"Greek" and Turkish.


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Hey there everyone.

When I was speaking to Greeks (in English) in the beginning of 2004 (didn't know that much Greek back then), plenty of people told me I was supposed to refer to "Greeks" as "hellenes", because "Greece" and "Greek" were Turkish words. It was such a blast to hear that, I just couldn't believe my ears!

While it's fairly obvious that this is vehemently not true, I'm wondering how such a hideous misconception took place amongst so many people (because I've heard it from over 20 people here and there). I mean, even Aristotle used the word in his "Metereologica"! And that took place way before any Ottoman empire existed. So, does anyone know how this myth came to be?

"Slave" in Turkish is "köle" or "esir" (they had told me that "Greek" was a Turkish word for "slave" or something), but I can't seem to possibly find anything that's even remotely close to the word "grecia" or "greece" in Turkish with that same connotation - except if, at some point in history, they used the term "greek" meaning "slave" as slang (comparatively, how, if someone seems to be arrogant, they'll call him "American"). But, from this argument, to say that the word "Greek" sprang from Turkish... whoa, that's just too big a leap.
Verberat nos et lacerat fortvna: patiamvr. Non est sævitia, certamen est, qvod qvo sæpivs adierimvs, fortiores erimvs. Seneca


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  • Vicky Papaprodromou
Hi Kennedy.

This is indeed a misconception and it is much owed to the fact that the Turks used to call us 'γραικοί' - the 4 centuries of Turkish occupation in Greece are to blame. I suppose all nations don't want to remember their years of darkness.

You can read a very interesting article at http://users.hol.gr/~geodel/Graecia.html where it is clearly explained that 'Greeks, Hellenes and Romioi' are all acceptable and of reasonable origins.
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


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  • point d’amour
By the way, the modern day equivalent of Greek and Greece in Turkish is yunan and yunanistan respectively.



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