Greeks in Turkey on the Verge of Extinction

Hits: 1182

The current Greek population in Turkey is estimated at fewer than 2,000.  But this population decline was not due to natural causes; the Greek community has become nearly extinct due to many state-sponsored attacks and pressure.

The largest attacks took place during the last years of the Ottoman Empire with pogroms and discrimination continuing until the present day.

In 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) announced that “the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.”

The destruction of Greek heritage and institutions, including schools, continued after the Turkish republic was established in 1923. One tool to annihilate non-Turkish communities including Greeks was the so-called “Liberation Courts” that were set up in many Turkish cities.

“These courts,” writes the author Raffi Bedrosyan, “passed arbitrary decisions that almost invariably resulted in death sentences, with no defense or appeals allowed, and hangings carried out immediately. Among the victims of these courts were hundreds of Greek teachers in the American and Greek schools of the region, prominent community leaders, clergymen, and, tragically, entire members of the Merzifon Greek high school football team, only because the team was named Pontus Club, which was deemed sufficient reason to label them a rebel terrorist organization.”

Beginning on September 6, 1955, everything belonging to Greeks in Istanbul – homes, schools, offices, businesses, churches, cemeteries − was attacked by Muslim Turks. This pogrom greatly escalated Greek emigration from Turkey.

Nine years later came the forced Greek expulsions. In 1964, as a result of tensions over Cyprus, Turkey broke its agreement with Greece and prohibited all commercial dealings by Greeks holding a Greek passport, leading thereby to the departure of at least 45,000 Greeks.

In 1992 Helsinki Watch noted that “the Greeks were not allowed to sell their houses or property or to take money from their bank accounts.’’ They were forced to leave their birthplaces only with personal items weighing 20 kilos and money amounting to 20 dollars. According to the researcher Salih Erturan, the 1964 expulsion brought an end to Greeks of Istanbul.

Turkey’s Greek-speaking Orthodox citizens still cannot freely obtain education in their institutions. The Halki seminary in Istanbul, or the Theological School of Halki, the main theological school of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, was closed down by the Turkish state in 1971 and has not been reopened.

In addition, the Turkish government does not recognize the “Ecumenical” status of the Patriarch and Patriarchate, the spiritual center of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic of Yale Law School wrote in its legal analysis:

“Centuries of Turkish discrimination against and persecution of the Patriarchate and the Orthodox minority have been well documented… Turkey’s treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox minority violates its obligations under international human rights law.”

The Turkish government has also confiscated much of the real estate belonging to Greek Orthodox Christians. “Many properties have been lost over the past few decades, such as office buildings, orphanages and other institutions,” said Walter Flick, a religious expert with the International Society for Human Rights in Germany, speaking to Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster.

The Buyuk Akinti Burnu Greek primary school in the Arnavutkoy district of Istanbul, for example, was restored and reopened in 2011 by the Bogazici University Alumni Association (BUMED) − but not as a Greek school. It was reopened as a Turkish kindergarten. The Greek primary school had been established in 1902 when there were still sizeable Greek communities in what was then called Constantinople, but was closed in 2009 due to a lack of Greek students, reported the Turkish Dogan News Agency (DHA).

In 2016, only 19 Greek students graduated from three Greek schools in Turkey, reported the weekly newspaper Agos.  Yannis Demircioglu, the principal of the Greek Zografyan High School, said that for the last 21 years, “the number of graduates has been ranging between 19 and 27 every year.”

In the 1926-27 school year, there were 58 schools belonging to the Greek community in Turkey with 7213 students, 352 teachers and 222 administrators. Only five have survived, according to Demircioglu.

“The real problem is that we have a limited number of students,” the former representative of Minority Foundations, Laki Vingas, said.

“Founded in 1454, Fener Greek High School is one of the oldest education institutions in Europe, but it has fewer than 50 students now. This troubles the administration. It is the same with Zapyon and Zografyan… These schools are centuries old and the last remaining Greek communal institutions.

“Their situation is alarming. Istanbul was once a leading city in terms of education, not only for local Greek culture there, but also for Greek communities in all of Anatolia, Greece, and Balkans. This is a huge decline, and we are struggling to keep the schools open. This is the most worrisome issue for me.”

From Greek Asia Minor to 21st Century Turkey with a Dying Greek Community

Before Turks arrived in Asia Minor from Central Asia in the eleventh century, the indigenous population of the region spoke and wrote in Greek and was Greek Orthodox. Even the names of the region come from the Greek language such as “Anatolia” (from the Greek “Anatole,” “east” or “sunrise”) and “Asia Minor” (from the Greek “Mikra Asia,” little Asia).

However, the Greek cultural heritage in Turkey is on the verge of disappearing forever.  Turkey is 99.8% Muslim today. As the researcher Tania Karas wrote, “One thousand, seven hundred Greeks left in a nation of 79 million… A century of oppression has nearly wiped out a religious minority group with historic ties to the region.”

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), which established the Turkish Republic in 1923 and ruled ‎until 1950, stated in its 1946 report on minorities that its aim was to leave no Greek in ‎Istanbul until the 500th anniversary of the 1453 “conquest” of Istanbul (1953).

It seems that their “dream” is about to come true.


Originally published on 2017-02-15

About the author: Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist formerly based in Ankara. She is presently in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/uzayb

Source: Clarion Project

Note by Vladislav B. Sotirovic:

Between the years 1914-1923 the Ottoman Empire instigated a violent campaign of persecution against its ethnic Greek minority. By 1923, upwards of 1 million Ottoman Greeks were victims to one of the first genocides of the 20th century. This campaign is known as the Greek Genocide. Visit: www.greek-genocide.net

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
The Balkans’ Run-Up to the Catalan Crisis
The dramatic developments surrounding the independence referendum in Catalonia, as well as the plebiscite for the self-determination of Iraqi Kurds, have once again raised the issue of the lack of clear criteria in international practice for allowing the self-determination of nations and territories. This creates a breeding ground for double standards and speculative political maneuvers. And although Catalan separatism has a long and unique history, an assessment of current events shows that there are links to other regional crises including in the Balkans, where the double standards and geopolitical games have become fully apparent.Richard Haass, president of the influential US Council on Foreign Relations, recently took ...
READ MORE
Kosovo ISIL – A Photo Documentation
A photo documentation of the destruction of (Serbian) Christianity in Kosovo from June 1999 up today. The Western colony of Kosovo is the main stronghold of radical Albanian jihad Islam at the Balkans, transformed into the first independent Balkan ISIL state protected by the Western gangsters of the USA, the NATO and the EU. Presented photo evidence is just an iceberg of the real destruction of Euro-Christianity in Kosovo by the barbaric Muslim Albanians who are also fighting in the Middle East as the jihad soldiers of ISIL - a creation of the US administration. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would ...
READ MORE
“Unlimited Imperialism”: History of American Militarism
It is the Unlimited Imperialists along the line of Alexander, Rome, Napoleon and Hitler who are now in charge of conducting American foreign policy…Historically this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting ...
READ MORE
Ukraine’s State-Sponsored “Azov Battalion” Expands Use of Nazi-Inspired Symbols
On September 22, Ukraine’s Azov Battalion had a ceremony honoring its fighters who were killed in combat in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass regions. It is natural for any military unit to honor its dead. But it is evident from the images on Azov’s own website that this ceremony used iconography that is disturbingly reminiscent of the 1930s Nuremberg rallies, including the use of searchlights, the banners with Waffen-SS stylized logos and the flames. The background of Azov, its leadership, its recruitment and emblems are all deeply disturbing. It grew out of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), a group of far right and neo-Nazi organizations ...
READ MORE
Ukraine: US-installed Fascist Tyranny in Europe’s Heartland
Ukraine matters. It’s territory is Europe’s largest after Russia’s. It borders seven countries in Europe’s heartland – Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia. It shares a strategically important 1,500-long land and sea border with the Russian Federation. The country is resource rich. Zbigniew Brzezinski once said: “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.” Separately, he said if Russia reunites with Ukraine, it’ll be a Eurasian powerhouse. If Ukraine allies with Western Europe, Moscow will be significantly weakened geopolitically. The Obama regime’s February 2014 coup d’etat replaced democratic governance in Kiev ...
READ MORE
Inside Kosovo’s Islamist Cauldron
Kacanik, KOSOVO – A plume of smoke hangs over our table in the corner of a dark, shabby café in this rugged town in southern Kosovo. The lanky 19-year-old sitting next to me is chain-smoking through half a pack of L&Ms, his hands trembling as he recalls how he joined one of the world's most brutal militant Islamist groups. Through his neatly trimmed beard, Adem, who asks me not to use his real name for fear of arrest, says he had never even left Kosovo. But two years ago, he found himself on the perilous and far-off Turkey-Syria border -- a ...
READ MORE
“Megali Idea” and Greek Irredentism in the Wars for a Greater Greece, 1912−1923
The origins of Megali IdeaEleftherios Venizelos and a Greater Greece (1910)Greece became the independent state (from the Ottoman Empire) in 1829−1833 with the crucial diplomatic, political, financial and military assistance by the UK and Russia. It was a very fact that the Kingdom of Greece incorporated at that time only around 25% of the Greeks who were living at the Balkans and Asia Minor (the Near East). Such situation created tensions between Greece and the Ottoman Empire as the Greeks wanted their total national unification what was possible only under the conditions of the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, ...
READ MORE
Understanding the U.S. War State: The New Fundamentalism, “America is God”
Note: This article was original published by GR in May 2003“It is easy. All you have to do is tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” - Hermann GoeringGenocide used to be a crime without a name. Although the most heinous of all crimes, the concept was not introduced into international language until after World War 2. Until then, military invasion and destruction of other peoples and cultures masqueraded under such slogans as progress and spreading civilisation.I was shocked many years ago when I heard Noam ...
READ MORE
Faith Attaguile, from Encinitas, yells chants with others on the corner of Broadway and Front Street , Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown San Diego, during a protest in opposition of Donald Trump's presidential election victory. (Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
On April 7, two U.S. Navy battle ships USS Porter (DDG-78) and USS Ross launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at al-Shayrat military airfield in Syria’s Homs province from the Eastern Mediterranean. The U.S. strikes particularly targeted the main landing strip, aircraft, radio locators, air defense system and fuel stations. The strike was approved by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said that the Syrian Air Force used affiliated al-Shayrat air base to prepare chemical attack on the city of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib.  “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and ...
READ MORE
Barack Obama: The Nobel Peace Prize Winner Who Bombed Seven Countries
U.S. jets are bombing Syria again this month, part of an overall pattern of military expansion during the Obama administration that’s seen military involvement in dozens of conflicts. As the United States renews a bombing campaign against ISIS forces in Syria, it seems like America’s penchant for waging war knows no bounds. During the first seven years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the U.S. bombed seven countries while supporting other destabilizing military actions throughout the Middle East. Here’s a look at these seven countries and the effects of bombing: Afghanistan — Despite the announced “end” of the Afghanistan War, significant U.S. military presence ...
READ MORE
There is no Strategy Behind Trump’s War, Just Brute Force
These are awesome days for headline writers. So many global settings, such an abundance of weapons, such a wealth of choices! On the morning of April 14, the New York Times led with “A Giant U.S. Bomb Strikes ISIS Caves in Afghanistan,” matched by CNN’s “US Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs.’” The Washington Post chose Syria, where “Errant U.S. Strike Kills 18: Victims in Syria Were Allied Forces.” By mid-afternoon that same day, the Associated Press had shifted to the horn of Africa, where the “U.S. Sends Dozens of Troops to Somalia, 1st Time in Decades.” And as the Friday rush hour ...
READ MORE
Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction
From Libya and Egypt to Syria and Yemen, the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is undergoing unprecedented tumult and chaos. To understand the current breakdown of states and society, examining the so-called Arab Spring of 2011 that laid the groundwork for this ongoing regional anarchy is indispensable. Global Research brings to the attention of its readers the newly released book by Christopher L. Brennan.  Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction (available here), propounds an incisive and timely analysis. The book views this widespread Arab upheaval, not as authentic grass roots movements for democracy, but as a US-engineered destabilization. Below are ...
READ MORE
Donald Trump – A Super Zionist?
What could cause Russia to invade Israel At the time, Israel’s Prime Minister had flown to Washington, and was making a desperate bid to get Obama’s support for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Only a few weeks earlier a discovery had been made that would serve to increase tensions on the question of sovereignty over the Golan – huge oil deposits were found on the Golan Heights, and verified by an Israeli company. Yet, weeks later, Benjamin Netanyahu returned to Israel having failed to secure Obamas support. It wasnt long before the United Nations – including Russia – condemned Israels “occupation” of the ...
READ MORE
Trump Bombs Syria and Obliterates His Anti-Interventionist Promises
On the evening of April 6 the U.S. military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at an airbase in Syria. The bombing was a “response” to the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Assad government, which critics of the American deep state and the US imperial agenda have called a false flag attack. The U.S. assault, which was done without congressional approval, marks a complete reversal of Trump’s campaign trail anti-interventionist claims as well as his condemnation of previous US presidents’—Bush and Obama’s –military actions in countries like Syria and Iraq. As Think Progress reports, this action marks a “dramatic reversal from Trump’s position ...
READ MORE
Persecuted Serbian Orthodox Church: The Islamization of Kosovo
The NATO occupation was seen by Arab/Muslim countries as an opportunity to transform Kosovo-Metohija into a Muslim state. Terry Boyd in the Stars and Stripes article “In Kosovo, Islamic groups work to rebuild country, attract followers,” September 21, 2001, examined how Muslim countries were seeking the Islamization of Kosovo. The US State Department listed Kosovo as having active cells of al-Qaeda, Ossama bin Laden’s terrorist network. Al-Qaeda and Ossama bin Laden were aiding the UCK jihad in Kosovo. Iran was also active in Kosovo and Bosnia. Boyd reported that an Iranian Islamic group offered 120-300 German marks a month for ...
READ MORE
My Grandfather (Jonas Noreika) wasn’t a Nazi-Fighting War Hero — He was a Brutal Collaborator
Eighteen years ago, my dying mother asked me to continue working on a book about her father, Jonas Noreika, a famous Lithuanian World War II hero who fought the Communists. Once an opera singer, my mother had passionately devoted herself to this mission and had even gotten a PhD in literature to improve her literary skills. As a journalist, I agreed. I had no idea I was embarking on a project that would lead to a personal crisis, Holocaust denial and an official cover-up by the Lithuanian government. Growing up in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood — the neighborhood that had the ...
READ MORE
Al Qaeda: The Data Base
Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence. “I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French ...
READ MORE
Potential New EU Member is Jihad’s Trojan Horse
Fourteen people were arrested last Friday in raids in the Austrian capital of Vienna and the city of Graz.A real flag of KosovostanProsecutors said the coordinated action, which involved 800 officers, was part of an ongoing investigation into suspected membership in the terrorist organization ISIS.Police also reportedly raided unofficial mosques where supporters of ISIS, against which the Trump administration has declared war, may have been meeting.Among those arrested, at least four were from the Balkan country of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a former federal unit of Yugoslavia. They are suspected of being part of the so-called Bosnian Network, run by a preacher who received ...
READ MORE
The Disaster That Bill Clinton Created in Bosnia by Backing Muslims Against the Serbs
Two decades later Bosnia is still suffering the consequences. ISIS has declared the Balkans the next front for the Islamic Caliphate, and in remote mountain villages, Muslims are already flying the ISIS flag.Central Bosnia in 2015Russia Insider (h/t Maksim)  The Balkans is the latest arena where the West is trying to circumcise any attempt of Russia to regainits influence. This anti-Serbian resolution and initiative is the part of the broader strategy and the latest Western attempt to demonize Serbs and delegitimize pro-Russian Republic of Srpska (Serbian part of Bosnia) in an effort to forcefully centralize Bosnia and give the driving seat to ...
READ MORE
Western Warmongers Killed 1.5 Million Muslims in “War On Terror”
“I believe the perception caused by civilian casualties is one of the most dangerous enemies we face.” – U.S. General Stanley A. McCrystal in his inaugural speech as ISAF Commander in June 2009. The dust had hardly settled on Russian airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria before Western media reports claimed that ‘civilians’ had been killed “including women and children”. Leaving aside the dubious nature of these allegations – the first of which was made before Russian airstrikes had even begun, according to Putin – Western propaganda outlets and the politicians they serve are in no position to point the finger at Russia ...
READ MORE
The Balkans’ Run-Up to the Catalan Crisis
Kosovo ISIL – A Photo Documentation
“Unlimited Imperialism”: History of American Militarism
Ukraine’s State-Sponsored “Azov Battalion” Expands Use of Nazi-Inspired Symbols
Ukraine: US-installed Fascist Tyranny in Europe’s Heartland
Inside Kosovo’s Islamist Cauldron
“Megali Idea” and Greek Irredentism in the Wars for a Greater Greece, 1912−1923
Understanding the U.S. War State: The New Fundamentalism, “America is God”
Chemical Attack in Idlib – Duplication of Scenario in Eastern Ghouta
Barack Obama: The Nobel Peace Prize Winner Who Bombed Seven Countries
There is no Strategy Behind Trump’s War, Just Brute Force
Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction
Donald Trump – A Super Zionist?
Trump Bombs Syria and Obliterates His Anti-Interventionist Promises
Persecuted Serbian Orthodox Church: The Islamization of Kosovo
My Grandfather (Jonas Noreika) wasn’t a Nazi-Fighting War Hero — He was a Brutal Collaborator
Al Qaeda: The Data Base
Potential New EU Member is Jihad’s Trojan Horse
The Disaster That Bill Clinton Created in Bosnia by Backing Muslims Against the Serbs
Western Warmongers Killed 1.5 Million Muslims in “War On Terror”
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu