Mustafa Kemal ‘Atatürk’ was the consummator of the Greek Genocide. He was born in 1881 at Salonica in Greece (then part of the Ottoman Empire). He attended the Ottoman Military School in Constantinople and graduated in 1905. Around 1908 he joined the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP). Kemal was an officer of the Turkish Army and founded the Turkish Nationalist Movement (the Kemalists) by regrouping the Ottoman Army, Turkish irregulars and the remnants of the CUP. He continued the genocidal policy engineered by the Committee for Union and Progress.
Ottoman Greeks were persecuted throughout Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace under the Kemalists. Between the period 1919-1923 reports from the media, accounts from missionaries, foreign diplomats and survivor testimonies, all describe an organized plan of extermination of Greeks.
On the 6th of August 1921, the Maryborough Chronicle of Queensland published an article titled “Reign of Terror by Kemalists–Massacre of Greek Subjects” referring to the Kemalists rounding up Greeks in Trebizond and putting them to death.1
On the 23rd of March 1921, The Examiner of Launceston reported: “Concentration of Kemalists–Terrible Massacres of Christians”, referring to a terrible 3-day massacre of Christians in Caesarea in the interior of Turkey.2
On the 14th of June 1922, a New York Times article subtitled “Kemalist Troops Employed in Systematic Campaign of Murder and Starvation” reported on the massacre of 15,000 Greek men, women and children in the district of Rhodopolis. The report also described how the Greeks from the town of Geronta (today Didyma) had been deported to the interior toward Mugla, a distance some 132km away. Dr Dalalio, an Italian physician of the Red Cross, personally witnessed atrocities by Kemalists in the town of Macri (today Fethiye) with his own eyes and the deportation of all males from the ages of 12-85 to Funjah and Malatia.3
The Armenian-Greek Section was a series of 87 meetings conducted by the British High Commission in Constantinople during the period February 1919 to November 1922. On the meeting of the 29th of September 1920, it was reported that a large band of Nationalists led by a certain Djemal, surrounded the Greek quarter of Iznik (Nicaea), seized the entire population numbering about 600, and afterwards massacred them. No survivors had been found.4
On the 5th of July 1920, 120 Kemalists and 600 Turks surrounded and pillaged the four villages at Foundouklia near Ada Bazar. They collected 7800 sheep and all cattle belonging to Christians. The men were shut up in a church and the women exiled. The men were then ordered to come out in fives and were shot. Of the population of 3400, 400 men were murdered and 30 of the women were exiled. The rest of the population fled to the mountains.5
Apart from ravaging Greeks in villages and towns en masse, Mustafa Kemal also established special tribunals or courts of independence to sentence to death hundreds of influential Greeks – usually by hanging – including publishers, mayors of towns and villages and previous members of the Ottoman government. Through these courts, Greek intellectuals and the political elite throughout Asia Minor were killed in a matter of months. In the Pontus region alone 60 people per day were hanged during the month of September 1921.6