189 years ago, on March 18th, 1826 a small group of brave Romaic Revolutionaries, led by Vasos Mavrovouniotis attempted to spread the Hellenic Revolution to Ottoman-occupied Coele-Syria. Although unsuccessful, their heroic attempt to incite the Rûm of the Levant lives on as a testament that the Rûm of Europe and those of the Levant were and still are one people.
According to then-British Consul John Barker, stationed in Aleppo, in a memo to British Ambassador Stratford Canning, in Constantinople. The Revolutionaries were thwarted by a local Mufti and a hastily arranged defense force. Although initially repelled, the Romaic heroes did manage to hold on to a small portion of the city near the seashore in an area inhabited by local Rûm. During which they appealed to the Rûm “to rise up and join them”, and even sent an invitation to the chief of the local Druzes to also join the Revolution.
Therefore, we at Operation Antioch ask all Levantine Rûm to mark March 18th on their calendars as a national holiday for all Levantine Rûm. March 18th, stands as a day in which the Levantine Rûm were given a choice, a choice between freedom or slavery. Unfortunately, in 1826, we chose slavery.
Today, in 2015, we are faced with another choice, a choice between freedom or death. It is, therefore, on this day that we, Operation Antioch, call on the International Community to create a Rûm Safe Haven in war-torn Syria. In order to prevent the mass exodus of Syrian Rûm from their indigenous motherland.