Mudbath! (The Ultimate Day Trip Of All Possible Day Trips!) by Alfred N. Muggins (from his recent holiday in Marmaris, Turkey!) Part 4b : (Journey Upriver To The Tombs From Turtle Beach)
By David Kirtley
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Alfred was disappointed there was to be no attempt to climb up to the Tombs to inspect them. Perhaps the ghosts of the Carians, Persians, or others from the past still haunted them, or maybe it was too dangerous? The modern tourists would not want to run the risk of running into Alexander’s violent soldiers, even in ghostly form, or perhaps by stumbling through a portal into ancient history? They might have gone back in time and observed Alexander’s violent soldiers robbing and desecrating the tombs, and treating the Carians badly. Thoughts of the Alexander’s violent soldiers bent upon destruction reminded Alfred of Putin’s desecration of Ukraine’s otherwise (or erstwhile?) peaceful, cities and villages. The outsiders come to bring war conquest and destruction, unwanted but impossible to get rid of when they land upon these peaceful places, changing them probably forever, never to be the same again.
How many times had this land been conquered? The Macedonians and Greeks conquered the Carians around here in 334BC while knocking out the whole Persian Empire. But the whole of Asia Minor, as the Romans called it when they conquered the Macedonian and Greek rulers in turn of Alexander’s Empire, which had previously been part of the immense Persian Empire.
Antony and Cleopatra ruled the eastern parts of the Roman Empire after dictator Julius Caesar was murdered by the senators, and they in turn were defeated by Caesar’s protégé Octavian in 30BC, who became the first Roman Emperor Augustus!
Of course since then the region saw the Byzantine eastern Empire conquered gradually, and then completely by the Ottoman Turks. The boats floated past the town of Dalyan, with its mosque, in pride of place, as all these lands have belonged largely to Muslim Turks for many centuries now.
But what of the Greeks who lived in large numbers in these Aegean provinces until the greed of nationalism and the misguided encouragement of the victors of World War One, in particular by one who should have known better, Liberal David Lloyd George. And so the Greek ambitions, spurred on by British and French voices tried to break up the Turkish Empire, even in the Turks own lands. The upset Turks, led by capable leader Kemal Ataturk fought back for their own lands, and to prevent the carve up of their nation. So the Greeks became the victims of their own greed and ambition, and the bad advice of foreigners, and were kicked out on mass to go ‘back’ to Greece, leaving the places in Asia where Greeks had lived since the days of Achilles and Odysseus, or at least the days of Ionians and Dorians and of course later Alexander the Great.
So Potentate Putin, the current conqueror of these times, and roller of the dice of war, was by no means the first would be conqueror in history, Emperor or Dictator, to attempt conquest of lands which did not welcome them. Thankfully Potentate Putin has not yet set his sights on conquering Turkey!
(please note that Alfred does not claim his words to be the definitive or complete history of the area, or of modern day (or ancient!) Turkey. These are disparate scraps of history from his disparate memory, without further detailed research at this moment, so he does not wish to be blamed for inaccuracies or unfairness towards one linguistic or racial, or national or religious group or another, or even the rulers or individuals mentioned. One of these days, and particularly if he was awarded eternal or longer life after immersion in the mudbath to come, he does intend to write a definitive history of Turkey and Asia Minor, with the correct (or fair?) emphasis on everything which has happened over the many centuries, according of course to his own considered viewpoint! At the moment he fully accepts that he has not sufficiently considered it, although he has considered it to some degree over the many years of his admittedly partial knowledge!)
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Lots of ghosts of our past to
Lots of ghosts of our past to content with.
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