that thre are a couple of really good books on the Crusades recently out. I’ll name them at a future time (they’re at home & I’m not).

      As for your other point, I believe you’re painting with too broad a brush. Orthodox Greeks and Slavs fought the Islamic onslaught almost from the outset. My broader point is why did the Near Eastern Christians (mostly Semites, but not all) just throw open the gates of their cities to the Muslim armies? The prevailing view is two-fold: Roman taxataion and Byzantine arrogance –one could almost say racialism towards Semitic Christians.

      I’m hypothesizing here: but I can’t rule out the possibility that when it came to the Semitic Christians and the Palestinian Jews, the feelings of kinship to the Arab Muslims must have played some part. One can’t dismiss race and ethnicity in these things. One of the reasons that the Virginians bolted from the Union was their unwillingness to turn on their Scots-Irish brethren in the Deep South at the behest of a purely Anglo-Saxon, Yankee aristocracy. We see this same type of thing taking place right now in the Near East: the Saudis have granted overflight rights to the Israeli Air Force, so they can take out the Iranian nuclear reactors. The Iranians are Indo-European, whereas the Arabs are Semites, like the Israelis.

    • Which is why slavery ended in France by 1000 A.D. but continued in Russia until 1863. Precisly because no monk or priest in Russia cared that slaves were being starved and whipped to death.

      I suggest you read some history: France colonized Haiti, for instance, until the slaves revolted, and that was well after 1000 A.D. Read a little of the Russian Mission in Alaska (and after the Czar left-the Amerindians contined to convert), and compare to the deal the Amerinidians got in the Spanish missions of the Southwest.

      Right now in 2010, at every “Orthodox” parish I’ve been too, folk actually think there is something wrong with politics. “You mustn’t talk about politics in the church–or even the Church kitchen.” But, of course, politics is the only way we have of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.

      Spoken like a true socialist. No, its not: St. Martin clothed the naked without a cent of tax money, and I don’t think St. John Chrysostom feed the hungry with it either. Social programs are the easy way to relieve ourselves of the obligation of charity.

      They were PR flacks for Stalin during World War II. And now they are PR flacks for Putin (who is a Stalinist member of the KGB).

      Read up on the Franciscans and the Ustashe (Croatian Nazis), amongst other like topics, and we’ll compare notes.

    • Scott Pennington :

      Jan,

      Putin is not a Stalinist. He worked in the KGB, resigned during the coup attempt against Gorbachev in 1991 and later was appointed head of the FSB by Yeltsin. He’s too young to be a Stalinist. Stalin’s reign was widely discredited within the Soviet Union under Krushchev. He was a member of the Communist party; however, he joined only when he made the decision to enter the KGB. He liked how KGB agents were portrayed in Soviet films.

      You criticize the Orthodox for being too otherworldly and mystical to defend themselves and then attack the ROC for being cozy with a strong (though perhaps morally questionable) leader. Hierarchs blessing nuclear weapons does not sound too pacifistic to me. Read about St. Alexander Nevsky to get an idea of how willing some Orthodox are to defend themselves and their faith.

      Just out of curiousity, Jan, are you a liberal Catholic? That would explain the bulk of your comment. Quasi-socialist rants about how all real Christians consider politics all-important, glorifying the (Catholic) West and villifying the Orthodox East – – yep, that checks all the liberal Catholic boxes.

  12. Dean Calvert :

    Jan,

    As one of the presumed “guys”…the main problem i have with your analysis is this:

    RE: What is immediately striking is how the Christians in the middle east just gave up, rolled over in bed, and did not fight. Compare this to the West, where many everyday folk did fight to keep the Muslim conquest out. Take the battle of Poitiers that ended the Muslim invasion of France in 732. There is no question that–whether or not Charles Martel was there– there were a lot of local folk fighting to stop the invasion.

    That’s fine, except it ignores the fact that Islam was contained in the East, at Constantinople, just as it was in the West by Charles Martel. Otherwise, it would have burst into Europe 400 years earlier, and wouldn’t have stopped until it reached the Atlantic coast. This, by people with the same Orthodox tendencies.

    That aside, I think your comments ignore the point I was attempting to raise. People generally don’t just “give up”…particularly their freedom. The question I was raising was “Why did they give up? What made the area so ripe for transition? The thing that strikes me is that the entire Middle East basically surrendered to the Persians in the 100 years BEFORE the Muslims.

    Why?

    I have a hard time believing it’s an Orthodox tendency….it’s certainly not what happened in C’nople in the 600 years following the rise of Islam. And it’s certainly not what occurred in Greece and the rest of the Balkans, for the 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

    And I think it’s also at least worth mentioning that, at the time of the Persian invasions in the 7th century AD…this entire area – from Egypt to Syria – had been constantly “occupied” by foreigners…since the time of the original Persian Empire…some 1400 years earlier. The entire notion of “nationhood” was foreign in the region…perhaps it was just an exhaustion factor…i don’t know. After all, how much opposition did Alexander the Great face when he rode into Egypt? Not much. You can’t blame that on the Orthodox.

    I think there was something much more insidious at work here…and was only raising the question (without footnotes) because I don’t know what it was.

    Best Regards,
    Dean

  13. cynthia curran :

    Well, actually the Byzantines had to fight the Moselms and also earlier the perisians. And the last Byzantine emperor actually died defending Constaninople-Constantine the 11th. Now how many modern politicians would do that. I think some of the emperors supported some of the crusades but as George once mention the tragedy of the 4th crusade that supported the conquest of Constaninople by the Veniceians and Franks was caused by one of the emperiors not paying them for their military services. Also, the west didn’t think it was important to aid the Byzantines when the Ottomans were about to take them over. Constantine only got a handful of westerners to support him but the Eastern Empire didn’t help the Western Empire way back in the 5th century either.

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