Minister famous for her stance against anti-minority idea passes away

Tue, 1 Mar 2022 14:47 GMT
Former Minister Giannakou dies at 70Marietta Giannakou, former Minister of Education and senior MP of the New Democracy party, died at the age of 70 in the military hospital where she was treated recently.Giannakou made history with the reforms and with t...
Minister famous for her stance against anti-minority idea passes away
Former Minister Giannakou dies at 70

Marietta Giannakou, former Minister of Education and senior MP of the New Democracy party, died at the age of 70 in the military hospital where she was treated recently.

Giannakou made history with the reforms and with the 6th grade history textbook that she had prepared when she was the Minister of Education, but which took a toll on her health.

The article that Mehmet Kumanoğlu wrote for our newspaper at that time is still up to date today. At the end of the news, we share the article we published at that time with you again.


Marietta Giannakou, a former education minister and senior MP for the New Democracy party, recently died at the age of 70 in a military hospital where she was treated.

Giannakou had a history of health problems including a recent fall at home, a heart attack six years ago, and a leg amputation in 2008 due to complications from diabetes.

Giannakou, a neuropsychiatrist, came under fire when she served as education minister from 2004-2007.

While the left opposition vehemently opposed the university reforms, she also faced criticism from Greek nationalists, including many from her own party.

The reform package prepared by Giannakou for education and the book prepared by Maria Repusi were shelved due to extreme reactions.

Considered a moderate within her party, Giannakou was respected across the political spectrum.

Born on June 6, 1951, Giannakou entered politics early in the youth organization of New Democracy.

She has served in the Greek parliament between 1993-99, 2000-2007 and July 2019.

She was a member of the European Parliament from 1984-1990, 1999-2000 and 2009-2014.

She served as Minister of Health, Welfare and Social Security between 1990-1991.

Giannakou has a daughter.


Mehmet Kumanoğlu's article about Marietta Gianakou, which he wrote for our newspaper in 2007, is still relevant today. Here is that article:

“Is this grudge over?

It has been reported that the controversial 6th grade history book of primary school, which is described as the support of Turkish hostility by the state, will be rewritten. The Pedagogical Institute was going to announce a tender for the rewriting of the book, which caused great controversy. It is stated that Evripidis Stilianidis, the Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs of Greece, has taken the necessary initiatives in this regard.

The book, which caused the reaction of anti-Turkish “racist” sections, especially the church, due to its content, caused the Minister of National Education of the time Marietta Giannakou to be dismissed from her seat and from the parliament.

Anti-Turkish-Islamic circles reacted harshly to the new book, which put an end to the Turkish-Greek enmity and predicted that the two sides would be eternal friends instead of eternal enemies. In their reactions, it was claimed that the Greek national consciousness was tried to be weakened with the new book. The book, which was prepared during the reign of the New Democracy (ND) government Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, with the intention of removing the hatred between the two peoples, was prepared by the team led by University Lecturer Maria Repoussi, but was confiscated. Marietta Giannakou, the former Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs, who did not compromise on the demands for the book to be collected, argued that children should not be taught the "history of blood" and things that would incite hatred and passion among the peoples.

During the time of Evripidis Stilianidis, a deputy from Komotini, who was appointed as the Minister of National Education with the ND government, it was decided to temporarily teach the history book, which had fueled hostility towards Turks in previous years. As a result, the book that deposed Marietta Giannakou from her office and from the parliament was returned to the Instructional Books Publishing Organization (OEDB).

The Athens Academy, the Greek Assembly, the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Education, the nationalist section and the Church circles had aroused great reactions on the grounds that the sections on Turkey and Turks ‘distorted Greek history and did not reflect the facts’. The church declared at that time that it was ready to find people and funds for the writing of a new history book, and claimed that the old book was trying to weaken the Greek national consciousness.

Moreover, there was even an attempt to distribute alternative Primary School 6th Grade History Books.

Problems arose in the distribution of old books after the collection of new books, in which statements against the Turks and sections promoting enmity against Turkish and some other nations were removed, in order to break down hostilities between the Turkish and Greek communities and correct wrong thoughts. For this reason, it is reported that the history lessons of the 6th grade students in primary education classes are not held.

Now everyone is wondering what the comments and reactions will be when the last new book is written?

The circles who know and live that Greece's anti-Turkish and Islamist opposition to Greece, especially the Western Thrace Turkish Minority, is the locomotive of Greek national consciousness, state that the allegations and events will feed Turkish hostility will continue to be included in the new history books.

The same circles state that it will not be possible to remove the Turkish-Islamic hostility. This is the reason for Greece's existence with its official state ideology and founding philosophy, from the history books, and that in order for such a thing to be possible. The state must review and revise its official ideology by revealing the will to come to terms with its history.

Even if Greece takes a positive step as a state, it will not be enough to set the Turkish-Greek relations on the road. The Greek media and press, which was enraged even at the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's visit to our region and lashed out at his cognates calling him ‘my Turkish brothers’, set a typical example of this. The state is responsible for this enmity, grudge and hatred towards the Turkish-Islamic element. Because since the day it was founded, the state has deeply engraved this grudge in the subconscious of the Greek society and has ingrained it in their memory.

The work of the new Minister of National Education Evripidis Stilianidis is really difficult. Of course, it's hard and difficult if he really has good intentions about it."
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