German Ambassador to Greece causes twitter storm over post about Ali Pasha

18 August 2020
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A post on Twitter by Germany’s Ambassador to Greece, Ernst Reichel about Ali Pasha sparked a storm of reactions by Greeks who accused the top diplomat of lacking any sensitivity and offending the country that was hosting him.

The controversial, and enigmatic post read: “Ali Pasha, Ottoman governor aka Lion of Ioannina, tried to create an independent state in Epirus. He failed and was killed. His headless body was buried here. In another story, he had 18 local maidens drowned because they refused to join his harem.”

His post was not received well by Greek Twitter users, with some wondering about the usefulness of the specific tweet under the current circumstances and tensions with Turkey.

Responding to a Twitter user who defended his post, another said: “As the ambassador to our country, he should know that we are a people with a short fuse and sensitive. You do not get caught up in posts like that. Especially in such an explosive period. He is completely lost,  if he thought he could gain anything from such a post.”

Oblivious of the offense he caused, the German diplomat defended his post and doubled down responding: “Dear haters, what upsets you here: That I sympathize with Ali Pasha, who rebelled against the Ottomans? Or that I don’t sympathize with him? And what has Ali Pasha to do with today’s situation?”

“What I was never able to understand is how a nation like yours, so disciplined and capable, makes such tragic geopolitical choices by highlighting and supporting authoritarian and racist regimes. What is the problem here…Mr. Ambassador?”, another tweeted, while a third tweet called on the German politician to delete the post and respect the country that was hosting him.

“Ali Pasha was a tyrant and despot, he burned villages and slaughtered the Greek Christians of Epirus. His crimes are not forgotten. But he failed to enslave the free Greek soul!”, wrote another user.

 

Another user highlighted the historic ties between the Germans and Turks throughout history tweeting: “The Germans and the Turks have always been friends, everyone knows that, Ambassador … You do well and you support them, you always did that, but history repeats itself … everyone knows that … you would probably like to be a diplomat in Turkey, but the your state sent you here”.

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