Sakellaropoulou hails ‘Greek victory’ over Islam at Lepanto in 1571 | World

Christendom’s victory over the Ottoman Empire at Lepanto 450 years ago was celebrated in Greece at the weekend with religious services, fireworks, stirring orchestral music and a military parade.

The epic sea battle, regarded as a turning point in Islam’s western expansion, pitted the Catholic states of Spain, the papacy and Venice, under the banner of the Holy League, against the Ottomans, at the mouth of the Gulf of Patras on October 7, 1571. Not conventionally thought of as a Greek victory, the commemoration coincides with a growing chorus of scholars and officials calling for the recovery of the country’s role in the conflict and the significance of the victory for its history.

Tensions between Greece and its arch-rival Turkey have worsened over issues such

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