SPECIAL REPORT – Imia: Sixteen Years Later – We Will Never Forget

What
is a hero? We here at hellasfrappe do not know,
but we guess a hero is someone who commits a courageous act
for his fellow man, or country, without considering the consequences, or finds the strength to persevere and endure overwhelming obstacles. Greece
is full of heroes. Aside from from our nation’s forefathers of 1821, or
the men of valor we read about in history books that prevailed in
ancient Greece, many modern day unsung heroes have dedicated their lives
for the protection and honor of the Greek flag. Most of these men and
women are in our nation’s armed forces and luckily for us they have
committed their lives to protect our nation and uphold the white and
blue.

At
the end of January in 1996 on the islet of Imia (Ίμια), which is a set
of two small uninhabited islets in the AEGEAN SEA, at the Greek chain of
islands known as the Dodecanese, a war nearly broke out between Greece
and Turkey.

That
night, Greek special forces landed on the east islet without being
spotted by the nearby Turkish ships. On January 31, at 01:40 Turkish
special forces landed on the west islet escalating the tensions, and a
Greek helicopter took off at 05:30 am from the Greek frigate
“Navarino”
for reconnaissance. During the mission the helicopter crashed over the
islets (some speculating due to Turkish fire) and three Greek officers,
namely Commander Christodoulos Karathanasis. Commander Panagiotis
Vlahakis and flagship Hector Gialopso died. 

The photo above shows the
bullets that were fired on the helicopter from the Turkish side. It is
one of the few photos that have not been able to erase the
responsibilities of those who rushed to claim that the helicopter fell
because the pilot, Karathanasis suffered heart problems.

The Greek Parliament is quickly briefed on the incident, and premier Costas Simitis calls on his cabinet and chairs an extraordinary meeting. Following this, Simitis holds a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, via the mediation of Americans, in the framework of avoiding war. At 6:10 in the morning the ministers of defense and foreign affairs, namely, Arsenis and Theodore Pangalos, respectively, announce that an agreement was reached between Athens and Ankara following the diplomatic intervention of US President Bill Clinton himself and his mediator Richard Holbrooke.

A little later on and following a “thank you” to the Americans by Simitis in the Greek parliament (which soured every living soul in this country), the crisis died down right away. Or that is what the socialist government of PASOK thought at the time… for they believed that the Greek people would forget the incident.

Exactly 16 years later… we have still not forgotten, and never will. How can a nation forget that its own government sent three innocent souls to be slaughtered? This tragedy will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, nor will it EVER BE FORGIVEN.

So the obvious question would be why did Turkey stage this whole tragedy? 

Surely you all have realized that there are huge financial interests at risk in this area, most of which revolves around natural gas and oil, but also it involves the control of “osmium.” This toxic metal is extremely rare and very expensive and the only country that apparently only extracts (and exploits) osmium right now is Canada. According to many reports, scientists have found enormous quantities of osmium near the islet of Imia which is said to be of high purity and their reports are known by our government, and judging by what happened in Imia in 1996 they are also known by Turkey. 

These interests are what have corrupted our system and every branch of our government. It is these very interests that have also glued incompetent politicians to their seats of power who try and convince us as a people that it is our fault and we are solely to blame for the present state of our economic and political life.One such example is viewed in the video above. 

Of special interest is what is said at about 1hour into the investigative report where it is revealed that the government of Costas Simitis, or PASOK, betrayed our nation and conducted secret diplomacy which in return has been catastrophic for our country. 

Following Imia, as revealed in video, the Greek government sent a letter to US officials telling them that they would command that all Greek military forces leave from the Dodecanese islands that run along the Turkish coast in the framework of mending Greek-Turkish relations. Luckily for our country, the Greek military presence in the area remained. No harm in that right? Wrong. In a classified document that was presented by reporter Costas Chardavelas it was more or less understood that Theodore Pangalos had noted (in the letter) that it was “illegal” for Greek troops to be stationed in the area known as the Dodecanese islands. We repeat… A GREEK MINISTER SAID THAT IT WAS ILLEGAL TO HAVE GREEK TROOPS STATIONED ON A GREEK ISLAND. In some nations people would be hung with such statements, but under the regime of the PASOK government and its green corrupt blanket, the story did not even make headlines the next morning. (The documents were released to the public and presented on his show “Atheatos Kosmos” in 2011.)

In simple words folks, the division of the Aegean obviously began under the Simitis government and we all know who continued the dirty work thereafter.

The issue of Imia might have been shelved to manipulate us into thinking that it was a one incident event, or a misunderstanding, but as we said earlier, sixteen years have passed and the issue has still not been forgotten. On the contrary folks… and now that our leaders have finally admitted that there is oil and natural gas in these areas, one thing is for certain… Imia (and Kastelorizo) will come back into the spotlight again!

This of course will never bring back those three young boys who rushed to the call of duty. The
heroes that died that night in respect to our country’s sovereignty will always be remembered. Their
sacrifice is not only hailed by their
families… but by all Hellenes. We can
never repay them for this selflessness the only thing we can do, however, (and we are compelled to
do) is honor them every year, remember their
sacrifice and bravery and inspire future generations from their story.

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