How is the enmity between Greece and Albania different to that between Greece and Turkey?

I’m going to speak from a Greek perspective, and I hope that Turks and Albanians will weigh in.

The hostility between Greece and Turkey is very old, and definitional to their identity. They came to regard each other as the Primordial Enemy. (Hence the immortal line on Ekşi Sözlük: “The good old days, when Greece was the National Enemy.”)

Greeks really did come to define themselves as Not-Turks. The world was viewed through a binary lens of enmity, and had been since the Seljuks came to Anatolia; the credal difference between Islam and Christianity was all enmeshed with the ethnic difference (and in reality took priority over it). And there are defining incidents in Greek history which can serve as rallying points for that enmity. 1071, 1453, 1669, 1821, 1897, 1923, 1974.

Enmity between Greeks and Albanians just does not have that kind of heritage. Until the forced islamisations, Albanians were another annoying Balkan ethnicity. In situ in Albania, there were yet another people with an uncouth language for the Byzantine elite to look down on. As the Arvanites, they were warlords and settlers in Greece; they were stereotyped as pigheaded, and either admired or feared as warriors, but they were close-by neighbours.

Once the islamisations happened, Muslim Albanians were Turks. The Millet-based split was total; to Greeks, Muslim Albanians were Muslims first, Albanians second. Hence the confused appelation Turkalvani, which does not mean Turkish Albanians at all, but Muslim Albanians. In the Greek War of Independence, Orthodox Arvanites fought Muslim Shqipetars; they spoke the same language (maybe in a different dialect, maybe not); but as far as Greeks were concerned, the Arvanites were Greeks, and the Shqipetars were Turks.

That’s why any enmity of Albanians and Greeks is pretty recent. A notion of Albanian nationhood was stymied through to the end of the 19th century, because not only the Greeks, but the Albanians themselves regarded themselves as Christian or Muslim first, and Albanians second. That’s why it was so important for Albanian nationalists to proclaim that the religion of Albania is Albanianism: without Albanianism, there could be no Albania.

And hate to say it, but because of all that, Greeks have hardly noticed Albania as an enemy. Anything up until 1912 was chalked up to the Turks—including Ali Pasha of Ioannina. (How many Greeks realise he was Albanian? How many care?) The raids of the Christian Arvanites against their neighbours, which gave Greek its word for “plunder” (πλιάτσικο < plaçkë “thing”—plaçkë e luftës “thing of war” is implied) have been long forgotten.

There was an ongoing enmity against Turks until recently (and of course, the atavistic stuff still lurks in the collective subconscious, despite the Thaw). In the face of a bogeyman that imposing, any hostility against Albanians from Greeks was secondary, and localised. (And I know very well that Albanians have not felt the same way.)

Albanians became prominent in the popular conscious again with the mass migrations of the 1990s. There was a lot of hostility, and I’ve heard reports that the Arvanites were particularly hard on the Albanian migrants: they had something to prove. But it was really not the fear and existential stuff that was invoked with Turks; it was looking down on them.

Since then, the reaction has gone two ways (from what I gather from a distance). On the liberal side, the Albanians are the model minority, admired for their work ethic, and even seen as a welcome addition to the polity. (That’s a pretty extreme view for Greece, of course.) On the reactionary side, well, one of the favourite chants of the thugs is Δεν θα γίνεις Έλληνας ποτέ, Αλβανέ, Αλβανέ-έ-έ “You’ll never be a Greek, Albanian, Albanian!”

But from memory, hostility towards Albania has never roused the level of ire or passion that hostility towards Turkey has.

How hard would it be to write more poetry using only Quora questions?

Mergers and edits can, it’s true, impair
the incidental rhymes of Quora questions.
The metre of such verse would brook deflections
as well—though your example doesn’t care.

But I’d dispute the questions need be live.
They can be captured at the time of writing,
and any links can redirect. Inviting
their permanence is hope that cannot thrive.

You posit here a jeu d’esprit, a joke,
no verse with which the heavens to command.
Let it then be a mandala in sand:
the transitoriness its masterstroke.

How do you use Quora? Do you spend equal/more time reading, editing, asking questions, or answering questions?

I used to read much more. There are still days where I can spend a good couple of hours reading, and it’s my favourite activity in between tasks or in transit.

But as I get more and more A2As, and as I’ve become more and more proud of writing, I spend a lot more time answering questions than before. And I spend a lot of time on comments (discussions on my answers or answers), and some time in messaging.

My routine is to start by going through notifications, have exchanges with others on comments, then read answers in my notifications, then split between reading my feed and answering questions. About equal time comments and answering, a bit more time than either reading feed.

As a Quoran with a reputation for your answers, which of your questions do you wish attracted more answers?

Recall always the great dictum of Yishan Wong’s answer to Why are my questions not answered on Quora?

Quora is a great place to write answers and to read answers, but it is not a good place to get your own questions answered.

There are people on Quora who seek information, but well… even if Quora says that’s a purpose of Quora, that’s not how I use it, and I suspect that’s not how a lot of voluminous writers use it.

The questions I ask are usually either followups of discussions I’ve had (in which case they’re targetted—sometimes at myself—and will likely get an answer); or they are questions that arise out of discussions or answers, that I throw out there just in case, but am not really hanging out for answers to.

I don’t know if I am typical or not, but I suspect that there are users who overwhelmingly ask questions (and Thank You, guys!), and users who overwhelmingly answer questions. If I’m typical, the latter aren’t hanging out for more answers: they ask targetted questions in a particular context, which are likely to get answers, rather than open-ended questions which may or may not.

It’s a good question, Andrew. I don’t have a good answer for you, but I hope others will.