GREEK BARBARISM - Part 1 - Greek Atrocities and Massacres of Turks During the Greek Rebellion, 1821-1822
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rich murphy
2009-07-25 15:25:18 UTC


Part 1 - Greek Atrocities and Massacres of Turks During the Greek
Rebellion, 1821-1822

How the Greek Rebellion Began

When Sultan Mahmut II, who was a patient and determined ruler, tried
to strengthened the weakening Ottoman Empire with reform, he fell out
with Ali Pasha of Tepedelen, the governor of Jannina. When the
governor revolted against the Sultan in 1820, his action inspired the
Greek revolutionaries to rise up to benefit from the rift among the
Turkish rulers.9,24 The Greeks began their rebellion in the
Peloponnese on 6 April 1821 (by the Gregorian calendar-25 March by the
Julian calendar) with the slogan: "Not a Turk shall remain in the
Morea", which inspired indiscriminate and murderous action against all
Muslims.16 Upon hearing the news of the rebellion, some Greeks in the
cities began killing their Turkish neighbours and setting fire to
their property.13, According to the British writer William St. Clair,
"The savage passion for revenge soon degenerated into a frenzied
delight in killing and horror for their own sakes". Another British
writer, David Howarth, observes that the Greeks did not need any
reason for these murders, "Once they had started…they killed because a
mad blood-lust had come upon them all, and everyone was killing".

Massacres of the Turks

It is estimated that more than 50,000 Muslims , including women and
children, lived in the Peloponnese in March 1821. A month later, when
the Greeks were celebrating Easter, there was hardly anyone left. The
few who managed to escape to fortified cities were suffering from
starvation. Everywhere the unburied bodies of murdered Turks were
rotting. According to William St. Clair:

"The Turks of Greece left few traces. They disappeared suddenly and
finally in the spring of 1821, unmourned and unnoticed by the rest of
the world…Upwards of 20,000 Turkish men, women and children were
murdered by their Greek neighbours in a few weeks of slaughter. They
were killed deliberately, without qualm and scruple…Turkish families
living in single farms or small isolated communities were summarily
put to death, and their homes burnt down over their corpses. Others,
when the disturbances began, abondened home to seek the security of
the nearest town, but the defenceless streams of refugees were
overwhelmed by bands of armed Greeks. In the smaller towns, the
Turkish communities barricaded their houses and attempted to defend
themselves as best as they could, but few survived. In some places,
they were driven by hunger to surrender to their attackers on
receiving promises of security, but these were seldom honoured. The
men were killed at once, and the women and children divided out as
slaves usually to be killed in their turn later. All over the
Pelopennese roamed mobs of Greeks armed with clubs, scythes, and a few
firearms, killing, plundering and burning. They were often led by
Christian priests, who exhorted them to greater efforts in their holy

According to Steven Runciman, author of a history of the Greek
Orthodox Church, "The great fathers of the Church, such as Basil,
would have been horrified by the gallant[!] Pelopennesian bishops who
raised the standard of revolt in 1821".23 This was not a war of Greek
independence or liberation, but a war of extermination against the
Turks and other Muslims, and the main instigators of it were the Greek
Orthodox Christian clerics.

In 1861, the historian George Finlay wrote:

"In the month of April 1821, a Muslim population amounting to upwards
of 20,000 souls, was living, dispersed in Greece, employed in
agriculture. Before two months had elapsed, the greater part was slain-
men, women and children were murdered without mercy or remorse…The
crime was a nation’s crime, and whatever perturbations it may produce
must be in a nation’s conscience, as the deeds by which it can be
expiated must be the acts of a nation."12

According to the historian C.M. Woodhouse, the entire Turkish
population of cities and towns were collected and marched out to
convenient places in the countryside where they were slaughtered.30 In
Greek Orthodox Romania also, the leader of the Greek rebellion,
Alexander Ypsilanti, and his supporters took the towns of Galatz and
Yassy. The Turks were surprised and massacred in cold blood.10,22

Turks Burnt Alive

In April 1821, the Greek residents of the islands of Hydra, Spetsa and
Psara joined the rebels. They attacked ships carrying the Ottoman
flag, capturing crew members and killing them or throwing them into
the sea. They also captured and killed many Muslim pilgrims on their
way to Mecca. According to British writers such as St. Clair, Howarth
and William Miller, the Greek rebels captured 57 crew members of a
Turkish vessel, took them to the island of Hydra amidst shrieks of
triumph and there, on the coast, they roasted them alive on a fire.

Many Greeks in Thessaly, Macedonia and Halkidiki, too, joined the
rebels and began to attack the Turks without mercy. The Greek peasants
who remorselessly killed their Turkish neighbours saw the rebellion as
a war of religious extermination, and for the most part, the bishops
and priest who led them, shared this view.24

Massacres of Monemvasia and Navarino

The Muslims of the small town of Monemvasia, besieged by the Greek
rebels, decided in August 1821 to surrender as they no longer endure
the prevelant hunger and disease. Nevertheless, the rebels slaughtered
them all barbarously. These events were hailed in Western Europe as "a
victory of liberalism and Christianity".27 A few days later the same
fate befell the Muslims of Navarino. Between 2,000 and 3,000 Muslim
residents were cruelly massacred. Turkish women were stripped and
searched for valuables. Naked women were plunged into the sea and were
shot in the water: children were thrown in to drown and babies were
taken from their mothers and beaten against rocks.12,15,21,24 Muslim
girls and boys, who were kept alive, half naked and in fear, were
offered for sale as prostitutes. Some of them lost their minds and
roamed round the ruins.

Meanwhile, some Greeks in Navarino were proudly relating the terrible
massacres that had taken place there. One of them boasted that he had
killed eighteen Turks; another one was relating how he had stabbed to
death nine women and children in their beds.6 These merciless killers
were proudly showing to the European volunteers, who had come to help
the Hellenic cause, the corpses of the Muslim women whom they had
raped, carved up and then thrown over the fortifications some time

But these terrible scenes did not impress the volunteers. On the
contrary, they schocked and disgusted them. A German volunteer, Franz
Lieber, describes how the volunteers felt hatred and disgust towards
the Greek rebels, who were calling upon them to rape women after they
themselves had already sexually assaulted them.18

Tripolitsa Massacre

In the town of Tripolitsa, where the Turkish governor resided, and
which consisted of a population of 35,000 Turks, Albanians, Jews and
others, the rebels committed a massacre on 5 October 1821. It lasted
for three days and claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people. Most
of the corpses were decapitated and carved up.7,15,19,21 According to
the historian William Phillips:

"In Tripolitsa for three days the miserable [Turkish] inhabitants were
given over to the lust and cruelty of a mob of savages. Neither sex
nor age was spared. Women and children were tortured before being put
to death. So great was the slaughter that [guerilla leader]
Kolokotronis himself says that, when he entered the town, from the
gate of the citadel, his horse’s hoofs never touched the ground. His
path of triumph was carpeted with corpses. At the end of two days, the
wretched remnant of Mussulmans were deliberately collected to the
number of some 2,000 souls, of every age and sex, but principally
women and children, were led out to a ravine in the neighbouring
mountains, and there butchered like cattle."20,22

According to St. Clair, Howarth and British Colonial and Foreign
Office documents, these unfortunate people were slowly burnt to death
after their arms and legs were chopped off. Pregnant women were
subjected to all kinds of indignities. About 2,000 captives,
consisting of mostly women, were stripped naked; driven to a plain
outside the town and then killed. After this atrocity, many starving
Muslim children ran from place to place, only to be shot dead by the
Greek rebels, who were elated and with their mouths foaming.5,24 The
chief Greek brigand, Theodoros Kolokotronis, who occupies pride of
place in the Greek pantheon of heroes, took part in these massacres
and pillages with relish.4

A Prussian officer described the incidents that took place after the
capture of Tripolitsa by the rebels, as follows:

"A young Turkish girl, as beautiful as Helen, the queen of Troy, was
shot and killed by the male cousin of Kolokotronis; a Turkish boy,
with a noose around his neck, was paraded in the streets; was thrown
into a ditch; was stoned, stabbed and then, while he was still alive,
was tied to a wooden plank and burnt on fire; three Turkish children
were slowly roasted on fire in front of the very eyes of their
parents. While all these nasty incidents were taking place, the leader
of the rebellion Ypsilantis remained as a spectator and tried to
justify the actions of the rebels as, 'we are at war; anything can
happen'." 24

European officers, including Colonel Thomas Gordon, who happened to be
at Tripolitsa during the massacre, witnessed the hair-raising
incidents there, and some of them later recalled these events in all
their ugliness. Colonel Gordon became so disgusted with the Greek
barbarities that he resigned from the service of the Greeks. A young
German philhellene doctor, Wilhelm Boldemann, who could not bear to
witness these scenes, committed suicide by taking poison. Some of the
other European philhellenes who were extremely disillusioned, followed

Acrocorinth Massacre

Towards the end of January 1822, more than 1,500 Turks and other
Muslims at Acrocorinth agreed to surrender to the rebels, provided
that they could keep enough money to hire neutral vessels for their
journey to Asia Minor. But, while they were waiting for ships to
arrive, rebels under the leadership of Kolokotronis and others killed
them.7 These bloody incidents were later related by a German officer
as follows:17

"[The Greek rebels] spared the lives of beautiful Muslim women, but
sold them as slaves. The proceeds from these sales went to augment the
pockets of rebel leaders such as Mavrokordatos. Mavrakordatos sold the
women to the captain of a British ship."

An Italian volunteer named Brengeri, on a road to Corinth, found the
dead body of a Turk, and further on, he found his wife and baby, still
alive but very hungry. He and his friends gave her a few coins, in the
hope that she would be able to feed herself and the baby a little
longer. Before they had gone a few metres, they heard two shots. Some
Greeks had killed her and the baby, and taken the coins.15 Brengeri
later saw some Greeks killing a Turkish family, a man, his wife and
two children. Before they killed the mother they tore off her veil to
see what she looked like, and at that moment Brengeri rushed up and
begged them to spare her. They asked for 50 piastres, which he gave
them, and so he saved her.15 At Acrocorinth, following the Turkish
capitulation, a Turkish couple, too starved and exhausted to carry
their child any further, tried to hand it to a Greek. He immediastely
drew a long knife and cut off his head, explaining, as a German
officer was trying to prevent him, that it was best to prevent the
Turks from growing up.24

Up to the summer of 1822, the Greek rebellion had cost the lives of
more than 50,000 Turks, Greeks, Albanians, Jews and others. Many more
were forced to live in slavery and deprevation. Compared to this, very
few people died during direct and mutual confrontations. This so-
called Greek war of independence hitherto was hardly a war at all in
the conventional sense, but mostly a series of opportunist massacres.

Massacres of Athens and Acropolis

Muslims besieged in the Acropolis area of Athens for a long time,
suffering from thirst, surrendered on 21 June 1822, accepting the
promise of bishops, priests and rebel leaders, that they would not be
killed. However, with the exception of a few saved with great
difficulty by foreign consuls, they were all killed. At the same time
400 defenceless Muslims in Athens were carved to pieces in the streets.

When the Greek rebels were attacking Modon, they caught a Turk outside
the city walls. They decapitated him, put his head on on a pike and
took it to Navarino where they kicked it about as if it was a football.
25 According to the statements of British sailors, the rebels used to
torture the Turks they captured on the high seas. Anemat, a Dutchman,
relates how the rebels revived the Turkish sailors whom they had
captured unconscious and then tortured them to death and tore them to
pieces. The Dutch described the Greeks as "cowards and barbarians".14

Dervenaki Massacre

When the Turkish army appeared before Corinth in the summer of 1822,
the so-called "Greek government", which was established at Argos,
tried to retreat to the coast and from there to escape on ships.
Thousands of Greeks in the Argos plain were following suit, whilst the
Greek brigands of Mainotis were trying to rob their own people before
escaping. Soon the Turkish army ran out of provisions and munitions
and tried to withdraw to Corinth. But as the mountain passes were
under the control of Kolokotronis' marauders, thousands of Turks were
massacred at the Dervenaki pass. Had the rebels not wasted time in
robbing the dead bodies, the whole Ottoman army would have been routed
there and then. Many years later, travellers touring the area used to
come across heaps of bones of massacred Turks.7,24

Nauplia Massacre

In December 1822, it was the turn of Nauplia town. In the streets of
that town, which the rebels besieged for a long time, people
frequently came across the dead bodies of children who had died of
starvation. Emaciated women tried to scavege for food in filthy
drains. Accordind to a German officer, Kotsch, one of the European
volunteers who happened to be at Nauplia during the incidents, a Greek
Orthodox priest who was suspected of establishing relations with the
Turks had his fingers scalded by Greeks with hot water and his nails
burnt. He was then buried in the ground up to his neck and his face
was brushed with syrup so that flies would attack him. It took him six
days to die in agony. Rebels captured a Jew trying to escape from the
town, stripped him and cut off his genitals, before leading him around
the town and then hanging him.24

When the town of Nauplia surrendered to the rebels on 12 December,
they committed a terrible massacre, after which the rebels piled up
the victims' heads in the form of a pyramid. Commodore Hamilton,
arriving in port on the British warship HMS Cambrian, was instrumental
in saving some of the Muslim and Jewish residents of the town from
certain death.15,24 During the ransack of the town, the lion's share
went to the Greek rebels. The rebels gave the European officers two or
three Turkish girls as booty. They took them to Athens where they sold
them to consuls, who transferred them to Anatolia and thus saved their

One hundred and fifty Albanians who were returning to their home
country on a Turkish ship that ran aground just outside Missolonghi,
surrendered to the rebels following promises of safety given to them
by Mavrokordatos only to be killled after being robbed.

Murder of European Grecophile Volunteers

The Greek rebels went so far in their barbarities as to murder some of
their foreign supporters, including many of whom that had come from
Europe to help them. After the rebels captured the town of Nauplia,
some Greeks led their foreign supporters into a sauna bath in the town
and disposed of them. The Greek owner of the sauna persuaded the
foreigners to take off their clothes so that when he murdered them
their clothes and boots would not be bloodstained. He would then be
able to sell them. Of course, the naive volunteers did not suspect
what would befall them.11

The orgy of genocide in the Peloponnese ended only when there were no
more Turks to kill. The philhellene volunteers who went to help the
Greeks and began to return to their homelands in 1822 and 1823, could
not save themselves from the nightmares of those terrible days. They
were expecting many good things from the Greeks, but instead they were
flabbergasted. They began to hate the Greeks for deceiving them.
8,24,28,29 Despite pressure from Greek societiesin Europe, they began
to put pen to paper about their own experiences. The following
sentiment is typical of what they wrote:

"I am writing this so that others will not make the same mistakes that
I have made. Modern Greece is not like old Greece. The Greeks are a
wicked and barbaric race who have no gratitude"24

Greek Disinformation

Meanwhile , there were stirrings in Crete, Cyprus, Samos, Samothrace,
Thessaly, Macedonia and Epirus. The hellenophiles and propagandists
portrayed to the West the Ottoman's strong measures as "Turkish
barbarity against the Christian people"26 The West, which closed its
eyes and ears to the extermination of the Turks in Greece, began to
raise its voice against the Ottoman reaction. The following leaflet
distributed in August 1821 in Hamburg is very instructive:

"Invitation to the youth of Germany. The struggle for religion, life
and independence is calling us to arms; humanity and duty are calling
us to the aid of the noble Greeks, who are our brothers. We must
sacrifice our blood and our life for the sacred cause. The end of
Muslim rule in Europe is approaching. The most beautiful land of
Europe must be saved from the monsters! Let us join the struggle with
all our strength...God is with us, because this is a sacred cause-it
is a cause of humanity-it is a struggle for religion, life and

The returning Western volunteers who witnessed the bloody events in
the Peloponnese became the antodote for this hellenophile and Greek
propaganda. Several French officers who returned from Greece to
Marseilles in April 1822 described the Greeks as, "Vile, cowardly and
ungrateful".24 A Prussian officer who had witnessed the Corinth
massacres appealed to new volunteers on the point of departue:

"There [in Greece] you will find only misery, death and ingratitude.
Don't believe what they tell you in Germany or Switzerland; believe
what an old soldier is saying"

Another Prussian officer wrote the following:

"The Ancient Greeks no longer exist. The place of Solon, Socrates and
Demosthenes has been taken by blind ignorance. The logical laws of
Athens have been replaced by barbarism...The Greeks do not fulfil the
attractive promises they make to the foreigners through the Press". 3

Establishment of a Greek State

During the Greek rebellion the British, French and Russian governments
were clandestinely helping the rebels. These governments did not raise
any objection to the dispatch of money, weapons and fighters to the
rebels, and did their utmost to help them through their own secret
agents. By contrast, the Reverend John Hartle, who was in Greece in
1826, wrote in his book Researches in Greece and the Levant (London,
1831) that the Turks suffered terrible things at Greek hands because
they refused to become Christians.

When, in 1825, fortunes changed, and the army of Ibrahim Pasha, the
son of Mehmet Ali Pasha, the governor of Egypt, began to reconquer the
Peloponnese, all the Greek rebels who surrendered were spared. In
April 1826, when the Turks recaptured Tripolitsa, Argos, Kalamata and
Missolonghi, all Europe rose in outcry against them.

On 4 April 1826, England and Russia signed a protocol in St.
Petersburg, agreeing to mediate between Turks and the Greeks. France
later joined this initiative. Following the intervention of Grecophile
states of England, France and Russia, in accordance with the London
Agreement of 6 July 1827, and their navies' complete rout of the
Ottoman navy at Navarino on 20 October of the same year, a protocol
was signed in London in February 1830. The protocol specified the
frontiers of an independent Greece, guaranteed by Britain, France and
Russia, the protecting powers. A year later the Greek state was
established. In 1832, this state offered the crown to the son of the
king of Bavaria, Prince Otto. The resulting Greek kingdom, taking its
inspiration from the Megali Idea (Great Idea), the driving force of
Greek imperialism, began to follow a policy of aggrandisement, first
against the Ottoman Empire and later against the Republic of Turkey.

(Britain and France who were clandestinely helping the Greek rebels
massacring tens of thousands of Turks in 1821-1822 and helped
establish the Greek state, also helped Greece, together with Italy and
United States of America, to occupy Izmir and Western Anatolia
committing similar massacres, atrocities agaimnst the Turks, and to a
lesser degree to Jews and other non-Greek communities during May-
September 1919 and until September 1922. See article titled "Greek
Occupation of Izmir and Adjoining Territories". - Ed.)


1 - Barth Wilhelm and Kehrig-Korn Max, Die Philhellenezeit, Munich

2 - Bees N, Documents Relating to the Siege and Capture of Tripolitsa,
1821, Armonia, 1901

3 - Bolmann L de, Remarques Sur L'etat Moral, Politique Et Militaire
De La Grece, Marseilles, 1823

4 - Brengeri, Adventures of a Foreigner in Greece, London Magazine,
II. 1827

5 - British Colonial Office documents. CO 136/1085

6 - Byern E.V., Bilder Aus Griechland Und Der Levant, Berlin 1833

7 - Dakin Douglas, The Greek Struggle for Independence, 1821-1833,
London 1973

8 - Dakin Douglas, The Origin of the Greek Revolution, History 1952

9 - Dakin Douglas, Unification of Greece, 1770-1923, London 1972

10 - Finlay George, A History of The Greece, Oxford 1877

11 - Finlay George, An Adventure during the Greek Revolution,
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 1842

12 - Finlay George, History of The Greek Revolution, Edinburgh 1861

13 - Frazee A. Charles, The Orthodox Church and Independent Greece,
1821-51, Cambridge 1869

14 - Hastings Diary, 6 July 1822, Hastings Papers, British School at

15 - Howarth David, The Greek Adventure-Lord Byron and Other
Eccentrics in the War of Independence,

London 1976

16 - Kinross Lord, The Ottoman Centuries-The Rise and Fall of The
Ottoman Empire, London 1977

17 - Le Febre W. de, Relations De Divers Faits De La Guerre De Grece,
Marseilles 1822

18 - Lieber Franz, Tagebuch Meines Aufenthaltes in Griechenland,
Leipzig 1823

19 - Mansel Philip, Constantinople, City of The World’s Desire,
1453-1924, London 1995

20 - McCarthy Justin, Death and Exile, The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman
Muslims, 1821-1922, Princetown,

New Jersey, 1996

21 - Miller William, The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors, 1810-1927,
4 vols, London 1966

22 - Phillips W. Allison, The War of Greek Independence, 1821 to 1833,
New York 1897

23 - Runciman Steven, The Greek Church in Captivity, Cambridge 1968

24 - St. Clair William, That Greece Might Still be Free-the
Philhellenes in the War of Independence, London


25 - Stabell Johann H., Schicksale eines danischen Philhellenen,
Leipzig 1824

26 - The Examiner, 1821, pp 372, 456, 631 and 689

27 - The Examiner, 1831, 2/632, quoted in St. Clair

28 - Thomas Gordon, History of The Greek Revolution, 2 vols, Edinburgh
and London 1832

29 - Walsh Robert, Residence in Constantinople during the Greek and
Turkish Revolution, 2 vols. London


30 - Woodhouse C.B., The Greek War of Independence: Its Historical
Setting, London 1952

This article is taken from a study titled "The Turco-Greek Imbroglio
Pan-Hellenism and The Destruction of Anatolia" by Prof. Dr. Salahi R.
Sonyel and published by the Centre for Strategic Research in Ankara,
July 1999 (SAM Papers, No. 5/99).

Part 2 - Greek Atrocities and Massacres of Turks During Greek
Occupation of Izmir and Adjoining Territories, 1919

Report of the Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry (May-September 1919)


The Greek Army started occupying Western Anatolia on 15 May 1919, in
the aftermath of the World War I and under the sanction of the Council
of the Paris Peace Conference. Although the initial instructions of
the Council restricted the occupation zone to the borders of Izmir
province, the Greek Army started to advance into Anatolia from the
first day of their landing in Izmir.

During the incursion of the Greek occupation forces, Greek soldiers
and local Greeks committed atrocities against, not only Turkish
population, but also all of the non-Greek communities that had been
living peacefully in the region for centuries. These atrocities
included massacre, pillage, rape and the destruction of towns and

The severity of the incidents and the reactions of the Turkish and
Western witnesses forced the Paris Peace Conference to establish a
commission to investigate the claims against the Greek forces. The
Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry into the Greek Occupation of Smyrna
(Izmir) and the Adjoining Territories conducted an investigation in
the region between 12 August and 15 October 1919. The Commission
visited the towns and villages where atrocities were committed,
listened to witnesses from all communities, collected evidence and
prepared a report.

All the events mentioned in this study are based on the official
reports of European and American representatives in the region and the
Turkish authorities. This study makes extensive use of official
sources, such as documents on British foreign policy and papers
relating to the foreign relations of the United States. Furthermore,
this study uses books and articles in English and Turkish that are the
products of intensive archival research and of academic value.

World War I Secret Treaties for the Partition of Turkiye

During the course of the World War I, the Allies concluded a number of
secret treaties intended to shape the post-war world and, more
significantly, to share out their possible territorial gains. Five of
these treaties were related to the partition of the Ottoman Empire.
Three of them concerned the rules and regulations governing the
Turkish Straits and the division of various territories. Two of them,
the Treaty of London and the Treaty of St. Jean de Maurienne, were
exclusively dedicated to the partition of the western districts of
Asia Minor.

Britain and France paid a high tribute to Italy for her services to
the Entente with the Treaty of London on 26 April 1915. According to
the secret clauses of the Treaty, Italy would gain full possession of
the Dodecanese, which she had held since the Italo-Turkish War of
1911-1912. Italy would also gain rights in Antalya province on the
Asia Minor littoral. Italy’s territory in Asia Minor, centred on
Antalya and its hinterland, was to be proportional to that of the
other Allied Powers. This zone was to be established in conformity
with the vital interests of France and Britain. However, if France,
Britain and Russia should occupy certain districts of Asiatic Turkiye
during the course of the war, then the territory adjoining Antalya was
to be left to Italy, which reserved the right of occupation.6

Italy had planned to enlarge her proposed share in Asia Minor, but
Britain had already prevented further Italian demands by making
previous commitments to Greece.

Greece, after gaining her independence in 1829, expanded her territory
three times against the Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century
and the first thirteen years of the twentieth century. She was
enthusiastic about taking part in the final apportionment of ‘the sick
man of Europe’. As the traditional Megali Idea (Great Idea), a policy
committed to creating a larger Greece by including practically all of
the regions in which ‘the influence of Hellenism has been paramount
throughout the ages’, became increasingly popular, the Greek Prime
Minister Venizelos, sought to fulfil the demands of his country by
claiming the lands of ‘ancient Greek heritage’ on the opposite side of
the Aegean.

On one hand, Venizelos was following closely the Italian’s
expansionist aspiration for Asia Minor, and on the other hand, he was
trying to contact the Allies so Greece could participate in the
partition plans. Venizelos had an interview with Sir Francis Elliot,
the British minister plenipotentiary in Athens, on 9 January 1915, on
the subject of sending Greek troops to the assistance of Serbia. In
this interview, after pointing out the difficulty of persuading the
public, Venizelos mentioned his country’s prospects of brilliant
territorial gains.10

A fortnight later, on 23 January 1915, the British Government offered
Greece large concessions on the coast of Asia Minor as an inducement
to enter into war on the side of the Allies. Venizelos welcomed this
lucrative business with eagerness.7

During the war, Lord Balfour, Foreign Secretary of Britain had long
conversations with Imperiali, the Italian Diplomatic representative to
London, hoping to settle the pressing Italian claims. Italy demanded
the addition of Mersin and Adana to her planned territory in Asia
Minor, but France refused this concession. After this disappointment,
Italy began to sound out the Allies on getting Izmir added to its
assignment of Anatolian territory. Britain strongly rejected such a
demand because Izmir could still be offered to Greece as an inducement
for her entrance into the War.

The secret Treaty of St. Jean de Maurienne signed on 19 April 1917
rewarded the Italian demands. By the terms of this Treaty, Italy
recognised the claims of Britain and France to Mesopotamia, and
obtained some further concessions for herself in Asia Minor, in the
Antalya and Izmir regions. Since Britain and France did not abandon
the idea of drawing Greece into the War, Italy’s satisfaction would be
only temporary.6

Greece declared war on the Central Powers on 30 June 1917. Although
Greek participation in the War did not provide a momentous
contribution to the Allies’ victory, as soon as the War ended,
Venizelos claimed the territory promised by the British.

Greek Policy after the Mudros Armistice

The Ottoman and British officials signed an armistice at Mudros on 30
October 1918, putting an end to the state of war between the Ottoman
Empire and the Allies.

In November 1918, immediately after the conclusion of the Armistice,
Venizelos went to Paris to present Greece’s territorial claims to the
Peace Conference convened by the Allies to prepare draft peace
treaties with the defeated powers. Venizelos reasserted Greece’s
claims to all of Western Anatolia, from opposite Rhodes to the Sea of
Marmara, in a letter and memorandum addressed to the British Prime
Minister, Lloyd George.10

When the Paris Peace Conference was convened in January 1919, it
appeared that all the Allied Powers agreed that the Ottoman Empire was
to be divided into separate elements.6 This was a great opportunity
for legitimising Greece’s demands. As a matter of fact, between 3 and
4 February 1919, Venizelos, in a lengthy exposition at the Supreme
Council of the Peace Conference, presented the case for the
reconstitution of Hellas and the unification of all the Greek-speaking
peoples under one flag. According to Venizelos, this claim was based
on Point Twelve of the Wilson Principles and on the right of self-
determination. He called for the cession to Greece of Northern Epirus,
the islands in the Aegean, all of Thrace and mostly radically, Western

To Lloyd George, who considered Venizelos to be "the greatest
statesman Greece had thrown up since the days of Pericles", such
demands seemed both fair and expedient. The Greeks could serve
Britain’s interests by replacing the Turks as the protectors of
imperial communication lines with India.7

Despite Lloyd George’s strong desire to recompense Greece urgently,
the Supreme Council decided that the matter should be submitted to a
Commission of Greek Claims, composed of the representatives of
Britain, France, Italy and the United States. The Commission completed
its work on 6 March 1919. It accepted the basic principles of the
Greek case with modifications, but with the important reservations of
certain members. There was a lot of difficulty concerning Western
Anatolia because of the Allies’ prior commitments in the secret
treaties made during the War. The American representative was opposed
to the cession of Western Anatolia to the Greeks on general
principles. In addition the American representative stated to the
Commission that his country was free of the secret treaties’
obligations and could not take them into consideration in the
settlement of the question. Both the American and Italian members were
opposed to the approval of the Commission report when it was submitted
to the Central Committee on Territorial Questions on 7 March 1919.3

The Landing of Greek Troops in Izmir

The subject of partition of Ottoman territory caused a deep
confrontation between Italy and her allies at the Paris Peace
Conference. Italy became particularly angry about the possibility of
Greek occupation of Western Anatolia. The Italian delegation left the
Conference on 24 April in protest and did not return to Paris until 5
May. Although the Italians engaged in an unprecedented operation and
sent a warship to Izmir on 30 April to prevent Greek occupation, the
absence of the Italian delegation from the Conference facilitated the
hard work of Lloyd George to persuade France and the United States in
Greece’s favour.11

As a result of British diplomacy, Greek forces were authorised on 6
May to land on Turkish territory. There were three reasons for
allowing Greece to occupy Izmir.

The first reason was to reward Greece for her participation in the
War, as previously promised. However, to obtain the approval of the
Allies other than Britain, they needed to be persuaded that the
majority of the population of the aforementioned region was Greek. As
early as February 1919, Venizelos presented to the Paris Conference
some statistics about the Greeks inhabiting Western Anatolia, mostly
inflated and manipulated by the Greek Patriarchate. Relying on these
statistics he claimed that the total population of Greeks in Western
Asia Minor, including Aydin and Bursa were 1,080,000, while in the
same territory the Turkish population was only 943,000.14 However,
these statistics were far from reality. Even the actual statistics of
the Greek Patriarchate were different from those, which were presented
to the Conference. According to the statistics of the Greek
Patriarchate which were [published in London in 1918, the total number
of Greeks in Western Anatolia, including Aydin, Bursa and Biga was
934,061.9 On the other hand, according to the Turkish Official
Statistics of 1910, which is the only reliable source still being
cited by serious researchers, the Greek population of the region was
clearly fewer than the Turkish population. The total Greek population
in the provinces of Aydin, Bursa and Biga was 511,544, while the
Muslim (Turkish) population of the same provinces was 3,170,705.9 H.O
Whittal, a British businessman resident in Izmir, wrote to the British
Chamber of Commerce of Izmir, in February 1919, observing that the
Greeks had put forward "most exaggerated" estimates of their number in
that province, whereas the majority of the population was Turkish,

"Unfortunately, as far as concerns the Greeks of this country, they
all join their idea of liberty with the idea of becoming masters where
they were servants of the Turks, and proclaiming and enforcing the
fact by trampling upon their former masters…Even if justice is evenly
handed, they would trample on their [the Turks’] feelings, their
customs, their usage in such ways as to amount to brutal treatment
which would not be brought under the terms of the law…"

The British High Commissioner in Istanbul, Admiral Calthorpe, when
submitting this letter to the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James
Balfour, added the following comments:

"I most unhesitatingly and unreservedly endorse all of Mr. Whittal’s
observations…I fear that they [the Greeks] have taken advantage of
this act of benevolent justice to exploit and tyrannise their Moslem
neighbours. No more striking example could be imagined than the utter
intolerance and overbearing nature of the Greeks…Thus there are no
guarantees for the future and there is everything to fear from the
experience of the past."

The second reason was base on humanitarian concerns. Ostensibly, the
Greek army would occupy the city and province of Izmir to stop Turkish
atrocities against the Greek population in that city and the
surroundings. Venizelos reported to the Conference, 12 April, one
month before the decision for occupation, "Some serious troubles had
been occurring in Izmir and Aydin." He claimed, "Turks had committed
some crimes against the Greeks in those regions" and emphasised his,
"Concern for the furtherance of such atrocities."6

Lloyd George and the French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau strongly
supported these accusations, despite the lack of convincing evidence
in order to justify occupation. On 2 May, Lloyd George presented to
the Council of Four, the executive organ of the Peace Conference, a
document supporting the Greek cause and purporting to be from a Greek
Committee in Athens. This document appeared to confirm the existence
of atrocities committed by Turkish soldiers on the basis of official
messages signed by the Turkish military officers ordering the Turks to
exterminate the Greeks (These documents were proven as forgeries by
the Commission of Inquiry. Point No.1 of Document 3, dated 7 October
1919, states that "These documents are undoubtedly forgeries"). On 12
May, Clemenceau once more emphasised the importance of stopping the
Turks’ atrocities and Lloyd George repeated his previous allegations.

The third and main reason was to prevent the Italian operations in
Western Anatolia. Britain and France were against comprehensive
Italian expansion despite the fact that some parts of the region had
been promised to Italy in secret treaties during the War. In Lloyd
George’s words, "Any day it might be found that Italy had captured
Anatolia and it would be difficult to get them out of there once they
had occupied it."11

When Lloyd George informed Clemenceau and Wilson on May 6 that the
Italians had completed their preparations for a landing in Izmir, the
French and American presidents demonstrated their strong opposition
and gave their approval for a Greek operation.

Having obtained the authorisation of the Paris Peace Conference, the
Greek troops left the Port of Eleftheron in Greece on 13 May 1919.
Fulfilling the directives of Admiral Calthrope, the highest-ranking
British naval officer in the region, the Greek military fleet anchored
at the island of Lesbos on 14 May to review the final details of the
landing. On the same day at nine o'clock Admiral Calthrope informed
Ali Nadir Pasha, the commander of the Turkish forces in Izmir, that
the fortified positions of Izmir would be occupied by the Allied
forces according to the clauses of Article VII of the Armistice.
Admiral Calthrope did not mention the Greek troops in his first note
to Ali Nadir Pasha.5

During the night of 14-15 May, Greek troops disembarked at Izmir under
the protection of British, French and Greek warships. On 15 May at 11
o’clock, the Greek troops began to march to the Turkish barracks. At
the head of the troops, native Greeks carried a large Greek flag and
surrounded and preceded the troops in a compact body, shouting "Zito
Venizelos" (Long live Venizelos) and applauded frantically.5

During this march, a shot went off and killed a Greek soldier.
Although the Turkish officers announced that the shot was a personal
act and could have been fired by a demonstrator, the Greek troops
immediately took up their positions against the Turkish barracks and
opened steady fire. A light machine gun also took part in this

As time passed, the landing turned into a general slaughter of the
Turkish population. Besides Greek troops, the civilian Greeks roamed
the streets and began looting and killing.12 Greek soldiers occupying
the Governor’s Hall and the Turkish barracks plundered whatever they
found, even snuffboxes and pocket-books. The Greek officers did not
try to prevent these abuses, but on the contrary, their attitudes and
gestures excited them.5 During the pillage, money was stolen to the
value of 23,143,690 piastres, which was then equivalent to 5,250,000
French francs.5

Unfortunately, the first day of the Greek occupation was not only
consisted of robbery, burglary and plunder. According to Allied
sources, the Greek occupation forces and civilian Greeks killed 300 to
400 Turks on 15 May 1919. More than 2,500 Turks, some even as young as
14 years of age, were subjected to arbitrary detention. The Turkish
population was subjected repeatedly to rape, beating, insults and

An Italian naval officer on the warship Duilio, which was anchored in
Izmir bay on 15 May, communicated his observations during the Greek
landing to the Italian Chief Commander of the Navy as follows:

Greek troops which were brought by seven ships started to land in
Smyrna (Izmir) in the morning of 15 May at 9.30. As directed by the
British Admiral (Calthrope) one night before, no one from the Turkish
population tried to oppose or resist the occupation. The occupation
started as local Greeks saluted the Greek forces with joyful
demonstrations. After being sanctified by the Greek Metropolitan
(Chyrysostomos), troops began to march to the Turkish quarters of
town, accompanied by victorious songs and applause. Then a firearm was
shot. Recovering from the initial panic, the Greek soldiers started to
attack Turks, beastly and wildly. A wounded Turkish colonel was
transferred to the Duilio. After the first treatment he was sent to
the Italian hospital in the town. During the incidents of the first
day of the occupation more than 400 Turks were killed or wounded.1

The officers of the Allied Powers did not stop the Greek army's
atrocities against the Turks in Izmir. Moreover, the Allied military
authorities condoned the advance of Greek troops into the interior of
the country.

Enlargement of the Occupation and more Atrocities

The Greeks made it clear from the first day that they had come, not
far a temporary occupation, but a permanent annexation of Western
Anatolia into a greater Greece encompassing both shores of the Aegean,
thus bringing nearer the Megali Idea and the restoration of the
departed glories of the Greek Christian Empire of Byzantium.8 A strong
foundation was necessary for the establishment of lasting rule over
the occupied land. Therefore, the Greeks commenced to penetrate into
the interior of Anatolia.

During the advance of the Greek Army, the Greek soldiers and the local
Greeks, who were incited by the Greek officers and clergy, committed
innumerable atrocities against the Turks. The atrocities took the form
of mass destruction in some towns. In particular, incidents during the
first two months of the Greek military occupation were dreadful in the
towns of Menemen and Aydin. These events were confirmed by the
official reports of Turkish, British and Italian commissioners.

A Special Commission of Judicial Inquiry, established following the
atrocity reports, reached Menemen on 17 June 1919. The Commission was
composed of Turkish administrative and military officers, the British
officers, Captain Charns and Lieutenant Lorimer, and medical delegates
from the British and Italian consulates in Izmir. They presented a
report to the commanders of the Allied Powers in Izmir. Some of the
horrible details that were stated in this report are as follows:

...From the unanimous declaration of (persons) questioned separately
by the Commission, it stands out clearly that the Mussulman population
of Menemen gave a perfectly correct reception to the Hellenic
occupying corps and that far from provoking them to the excesses,
which would have been reprehensible in any case, it remained
absolutely calm and tranquil. The Greek commandant's allegation
regarding the shots fired on the Hellenic soldiers was denied upon
oath by all the witnesses without exception. The non-existence of
Greeks wounded, either civilian or military, as against a thousand
Turkish victims, confirms the veracity of the evidence. The massacre,
the destruction and the extortion committed at Menemen by the Hellenic
soldiers and the native Greeks can only be imputed to a vile spirit of
vengeance and cupidity...

...All sorts of people, women, girls, children down to babies, more
than a thousand persons, were basely assassinated. During the few
hours of its stay at Menemen, the Commission was able to draw up a
list, which though incomplete, contains the names of more than five
hundred unfortunate victims. The Hellenic agent, having opposed a
thorough investigation, and the exhumation of the hundreds of corpses
buried clandestinely by the Hellenic military authorities, the
identity of the victims could not be established on the spot the same

... The Greeks, to hide the proof of their guilt, wanted to destroy
the corpses. But the number of the latter being too great, for lack of
time they piled them by tens into hastily dug trenches, insufficiently
covered with earth...The massacres were not confined to the town. They
extended also to the surroundings, to the fields, the mills, the farms
where another thousand victims may be counted. All the buildings
outside the town, as well as several hundreds of houses in the town
itself, were pillaged, sacked or destroyed.5

The situation in Aydin was no different. Sukru Bey, the commander of
the Turkish forces in the region, communicated the sequence of the
atrocities to the commander of the Italian contingents if Cine, to be
forwarded to the representative of Italy, the United States, Britain
and France. Sukru Bey, in his letter of 1 July, revealed the
terrifying results of the Greek occupation and begged immediate

The Greeks who have occupied Aydin and the surrounding region have
begun after a short period of calm, to practice with unheard savagery
the policy of extermination of the Turkish element, with the object of
being able to claim and annex these countries...The massacres, the
abominable offences, the burning of whole villages and of Turkish
quarters, all these crimes perpetrated by the Greeks constitute a
disgrace in our era of civilisation. To have been victims of such
odious acts, what faults could possibly have been committed by these
women, children and poor, innocent people who were only going about
their own business. They have been fired upon with bombs, rifles and
machine guns. They have been cast into burning houses and burnt
alive...Turkish travellers were taken out of the trains, the women and
the young girls were violated before the eyes of their husbands and

...I beg you to be so good as to inform the Great Powers of the
Entente that we pray them in the name of humanity to restore calm and
order to this country by putting an end to the ignoble regime of Greek
adventurers and by withdrawing the Hellenic forces of occupation.5

However, the Great Powers, so called champions of humanity, were as
inhuman and disgraceful as the Greeks as nothing has been done to stop
the Greek atrocities.

The victims of these massacres were not only the Turks or the Muslims
in general. The Greeks targeted everything and everyone that was not
Greek. In Nazilli, between 19 and 20 June, 16 Jews were slaughtered
besides hundreds of Turks. The Jewish houses and synagogues were set
on fire as well as the Turkish houses and mosques.5 Such anti-Semitic
acts were first practised in Izmir on 15 May. Some Greek soldiers
plundered a number of Jewish shops during the incidents occurring that
day. However, the British and French authorities warned and the Greek
officers sentenced them. Within the interior of Anatolia, far from the
Allies' eyes, the Greek army and the local Greeks did not
differentiate between Muslim and Jewish targets.

The Attitude of the Great Powers towards the Greek Atrocities

The diplomatic, consular and military representatives of the Allies in
Turkiye closely followed the Greek operations in Western Anatolia and
communicated their observations to their headquarters abroad. Detailed
reports of the atrocities and massacres in the Turkish towns and
villages were often sent to the foreign capitals.

James Morgan, the British Consul General in Izmir, communicated to
London on 11 July that the Greek artillery shelled two villages,
killing 20 Turks, including women and children.15 Morgan informed the
British authorities of another barbarous act of the Greek army in his
report of 17 July. He wrote in his report that the Greek soldiers had
arrested 37 Turkish soldiers and civilians. The corpses of these
people were found later. The throats of the victims had been cut, all
the bodies had been pierced by bayonets and their ears and lips had
been torn off.15

Major Hadkinson of the British army gave dreadful details of the Greek
slaughter in Ayvalik, Turgutlu and Nazilli in his report dated 4 July
1919. Hadkinson stated that the Greek soldiers had committed all sorts
of crimes, particularly murder, rape, pillage and robbery. He
continued by saying that innumerable dead bodies of the Turkish
population from the occupied towns had been found outside of those

C.E.S. Palmer, a British diplomat, reported to the Foreign Office on
25 July that the Greek army had taken Turkish civilians as hostages,
just as the German and Bolshevik armies had done during the War. He
criticised the atrocities against the Turkish population.15

Palmer stated in his report of 1 August 1919, that the Greeks had
killed 2,000 Turks in Aydin and it was difficult to find any excuse
for the Greek excesses.15

The Americans in Turkiye were also sending reports on the Greek
incursion and atrocities. W.L. Westermann, the American delegate to
the Commission of Greek Claims at the Paris Peace Conference, recorded
in a memorandum that, by the middle of June 1919, according to the
reports from senior officials (such as the commanders of the American
warships in Izmir, the Swedish Consul in Izmir and prominent American
residents of the city) the Greek army and Greek officials in Izmir had
been acting in a manner of semi-barbarity.3

The French and Italian delegates in Izmir sent notes to their high
commissions in Istanbul on 12 July 1919, also emphasising the gravity
of the situation the Greek occupation caused. The Allied delegates
stated that the Greeks were not following the orders of the Allied
Commander in Izmir, who, as the Allied Commander in Chief of the Izmir
operation, was technically in command of the Greek forces. In fact,
the Greek field officers ignored the orders of their own commanders
and acted completely independently. As a result there was almost no
control exercised over the troops in the field and none at all over
the irregular forces operating in the front and flanks of the army.
They had organised massacres of the Turkish population, engaged in
simple banditry and settled wherever possible. It was recommended that
the entire Greek force be recalled to the Izmir district.3

All of these reports and hundreds of others, combined with the
complaints of Turkish officials, including a letter of protest sent by
the Turkish Sheik-ul-Islam, the highest official of the Islamic
clergy, and the news reports in the widely circulated European
newspapers, brought the matter to the attention of the Council of the
Heads of Delegations of the Paris Peace Conference. The members of the
Council began to discuss seriously the Greek operations in Western
Anatolia and try to discover the dimensions of the atrocities.

The Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry

The subject of the Greek atrocities in Anatolia was first formally
brought to the Council by the Grand Vizier ad interim and Sheik-ul
Islam Mustafa Sabri Efendi. He stated in his telegram to the President
of the Conference on 15 July 1919, "The Greeks had committed
atrocities in Izmir and its surroundings." He formally accused the
Greeks and requested the Conference to send a commission of inquiry to
the region. He further stated, "The Council was not without
responsibility, seeing that it had sent the Greeks to Izmir."2

When Clemenceau read this telegram at the Council meeting on 18 July,
Balfour, the British representative said, in acquiescence, that he had
been "Much concerned about the reports from Asia Minor". Balfour
added, "A question had been asked in the House of Commons and it had
been learned on investigation that the Greeks had, in fact, committed
atrocities." According to Balfour, "Even Venizelos himself had been
forced to admit the truth of the allegations." However, Balfour
claimed, "It was more important to prevent recurrences of atrocities
in the future rather than to investigate those which had already
occurred." He added, "The control could only be exercised by the
Conference through the local Commander-in-Chief."2

On the other hand, Clemenceau evaluated Balfour’s remarks and said,
"Balfour’s plan to prevent further atrocities would only result in the
issuance of a proclamation, which would have no effect at all." He
stated "The Allies would have to deal with the Turks hereafter and
that it had to be made clear to them that the Allies did not send the
Greeks to Smyrna (Izmir) merely to commit atrocities."2

The situation became so explosive that the Sultan gave the following
statement to the London Morning Post, on 26 July:

"It is a mistake to punish thousands of people who had no part in
sending the country into war. Why should the faults of the government
be expiated by massacring, sacking, raping many peaceful inhabitants
in Asia Minor by the Greek troops and Greek bands? The Greeks behaved
and behave still like the most sanguinary barbarians of ancient times…
They should not be allowed to go where they will, burning and sacking
and killing my people like sheep in a slaughterhouse. There will
certainly be serious trouble unless the Powers do something to stop
it. They [the Greeks] have for 150 years tried in every way to mauling
the Turks in European eyes, and they have been helped and encouraged a
great deal by Russian diplomacy. Now they turned themselves into

On 25 August, the Independent Labour Party (City of London Branch)
passed a resolution that declared:

"This meeting strongly protests against the wholesale massacre which
is being carried out by the Greek )Hellenic) troops in Asia Minor, and
calls upon the British Government, in consultation with its Allies, to
expel these troops and to substitute for the Hellenic occupation some
such form of occupation which will safeguard the Turks from murder"

After lengthy debates and despite the opposition of Britain and
Greece, the Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry was formed. The
original members of the Commission were Admiral Bristol for the United
States of America, General Bunoust for France, General Hare for
Britain and General Dall’olio for Italy. Besides the commissioners,
three interpreters each from the USA, France and Britain and two from
Italy were appointed to the Commission. The Greek Government had
designated Colonel Mazarakis to follow the investigation just a few
days before the Commission’s first meeting. Colonel Kadri Efendi, the
Turkish representative, could only be appointed on 21 August, nine
days after the first meeting of the Commission.2

The Commission held its first meeting in Istanbul on 12 August 1919.
The Commission convened 46 times up until the end of investigation on
15 October. The last meeting was also in Istanbul; however, the
Commission held all the others in the places where the incidents had
occurred. The Commission visited Izmir, Menemen, Manisa, Aydin,
Nazilli, Odemis, Ayvalik, Cine and the surroundings during the course
of the inquiry and listened to 175 witnesses. There were Turks,
Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Americans, British, French and Italians among

The report of the Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry was consisted of
mainly of three parts. The first part was a detailed narrative of the
investigation and was officially called the "Account of Events that
took place following the Occupation, which were established during the
Inquiry between 12 August and 6 October 1919". The second part was
committed to finding the persons responsible for the incidents and was
titled "Establishment of Responsibilities". The third part,
"Conclusion put forward by the Commission" contained an evaluation of
the inquiry and proposals for the Council of the Paris Peace
Conference. The report also included correspondence with Colonel
Mazarakis, the Greek representative to the Commission, and a
reservation from General Dall’olio, the Italian representative, on the
subject of the Greek occupation of Izmir.2

The Commission’s conclusion consisted of four main parts.

First, the Commission stated that although the principle behind the
occupation was only to preserve order in the region, actually the
operations of the Greek authorities had all the appearances of an
annexation. Moreover, the Commission affirmed that it found the
occupation incompatible with the restoration of order and peace.

Second, the Commission asserted that if the purpose of the occupation
was to preserve order and public safety, then the Allied troops should
implement it, not the Greek troops. The Commission also declared that
a Greek annexation of the region would be contrary to the principle of
respect for nationalities because in the occupied region, with the
exception of the City of Izmir and the town of Ayvalik, the Turkish
population undoubtedly over that of the Greeks.

Third, the Commission proposed replacement of the Greek troops in
Anatolia with the Allied occupation forces. If the Greek army were to
take part in the Allied forces, then it should be placed far away from
the Turkish nationalist forces.

Fourth and finally, the Commission stated that if the Greek forces
were removed from the region, then there would be no reason for armed
resistance against the Allied occupation because the opposition of the
Turkish nationals was only against the Greeks.

The Allies' Approach to the Report

The report of the Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry was discussed at
the meeting of the Council of Heads of Five Great Powers held on 8
November 1919. Clemenceau pointed out that Greek Prime Minister
Venizelos had asked to be heard in the meeting. According to
Clemenceau, "There were two questions to be asked of Venizelos. First,
he should explain the massacres of which the Greek troops were
accused. Second, Venizelos should give a reasonable clarification of
the operations of the Greek army beyond the borders of Smyrna (Izmir)
province without the approval of the Council." Clemenceau noted, "It
was necessary to remind the Greeks that the Turkish question was not
settled and to ask Venizelos to state definitely if they could
maintain themselves in Smyrna (Izmir) with their own efforts." He also
said, "The information received indicated that in many respects the
conduct of the Greeks had been abominable and that the Turks would
never accept the Greek occupation unless obliged to by force."
Clemenceau frankly affirmed, "The Council would be more and more led
to respecting the integrity of the Turkish territory. Under the above
mentioned circumstances, it would be well to warn the Greeks that they
should not behave as the conquerors of Asia Minor."2

The Italian representative to the Council, de Martino, made similar
assertions to those of Clemenceau’s. De Martino said "The military
occupations in Asia Minor were clearly only provisional and should in
no way prejudice the final settlement of the Turkish question." He
stated, "The Italian opinion was clearly favourable to the principle
of respecting the integrity of the territories." He also pointed out,
" The relations between the Italian troops and Turkish population were
excellent and that no conflicts had occurred between them."2

Despite the analogous attitudes of the French and Italian
representatives, Sir Eyre Crowe, the British delegate, stated "The
Commission had been formed to investigate the claims of atrocities by
the Greek army, not the general course of the Greek occupation in
Anatolia." He asked the other members of the Council, "What would
happen if they, as the Report of the Commission suggested, asked the
Greeks to leave Smyrna (Izmir)? Would the Turks replace them or was an
Inter-Allied occupation contemplated? If an Inter-Allied occupation
was impossible, then could the Council really think of allowing the
Greeks to withdraw when there was no one to replace them? Could the
Council possibly think of evacuating the country before a peace treaty
had been concluded?"

Sir Eyre Crowe depicted in his further remarks some of the Greek
excuses for the atrocities. He pointed out, "The Greeks claimed that
many of the difficulties arose from the fact that they did not have
complete authority in that region." He proposed, "To give the Greeks
greater liberty of action and at the same time a greater share of
responsibility." Clemenceau immediately rejected this proposal. The
French representative told the British representative, "He observed
the danger was that the Greeks would take too much latitude."2

At this point Venizelos was invited to the meeting to present his
remarks on the Report. Venizelos, at the beginning of his speech gave
a brief historical summary of the investigation and asked the Council
to consider the Report of the Commission null and void and to
establish another commission of investigation.2

He had some difficult time while trying to find excuses for the Greek
atrocities. After Venizelos had completed his efforts to justify the
Greek operations, Clemenceau once more reminded him, "Greece had had a
mandate from the Conference and had not kept within the limits of that
mandate." He asked Venizelos, "What would happen if the Turkish
attacks should increase and if Greece could, without the support of
her allies, make the necessary military and financial effort until
such time when the country would be completely pacified." Venizelos
replied, "Greece had an army of 12 divisions with 325,000 men, an army
stronger than it was at the time of the Armistice. Mustafa Kemal had
only 70,000 men". He proudly asserted that with 12 divisions he had
nothing to fear.2 (Despite the superiority in numbers of the Greek
army and the support it had from the Allies, the Greek army was drawn
back to the sea by Kemal’s nationalist forces who entered and freed
Izmir on 9 September 1922. The only escape route for the Greek
soldiers were to swim to the Allied warships anchored at the Izmir

At the Council’s meeting on 12 November 1919, the British delegation
presented a draft letter for Venizelos evaluating the Commission’s
Report and warning the Greek government about recurrence of such
incidents. The important parts of this letter are as follows:

…While admitting the reasonableness of the reservations which you
thought fit to express, the Supreme Council does not think that the
results of the Inquiry can be regarded as wholly vitiated, in so far
as the excesses and acts of violence committed by the Greek troops are
concerned. The Council paid its tribute to the impartiality of the
members of the Commission and to the scrupulous conscientiousness with
which their work was performed.

The Council agrees that the incidents, which took place after the
debarkation of the Greek troops at Smyrna (Izmir), appear to indicate
an almost total absence of the precautionary measures on the part of
the Greek civil and military authorities, which the circumstances
required: this omission was the principal cause of the unfortunate
incidents reported by the Commission.

It is our opinion that on the whole, the responsibility for the
excesses committed and for measures the severity of which were not
justified by the actual circumstances, rests upon the Greek military
authorities. You yourself, moreover, with the loftiness and sincerity
of your character, have recognised these faults and these abuses, and
have ordered the punishment of the guilty.

The Supreme Council invites your most serious attention to these grave
mistakes and trusts that the experience acquired by the Greek
administration will enable it to avoid repeating them in the future.

Respecting the region of Aydin, the Powers have decided that in view
of the practical difficulties and of the political drawbacks which the
organisation of an Inter-Allied occupation might entail, they prefer
to maintain the situation as it actually exists and the Greek

…Supreme Council reminds you that the de facto occupation by the Greek
troops of Smyrna (Izmir) and of the neighbouring districts was only
decided upon because of existing circumstances, and create no right
for the future. This is merely a provisional measure which leaves
entire liberty to the Peace Conference…2

By sending this letter, the Council, on the one hand, condemned the
atrocities that had been committed by or because of the misrule of the
Greek military and political officers, but on the other hand, it
legitimised the Greek occupation of Aydin. The British policy aiming
not to lose or lessen the Greek presence as a fortress against the
Italian troops in Western Anatolia provided the basis of the Council’s
attitude towards Greece.

Although the Council of the Paris Peace Conference generally accepted
the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry and warned Greece, it did
not take definite measures to prevent further atrocities by the Greek
army. Even the Report of the Commission was not permitted to be
published in the European press. Encouraged by this weak approach, the
Greek troops in Anatolia persisted in increasing the atrocities in an
enlarged area of occupation for more than three years.

The Greek Army's Violatios of International Law

The documents of international law in force in 1919 clearly adopted
the principles to protect civilians from the evils of military
operations. Family honour, the lives of individual, private property
as well as religious convictions and practice had to be respected.4 To
kill or wound individuals belonging to the hostile nation was strictly
prohibited.4 The pillage of a town or place, even when taken by
assault, was prohibited. The property of municipalities, that of
institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts
and sciences, even when state property, should be treated as private

Principally, no general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, should be
inflicted on the population on account of the acts of individuals for
which they cannot be regarded as jointly or severally responsible.4

The Report of the Commission included many examples of violations of
these international rules. The Greek soldiers and local Greeks
committed dreadful atrocities against the Turkish population in Izmir
on the 15 and 16 May 1919. About 2,500 civilian Turks were arbitrarily
detained and were accused of being responsible for the first day
incidents that were, in fact, started not as a mass resistance, but as
individual acts. In violation of international regulations, they were
inhumanely treated and were subjected to unhealthy conditions
(Commission of Inquiry, Document 3, Point No.14). The Turks were the
targets of killings, rape, pillage and other kinds of offences. The
Greek military authorities did not take effective measures to prevent
such crimes (Commission of Inquiry, Document 3, Point No.15).

The Greeks slaughtered 300 to 400 Turks in Izmir (Commission of
Inquiry, Document 3, Point No.16). However the body count from the
Greek atrocities was not only consisted of slayings and pillage in
Izmir. Similar atrocities occurred and thousands of Turks were killed,
wounded, raped, beaten or robbed in Nazilli, Aydin, Odemis, Menemen,
Manisa, Ayvalik and the villages between these towns (Commission of
Inquiry, Document 3, Points No.30, 33, 39, 42 and 44).

The Greek army’s assaults also targeted religious buildings. All of
the mosques and religious institutions of Manisa, numbering about 150,
were violated by the Greek troops. Their doors were forced open, their
floors torn up, their carpets stolen or soiled and their inside walls
defaced. In addition, the school of theology and the Turkish cemetery
were attacked, defiled and damaged.5

Furthermore, while the 1907 Convention prohibited the destruction or
seizure of the enemy’s property unless such destruction or seizure was
a necessity of war,4 the Greek army wantonly set fire to some
villages, agricultural fields and factories and killed livestock
(Commission of Inquiry, Document 3, Points No.32, 34 and 3). (Greeks
also burnt down the majority of towns and villages in Western Anatolia
and in particular Izmir while running away from the advancing Turkish
nationalist forces).

Both the 1899 and 1907 Conventions stated that prisoners of war were
under the control of the hostile government and not the individuals or
corps that had captured them. So they had to be humanely treated. All
of their personal belongings except arms, horses and military papers
would remain their property.4

The Turkish army officers and civilians who were captured were treated
inhumanely during the Greek occupation of Izmir, which was not even an
operation during war but during armistice. According to Point 13 of
the Commission’s Report, the Turkish Governor, administrative and
military staff, including the Turkish commander in the city, were
insulted, beaten and even slain. In violation of the clear articles of
the Convention, all of these Turkish prisoners were robbed of their
personal money and belongings.

While it was forbidden to compel the inhabitants of the occupied
territory to swear allegiance to the hostile power,4 all prisoners and
most of the Turkish population were forced to shout "Zito
Venizelos" (Long live Venizelos), and persons who refused to do so
were immediately and severely punished. Most of the Greek officers
approved of this behaviour and did not try to stop the atrocities
(Commission of Inquiry, Document 3, Point No.13).

In Nazilli, 30 Turks were arbitrarily detained as suspects by the
Greek soldiers and savagely killed outside of the town (Commission of
Inquiry, Document 3, Point No.30).

In conformity with their general attitude towards the 1899 and 1907
Convention, the Greek troops in Western Anatolia did not conduct their
military operations under the principles of international law.
Although the Greek occupation was implemented at a time of armistice,
the military attacks on residential areas were more severe than were
those in time of war. For instance, the Greek artillery, without prior
warning, shelled some villages around Aydin. Many villages on the
Balatcik-Aydin railway line were similarly destroyed (Commission of
Inquiry, Document 3, Points No.32 and 39).


Eighty years after the Greek landing in Izmir, it is still being
debated in foreign academic and political circles whether or not the
Greek government and army could be accused of the excesses in
Anatolia. The Report of the Commission of Inquiry clearly stated that
the responsibilities for the sad incidents that occurred in Western
Anatolia during the incursion of the Greek forces undeniably rested on
the wrong decisions and operations of the Greek authorities. It was
accepted unanimously during the discussions at the meeting of the
Council of the Paris Peace Conference that the Report of the
Commission mostly reflected what happened and that it was far from

The Report of the Commission, the basic formal source for the
incidents, was written only after the claims against the Greek
occupation forces had been thoroughly investigated. The members of the
Commission collected first-hand evidence; listened to witnesses of the
events and inspected the area. When the Commission visited the towns
and villages under Greek occupation, there was still smoke emanating
from some of the destroyed buildings and the wounds of the victims
were still bleeding.

Moreover, the Commission was composed of members from different
powers. The members of the Commission signed the Report without
hesitation despite the different and sometimes contradictory policies
and interests of their respective governments.

Bearing in mind the realities of the structure and the course of study
of the Commission, it was and still is impossible to refute the facts
and conclusions it reached. As a matter of fact, even Greek Prime
Minister Venizelos could not easily contest the findings and the
conclusions of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry during his long
statement before the Council of the Paris Conference. He did not deny
the excesses committed by the Greek army, but he tried to invent some
excuses for them.

However, the approach of the Council towards the Report was
interesting. Although all of the members of the Council agreed that
responsibility for the incidents in Anatolia rested on the Greek
authorities and that it was a mistake of the Greek government to
instruct its forces in Anatolia to enlarge their occupation zone
without authorisation from the Allied Command, the Council did not
want the Greek army to evacuate the region. Whereas some members of
the Council wanted strong measures to be taken to prevent a recurrence
of the atrocities, the British delegation opposed this.

The only affirmative step of the Council was to send a letter to
Venizelos to inform him that the Greeks were responsible for the
atrocities and to warn him not to repeat the same mistakes in the

Without a strong condemnation from the Great Powers, the Greek army
continued its operations and atrocities in Anatolia for over three
more years, until its banishment from the region in 1922. Had the
Council exhibited a strong attitude against Greece and ordered the
Greek army to withdraw within the borders of the initial occupation
zone, as it had been proposed in the Report, then tens of thousands of
innocent persons would not have been victimised.

The Council member countries (Britain, France, Italy and United States
of America) are as guilty as Greece for atrocities committed against
Turks, and to a lesser degree to Jews and other non-Greek communities
in Anatolia during May-September 1919 and until September 1922.


1 - Archivio Storico Diplomatico Minitero Degli Affari Esteri, Affari
Politici, Busta: 1644-7738

2 - Documents on British Foreign Policy, First Series, Vol. I. London,
His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1974

3 - Evans Laurence, United States Policy and the Partition of Turkey
1914-1924. Baltimore, The John

Hopkins Press, 1965

4 - Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Convention (IV) Respecting
The Laws and Customs of War on

Land Signed at the Hague (18 October 1907)

5 - Greek Atrocities in the Vilayet of Smyrna (May to July 1919).
Lausanne, The Permanent Bureau of the

Turkish Congress at Lausanne, 1919

6 - Howard Harry, The Partition of Turkey. A Diplomatic History
1913-1923. New York, Howard Fertig, 1966.

7 - Kinross Lord, Ataturk The Rebirth of a Nation. London, Weidenfeld
& Nicholson, 1964

8 - Lewis Bernard, The Emergence of Modern Turkey. London, Oxford
University Press, 1968

9 - McCarthy Justin, Muslims and Minorities. The Population of Ottoman
Anatolia and the End of the Empire.

New York, New York University Press, 1983

10- Pallis A. A., Greece’s Anatolian Venture and After, A Survey of
Diplomatic and Political Aspects of the

Greek Expedition to Asia Minor (1915-1922). London, Methuen & Co.,1923

11- Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States. The
Paris Peace Conference 1919, Vol.V.

Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946

12- Shaw Stanford and Shaw Ezel Kural, History of the Ottoman Empire
and Modern Turkey, Vol. II.

Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1977

13- Smith Elaine D., Turkey: Origins of the Kemalist Movement
(1919-1923). Washington, D.C., 1959

14- Sonyel Salahi R., Turkish Diplomacy 1918-1923. London, SAGE, 1975

15- Sonyel Salahi R., Turk Yunan Anlasmazligi. Ankara, Kibris Turk
Kultur Dernegi, 1985

This article is based on a study titled "Greek Occupation of Izmir and
Adjoining Territories, Report of the Inter-Allied Commission of
Inquiry, May-September 1919" by Cagri Erhan and published by the
Centre for Strategic Research in Ankara, April 1999 (SAM Papers, No.
2/99). The complete version of the study can be obtained from the
Australian Turkish Media Group.

Part 3 - Greek Atrocities and Massacres of Turks in Anatolia after the
London Conference 1921-22

In February 1921, a conference was held in London between the Greeks
and the Turks, including the representatives of the Ankara Government,
but it failed to solve the Turco-Greek imbroglio.

Yalova and Orhan Gazi massacres

On 6 April 1921, Resit Pasha, the diplomatic representative of the
Istanbul government in London. Submitted an aide-memoire to the
British Foreign Office, informing it that the Greeks had massacred
many Turks at Yalova and Orhan Gazi. When the Foreign Office asked its
High Commissioner in Istanbul, Sir Horace Rumbold, about this incident,
5 the latter replied as follows:

"There is little doubt in our minds from the details the French
authorities have received that grave excesses have been committed in
the Yalova and Orkhan Ghazi districts against the Mussulman
population, and that these outrages are the work of Greek bands."7

At first, Allied observers felt that the murderous actions were those
of local Greeks in quest of revenge for real or imagined wrongs.
However, even British observers, who so wanted to find in the Greeks a
positive force for Christian civilisation in the East, were forced to
admit the nature of the Greek atrocities: which aimed at "a systematic
destruction of Turkish villages and the extinction of Moslem
population". Greek and Armenian bands, which appeared to operate under
Greek instructions, carried out the plan, sometimes even with the
assistance of detachments of regular troops, declared the Inter-Allied
Commission report.29

Following the Greek atrocities at Yalova and Orhan Gazi and Izmit
peninsula, an Inter-Allied Commission was established. The Commission
submitted its report to Foreign Office on 16 July 1921, via the
Admiralty. In his covering letter Admiral de Robeck stated that, from
a careful perusal of the report, it would appear that the majority of
the crimes were perpetrated by the Greeks, including Greek regular
officers and men, and that they were commenced by them.10 The report
gave the following information:

During the past nine months parties of regular Greek soldiers with
officers marched at intervals into villages in the neighbourhood of
Bozalfat (Eser Koy) near Aghva. The Greek brigand Katsaros had been a
visitor and behaved badly. Both Greek regular officers and men had
raped women and committed robberies and acts of violence.
Greek soldiers took everything of value such as money, cattle and
effects, having tortured the people. There were cases of murder and
rape. Some villages were totally or partly destroyed. The villages of
Mehter Koy, Lazlar Koyu, Armak Koy, Omer Aga Koyu and Aga Koy were
totally destroyed.
Everywhere the Greek soldiers behaved savagely, killing men and raping
women. They hung some peopler by their feet over straw fires. In the
Beykoz area many massacres took place at Cubuklu and bodies were
exhumed. They were buried fully clothed and shod, thrown together.
The historian Arnold J. Toynbee and his wife personally witnessed
these atrocities.29

Meanwhile, the Greek authorities, who were embarrassed (!) by these
excesses, were trying to turn the tables against the Turks by accusing
them of counter-atrocities. According to McCarthy, in Anatolia the
British, unlike their compatriots at the Peace Conference, often seem
to have given little credence to Greek charges. For example, upon
receiving a Greek report of Turkish atrocities in a place named in the
report as Tatabazar, the acting High Commissioner, Frank Ratting,
remarked: "The slaughter of 7,700 out of 8,000 Greek inhabitants of
Tatabazar is untrue, and there is even doubt as to the existence of
such a place. Possibly it is intended for Ada Bazaar, but no reports
of wholesale massacre of Greeks has been received from that quarter".8
During the war, the British reported that the Greeks were ‘trumping
up’ false atrocity stories against the Turks.2

The Greeks evacuated Izmit on the night of 28 June. The town was
reported to be in flames; the Greeks probably started the fire before
they left. A number of Turks were reported massacred by Armenians in
Izmit itself. Both the Armenians and neutral Turks were terror
stricken, but all the Greeks were evacuated by the Greek forces.9

On 1 July, General Franks reported that the Greek troops were
retreating towards Yalova and burning all the villages in the coastal
area. The Commission on atrocities went to Izmit on 30 July where they
were well received by the Turkish Nationalists. There was no evidence
of any massacre of Christians. Officials of the American hospital and
French priests spoke highly of the Kemalists’ discipline and
demeanour. However, atrocities of an appalling nature, including
murder, torture and mutilation, were verified by exhumation. American
evidence supported that these were committed by Christian, Armenian
and Circassian brigands, assisted by drunken and undisciplined Greek
troops whilst the town was in Greek military occupation. The
Commission was of the opinion that the behaviour of the Greek army in
retreat was "deplorable and unworthy of a civilised nation".28

Greek Atrocities continue

While the Turco-Greek war continued, so did the Greek atrocities. The
well-known British academic, Arnold J. Toynbee, who visited Izmir in
August 1921 as correspondent of the Manchester Guardian newspaper,
wrote to a senior British officer at the High Commission in Istanbul.
"The Greek army are carrying out systematic extermination of the
Moslem population in the newly occupied areas". Lamb described Toynbee
as "notoriously anti-Hellenic".

Professor Toynbee, as the holder of the Korais Chair in Byzantine and
Modern Greek Language, Literature and History at the University of
London, was in fact no friend of the Turks.27 He had expected to see
noble actions from the Greeks, and base actions from the Turks.
However, he realised the reality of Greek actions and intentions after
viewing the massacres at Yalova and Gemlik, and later investigating
the continuing destruction around Izmir. He, like the Inter-Allied
Inquiry Commission, concluded that the Greek government planned the
massacres and expulsions of the Turks.29

On 20 September, Mrs Toynbee sent a note to the British High
Commissioner asking that it might be regarded as confidential in view
of the names. She gave a vivid picture of Greek horrors in the Greek
occupied area.

During May and June 1921, the villages of Savilar, Korfulmus, Kaganli,
Kabasdere and Tepecinar were attacked and completely pillaged. The
whole population was massacred. The villages of Pekmezli, Kadidag,
Komurcu and Selcuklu were pillaged and destroyed with some massacres.
In the district around Sogandere, between 25 and 30 villages were
destroyed with massacre of the entire population. Between Akhisar and
Manisa, 82 villages were attacked with varying degrees of massacres.
Some, not all, were burned. On or about 2 May, the following villages
were attacked and pillaged: Irekkoy, Isafakihler, Arzular, Karabag,
Karapinar, Aligoz, Kizilcakoy, Carankoy and Ballikoy. Some villagers
were massacred; others escaped into the forest. On 14 June, Gordes and
Kayacik were completely pillaged and burned. On 24 June, at Baslamis,
near Akhisar, Greek soldiers and Armenian bands surrounded the village
and massacred all the inhabitants between the ages of 12 and 60. Four
of them were beaten before being killed. Six of the (including 3
women) were killed ‘by having hot irons run into them". On 28 June,
the Greeks blockaded 18 villages in the neighbourhood of Tire, and
pillaged and burned them in varying degrees. These included Uzgun,
Karakilise, Toparlak, Meheli, Musalar, Bozkoy, Yenisehir, Mehmetler,
Ispatlar, Camkoy, Ortakoy, and Dagdere.

The Greeks were collecting Turkish civilians, especially notables,
from various towns and villages and marching them off as prisoners of
war. They were supposed to be deported to Greece, but nobody heard
from them, and the corpses of some of them had been found.
Deportations took place at Kasaba (Turgutlu), Manisa, Nif, Alasehir,
Salihli, Usak, Kula, Marmara, Akhisar, Tire, Odemis, Bayindir, Turbeli
and Aydin. On 13 April, at Salihli, the Greeks arrested a number of
people, including the mufti, the judge and 25 notables, made them
prisoners of war and sent them first to Izmir and then to Greece. On
16 April, at Usak, they arrested the mufti and 20 other notables and
sent them to Greece. On 20 April, near Aydin, in the villages of
Sultanhisar, Erbeyli, Kosli, Umurlu, Germence and Balac, the Greeks
arrested 80 people and the bodies of some of them were later
recovered. There was no news of the others. On 21 May, at Karapinar,
near Aydin, 50 notables were sent to Izmir but there was no news of
them. In the evening, Greek officers came to the houses of the
notables and violated the women. Next morning they began to beat the
people with iron whips in order to extort valuables. The same happened
on 2 May at Nazilli and Atja involving 32 people.

These descriptions of the situation in territory under Greek
occupation were so horrible that, they prompted some of Foreign Office
officials to pour out venom against Toynbee. Thus E.G.F. Adams
observed:" …Both she [Mrs Toynbee] and her husband have become rather
violently anti-Greek". E.G.F. Adams added: "Professor Arnold Toynbee
has turned pro-Turk and his pro-Turkish articles have been appearing
in the Manchester Guardian. On the other hand, Mr [Reginald W.A.]
Leeper [of the British Foreign Office] tells me that the Manchester
Guardian prints equally pro-Greek propaganda and pro-Armenian
articles, and that in its leaders it takes a middle course." 11

Meanwhile, atrocities continued. On 30 September information was
received of the burning of further villages in the districts of
Bayindir and Odemis, from which refugees were drifting into the city.
The situation was so bad that, even the Foreign Minister of Soviet
Russia, Georgi V. Chicherin, sent a note to the British Foreign
Office, through the Soviet representative in London, Leonid Borisovich
Krassin, calling attention to the Greek atrocities, and expressing the
view that a protest should be addressed to the Greek government. Lord
Curzon minuted this at the British Foreign Office as follows: "What
has Chicherin to do with this? I would return no answer at all."

Greek Retreat

The Greeks began to retreat from Western Anatolia in August 1921 after
they lost the battle at Sakarya, where the Turkish Nationalist forces
checked, held and then reversed their advance on Ankara. With their
retreat, their Ionian vision, encompassing most of western Anatolia,
began to fall apart. As the Greeks retreated, they destroyed more
thoroughly than before all that was in their path.

During the Greek retreat, one city, town and village after another was
set on fire.6 The American Consul at Izmir, Loder Park, who toured
much of the devastated area immediately after the Greek evacuation,
described the situation in the cities and towns he has seen, as

"[Manisa] almost completely wiped out by fire…10,300 houses, 15
mosques, 2 baths, 2,278 shops, 19 hotels, 26 villas…[destroyed].
Kasaba [present day Turgutlu] was a city of 40,000 souls, 3,000 of
whom were non-Moslems. Of these 37,000 Turks only 6,000 could be
accounted for among the living, while 1,000 Turks were known to have
been shot or burned to death. Of the 2,000 buildings that constituted
the city, only 200 remained standing. Ample testimony was available to
the effect that the city was systematically destroyed by Greek
soldiers, assisted by a number of Greek and Armenian civilians.
Kerosene and Gasoline were freely used to make the destruction more
certain, rapid and complete."30

Consul Park was not fond of the Turks. According to the American
scholar Justin McCarthy, he was distressed to see that the Greeks,
whom he had supported, had committed such outrages. Yet, he was forced
to agree that the evidence he had seen was conclusive. He concluded
his report to the State Department, as follows:

"The destruction of the interior cities visited by our party was
carried out by Greeks. The percentages of buildings destroyed in each
of the last four cities…were: Magnesia [Manisa] 90 percent, Cassaba
[Turgutlu] 90 percent, Alasehir 70 percent, Salihli 65 percent.

The burning of these cities was not desultory, nor intermittent, nor
accidental, but well planned and thoroughly organised. There were many
instances of physical violence, most of which was deliberate and
wanton. Without complete figures, which were impossible to obtain, it
may safely be surmised that ‘atrocities’ committed by retiring Greeks
numbered well into thousands in the four cities under consideration.
These consisted of all three of the usual type of such atrocities,
namely murder, torture and rape." 30

All through 1922, until the expulsion of Greek army from Turkiye in
September, Greek atrocities continued. The Greek army was in full
flight to Izmir, burning, looting and massacring indiscriminately on
its way.13 Eskisehir and Kutahya and other towns and villages were
also burnt. Only the prompt intervention of the Allies saved Bursa
from a similar fate. The presence of Allied officers and men in the
city, and the fact that Turkish troops had the Greek army in Bursa
surrounded, spared the city. However, the Greek soldiers destroyed the
city’s bridges and also burnt 40 houses and Greek churches,23 but the
damage was minimal when compared to that suffered elsewhere.17

By 2 September, the Allies had become aware that the Greek army was
decisively defeated and that defeat was rapidly turning into a rout.
Incidents were expected in Izmir.18 The US Consul, John Horton,
informed his government on 2 September that the military situation was
"extremely grave" owing to the exhaustion and low morale of the Greek
troops. It was so serious that it could not be saved. The local
Christians were panicking and trying to leave the city. When the Greek
army reached the city, observed the consul, serious trouble was
possible, and he had heard threats that it would burn Izmir. He
advised that cruisers be sent to protect American lives.31

By 6 September, the Greeks were still falling back and burning
everything as they passed.14 On the same day, sources in Paris
reported that the British Foreign Office had information indicating
that the situation in Asia Minor was lamentable. The Greek army had
been completely routed and was burning and massacring in its retreat.
24,32 Again, on 6 September, the US, British, French and Italian
Consuls addressed a joint note to the Greek Minister for War, M.
Theotokis, requesting assurances that Izmir was in no danger of being
burned or pillaged. The Minister replied that he could give no such
assurances. At this time refugees and Greek deserters were pouring
into Izmir from the interior, the number arriving on September 6 being
estimated at 60,000 refugees and 10,000 deserters. The soldiers, for
the most part, carried arms but without officers. Many of the soldiers
threw away or sold their arms and equipment, which thus passed into
the possession of civilians. The city of Izmir became "a mass of
living beings made up of the members of a defeated army, the hangers-
on of that army, all the disreputable people of the country as well as
of the city, and a mass of women, children, wagons, draft animals and
all kinds of households and personal effects." It also contained
"numerous deposits of ammunition and inflammable or incendiary
material." 15

On 8 September, the British General, Tim Harington, reported to the
War Office that the news was very bad from Izmir. There were reports
that the Greek troops were completely out of hand, and were looting
and burning.16

Turkish Army enters Izmir

On 9 September 1922, the Turks entered Izmir "in perfect order",
according to the US Consul.24,33 His Vice-Consul, Maynard B. Barnes,
in a dispatch to the Secretary of State on 18 September, observed that
the advance guard of the Turkish forces, a cavalry unit, entered Izmir
at 11 o’clock on the morning of 9 September, and order reigned
throughout the city during the first few hours of the occupation,
"Despite the burning of Turkish villages and cities in the interior,
and the slaughtering of Turkish civilians by the evacuating Greek Army
and the refugee Christians, and despite the throwing of bombs by
Armenians at the Turkish cavalry upon the appearance of that force on
the streets of Izmir." 24,33

The Izmir Fire

On 13 September, four days after the Turkish Nationalist army entered
the City of Izmir, a fire broke out in the afternoon in a house
situated near the railway station, in the quarter known as Basmahane.
It soon spread and burnt most of the city. At the time, accusations
were made against the Greeks, the Turks and the Armenians. However,
fingers were pointing mostly at Greeks. They were, after all, burning
and looting on their retreat to Izmir following their defeat, and both
the Greek High Commissioner in Izmir, Aristide Sterghiades, and the
Greek General, A. Papoulas, had warned that the Greek army might burn
the city. The accusations levelled against the Turks were based on the
reports and eyewitness accounts of a number of Greeks and Armenians
but they were dismissed as being biased. The Armenians, too, were
accused of collaborating with the Greeks in their sordid deeds in
order to cover up their bomb throwing, sniping and arson.

The US Vice-Consul Maynard B. Barnes, no friend of the Turks, admitted
that it did not seem logical for the Turks to destroy Izmir. On the
morning of 15 September the Vice-Consul called with Captain Hepburn on
the Vali (Governor) Abdul Halik Bey, and upon Kazim Pasha, the
Military Governor of the city. Captain Hepburn stated in his diary:
"The Turks had been so proud to have preserved Izmir intact throughout
all the devastation caused by the Greeks, but the Armenians and Greeks
have defeated us in the end" 26

On 20 September, the Turkish Legation in Stockholm issued a
communique, stating that they have received telegraphic assurances
that the fire in Izmir was started by the Greeks and the Armenians,
who had set fire even to their own buildings, in order that the Turks
might not be able to make use of them. The Legation pointed out that
there was "absolutely no reason for the Turks to destroy their most
beautiful city next to Istanbul, now that they had definitely retaken
it." 19

The Turkish statements were supported by Sir A. A. Baig, who observed
in The Asiatic Review of October 1922 that attempts were being made to
saddle the Turks with the crime of firing Izmir. "Though every Ottoman
interest was involved in preserving the famous town, and to excuse the
Armenians and the Greeks who had every motif of revenge to destroy
what they were abondoning."1

Justin McCarthy adds that the historical record of the fire is
extremely confused. "One can easily theorise that there was, in fact,
not one fire, but many fires, set in revenge by Christians who did not
wish the Turks to have the city, and by undisciplined soldiers and
civilians, who simply wished to see the buildings burn. The often-
stated idea of the Turkish Nationalist Government deliberately burning
down their second greatest city immediately after it had once again
become theirs is a prima facie absurdity."25,27

More Greek Atrocities

After the Greek army’s expulsion from Anatolia, The Greeks continued
their atrocities elsewhere. According to a secret report prepared by
the British General Headquarters in Istanbul on 8 November 1922, the
Greeks burnt the following Muslim villages in Thrace: Sarlar, Cakmak,
Sefki Koy, Katanca and Karis Diren. Greek soldiers and refugees
systematically pillaged the Rodosto area. There were murders and
looting at Kara Hisar, Turkmen Ciftligi, and Boztepe. Even as late as
February 1923, the Greeks continued to wreak their vengeance on
Muslims, this time in Crete and Western Thrace. On 16 February 1923,
the British consular agent in Rethymo (Crete), M. A. Scouloudis,
informed the British Consul, J. G. Dawkins, in Canea, the capital of
the island, that the Turks, who were driven into the town, did not
dare to return to their homes in the country districts chiefly for
fear of being attacked and because their houses had been destroyed.
Scouloudis then went on to describe the miserable state in which all
Turkish refugees were living, and went on:

"The greater service that could be rendered to this population would
be to assist them to emigrate; this is moreover their desire too,
expressed by a committee to the local authorities. Great anarchy
prevails in the island district of Rethymo; armed bands continue to
rob the Turkish farms as well as those of the Christians, and not only
Turks but Christians, too, are not safe to travel around." 22

The Greek Devastation

The mass destruction of the Greek army of occupation caused in
Anatolia is difficult to estimate. According to Justin McCarthy, the
loss of Muslim property was due to theft by individual Anatolian
Greeks and by Greek officers, enlisted men, officials and irregular
gangs. The worst loss, according to McCarthy, was that of timber used
in buildings; if defrosted Anatolia, burnt wood was often
irreplaceable. So was the loss of livestock. Most of the spoils were
"ferried to Mitylene by boats."4 Cities such as Aydin and Odemis
became collection points for plundered goods that were intended for
sale in bazaars or for dispatch to Greece.3

At the British Foreign Office, G. W. Rendel minuted this document as

"Vandalism of Greeks towards Moslem art is undeniable. I remember once
hearing Prince Andrew boast of having paved his quarters at Salonica
with Moslem tombstones…"12

During the Lausanne Conference (20 November 1922-24 July 1923),
Eleutherios Venizelos, who was the chief delegate of Greece, at a
private interview on 14 May 1923 told Ismet Pasha, the chief delegate
of Turkiye, that Greece could not pay indemnity. However, Venizelos
said Greece was ready to give moral satisfaction to the Turkish
government by making a declaration to the effect that Greece
recognised that it was incumbent on it to pay indemnity for the acts
committed by the Greek army in Asia Minor "contrary to the laws of
war". Turkiye, for its part, should recognise that Greece’s financial
position precluded it from paying the indemnity, which should be

Venizelos, meanwhile, had received the consent of the Greek government
to offer Karaagac to Turkiye.21 Thus, Greece, through Venizelos, the
very person responsible for sending the Greek army to invade Western
Anatolia, had admitted moral and legal responsibility for the misdeeds
of that army. Ismet Pasha, with the help of Mustafa Kemal, wound-up
this most controversial issue between Turkiye and Greece. The deal was
incorporated into Article 59 of the Treaty of Lausanne.


1 - Baig, Sir A.A., The Greek Defeat and British Policy. The Asiatic
Review, October 1922

2 - British Foreign Office Document FO 106/1501, General Harington to
War Office, 16 August 1922

3 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/4220/E115562, Calthorpe to
Curzon, 1 August 1919

4 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/4221/12447, Ayvalik report
by Hedkinson, dated 7 August 1919

5 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/6491/E4224

6 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/6511/E5232

7 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/6611/E5375

8 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/6515/E6441, Rattigan to
Curzon, 29 May 1921

9 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/6520/E7377

10 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/6523/E8245, Robeck to
Admiralty, 20 June 1921

11 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/6557/E10550

12 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7880/E7453, Ispahani of
the London Moslem League to Curzon, 25 July


13 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7885/E8745, telegram from
Lamb, 2 September 1922

14 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7886/E8984, Lamb’s
telegram, 6 September 1922

15 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7886/E9048, Lamb at FO, 7
September 1922

16 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7992/E9054, Harington to
WO, 8 September 1922

17 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7891/E9649

18 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7906/E11667, O. Murray to
Admiralty, FO despatch of 25 October 1922,

transmitting copy of report of proceedings at Izmir, 3-14 September,
and diaries of events from 29 September to 6

October, from Admiral O. de B. Brock

19 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/7894/E9946, Patrick Ramsay
to Curzon, 20 September 1922

20 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/9102/E4927, Rumbold to
Curzon, 14 May 1923

21 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/9103/E5094; DBFP 1/XVII pp
762-63, Rumbold to Curzon, 18 May


22 - British Foreign Office Document FO 371/9109/E2950, MC G. Dawkins
to Bentnick, 19 February 1923, enclosing

copy of desp. From M. A. Scouloudis, 16 February 1923

23 - British War Office Document WO 106/1501, G.O.C. Allied Forces,
Istanbul, to WO, 15 September 1922

24 - Evans Laurence, United States Policy and the Partition of Turkey,
Baltimore, 1965

25 - Heath W. Lowry, Turkish History: On whose Sources Will it be
Based? A Case Study on the Burning of Izmir,


26 - Hepburn Diary, 15 September 1922, quoted by Marjorie Housepian,
The Smyrna Affair, New York, 1966

27 - McCarthy, Justin, Death and Exile, The Ethnic Cleansing of
Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922, Princeton, New Jersey,


28 - Prince Andrew of Greece, Towards Disaster: The Greek Army in Asia
Minor in 1921, London 1930

29 - Toynbee, Arnold J, The Western Question in Greece and Turkey,
London 1923

30 - US archives US767.68116/34, J. Loder Park to Secretary of State,
Izmir, 11 April 1923

31 - US archives US767.68/274, telegram from Izmir, 2 September 1922

32 - US archives US767.68/2911, telegram from Paris, 6 September 1922

33 - US archives US767.68/297, telegram from Istanbul, 9 September

34 - US archives US767.68/304, telegram from Izmir, 9 September 1922

This article is taken from a study titled "The Turco-Greek Imbroglio
Pan-Hellenism and The Destruction of Anatolia" by Prof. Dr. Salahi R.
Sonyel and published by the Centre for Strategic Research in Ankara,
July 1999 (SAM Papers, No. 5/99).

Part 4 - Greek Atrocities and Massacres of Turks in Cyprus, 1963 -

K. B. Raif is a Turkish Cypriot born in Paphos in 1932. In his book
"Greeks, The Democrats Who Are Not" he recalls:

"During my childhood, our Greek neighbours used to love me as if I was
their own; and I remember their children playing happily in our

During my boyhood, I played football with my Greek friends and at
flirting age we ran together after the most alluring girls of our

I remember taking our special dish of ‘Kadayif’ to our Greek
neighbours during our ‘Bayram’ festivities and receiving in
reciprocation their special ‘Pilavuna’ during their ‘Easter’
festivities. When we grew up we enjoyed many feasts around the same
table and frequented the same nightclubs.

We attended to each other’s funerals and wedding ceremonies so many
times that we knew exactly how to behave on these occasions.

And at maturity, we worked together at the same government offices and
jointly attended the same international seminars and meetings of
technical nature.

Then, what makes Greeks the way they are: so unfair, so cruel, so
unjust, so one-sighted and so undemocrat when it comes to politics,
religion and ideologies?

It seems to me that this is in their blood. However, there is no doubt
that the Greek educational structure and the Greek political parties
are highly influential in this regard.

Another factor I know for sure that is responsible for this phenomenon
is the Greek Orthodox Church. I will give an example for this from my
life experience.

One Sunday morning, my Greek friends collected me from my home for a
picnic. We were teenagers then. They said we had to pass by the church
because their parents would not allow them to go for picnic if they
did not attend the morning prayers. So, we went together to the
church, which was also within our neighbourhood. The priest was
preaching. The final words of the priest are still in my ears: "…a
good Greek is the one who is fortunate enough to kill a Turk and bring
his head to our church-yard. When the time comes you will be asked to
do so. We will now pray for this time to come…soon…"

‘This time’ came during the Noel of 1963.

During this Noel, the Turkish community witnessed with great pain and
bewilderment that all their good Greek friends suddenly became
professional fighters running after their heads. Where and when these
people were mentally prepared and physically trained for such a cruel
and inhuman mission? Who were behind this hatred?"

On 21 December 1963 the Greek Cypriots, acting in accordance with the
secret Akritas Plan (the full text of the Akritas Plan has been
published as a UN Document A/33/115, s/12722 of 30 May 1978) attacked
the Turkish Cypriots all over the island, destroyed the bicommunal
Republic of Cyprus created in 1960 under the London and Zurich
Agreements, and usurping the powers of the State, turned Cyprus,
unconstitutionally, into a Greek Cypriot State. The Turkish Cypriots
were expelled from the organs of the state and were deprived of their
benefits from the State budget. All Turkish Cypriots enclaves were
besieged and subjected to a war of attrition. This illegal state of
affairs continued until 20 July 1974 when the Turkish intervention,
undertaken in discharge of the obligation and right emanating from the
1960 Treaty of Guarantee, prevented the annexation of the island by
Greece and also, stopped the genocide of the Turkish Cypriots that had
been going on systematically, since 21 December 1963.

It is a historical fact that before Cyprus entered under the Ottoman
rule in 1571, there existed no influential Greek community in the
island. Cyprus was then under the Venetian rule and the Catholic
leadership kept under severe suppression the Greek population. Which
was sparsely scattered on the island. After 1571, the Ottomans allowed
the construction of new Orthodox churches at every settlement and
granted autonomy to the Greek Archbishops. It is extremely sad that
this very Archbishopric, in years to come, professed to its followers
the genocide of the Cypriot Turks.

"Unless this small Turkish Community – forming a part of the Turkish
race which has been the terrible enemy of Hellenism – is expelled from
Cyprus, the duty of the heroes of EOKA can never be considered
terminated". These are the words of Makarios, the President of the
Republic of Cyprus addressing to the Greek Cypriots on 4 September
1962. With many other remarks like the above, Makarios together with
Grivas and his terrorist organisation EOKA were the masterminds behind
the Greek atrocities and massacres of Turkish Cypriots from the early
days of Republic (1960) until the intervention of Turkish peace troops
in 1974.

The following is a letter sent to a Greek Cypriot citizen by Dhigenis
(Grivas) a General from Greece who came to Cyprus to establish the
Greek terrorist underground organisation under the name of EOKA for
the union (ENOSIS) of Cyprus with Greece.

"We have been informed that you are making a great mistake at the
expense of Greek Cypriots eg. there is a Greek-owned car which goes to
Dhekelia yet you prefer to travel there by a Turkish-owned car.

You are not ashamed either of God or of man and you accept
exploitation by the Turks? Pity…you are called Greeks. Don’t you know
that you violate your religion and betray your fatherland by
cooperating with Turks?

the punisher, will fall on your head and we shall stain our hands with
the blood of traitors and make a lesson of you.

When water and fire become intimate friends and when hell and paradise
unite, then and only then shall we be the sincere friends of the

You must remember therefore that within three hours from the receipt
of my letter you must stop cooperating with the Turks otherwise I will
order your immediate execution.


Dhigenis, The Leader


Let’s follow the Greek atrocities and massacres through the eyes of
Western correspondents:

"…We went tonight into the sealed-off Turkish quarter of Nicosia in
which 200 to 300 people had been slaughtered in the last five days. We
are the first Western reporters there and we have seen sights too
frightful to be described in print and horrors so extreme that people
seemed stunned beyond tears and reduced to a hysterical and mirthless
giggle that is more terrible than tears…" Daily Express, 28.12.1963,
reported by Rene Maccoll-Daniel Mc Geachi.

"…Greek cruelties in Cyprus: Greeks have started an attack on the
areas where the Turks are living…The Turks are trying to escape from
the Greek attacks…25,000 Turks have already been forced to leave their
homes…" Daily Express, 28.12.1963.

"…I was allowed to move through the whole besieged Turkish sector. I
was taken to the Kumsal district and trod over shattered glass into a
green and white house with orange trees in the garden, and an
ownerless black and white cat wandering around. The bathroom of this
house was a blood-soaked shambles with a woman and three small boys
lying dead huddled together in the bath and in an adjoining room
another dead woman. My guide said this second woman and her children
were the family of a Turkish major and were all shot by Greek
Cypriots. Wherever I looked in the Turkish sector there were the stark
and tragic signs familiar to any town, which has endured civil war.
Sandbags and sentry positions, haggard men with guns whose faces
behind the stubble of beard show nothing but fatigue. Men and women
lying on their backs in impoverished aid centres with shot and stab
wounds, gazing up blankly at a world they no longer recognise. The
uncheckable allegations…’They used dumdum bullets…our soldiers obeyed
orders from Ankara not to move …they (The Greeks) changed into
civilian clothes and attacked…they took 30 women and children, some
one, two and three years old and we know nothing of their fate…" Daily
Mail, 28.12.1963, reported by John Star from Cyprus.

"Uneasy Calm and State of Anarchy in Cyprus.

…Whoever fired the first shots in the early morning of December 22,
when a Turkish man and woman were killed, there is no doubt that
certain Greeks had been deliberately provoking the Turks to action.
For a week or two before this, Greeks in civilian clothes had been
demanding to see the identification papers of Turks in Nicosia which
caused bitter resentment and when on December 23rd armed Greek police
shot at Turkish schoolboys who booed them, the tinderbox was set
aflame. It is nonsense to claim, as the Greeks do, that all
causalities were caused by fighting between armed men of both sides.
On Christmas Eve many Turkish people were brutally attacked and
murdered in their suburban homes, including the wife and three small
children of the Turkish head of army medical services – allegedly by a
group of forty men, many in army boots and greatcoats." The Guardian,
31.12.1963, reported by Michael Wall from Nicosia, Cyprus.

"…With other British newsmen I was taken to the clinic of a tubby
doctor, where a team of nurses were tending severely wounded men,
women and children. A ward of 14 held 40. The injured lay on
mattresses on the floor from wall to wall. Curiously there were no
tears. And no fear. Defiance shone in the eyes of every victim. I saw
Mrs. Ayshe Ibrahim, aged 24, a bullet wound in her back lying
alongside her three-year-old daughter, who had a shattered knee. White
coated Doctor said ‘The mother is paralysed. The child will never walk
properly again. Greeks burst into their homes and opened up with
guns’. A 14 year old boy lay shot in the stomach, another victim of
senseless violence…At the shell of a villa I saw a woman and three
children who had been strangled and thrown into a bath. The children’s
mother was shot dead in another room. ‘This is what the Greeks did’ a
Turk told me bitterly…" Daily Mail, 31.12.1963, reported by Peter
Moorhead from Nicosia, Cyprus.

" …In one street in Omrphita all the misery of war was on view in the
deserted bullet-riddled home of Mr. And Mrs. Mentes, a Turkish family.
The place had been ransacked. The walls were scored with bullet holes.
I picked up a bullet-shattered memory of happier day; their wedding
portrait. On a table nearby lay a tiny doll. In a bedroom bullets had
shattered a cot. But there was no trace of the Mentes family. A Turk
told me ‘We don’t know what happened to them. Perhaps they die,
perhaps they live…" Daily Herald, 31.12.1963.

" I asked President Makarios whether it was true that there was an
underground committee of Greeks which had armed people and drawn-up
plans for action. He answered: ’It is quite true’…" The Guardian,

"…Drama in a silent village – In one night of terror 350 men, women
and children vanished:

In this village of shame today I found grim evidence of the hatred
between Greeks and Turks that has bedevilled this beautiful island. A
few days ago, 1,000 people lived here, in their solid, stone built
homes which hug the coast road to Kyrenia, 13 miles from Nicosia. Then
in a night of terror 350 villagers – men, women and children –
vanished. They were all Turks. Today I was one of two British
correspondents to drive to the village to investigate the mystery. In
the dusty village street I found hungry Greek children playing
listlessly. From doorways men and women eyed me suspiciously. When I
asked where are the Turks the women averted their gaze. The men
shuffled their feet and said ‘We don’t know. They just left.’ And when
I came across the Turkish homes they were an appalling sight. Apart
from the walls, they just did not exist. I doubt if a napalm bomb
attack could have created more devastation, I counted 40 blackened
brick and concrete ‘shells’ that had once been homes. Each house had
been deliberately fired by petrol. Under red tile roofs which had
caved in, I found a twisted mass of bed springs, children’s cots and
cribs, and ankle deep grey ashes of what had once been chairs, tables,
wardrobes. In the neighbouring village of Ayios Vassilios, a mile
away, I counted 16 wrecked and burned out homes. They were all
Turkish. From this village more than 100 Turks had also vanished. In
neither village did I find a scrap of damage to any Greek house."
Daily Herald, 01.01.1964, reported by Peter Moorhead from the village
Skylloura, Cyprus.

"…Fires swept through Turkish homes in the northern suburb of
Omorphita tonight while Mr. Duncan Sandys, Commonwealth Secretary, was
watching the return of Turkish prisoners held by Greek Cypriots. Mr.
Sandys left immediately for the scene when he heard the news. Before
the fires started, Greek irregulars had broken into houses in
Omorphita, which in peacetime had a mixed Greek-Turkish community.
They dragged out clothing and furniture and overturned cars. Then fire
broke out and flames were spotted by petrol of the Gloucestershires.
Looters fled as armoured vehicles draped with Union Jacks raced to the
spot. Mr Sandys watched as a British fire fighting unit brought the
blaze under control…" Daily Mail, 01.01.1964, reported by John Starr
and Bernard Jordan from Nicosia.

"...Houses were set on fire yesterday in the evacuated Turkish suburb
of Nicosia where the worst incidents of the recent emergency occurred.
Mr. Duncan Sandys, Britain’s Commonwealth Secretary, was rushed to the
spot and stood near burning Turkish houses with parts of the buildings
crashing down near him and flames leaping high into the sky. ‘It’s
more than a dozen now, sir,’ reported an Army Officer as British
troops fought the blaze. Even as they fought one another was seen to
start in another house. ‘It is the work of irregulars who have sneaked
in and set the houses on fire’, Mr. Sandys was told. He had only just
escorted back Turkish hostages into the Turkish quarter, personally
supervising the unloading of each load when news of the burning
reached him and he set out at once. Mr Sandys stood close to the fire
damage oblivious, it seemed, of the danger and said ‘How tragic it is
for the people who are going to come back here today and find this
happening…" Evening Standard, 01.01.1964, reported by Anne Sharpley
from Nicosia.

"Troubled Cyprus

…I feel certain that most Irish people do not appreciate the grave
wrongs that have been inflicted on the Turkish population of Cyprus
and on Turkey itself. Historically and geographically Cyprus belongs
to Turkey and it is a tribute to the patience and forbearing of that
country that it agreed for the sake of peace to the imposition of
Greek rule…The recent riots provoked by (Greek) elements who want to
find an excuse for a pogrom against the island’s Turks is a glaring
example of the manner in which the real owners of Cyprus are being
treated…It is too much to expect that Turkey will remain patient
forever, and if peace is to be maintained in the Mediterranean the
problem of Turkish Cyprus must be solved." Irish Evening Press,

"…Turkish homes in the city had been set ablaze by arrows tipped with
paraffin soaked rags, and hundreds of hard core EOKA men were prowling
towns and villages under arms…" The Daily Sketch (London), 02.01.1964,
reported by Los Crabby from Nicosia.

" The Imam of Omorphita and his paralysed blind son were found today
murdered in their beds in Nicosia. Turks returning to Omorphita suburb
under British escort found the 75 year-old priest Huseyin Igneci
riddled with machine-gun bullets. The Turkish religious leader had
gone to bed after leading prayers in a mosque...""Daily Mail,
03.01.1964, reported by Bernard Jordan from Nicosia.

"…A sinister demonstration of EOKA power occurred during the height of
the Christmas crisis at Kyrenia, the north coast harbour town. EOKA
men, working with the regular Greek Cypriot police, took control of
key points. These included the telephone exchange, where EOKA men with
sub-machine guns made the Turkish operators leave their posts with
their hands up and guns at their backs. They were told to go home and
stay there. Telephone lines to most British and other foreign
residents in the area were cut and these are still out of order. EOKA
groups put up roadblocks in the town and on mountain roads behind it.
Turkish policemen were arrested on Christmas Day when they arrived for
a conference with the Greeks on keeping order in the town. With the
policemen, they were handcuffed in pairs and imprisoned for seven days
in a village near Kyrenia. They were told all the Turks in Kyrenia
would be wiped out if Turkish forces landed in Cyprus…" Daily
Telegraph, 03.01.1964.

"…The Constitution gives the Turkish community certain social
guarantees. It is a pity that these guarantees were not enough to
prevent bloodshed. These guarantees, especially if the President
(Makarios) continues to insist in the abolishment of the
constitutional rights of the Turks, will have to be safeguarded with
more efficient means…" The Times, 04.01.1964.

"Turks to be exterminated

…On the Greek Cypriot side the extremists resent President Makarios’
acceptance of British intervention and would have preferred the
fighting to continue, leading to the extermination of the Turkish
community…" The Times, 04.01.1964.

"…Once there had been Turks there too but I could not discover what
had become of them. A couple of hours later I got through more
roadblocks to reach the village of Aghios Vassilios and stumbled on a
ghastly scene. Apparently 13 Turks of the predominantly Greek
community had gathered for safety, as they thought, in a fine modern
villa. At once they came under attack. Fire from shotguns, rifles, sub-
machine guns and revolvers raked the walls. Finally one of the
attackers climbed to the roof, tore away the big red tiles and began
pitching hand grenades onto the helpless people below. Eleven were
killed instantly. The other two, one a deaf mute, feigned death and
managed to crawl away to safety in darkness. At yet another township,
Skilloura, I discovered almost the entire Turkish quarter burned out
and still smoking. Greek women were looting among smouldering ruins
that were almost too hot to tread over. Far down the coast at Lefka (a
Turkish town) I heard that five British families with 12 children
including some out for the Christmas holidays from boarding schools in
Britain – had been – stranded for 12 days on a nearby hill called the
Black Mountain. They live among several thousand Turks who work in the
copper mines there. Mr. W. J. Rowlands, a mining supervisor, from near
Newport, Monmouthshire, who has a house on the hill and speaks fluent
Turkish, volunteered to guide us through the lines together with a
British doctor stationed near Lefka town. It was the most tense part
of my journey. After talking our way through the Greek barricades we
had to move slowly across about a mile of wild country. Guns poked
menacingly out from sandbags and stone strongpoints on every hillock
and followed us every inch of the way. But Chief Inspector Husain
Kavaz, the Turkish police chief who served in the British Army during
the war, told us his people were starving. They had nothing to eat, he
said, except oranges and a little barley. Babies particularly were in
grave danger as there was no milk. Chief Inspector Kavaz implored us,
as many other had done along the way, to ask the British, the United
Nations, the International Red Cross – anyone – to send help.
Quickly…" News of the World, 05.01.1964, reported by Noyes Thomas.

"…Through binoculars from the police station roof I watched the Greeks
who are acting under the orders of EOKA leader, Nicos Sampson, waiting
to swoop…" Daily Mail, 06.01.1964 reported by Bernard Jordan from

"Homes Blaze Again in Nicosia

Homes are blazing again tonight in Omorphita, the battlefield suburb
of Nicosia. I counted 11 fires in the area where Turks fled from their
houses last week. This is despite an appeal by the Cyprus Government
to keep calm…" Daily Mail, 07.01.1964, reported by Bernard Jordan from

"…Dr Vassos Lyssarides, a Greek Cypriot M.P. and personal physician to
President Makarios, told me tonight that he leads one of the
organisations which have been fighting the Turks. This was the first
confirmation of reports that about four private armies on the Greek
side were engaged in the clash…" Daily Mail, 10.01.1964, reported by
Bernard Jordan from Nicosia.

"…Some of the heaviest fighting took place in the Turkish suburban
neighbourhood of Omorphita. Dozens of homes were burned down or
gutted. Greek youths can be seen pulling doors and shutters off
houses. A looter’s car, nearly sagging under the weight of everything
from an old refrigerator to mattresses, slowly chugged away.
Curiously, some houses had not been touched. The Greeks claimed the
suburb was a hive of underground tunnels with caches of arms, but a
British sergeant on patrol said: ‘You can have my 12 months’ pay if
you can find any tunnels around here’…" New York Herald Tribune,

"…Two British women with their children were among 20 refugees flown
from Nicosia to London today. One, aged 26, was afraid to identify
herself because her Turkish husband has stayed behind. She claimed to
have seen Greek police officers shoot at five Turks outside her flat.
She said she saw one of the Turks machine gunned as he walked towards
the police with his arms raised." Daily Telegraph, 13.01.1964,
reported by Special Correspondent H. D. Miller from Nicosia.

"In Cyprus the terror continues. Right now we are witnessing the
exodus of Turks from villages. Thousands of people are abandoning
their homes, lands, herds: Greek terrorism is relentless. This time,
the rhetoric of the Hellenes and the busts of Plato do not suffice to
cover up their barbaric and ferocious behaviour. At four o’clock in
the afternoon curfew is imposed on the Turkish villages. Threats,
shootings and attempts of arson start as soon as it becomes dark.
After the massacre during the past Christmas that spared neither
women, nor children, it is difficult to put up any resistance…" Il
Giorno, 14.01.1964, reported by Giorgio Bocco.

"Silent crowds gathered tonight outside the Red Crescent hospital in
the Turkish sector of Nicosia, as the bodies of nine Turks found
crudely buried outside the villages of Ayios Vassilios, 13 miles away,
were brought to the hospital under an escort of the Parachute
Regiment. Three more bodies, including one of a woman, were discovered
nearby but they could not be moved. Turks guarded by paratroops are
still trying to locate the bodies of 20 more believed to have been
buried on the same site. All are believed to have been killed during
fighting around the village at Christmas. It is thought that a family
of seven Turks who disappeared from the village may be buried there.
Their house was found burnt, and grenades had been dropped through the
roof. Shallow graves had apparently been hurriedly scooped by
bulldozer. The bodies appeared to have been piled in two or three
deep. All had been shot. One man had his arms still tied behind his
legs in a crouching position and had been shot through the head. A
stomach injury indicated that a grenade may have been thrown into his
lap…" Daily Telegraph, 13.01.1964, reported by Special Correspondent
H. D. Miller from Nicosia.

"…As the Greek Cypriot taxi man who drove me around Nicosia said: ‘If
the Turks want to stay – OK. But they can’t have any rights. They are
the minority and must do what we say.’ Some Greeks are more extremist
than the taxi man. They don’t merely wish to deprive the Turks of all
rights. They want to deprive them of the right to live. I have heard
men say all Turks should die and these were men with nervous trigger
fingers. Last Thursday hundreds of soldiers were drafted into a suburb
of Nicosia to safeguard Turkish families coming back to their homes
and ‘restore confidence’. I saw more Turks going than coming back. As
one of the said ‘My four-year old daughter was shot by my next door
neighbour. I don’t want to return and be killed.’…" Evening Post,
15.01.1964, reported by John White from Nicosia.

"…If the Turkish Army has not already landed reinforcements to its
Treaty Force in Cyprus, that is simply proof of the patience of
Turkey. Its right to do so can not be denied. If international
treaties mean anything, Turkey can protect the Turkish Cypriot
minority from further massacre. It is radical discrimination in its
most bestial form. Although there have been efforts to cloud the issue
by suggesting that both Cypriot communities are to blame, by far
heaviest guilt is that of the Greek Cypriot force known as Eoka or
Edma…" Daily Telegraph, 15.01.1964, Editorial.

"…I have seen in a bathtub the bodies of a mother and of her three
young children murdered just because their father was a Turkish
officer..." Le Figaro, 25-26.01.1964 reported by Max Closs

"…It is a military operation that the Greeks launched against the six-
thousand inhabitants of the Turkish quarter yesterday morning. A
spokesman of the Greek Cypriot Government has recognised this
officially…It is hard to conceive, how Greeks and Turks may seriously
contemplate working together after all that has happened…" Le Figaro,
15-16.02.1964 reported by Max Closs.

"Hatred in Cyprus, Makarios Enigma

…Archbishop Makarios, robed and bearded cleric who serves as President
of Cyprus, has a Byzantine talent for equitation…His government
deliberately provoked the clashes and is bent upon the extermination
of the Turkish population…" Washington Post, 16.02.1964, article by
Robert H. Estabrooh.

"…the fanatic Greeks are gradually approaching to ethnic genocide…"
Washington Post, 17.02.1964.

"…Outnumbered ten to one the Turkish Cypriots packed most of their
women and children into a movie theatre and school in their sector (of
Limassol),…a Turkish member of the Cypriot House of Representatives,
stated to foreign journalists after pointing out the precarious
defensive position of his men. ‘We are getting ready to die’…" The
Christian Science Monitor, 17.02.1964, reported by John Rigos.

"Day by day and as murder follows murder detached observes here find
it harder to credit the Government of Cyprus with any real
determination to stamp out violence. If the President really wants
peace on earth and to restore the rule of law he could start by
investigating publicly the circumstances surrounding last Thursday’s
attack on the Turkish inhabitants of Limassol. The known facts are
that on Wednesday the British peace keeping forces were assured by the
Greek authorities that no attack would be made on the Turkish
Community. Accordingly the British Army did not patrol the town. At
5.30 the following morning Greek Cypriot security forces launched what
our special correspondent describes as ‘a heavy well organised attack
against the Turkish quarter of Limassol’. It was carried out by
hundreds of steel helmeted men armed with automatic weapons and
supported by one tank and two armoured bulldozers. If the Greek
Cypriot authorities connived at this formidable attack their behaviour
is inexcusable. If they were ignorant of its coming they must forfeit
their claim to govern and control their own people, let alone the
whole Cypriot Community…" The Guardian, 20.02.1964.

"…If Turkey comes in order to save Turkish Cypriots, Turkey will find
no Turkish Cypriots to save…" The statement of Archbishop Makarios,
August 1964.

"Greece has come to Cyprus and Cyprus is Greece. I firmly believe that
the Pan-Hellenic struggle for the union of Cyprus with motherland
Greece will shortly be crowned with success. This success will be the
beginning of a new era of Greek grandeur and glory." Speech made by
Makarios on the occasion of the visit of the Minister of Defence of
Greece, 27.10.1964 (as reported by all Greek Cypriot newspapers on

"…We shall keep the Cyprus question open and will never close it under
any circumstances or conditions…until we close it through union with
Greece, a genius ENOSIS without exchanges." Makarios (as quoted in the
Greek Cypriot press of 17.03.1965).

The Guardian published the following on 02.04.1988:

"One of Packard’s first tasks was to try to find out what had happened
to the Turkish hospital patients. Secret discussions took place with a
Greek Minister in the collapsed government. After a brief
investigation, he was able to confirm local rumours. It appeared that
Greek medical staff had slit the Turkish patients' throats as they lay
in their beds. Their bodies were loaded on to a truck and driven to a
farm north of the city where they were fed into mechanical choppers
and ground into the earth.’ The Guardian, 02.04.1964 (from the
‘secret’ report of Commander Packard, who was a high-ranking British
Officer in Cyprus during 1963-64).

Andreas Papandreu, veteran Greek politician, recalls in his memoirs
titled ‘Democracy at Gunpoint":

"…Incidents followed, until we were at the brink of war. Makarios
visited Athens in early April (1964). He and my father, who was
handling personally all the aspects of the Cyprus problem, reached
complete agreement…This was my father’s proposal, and Makarios
accepted it. A clandestine operation then began on a huge scale of
nightly shipments of arms and troops, of ‘volunteers’ who arrived in
Cyprus in civilian clothes and then joined their ‘Cypriot’ units. The
process was not completed until the middle of the summer. No less than
20,000 officers and men, fully equipped, were shipped to Cyprus."
Papandreu Andreas, Democracy at Gunpoint .

On July 15, 1974 the mainland Greek troops started the invasion of
Cyprus, overthrew President Makarios and installed a notorious gunman
called Nicos Sampson as President and immediately began to murder
Turkish Cypriots. Turkiye, after failed negotiations with Greece and
UK sent troops to Cyprus on 20 July 1974 to protect the Turkish

Again, let’s follow the Greek atrocities and massacres through the
eyes of Western correspondents:

"…On the second day of the coup, they brought trucks full of human
bodies to the cemetery and buried them. There were no records on the
identity of these people. I have observed that some of the wounded
were still alive. I tried to stop them, but I was kept away on gun
point…" As told by Priest Papatsertos, responsible for the Nicosia
Greek cemetery, to Ta Nea newspaper of Greece on 28 February 1976,
regarding atrocities during Greek coup d’etat in Cyprus on 15 July

"…today, early in the morning Greek ships boarded on Famagusta port
and discharged Greek soldiers fully furnished with modern arms…soon
after the discharge, atrocities started to take place…Cyprus is not a
sovereign state anymore…Widespread massacre is taking place all over
the island…At the main police station, one witness saw people tied to
each other…they were later executed…" Evening Standard, 19.07.1974.

"…In the island, thousands of Turks were held as hostages. Turkish
women were raped and Turkish children killed on the streets. The
Turkish quarter in Limassol was burnt down. The incidents have been
confirmed by Greek Cypriots." The London Times, 22.07.1974.

"…the Greeks killed many women and children in Limassol. I have seen
the bodies of 20 children lying on the road…some were wounded and
crying…the Greek soldiers are waiting for their turn to enter in the
Turkish homes and kill the women…" United Press International (UPI),

"In a Greek raid on a small village near Limassol, 36 people out of
the population of 200 were killed. The Greeks said they had been given
orders to kill the inhabitants before the Turkish forces arrived." The
Washington Post, 23.07.1974.

"I saw with my own eyes the shameful incidents. The Greeks burned
Turkish mosques and set fire to Turkish homes in the villages around
Famagusta. Defenceless Turkish villagers, who have no weapons, live in
an atmosphere of terror, created by the Greek marauders, and they
evacuate their homes and go and live in tents in the forest. The
Greeks with their bazookas create total chaos in the Turkish villages.
The Greeks’ actions are a shame to humanity. Those Turks who can save
their lives run to the nearby hills and are able to do nothing but
watch the callous looting of their homes." France Soir, 24.07.1974.

"…In the Turkish village of Aleminio, the Turks were collected in
front of a wall and the Greek national army shot them all and killed
them indiscriminately…" NBC, National Broadcasting Corporation,
29.07.1974, reported by John Palmer.

"…the human mind can not comprehend the Greeks butchery. Greek
National Guard…entering the Turkish homes, ruthlessly rained bullets
on women and children, they cut the throats of many Turks; rounding up
the Turkish women, they…raped them all…" Voice of Germany, 30.07.1974.

"…Every hour new ditches and numerous corpses are being discovered. It
is very difficult to endure the job…" United Press International
(UPI), 20.08.1974.

"…what happened in Cyprus during the coup d’etat, can not be named…it
can only be called as ‘dirty’ and ‘inhuman’…" The Sun, 03.09.1974.

The Greeks were also massacring their own people as well. Mrs Rina
Catselli, wife of a Greek Cypriot M.P., in her memoirs on coup d’etat
in Cyprus on 15 July 1974, recalls:

"At the Castle of Kyrinia, I saw the Greeks massacring their Greek
brothers under the Greek flag…They were not hesitating to crush any
one who were not supporting them…Order was given to a Greek soldier
with a machine gun to shoot at the Kyrinia Metropolit. He was killed
by another Greek when he did not obey the order…two children were
killed by the Greek soldiers. The father asked for the bodies. They
killed the father as well and buried all in the mass graves…In the
Nicosia general hospital, the soldiers from Greece did not allow the
doctors to treat the wounded people who supported Makarios…If these
people from Greece are Hellenes, we should stop calling ourselves
Hellenes…mass arrest of those not supporting them started. The roads
of Kyrinia were full of armed persons sent by the Greek junta…I have
never thought that one day I will be arrested by brother Greeks and
put in the Kyrinia Castle. I pray for justice and freedom to come
back…" Catselli Rina, Refugee in my Homeland, 1979.

Mr George W. Ball, the former US Undersecretary, recalls in his

"…Makarios’ central interest was to block off Turkish intervention so
that he and his Greek Cypriots could go on happily massacring Turkish
Cypriots…Three or four vignettes of my Cyprus days stand out sharply
in my memory. A massacre took place in Limassol on the south coast in
which, as I recall, about fifty Turkish Cypriots were killed, in some
cases by bulldozers crushing their flimsy houses. As Makarios and I
walked out of the meeting together on the second day, I said to him
sharply that such beastly actions had to stop…With amused tolerance,
he replied, ‘But Mr Secretary, the Greeks and Turks have lived
together for two thousands years on this island and there have always
been occasional incidents; we are quite used to this.’ I was furious
at such a bland reply. ‘Your Beatitude,’ I said, ‘I’ve been trying for
the last two days to make the simple point that this is not the Middle
Ages but the latter part of the twentieth century. The world’s not
going to stand idly by and let you turn this beautiful island into
your private abattoir.’ Instead of the outburst I had expected, he
said quietly, with a sad smile, ‘Oh, you’re a hard man, Mr Secretary,
a very hard man!’…I promptly telegraphed the President advising him of
my proposal…’The Greek Cypriots’, I wrote, ‘do not want a peace
keeping force; they just want to be left alone to kill Turkish
Cypriots’. Ball George W., The Past Has Another Pattern, 1982.

Sir Alec Douglas-Hume, the former Prime Minister of the UK, recalls in
his memoirs:

"I was early convinced that if Archbishop Makarios could not bring
himself to treat the Turkish Cypriots as human beings, he was inviting
the invasion and partition of the island." Douglas-Hume Alec, The Wind

Mr Ayionatitis, the leader of the Greek political party ‘Ergaticki
Demokratika Association’ in his interview published in the Greek
Cypriot weekly magazine Periodika on 06.02.1994, admits the following:

"Greek Cypriot leadership says that the Cyprus problem began in 1974;
but it began long before this and even before the independence (1960)…
Power-holders on our side were oppressing Turkish Cypriots before 1974…
We should not forget that before 1974 Turkish Cypriots had been
treated like Negroes…Turks were doing the worst work but receiving the
least money. Turks had not had any control over the island’s economy.
Reverting to the state of affairs before 1974 would not be a justified
move at all. Turks will never agree to this. And we have to admit one
more thing: If Turkey arrived in 1974 to save the Turkish Cypriots,
the latter were really in need of being saved. No one could know what
the coupists would do if they took over. Turkish Cypriots were
concerned about their fate in case Cyprus was united with Greece and
they were justified with their concern. It is because of this concern
that Turkish Cypriots have been fighting against Enosis since 1945.
Under this climate, there remains to be no justification for refugees
to return to their homes." Periodika (Greek Cypriot weekly magazine),

"Greek Cypriot terrorist movement led by political bandit called
George Grivas had one simple aim: Enosis or union with Greece….In my
view the Turkish intervention of 1974 was not an invasion, as widely
accepted, but a morally justified rescue operation...I regret the
Greek rejection of a federal solution, which alone makes sense to me…
Greek Cypriots are trying to make life uncomfortable for Northern
Cyprus by cutting of gas and electricity daily…There are warning signs
today in the Greek Cypriot Republic…for months past, a Russian Mafia
and ex-KGB presence has been building up there…there is a massive arms
build-up as well...There are also reliable reports on a still more
sinister development, with the training of anti-Turkish, Leninist
terrorists of the PKKK in the South (Greek Cypriot)…" National Review,
12.06.1995 by Brian Cozier.

There are many hundreds of eyewitness accounts and reports like the
above describing the Greek atrocities and massacres committed against
the Turkish population of Cyprus. Despite all these, the Christian
Western World, as usual, sided with the Greek Cypriots and turned a
blind eye to the suffering of Moslem Turkish Cypriots. For twenty-five
years, the Turkish Cypriots were denied of their basic rights in the
international arena.



This article is based on a study titled "Greeks: The Democrats Who Are
Not" by K. B. Raif and published by the Turkish Democracy Foundation
in Ankara, September 1995.

For further information see article titled "The Cyprus Question"

2017-02-22 17:12:18 UTC
I'm sorry sir but after you declare war against your occupants no such thing exists. It is called an act of war. During wartime you fight with all your might to get rid of your oppressors. What are you missing on this I do not know...