When Diplomacy Fails

By Zack Twamley

On Going since May 2012 • Updated weekly

A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

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  Direct Link   Download 34 Minutes 15 May 2019

My agora friends and others are going to be in New York for a special conference on 29th June - meet Mike Duncan, Kevin Stroud, David Crowther and more! Search Intelligent Speech Conference now! Use the code WDF to get 5% off your ticket!OTD 100 years ago, the switch was finally pulled, and Greek soldiers were landed in Anatolia for the first time in centuries. The cause was the city of Smyrna, that centerpiece of Greek culture and history which, Greek premier Venizelos claimed, was eager to welcome its compatriots. Yet, the act of the landing is as fascinating as the story which led up to this event. It was a story of Hellenic romanticism, background intrigue, a selective application of self-determination, a lot of Greek pressure oh, and did I mention, a whole lot of Greek pressure.On the surface, this act seemed to be the peak of Venizelos' career. It was merely a stepping stone, potentially, for the realisation of a Greater Greek Empire which straddled the Hellespont. And yet, several problems lurked behind the curtain. Perhaps the most important elephant in the room were the Turks, who were not even considered a proper nationality by the allies. Certainly, in Venizelos' view, Turks were really just lapsed Greeks, or sometimes, they were irredeemable barbarians. Either way, Greek culture would nourish them back to civilisation, and it was only humane not to stand in their way. Yet, despite receiving the most punitive peace treaty of any vanquished power, the Turks would enjoy a resurgence, and against all odds, ignore the peace treaties handed down by the allies. They were by far the most thoroughly punished of the Central Powers, yet they were also the only member of that group to ignore the peace terms which the allies presented, and to live to tell the tale.On the other side of this crisis, loomed a reckoning between two peoples, Greek and Turkish, who had been at loggerheads for millenia. It was impossible to imagine Greeks and Turks living side by side in harmony, to the extent that, in acting to land at Smyrna, Venizelos set off a chain of events which would result in an incredibly tragic scene - the ending of centuries of Greek culture in Smyrna, in exchange for a lasting peace. It was a journey - from triumph to despair - which took fewer than five years. The aftershocks of this act were still being felt nearly four years after the First World War had officially 'ended', and believe it or not, Venizelos had a key role to play in both of these seismic chapters of Greco-Turkish history. All of it, began with a landing...***********The Versailles Anniversary Project is possible because of your support and interest - make sure to spread the word, engage with the debate, and look at the different ways you can help this project succeed!->Visit the homeland for this new project!->Become a delegate and play the Delegation Game for just $6 a month!->Support the podcast financially and access ad free episodes with transcripts from just $2 a month!->Follow WDF on Twitter!->Join the Facebook group!->Subscribe on iTunes! 
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