It is tragic that a geo-political argument prevents Thessaloniki from being fully integrated with its traditional hinterland. The problem is the rancorous, silly dispute between the Macedonian region of former Yugoslavia and Greece that has dragged on, impeding regional progress for two decades.
Byzantium (medieval Greece) survived the barbarian invasions that brought the Western Roman Empire to an end in the fifth century. Medieval Greece lived for more than a millennium, for several centuries a superpower. In fact, medieval Greece spread civilization to Eastern Europe and Russia.
Erdogan is politically shrewd enough to realize that his condemnation of fascism would resonate at home and in the West, while winning him accolades and support against his powerful domestic opponents.