PHOTO: Nick Taneris Speaking on Bullhorn in front of Washington DC Turkish Embassy, 2007
By Alex Aliferis
Nicholas Taneris, a great Greek American patriot, passed away on Feb 28, 2021 due to Covid-19 at age 48. He leaves behind three young kids with a beautiful Greek-American wife in New York City. He has numerous relatives. He is a native of New York City and his life centered around Washington Heights.
I knew Taneris since the late 1990s, when Greek patriots worldwide connected online via chatrooms. He was at the university in Portland, Oregon while I was in California. Why am I mentioning Taneris? I became friends with Nick. We exchanged info. He gave me lots of references to books on Modern Greek history. Through Nick, I got to know other great Greek-American friends across the USA. He was highly involved in issues pertaining to Greece and Cyprus. Taneris gave us all patriots courage to carry on activism on issues pertaining to Greece and Cyprus. He gave me the courage to carry on with Greek activism after working on Greek issues in Washington DC with the American Hellenic Institute.
Nick was a courageous man. He was excellent in political activism. He was an excellent speaker and writer on Greek political issues. In the mid-2000s (2004-2011), he wrote lots of articles. He initiated action alerts which yielded results. Nick created the Cyprus Action Network of America. He was also the founder of the Hellenic League of America (2008-2011).
Nick organized the protests in front of the Turkish Embassy on July 20th in Washington DC. He organized and brought people at a time when the establishment Greek-American organizations (AHI, AHEPA, PSEKA, Greek Orthodox Church of America) were afraid to organize/protest the Turkish Embassy in DC. I remember Nick shouting on the bullhorn in front of the Turkish Embassy. The fear was so high. I received a high-level call from the second in command of the Cyprus Embassy to the USA to pressure me to not attend the July 20th protest at the Turkish Embassy. There was a Serbian protest on the Kosovo issue in front of the White House. Taneris was there with Greek patriots with Greece and Cyprus flags.
On the Skopia issue, he organized a protest in New York City on October 27, 2008. I was at that rally. I met many great patriots at these events. We were there to raise awareness of the persecuted Greeks living inside Skopia. How many Greek Americans know that Skopia is like North Korea against ethnic Greeks and ethnic Bulgarians living in that nation? Skopia has a fake, created by Communists, identity – just like Moldova. The Slavs of Skopia are Bulgarian/Serbs. Bulgaria regards them as Bulgarians not ‘Macedonians’.
There is a 2009 video of Nick Taneris with a Greek flag at a Notis Sfakianakis concert in the New England area.
On April 15, 2010, Nick Taneris attended a Genocide event against Greeks of Thrace outside the UN headquarters in New York City, http://www.aina.org/news/20100414203330.htm.
Taneris and patriots went to Boca Raton, Florida for a Greek/Armenian event for a candidate running against pro-Turkish Democrat Congressman Robert Wexler in the Democrat primary. Wexler eventually left office after Taneris’ activism in 2008.
In 2010, Nicholas Taneris led Greek and Armenian Activists against pro-Turkish Democrat Congressman Michael McMahon. McMahon had a Turkish staffer and he was on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Tanaris’ efforts led the Republican opponent, Michael Grimm, to be a strong pro-Greek/Armenian candidate. The district had a lot of Greeks which led to McMahon’s reelection defeat in Nov 2010. Pro Turkish Congressman McMahon was endorsed and supported by the establishment Greek American Lobby. Taneris challenged them and he won! Pro-Greek Republican Michael Grimm defeated Pro-Turkish Democrat Congressman McMahon.
He was a Greek American patriot that should have received an award at AHEPA, AHI, Manatos awards dinner or some other Greek American establishment organizations. Alas, the real patriots like Taneris never receive the awards. The man had courage, bravery, and leadership. We need to remember Taneris by carrying on activism for Greece and Cyprus. May his memory be eternal!
Alex Aliferis has worked in Washington D.C. on issues linked to Greece, and Cyprus.
For More Information:
Nick Taneris speaking at Rally against Skopia, 2008
Nick Taneris in Black directing July 20th Protest in front Washington DC Turkish Embassy, 2008
Nick Taneris Speaking on Bullhorn in front of Washington DC Turkish Embassy, 2007