The Turkish Pressure On Greece Is A Reminder Of A Darker Past

The Turkish Pressure On Greece Is A Reminder Of A Darker Past

These disputes are serious matters, and the international community is remaining silent.
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Greece is credited as one of the greatest civilizations of all time. From the heroic stand of Thermopolaye to our innovations in philosophy and art, the achievements of Greece have carried throughout history. Despite those achievements, Greece has been dealing with invaders since the beginning of time. In 1453, the city of Constantinople fell to the power of the Ottoman Empire, after which nothing would be the same. The fall of the Byzantine Empire meant that Greece was once again vulnerable and at the mercy of foreign invaders.

For the next 400 years, the Ottoman Empire inflicted horrendous atrocities upon the Greeks in their occupation. Among these atrocities included mass raping, destruction of religious relics, and the seizing of sons to serve in the Sultan's army. After enduring these atrocities and having several failed attempts at freedom, our ancestors had enough.

Under the battle cry "freedom or death", our ancestors made a promise to God that they'd rather face St. Peter at the gates than bow to a Pasha again. For four years, they fought with the passion of our ancestors and won independence for Greece. Unfortunately, the fight was not over.

The Turks and Greeks have had tension for over a century, however, over the past 20 years there's been a relative amount of peace between the two countries. However, with the election of the new prime minister, things are once again turning hostile. Binali Yildirim, the new prime minister, reignited hostilities between the two countries, and where there was one peace, people are beginning to breathe uneasily.

The main conflict in the issue is over the Greek Islands. Turkey has been disputing for years that the islands belong to them, but now they are becoming more aggressive. Turkish fighter jets have been flying into Greek air spaces and just recently, Turkish fighter pilots harassed a Greek Army helicopter, forcing the Greek military to intervene and safely escort the chopper. Along with this, last month a chief advisor to the Turkish President made a direct threat to the Greek prime minister, promising to "break the arms and legs of any officers, of the prime minister or of any minister who dares to step onto Imia in the Aegean." Imia is one of the many islands in dispute between Greece and Turkey.

I am extremely proud of my heritage. I thought it was important to get the perspective of someone who has lived in Greece, so I decided to interview my Yiayia (grandmother). Both of her uncles were captives to the Turks during the Greco-Turkish War. One was murdered and the other was tortured horrendously.

Our ancestors fought the Turks in the war for independence and seeing Turkish flags in the streets of Athens when the Prime Minister was visiting made her extremely uncomfortable when she was a young girl. She went on to discuss that seeing the offenses of the Turkish government is devastating to her. She is very adamant, however, that the people of Turkey are not to blame for the actions of their government, and she went on to elaborate that we should not hate, we should only love and remember the teachings of Christ.

These disputes are serious matters, and the international community is remaining silent. As a 2nd generation American in my family, it is still hard for me to watch these events unfold. The aggression of the Turkish government is a painful reminder of the struggles our ancestors endured. Greece is a shell of its formal self, the government is weak and they're in an ocean of debt deeper than the Aegean. Yet we'll never forget our ancestors, and we will never forget their triumphs. The nine stripes on our flag represent the nine syllables in "Eleutheria H Thanatos" (Freedom or Death). My only hope is that the rest of the world will recognize what is happening.

Cover Image Credit: Arthur Yeti

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.

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Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.


About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.


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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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