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Greece`s Ottoman Past

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Approximately six hundred relics of the Ottoman period were found in Greece, according to a research study, conducted by the Istanbul-based Marmara University Professor Neval Konouk, during the last 2,5 years, commissioned by the Turkish ministry for Foreign Affairs, in 2007. 

According to Dr. Konouk’s comments to the Turkish daily Aksam on February 8, the complete survey will take the form of eight volumes, when completed in 2015, and the texts will be in Turkish, English and Greek.  
According to her research, much more Ottoman relics have been preserved, than originally considered.
As Dr. Konouk noted, “a tenth of the Ottoman relics located in Greece, representing 600 cases in total, have been saved.”  
In a relative development, the Greek Ministry of Culture has published in Greek and English, a 494 – pages special volume, titled “Ottoman Architecture in Greece.”
Institute for Neohellenic Research: Ottoman Epigraphy; Foundation of the Hellenic World: Ottoman Period

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Arcadia: A “must” to see in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    The trip to Arcadia in central Peloponnese reveals historical, religious, and environmental beauties little known. Some of these beauties are the gorges of Loussios River, as well as the nearby historic cities Dimitsana and Karitaina.   The rare variety of fauna and flora but also the landscape’s serene life -due to the difficulty of access- made it possible for monastic life to flourish over the centuries.   Monasteries clinging on Loussios rocks and the numerous shrines, chapels and churches, are impressive monuments of the life of Orthodox monks. The best known monastery is the Philosophou, founded in 963 AD.  The monastery served as “a secret school” during the Ottoman rule, to preserve the Greek language and Orthodox faith. Inside the monastery lie frescoes from the 17th century and precious icons. Prodromou monastery, probably founded in the 16th century, is currently the largest monastery with some 14 monks. Almost invisible, literally hanging from the wall of rock, it was used as hospital during the Greek War of Independence.  Loussios River and its many streams have been the source of the prosperity in the region during the 18th century, when economic activity revolved around water. The water mills were used, inter alia, to produce gun powder, fuelling Greece’s independence war in 1821. The city of Dimitsana nowadays hosts an open-air hydraulics museum, which reproduces the activity of the old water mills.

Greek Life Insurance Policy Programme from “New York Life Insurance Company”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The New York Life Insurance Company began selling life insurance policies in the Ottoman Empire in 1882. In connection with turmoil caused by the outbreak of World War I, however, New York Life stopped selling policies in Europe and in the Ottoman Empire after 1914. Various reference works and other sources indicate that many persons of Greek ancestry living in the Ottoman Empire at the outbreak of World War I were displaced or perished between 1915 and 1923. The company searched its records to locate all policies issued in the Ottoman Empire before 1915 insuring those of Greek heritage. New York Life paid benefits on many of those policies. However, it received no claims and thus paid no benefits or cash value on some of those policies, referred to as the “Greek Policies.”
In order to encourage claims upon the Greek Policies, New York Life has established the Greek Life Insurance Policy Programme. Descendants of persons insured under the Greek Policies may submit claims for benefits at: www.greekinsuranceclaims.com/en/board.php3
In order to be considered, the claim form and copies of all supporting documents must be mailed or e-mailed to the Claim Board by February 28, 2009.