2nd International Conference on the MILITARY HISTORY of the Mediterranean Sea
The 2nd International Conference on the MILITARY HISTORY of the Mediterranean Sea, organized by BYZANTINE THESSALONIKI in collaboration with the University of Istanbul IBN Haldun, officially opened on Thursday, 16 September, at the premises of the War Museum of Thessaloniki.
The Conference, which brings together speakers of 53 internationally renowned scientists from Europe, America and Asia, is conducted live and hybrid and is developed in our city at a time when the Mediterranean Sea, due to its special resources but also due to special conditions caused by the large-scale immigration movements of recent years, is at the heart of the international political scene.
The Deputy Minister of Interior (Sector of Macedonia Thrace), Mr. Stavros Kalafatis, welcomed the work of the Conference referring to the special dynamics of the sea that unites the West with Africa and Asia, emphasizing that today the goal of all of us should be the peaceful coexistence of the peoples living around it. The Minister said characteristically that the issue is the well-being of the peoples and history teaches us how we can reach this goal.
The work of the Conference was also welcomed by the Consul General of the Turkish Republic in Thessaloniki, who praised the scientific cooperation BYZANTINE THESSALONIKI opened through this particular high level Conference with the University IBN HALDUN, because such cooperation enhances the friendship of the two peoples. The subject of the military history of the Mediterranean is an object of great interest, stressed the Turkish Consul, because history always opens new horizons of thought.
The President of the Regional Council and an expert on International Relations and the way in which history illuminates the corridors of foreign policy, Mr. Benjamin Karakostanoglou, making a short greeting on behalf of the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia, Mr. Apostolos Tzitzikosta, stressed the importance of taking initiatives that will ensure that this great neighborhood of the world that unites three continents will be a zone of peace and prosperity for the peoples who inhabit it. As Mr. Karakostanoglou characteristically pointed out, the study and knowledge of the military history of the Mediterranean -a significant part of which refers to Hellenism and the imprints left by its long journey through time-, can be a valuable guide to the modern politico-military reality in the Mediterranean Region, Near Eastern and Balkan.
The Conference was officially opened by the First Vice President of B.Th., Mr. Pantelis Filippidis, who particularly stressed the intention of BYZANTINE THESSALONIKI to institutionalize this scientific event, thus launching in another way the Network of Byzantine Cities that is the goal of the organization.
The Turkish President of the Department of History of IBN HALDUN and Emeritus Professor of History at Sabanci University, Mr. Halil Berktay, who especially thanked the Greek Scientist from IBN HALDUN University, mr. George Theotokis who in collaboration with Ms. Angeliki Delikari, Associate Professor at AUTh and member of the Board of BYZANTINE THESSALONIKI had the scientific responsibility of the Conference.
The keynote Speech of the event, honoring the 200 years since the Greek Revolution of 1821, was given by the Chairman of Standing Committee of National Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Konstantinos Gioulekas, using a rare archival material which is incorporated in his two-volume book on the Greek Revolution of ’21 through the press of the time, Mr. Gioulekas highlighted the original speech of the fighters, the authentic expression of their anxiety for the fate of the great uprising and the barbarity of an unprecedented war.
The first lecture on Byzantine Defense Strategy was given by the professor of Panteion University, Mr. Charalambos Papasotiriou who in the most brilliant way highlighted the fact that the Byzantines spent a lot of money in order not to make war.
Closing the official opening ceremony of the Conference, the General Secretary of BYZANTINE THESSALONIKI, Ms. Hara Papadopoulou emphasized the fact that for BYZANTINE THESSALONIKI who chose to abstain from public events for the last two years or so, respecting the wounds caused to the lives of all of us by the global health war of the Covid-19 involves a special meaning and a subtle symbolism. It is an action that highlights the importance of strategic thinking and at the same time allows the development of a scientific tool that is absolutely useful.