Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Greek Muslims known as Greek-speaking Muslims, are Muslims of Greek ethnic origin whose adoption of Islam dates to the period of Ottoman rule in the southern Balkans. They consist of the descendants of the elite Ottoman Janissary corps and Ottoman-era converts to Islam from Greek Macedonia, northeastern Anatolia and the Pontic Alps, they are found in western Turkey and northeastern Turkey (particularly in the regions of Trabzon, Gümüşhane, Erzincan and Kars. Despite their ethnic Greek origin, the contemporary Grecophone Muslims of Turkey regarding their identity have been assimilated into the Turkish-speaking Muslim population. Apart from their elders, sizable numbers the young within these Grecophone Muslim communities have retained a knowledge of Greek and or its dialects such as Cretan Greek and Pontic Greek, though few are to call themselves Greek Muslims; this is due to gradual assimilation into Turkish society, as well as the close association of Greece and Greeks with Orthodox Christianity and their perceived status as a historic, military threat to the Turkish Republic.
In Greece, Greek-speaking Muslims are not considered as forming part of the Greek nation. In the late Ottoman period several communities of Grecophone Muslims from Crete and southern Greece were relocated to Libya and Syria, where in towns like al-Hamidiyah some of the older generation continue to speak Greek. Greek Orthodoxy has been associated with being Romios, i.e. Greek, Islam with being Turkish, despite ethnic or linguistic references. Most Greek speaking Muslims in Greece left for Turkey during the 1920s population exchanges under the Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations. Due to the historical role of the millet system and not ethnicity or language was the main factor used during the exchange of populations. All Muslims who departed Greece were seen as "Turks", whereas all Orthodox people leaving Turkey were considered "Greeks", regardless of ethnicity or language. An exception was made for Muslims who inhabit east of river Nestos, in East Macedonia and Thrace, Northern Greece, who are recognized as a religious, but controversially not as an ethnic minority by the Greek Government.
In Turkey, where most Greek-speaking Muslims live, there are various groups of Grecophone Muslims, some autochthonous, some from parts of present-day Greece and Cyprus who migrated to Turkey under the population exchanges or immigration. As a rule the Ottomans did not require the Greeks or any non-Islamic group to become Muslims and in fact discouraged it because the dhimmi paid more in tax through the jizya and could be exploited through acts like the devşirme, one of the organized practices by which the Ottomans took boys from their Christian families, who were converted to Islam with the aim of selecting and training the ablest of them for leading positions in the Ottoman society; however a large number of Greeks and Slavs became fake Muslims or fake Turks in order to avert the socioeconomic hardships of Ottoman rule. Conversion to Islam is quick and in the Ottoman Empire there were few documents showing, or was not Muslim, the only requirements were knowing Turkish, saying you were Muslim and getting circumcised.
Greek has a specific word for becoming Muslim called "τουρκεύω" and the Slavic languages have turčiti, these practices of fake conversion were common and are a reason so many people in the Balkans have Turkish last names with endings like -oglu. As stated one of the main reason to convert were to avoid paying the jizya a tax compared to the zakat, a tax. Another benefit converts received was that they could no longer be discriminated against in court as the Ottoman Empire had 2 separate court systems in which the Islamic court superseded the non-Islamic court and because non-Muslims were not allowed to be present in the Islamic court that resulted in an non-Islamic minority losing in court every time. Conversion allowed those to take advantage of greater employment prospects and possibilities of advancement in the Ottoman government bureaucracy and military. Subsequently, these people became part of the Muslim community of the millet system, linked to Islamic religious rules. At that time people were bound to their millets by their religious affiliations, rather than to their ethnic origins.
Muslim communities prospered under the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman law did not recognize such notions as ethnicity and the Muslims of any ethnic background enjoyed the same rights and privileges. Another major reason for converting to Islam was the well-organized taxation system based on religion. Major taxes were the Defter and İspençe and the more severe haraç whereby a document was issued which stated that "the holder of this certificate is able to keep his head on the shoulders since he paid the Χαράτσι tax for this year..." All these of course were waived if the person would become Muslim. During the Greek War of Independence, Ottoman Egyptian troops under the leadership of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt ravaged the island of Crete and the Greek countryside of the Morea where the Muslim Egyptian soldiers enslaved vast numbers of Christian Greek children and women. Ibrahim
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Thessaly is a traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, appears thus in Homer's Odyssey. Thessaly became part of the modern Greek state in 1881, after four and a half centuries of Ottoman rule. Since 1987 it has formed one of the country's 13 regions and is further sub-divided into 5 regional units and 25 municipalities; the capital of the region is Larissa. Thessaly lies in northern Greece and borders the regions of Macedonia on the north, Epirus on the west, Central Greece on the south and the Aegean Sea on the east; the Thessaly region includes the Sporades islands. In Homer's epic, the Odyssey, the hero Odysseus visited the kingdom of Aeolus, the old name for Thessaly; the Plain of Thessaly, which lies between Mount Oeta/Othrys and Mount Olympus, was the site of the battle between the Titans and the Olympians. According to legend and the Argonauts launched their search for the Golden Fleece from the Magnesia Peninsula.
Thessaly was home to extensive Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures around 6000–2500 BC. Mycenaean settlements have been discovered, for example at the sites of Iolcos and Sesklo. In Archaic and Classical times, the lowlands of Thessaly became the home of baronial families, such as the Aleuadae of Larissa or the Scopads of Crannon. In the summer of 480 BC, the Persians invaded Thessaly; the Greek army that guarded the Vale of Tempe evacuated the road before the enemy arrived. Not much Thessaly surrendered to the Persians; the Thessalian family of Aleuadae joined the Persians subsequently. In the 4th century BC, after the Greco-Persian Wars had long ended, Jason of Pherae transformed the region into a significant military power, recalling the glory of Early Archaic times. Shortly after, Philip II of Macedon was appointed Archon of Thessaly, Thessaly was thereafter associated with the Macedonian Kingdom for the next centuries. Thessaly became part of the Roman Empire as part of the province of Macedonia.
Thessaly remained part of the East Roman "Byzantine" Empire after the collapse of Roman power in the west, subsequently suffered many invasions, such as by the Slavic tribe of the Belegezites in the 7th century AD. The Avars had arrived in Europe in the late 550s, they asserted their authority over many Slavs. Many Slavs were galvanized by the Avars. In the 7th century the Avar-Slav alliance began to raid the Byzantine Empire, laying siege to Thessalonica and the imperial capital Constantinople itself. By the 8th century, Slavs had occupied most of the Balkans from Austria to the Peloponnese, from the Adriatic to the Black seas, with the exception of the coastal areas and certain mountainous regions of the Greek peninsula. Relations between the Slavs and Greeks were peaceful apart from the initial settlement and intermittent uprisings. Being agriculturalists, the Slavs traded with the Greeks inside towns, it is that the re-Hellenization had begun by way of this contact. This process would be completed by a newly reinvigorated Byzantine Empire.
With the abatement of Arab-Byzantine Wars, the Byzantine Empire began to consolidate its power in those areas of mainland Greece occupied by Proto-Slavic tribes. Following the campaigns of the Byzantine general Staurakios in 782–783, the Byzantine Empire recovered Thessaly, taking many Slavs as prisoners. Apart from military expeditions against Slavs, the re-Hellenization process begun under Nicephorus I involved transfer of peoples. Many Slavs were moved to other parts of the empire such as Anatolia and made to serve in the military. In return, many Greeks from Sicily and Asia Minor were brought to the interior of Greece, to increase the number of defenders at the Emperor's disposal and dilute the concentration of Slavs. In 977 Byzantine Thessaly was raided by the Bulgarian Empire. In 1066 dissatisfaction with the taxation policy led the Aromanian and Bulgarian population of Thessaly to revolt against the Byzantine Empire under the leadership of a local lord, Nikoulitzas Delphinas; the revolt, which began in Larissa, soon expanded to Trikala and northwards to the Byzantine-Bulgarian border.
In 1199–1201 another unsuccessful revolt was led by Manuel Kamytzes, son-in-law of Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos, with the support of Dobromir Chrysos, the autonomous ruler of Prosek. Kamytzes managed to establish a short-lived principality in northern Thessaly, before he was overcome by an imperial expedition. Following the siege of Constantinople and the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in April 1204, Thessaly passed to Boniface of Montferrat's Kingdom of Thessalonica in the wider context of the Frankokratia. In 1212, Michael I Komnenos Doukas, ruler of Epirus, led his troops into Thessaly. Larissa and much of central Thessaly came under Epirote rule, thereby separating Thessalonica from the Crusader principalities in southern Greece. Michael's work was completed by his half-brother and successor, Theodore Komnenos Doukas, who by 1220 completed the recovery of the entire region; the Vlachs of Thessaly first appear in Byzantine sources in the 11th century, in the Strategikon of Kekaumenos and Anna Komnene's Alexiad).
In the 12th century, the Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela records the
Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz
Wilhelm Leopold Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz known as Goltz Pasha, was a Prussian Field Marshal and military writer. Goltz was born in East Prussia, into an impoverished noble family, he grew up at the manor house of Fabiansfelde near Preußisch Eylau, bought by his father in 1844. His father spent some nineteen years in the Prussian Army without rising above the rank of lieutenant, his efforts at farming were unfruitful, he succumbed to cholera while on a trip to Danzig when Colmar was six years old. Goltz entered the Prussian infantry in 1861 as a second lieutenant with the 5th East Prussian Infantry Regiment Number 41, in Königsberg. During 1864 he was on border duty at Thorn, after which he entered the Berlin Military Academy, but was temporarily withdrawn in 1866 to serve in the Austro-Prussian War, in which he was wounded at Trautenau. In 1867 he joined the topographical section of the general staff, at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 was attached to the staff of Prince Frederick Charles, commanding general of the Prussian Second Army.
He took part in the siege of Metz. After its fall he served under Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia in the campaign of the Loire, including the battles of Orleans and Le Mans. Goltz was appointed professor at the military school at Potsdam in 1871, promoted to captain, placed in the historical section of the general staff, it was that he wrote Die Operationen der II. Armee bis zur Capitulation von Metz and Die Sieben Tage von Le Mans, both published in 1873. In 1874 he was appointed first general staff officer of the 6th Division, while so employed wrote Die Operationen der II. Armee an der Loire and Léon Gambetta und seine Armeen, published in 1877 respectively; the latter was translated into French the same year, is considered by many historians to be his most original contribution to military literature. Goltz stressed how, despite the rapid initial victory against the Imperial French forces at Sedan, the new French Republic had been able to mobilise national will for a Volkskrieg which dragged on for many more months, the implication being that it was therefore unrealistic to expect a quick victory over France in any future war.
Goltz, who wrote with open admiration about Léon Gambetta's efforts to raise new armies after September 1870, argued that the French "people's war" might have been successful had Gambetta been able to better train his new armies. Goltz argued that henceforward a new age in war had begun, that of the "nation in arms," where the state would seek to mobilize the entire nation and its resources for war, what today might be called total war; the views expressed in the latter work were unpopular with the powers that be and led to Goltz's being sent back to regimental duty for a time, but it was not long before he returned to the military history section. In 1878 Goltz was appointed lecturer in military history at the military academy at Berlin, where he remained for five years and attained the rank of major, he published, in 1883, Roßbach und Jena and Das Volk in Waffen, both of which became military classics. The latter became the theoretical handbook of the Argentine Army, in 1910 Goltz headed the German diplomatic mission to the Argentine Centennial.
During his residence in Berlin, Goltz contributed many articles to the military journals. The ideas that Goltz had first introduced in Léon Gambetta und seine Armeen were further expanded in The Nation in Arms, where he argued: "The day of Cabinet wars is over, it is no longer the weakness of a single man, at the head of affairs, of a dominant party, decisive, but only the exhaustion of the belligerent nations." As such, to win war in the future required that "the great civilized nations of the present bring their military organization to greater perfection." To that end, Goltz that society needed to be militarized in peacetime on an unprecedented level, what was required was "the full amalgamation of military and civilian life." Goltz was a militarist, Social Darwinist and ultra-nationalist who believed war to be something necessary and inevitable. In Goltz's Social Darwinist perspective, just as "survival of the fittest" prevailed in nature, the same principle applied to international relations with "strong" nations rightfully devouring "weak" nations.
Goltz who saw the carnage of war as the most beautiful thing in the world wrote: "It is an expression of the energy and self-respect which a nation possesses.... Perpetual peace mean perpetual death!" After defeat in the Russo-Turkish War, Sultan Hamid, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, asked for German aid in reorganizing the Ottoman Army, so that they would be able to resist the advance of the Russian Empire. Baron von der Goltz was sent, he spent twelve years on this work. During his time in the Ottoman Empire, Goltz had negative view of Abdul Hamid II, writing: "The Stambul Efendi, whose father held a well-paid sinecure, reward by Sultan Hamid for his faithfulness, who enjoyed to the fullest the good life, now knowing the struggle for existence, could not be a great leader on the
The Cretan State, was established in 1898, following the intervention by the Great Powers on the island of Crete. In 1897, an insurrection in Crete headed by the Ottoman Empire to declare war on Greece, which led Great Britain, France and Russia to intervene on the grounds that the Ottoman Empire could no longer maintain control, it was the prelude to the island's final annexation to the Kingdom of Greece, which occurred de facto in 1908 and de jure in 1913. The island of Crete, an Ottoman possession since the end of the Cretan War, was inhabited by a Greek-speaking population, whose majority was Christian. During and after the Greek War of Independence, the Christians of the island rebelled several times against external Ottoman rule, pursuing union with Greece; these were brutally subdued, but secured some concessions from the Ottoman government under the pressure of European public opinion. In 1878, the Pact of Halepa established the island as an autonomous state under Ottoman suzerainty, until the Ottomans reneged on that agreement in 1889.
The collapse of the Pact heightened tensions in the island, leading to another rebellion in 1895, which expanded in 1896–1897 to cover most of the island. Six Great Powers sent warships to Crete in February 1897, their naval forces combined to form an "International Squadron" charged with intervening to bring fighting on Crete to a halt. In Greece, nationalist secret societies and a fervently irredentist public opinion forced the Greek government to send military forces to the island. Although the International Squadron halted their activities, the presence of Greek forces on Crete provoked a war with the Ottoman Empire. Although most of Crete came under the control of Cretan insurgent and Greek forces, the unprepared Greek Army was crushed by the Ottomans, who occupied Thessaly; the war was ended by the intervention of the Great Powers, who forced the Greek contingent to withdraw from Crete and the Ottoman Army to stop its advance. In the Treaty of Constantinople the Ottoman Government promised to implement the provisions of the Halepa Pact.
In February 1897, the Great Powers decided to restore order by governing the island temporarily through an "Admirals Council" consisting of admirals from the six powers making up the International Squadron. Through naval bombardments of Cretan insurgent forces, by placing sailors and marines ashore to occupy key cities, by establishing a blockade of Crete and key ports in Greece, the International Squadron brought organized fighting on Crete to an end by the end of March 1897, although the insurrection continued. Soldiers from the armies of five of the powers arrived to occupy key Cretan cities in late March and April 1897. Thereafter, the Admirals Council focused on a negotiated settlement that would bring the insurrection to an end without bringing Ottoman governance of Crete to an end, but this proved impossible, they decided that Crete would become an autonomous state under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. Germany opposed this idea and withdrew from Crete and the International Squadron in November 1897 and Austria-Hungary followed in March 1898, but the remaining four powers carried on with their plans.
On 6 September 1898, a Turkish mob massacred hundreds of Cretan Greeks and murdered the British Consul, his family, 17 British soldiers, in the city of Candia. As a result, the International Squadron and the occupying forces ashore expelled all Ottoman forces from Crete in November 1898; the autonomous Cretan State, under Ottoman suzerainty, garrisoned by an international military force, with its High Commissioner provided by Greece, was founded when Prince George of Greece and Denmark arrived to take office as the first High Commissioner detaching Crete from the Ottoman Empire, on 21 December 1898. The Admirals Council was dissolved on 26 December 1898; the National Bank of Greece established a bank, the Bank of Crete, which had a 40-year monopoly on note issuance. The Cretan State established a paramilitary force, the Cretan Gendarmerie, modeled on the Italian Carabinieri, to maintain public order; the Cretan Gendarmerie incorporated the four small gendarmerie units the four remaining occupying powers had created before the arrival of Prince George.
On 13 December 1898, George of Greece arrived as High Commissioner for a three-year tenure. On 27 April 1899, an Executive Committee was created, in which a young, Athens-trained lawyer from Chania, Eleftherios Venizelos, participated as Minister of Justice. By 1900, Venizelos and the Prince had developed differences over domestic policies, as well as the issue of Enosis, the union with Greece. Venizelos resigned in early 1901, for the next three years, he and his supporters waged a bitter political struggle with the Prince's faction, leading to a political and administrative deadlock on the island. In March 1905, Venizelos and his supporters gathered in the village of Therisos, in the hills near Chania, constituted a "Revolutionary Assembly", demanded political reforms and declared the "political union of Crete with Greece as a single free constitutional state" in a manifesto delivered to the consuls of the Great Powers; the Cretan Gendarmerie remained loyal to the Prince, but numer