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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Dostoevsky on Constantinople

In an essay titled, “Constantinople Must Be Ours,“ written in March 1877, (the essay is part of his anthology of essays, the Diary of a Writer), Fyodor Dostoyevsky has said that Constantinople was the lifeblood of the Russian culture and history, and this city belong to the Russians. He wrote:

“Constantinople must be ours, conquered by us, Russians, from the Turks, and remain ours forever. She must belong to us alone, and possessing her we may, of course, admit into her all Slavs and, in addition, anyone whom we please, on the broadest basis. But this would not be federal possession of the city along with the Slavs.

“One has merely to consider the fact that a whole century would be required before a federal union of the Slavs could be achieved. Russia will take possession of Constantinople and the necessary metropolitan area, as well as of the Bosphorus and the Straits; there she will maintain troops, fortifications and a fleet. And thus it should be for a long, long time.”

Dostoevsky has talked about Constantinople in several essays in his Diary. He was politically and emotionally attached to Constantinople and the Byzantine Orthodox legacy.

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