>From Saturday’s edition of Gates of Vienna:
Five hundred and fifty-seven years ago today, the city of Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire came to an end. The sack of Constantinople inaugurated centuries of brutal Islamic rule in southeastern Europe. Greece was finally liberated from the Ottomans in the 19th century, but to this day a small portion of Europe remains in Turkish hands, and the city of Istanbul — formerly Constantinople — remains a Turkish city.
Below is a guest-post about the fall of Constantinople by an author who writes under the pen name of Anestos Canelides. He has this to say about his essay:
I am half-Greek, and I wrote this as a memorial to those who fought in the epic battle against Islamic expansionism. I wrote it also as a memorial to the other Christians in the Balkans who lost so much to Islam. I have spent time in Istanbul, and I bear no hatred towards the modern Turks.
The Last Empire
1453: The Siege of Constantinople
by Anestos Canelides
On June 9th, 1453, three ships sailed into the harbor of Candia in Crete with a crew of mostly Cretan sailors. The sailors had arrived from Constantinople shortly after its fall to the Ottoman Turkish armies of Sultan Mehmet Bey. The Cretans had brought with them the tragic news about the fall of Constantinople to the armies of Islam, despite a heroic stand by the Greeks and their allies. The sudden news induced great anguish amongst the people of Crete and later the Christian west. The Ottoman conquest of the queen of cities had brought a tragic end to the Roman Empire, often referred to as the Byzantine Empire today. It was the final nail in the coffin of the center of the Byzantine world, but in turn it would bring about the rise of the Ottoman Empire, an Islamic state.
Constantinople was attacked from land and sea, but the land walls, known as the walls of Theodosius, had never been breached in their thousand-year history. In the same way that three hundred Spartans had defied the advancing armies of the Persian Empire, the citizens of Constantinople also stood heroically and defended their city against tyranny. It was both the Byzantine Greeks’ desire for freedom from enslavement, and the belief that God would miraculously save them from defeat, that led them to resist the Turks fiercely for almost two months.
The Turks had sought to enter the city with a fanatic spirit because the Prophet, in the Qur’an, offered them a special place in paradise. Sultan Mehmet only mimicked the Prophet Muhammad when he said, “…even if some of us should die, as is natural in war, and meet our destined end, you know well from the Qur’an what the Prophet says, ‘that he who dies in battle shall dine whole in body with Mahomet, and drink with him in paradise and he shall take his rest in a green spot and fragrant with flowers, enjoying the company of women and lovely boys and virgins and he will bathe in gorgeous baths. All these things he will enjoy in that place by God’s favor.’” Despite facing such great odds, the Byzantines would defend their ancient Christian capital with great tenacity against the armies of Mehmet…
Read the rest.
Then consider this post, also from GoV.
Perspective, on a Day of Remembrance.
Freedom or death.