Today in European history: the Greco-Turkish War is declared (1897)

After mainland Greece won its independence from the Ottomans in the 1832 Treaty of Constantinople, the status of the island of Crete became a big issue. Crete, as anybody who knows anything about ancient Greece will tell you, historically lies well within the Greek world. But our friends of the Fourth Crusade sold the island–which came into their possession when they took over the Byzantine Empire–to Venice, and so it became a Venetian colony in 1212. Venice held Crete, then known as the Kingdom of Candia, until the Cretan War ended in 1669 with the island under Ottoman control. Autonomous Egypt briefly controlled Crete in the early 19th century before it again reverted to the Ottomans.

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