History, Culture, Politics, and Travel in the Balkans, Turkey, and Cyprus


March 2017

Greek Independence Day: A Complex History for Just 24 Hours

On March 25th, Greeks across the globe celebrated Greek Independence Day. It has been nearly two centuries since Metropolitan Germanos of Patros raised the flag of revolt at the Monastery of Agia Lavra, the traditional start of the Greek War of Independence. Much like other national memories of independence, fact and myth have become blurred over time. What were the Greeks fighting for then and was it really achieved? Continue reading “Greek Independence Day: A Complex History for Just 24 Hours”


President Erdoğan vs. the World: The Turkish Referendum and Flaring European Tensions

Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan Gobierno de Chile
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan | Gobierno de Chile

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the current president of Turkey, has been at the forefront of Turkish politics for over the past decade. The divisive leader has built up a powerful, technically democratic regime, with strong currents of authoritarianism. The past 14 years have been a series of steps that have brought Erdoğan greater and greater power. Last July’s attempted coup brought Erdoğan to his greatest height yet. In its wake, Erdoğan purged the military, fired thousands of educators, and arrested dozens of journalists.

But now Erdoğan has gone a step further: with the same powerful rhetoric that helped bring him to power all those years ago in Turkey, he has violently lashed out against Germany and the Netherlands. Continue reading “President Erdoğan vs. the World: The Turkish Referendum and Flaring European Tensions”

Sofia: Cornerstone of History, Center of Culture

Although Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts are perhaps the best-known tourist attraction in the country, the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, also has a wealth of experiences to offer. Sofia is one of the least expensive European capitals to visit (plus the Bulgarian lev is almost two to the dollar), but besides being a well priced get away, it also offers history, culture, and excitement to its guests.

Downtown Sofia | Boby Dimitrov, Wikimedia

Continue reading “Sofia: Cornerstone of History, Center of Culture”

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