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In 1952 Greece joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and also granted women the right to vote and to hold political office.

The Eastern Orthodox church is the dominant religion; only about 1.5 percent of the population is Muslim, and a small percentage is Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, or Jewish.

Traditionally, Greeks referred to themselves as "Hellenes" and to the country of Greece as "Hellas." The word "Greek" comes from the Latin Graeci, a name given to the people of this region by the Romans.

The Greek flag features a small white cross in the upper left corner flanked to the right and bottom by alternating white and blue stripes.

The white cross symbolizes the Greek Orthodox religion, while the blue stripes stand for the sea and sky, and the white stripes for the purity of the Greek struggle for independence.

Then in 1897 a revolt against the Turks in Crete led to war between Greece and the Ottoman Empire and to eventual self-governance for Crete.

A revolt by the Military League in 1909 prompted the appointment of Eleuthérios Venizélos as Prime Minister of Greece.

On April 27, 1967, Colonel George Papadopoulos led a military coup, resulting in the suspension of constitutionally guaranteed rights and the imposition of harsh social controls.

Papadopoulos declared Greece a republic in 1973 and put an end to the monarchy before his government was overthrown.

Greece came under Macedonian domination between 338 and 200 The Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, conquered Greece, Persia, and Egypt to create an empire, and he carried the idea of Hellenism to places as far away as India.

The Hellenistic Age that followed Alexander's rule lasted until 146 395, Greece became part of the Eastern Empire, which continued as the Byzantine Empire until 1453.

Officially known as the Hellenic Republic, Greece is a mountainous peninsula located in southeastern Europe, between the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.