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Introduction The beginning of the Greek presence in Thrace starts from the age of mythology and up to the present historical narrative. The myth continues with Frixos and Elli, who carried the Golden Fleece to the area and became the reason for the trip of the Argonauts. Having Jason as their leader, and representatives from all the Greek cities as payment, the Argonauts reached Kolhida and transformed the axenos (unfriendly) sea to Euxeinos (friendly) Pontus, and the ancient Greek cities, makes new colonies – cities of major importance since the 8th century B.C.. The evidence for the wealth, prosperity and the Greek essence of those colonies is proved through the descriptions of many both Greek and other scientists and philosophers. The great Greek historian Herodotus writes for the nation of Thracians, second in the world after the Indians. The Greek King Filippos ΙΙ, reorganized Thrace as a prefecture, whereas the empire of his son, Alexander the Great included the Thrace and great fighters. During the Roman period, Christianity is spread through the teaching of St Paul and his students. Moreover, the monasteries and churches become cradles of faith and ethnic consciousness. Christianity, using the Greek language, became widely spread throughout Thrace. Constantine the Great gave great attention to Thrace, with the transfer of the capital of Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) in Constantinople (ancient Greek colony of Megara, Byzantium) Generally during the era of the Byzantine Empire, Thrace was signified as an important centre of Hellenism. As a result of the conquest of Constantinople came slaughtering, plunder, flee towards Western Europe and the Balkan countries, as well as forcible islamification. Among the peoples that were forced to change faith the phenomenon of crypto-Christianity was noticed, as well as the maintenance of the Greek language, a phenomenon that is also noticed in current times, too. Since the beginning of the 18th century the Greeks of Thrace are re-capturing their lost identity and are mobilizing once again their spirit and abilities. The Greeks of the area are regaining their lost faith to freedom and are longing for their ethnic liberation. The establishment of “Filiki Eteria”, that promoted the Greek Revolution, takes place in a powerful economical and political centre, Odissos, with the Thracian mayor G. Maraslis. In a very short time, the Thracian Hellenism regained the commerce mobility of the entire Thrace. Thus, the economic prosperity in the wider area had as a result the intellectual and artistic renaissance, as well as a demographic boom. As mentioned above, the Thracian Hellenism, since the fall of the Byzantine Empire (1453) encountered constant persecutions and efforts towards mass forcible islamification and turkification, having an outmost peak the extremely well organized, planned, and scheduled in a systematic way and efficiently promoted genocide in the very beginning of the 20th century. The Headquarters the Ministries of External Affairs of Europe and the U.S.A. are still undeniable witnesses for the conviction of the crimes that were committed by the Ottoman state against the Greeks of Pontus, Thrace, Ionia (Asia Minor), Cappadocia, crimes that resulted in the violent expatriation of millions of Greeks, abandoning their fortunes and the civilization of their creative and evolutionary presence in those areas. The first phase of the Genocide of the Thracian Greeks is traced in 1908 and lasts until the beginning of World War I, when the Eastern issue, the rise of the Young -Turks in powerful positions in the ottoman empire, the Balkan Wars and Germany’s assistance as a strategic ally of the Ottoman state, created the right conditions for the initiating the expulsions of the Thracian Greeks. During that period, there are no longer declarations by the Young- Turks about fair and equal treatment of all in the state; on the contrary the Greeks are to be exterminated. Major part in this extermination has the “Special Organization”, which, having a Para-military structure makes the Greeks and the Armenians a target. The second period started in 1914, when the conflicts that arose during World War I, promoted the genocidal policies. The Young -Turk government orders a number of actions taken in order to further continue the extermination of the Greeks, together with the genocide of the Armenians. In December 1916 the majors Enver, Cemal and Talat, leaders of the Young- Turks party, advanced an extermination project against the non-combat Greek civilians of Thrace, that aimed at the immediate extermination of men only, aged 16-60 years old, and general exile of all men, women and children from the villages in the inner Anatolia, having a master plan of slaughtering and extinction”. At that time, genocide was already taking place, the Armenian genocide, with 1.500.000 victims. The Ottoman state is at war with the Entente Forces and the realization of the structured genocide plan appears easier than ever. The extinction plan is realized through the participation of both military and paramilitary forces and targets towards the murder or deportation of the men in concentration camps, and the total extinction of women, children and the elderly. The era 1919-1923 is the third, last and more intense face of the genocide, as the establishment of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) in the interior of the Ottoman state which is coincident with the establishment of the Soviet Union and the aid provided towards the nationalistic movement of Kemal, the Greek establishment in Ionia and Thrace, as well as the change of course in the exterior policy affairs of the great European forces. The Ottoman, Young-Turks, and Kemalist authorities pre-planned and realized the genocide. The orders for the deportations of the Greek populations to Kurdistan, Syria and elsewhere, either in the form of governmental decisions, either as a bill of the National Assembly, such as 1041 of the 12th June 1921 and 941 of the 16th June in the same year, had been signed both by the Young-Turks and Kendal himself. Consequently until 1923, the Young-Turks and the Kemalists, having taken harsh measures against the Greeks of Thrace, through the means of expel, rape, slaughtering, deportations and hangings, exterminated hundreds of thousands of Greek in Pontus, as well as in Ionia (Asia Minor) and in Thrace.
Among the victims of the genocide there were a great number of women and children, groups of the Greek population that consisted of a particular plan of the extermination plan. This can be verified through the reports and documentations of the foreign ambassadors, consuls, embassies, and others, where one can find references on the acts of slaughtering and brutality. Former ambassador of USA in Constantinople Henry Morgenthau says: «The martyrdom of the Greeks, therefore, comprised two periods: that antedating the war, and that which began in the early part of 1915. The first affected chiefly the Greeks on the seacoast of Asia Minor. The second affected those living in Thrace and in the territories surrounding the Sea of Marmora, the Dardanelles, the Bosporus, and the coast of the Black Sea. These latter, to the extent of several hundred thousand, were sent to the interior of Asia Minor. The Turks adopted almost identically the same procedure against the Greeks as that which they had adopted against the Armenians. They began by incorporating the Greeks into the Ottoman army and then transforming them into labour battalions, using them to build roads in the Caucasus and other scenes of action. These Greek soldiers, just like the Armenians, died by thousands from cold, hunger, and other privations. The same house-to-house searches for hidden weapons took place in the Greek villages, and Greek men and women were beaten and tortured just as were their fellow Armenians. The Greeks had to submit to the same forced requisitions, which amounted in their case, as in the case of the Armenians, merely to plundering on a wholesale scale. The Turks attempted to force the Greek subjects to become Mohammedans; Greek girls, just like Armenian girls, were stolen and taken to Turkish harems and Greek boys were kidnapped and placed in Moslem households. The Greeks, just like the Armenians, were accused of disloyalty to the Ottoman Government; the Turks accused them of furnishing supplies to the English submarines in the Marmora and also of acting as spies. The Turks also declared that the Greeks were not loyal to the Ottoman Government, and that they also looked forward to the day when the Greeks inside of Turkey would become part of Greece. These latter charges were unquestionably true; that the Greeks, after suffering for five centuries the most unspeakable outrages at the hands of the Turks, should look longingly to the day when their territory should be part of the fatherland was to be expected. The Turks, as in the case of the Armenians, seized upon this as an excuse for a violent onslaught on the whole race. Everywhere the Greeks were gathered in groups and, under the so-called protection of Turkish gendarmes, they were transported, the larger part on foot, into the interior. Just how many were scattered in this fashion is not definitely known, the estimates varying anywhere from 200,000 up to 1,000,000. These caravans suffered great privations, but they were not submitted to general massacre as were the Armenians, and this is probably the reason why the outside world has not heard so much about them. The Turks showed them this greater consideration not from any motive of pity. The Greeks, unlike the Armenians, had a government which was vitally interested in their welfare. At this time there was a general apprehension among the Teutonic Allies that Greece would enter the war on the side of the Entente, and a wholesale massacre of Greeks in Asia Minor would unquestionably have produced such a state of mind in Greece that its pro-German king would have been unable longer to keep his country out of the war. It was only a matter of state policy, therefore, that saved these Greek subjects of Turkey from all the horrors that befell the Armenians. But their sufferings are still terrible, and constitute another chapter in the long story of crimes for which civilization will hold the Turk responsible». Through these testimonies / sources, one can easily come to the conclusion that the Ottoman Army and the Para-military forces actually pre-planned and practiced policies of extermination against the women and children. Violently abducting the women and holding them against their will in Turkish residencies, violently subjecting them to islamification, the violent rapes and pregnancies by force, the murdering of the pregnant women, the violent abduction of young children, even infants from their mothers, their families and their adoption by Turkish families. All in all, here had been violent detachment- removal of young children from one ethnic group to another, which is one of the greatest issues of committing genocide. The genocide forced the surviving Greeks of Thrace, to abandon their homeland. The final chapter of this mass murder deals with the forcible removal of the survivors from their homeland. With the treaty referring to the population exchange, signed both by Greece and Turkey in 1923, the uprooting of the Thracian Greeks from their land is completed, closing the issue of one of the bloodiest mass murders in the History of mankind. After 27 centuries of presence, prosperity and contribution of a historical nation, the Greeks of Thrace, as well as those of Pontus, Ionia (Asia Minor), Cappadocia, abandoned the land of their ancestors, their homes, churches, graves, and a culture of world wide appeal. The Greeks of Thrace nowadays in Greece, in the U.S.A., in Canada, in Australia, in Europe, and throughout the world wants justice to be attributed in the name of their ancestors that were murdered during the genocide from the Ottoman State. A genocide that consists part of a greater crime committed against that cost the life of 2.750.000 Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians, who lived in the Ottoman state in the beginning of the 20th century. The ethnic composition of Thrace in the 18th and 19th century Numerous Western European travellers in this period confirmed the predominant Greek character of the area and the persecutions of the Greeks in Thrace. The German geographer and physician Ami Boué (1794-1881), who disagreed with the language criterion for the determination of the national identity of the populations in this part of the Ottoman state, underlined the Greek character of Eastern Thrace and the statistical domination of the Greek element in the entire vilayet (province) of Adrianople. He specifically reports that Greeks resided in the whole south plain of Thrace and at the coastline of Euxeinus Pontos. The Greek element is everywhere: in Raidestos, Evros, Adrianople, Phillipoupolis, Eski-Zagra, and in other many places. Hellenism. It is significant to note that the English diplomatic representative Steven Francis . Clair [ wrote on the 20th of August 1863 in a letter that the Bulgarians at the coast of Euxinos Pontos were completely assimilated to the Greeks and that they had been Hellenized. The rare presence of the Muslim element in Eastern and Western Thrace is pointed out by the German botanic August Heinrich Rudolf Grisebach (1814-1879) who reported that he had met unmingled Turkish villages only in the area of Ainos and that the whole area from the South and South-East of Andrianople to Propontis and the Straits was actually Greek. In confirmation of the above, we have the statistics of the province of Andrianople in 1873 in which the Greek predominance the whole South of Thrace is underlined. Hence, for example in the districts (“kazas”) of Adrianople, Dydimotichon, Saranta Ecclesiae and Xanthi 50,028 Turks are mentioned in contrast to 123,011 Christians; in the sanjak of Thracian Callipolis 12,286 Turks and 42,401 Christians and in the sanjak of Raidestos 11,805 Turks and 30,074 Christians. The French traveller and economist Adolphe Jérôme Blanqui (1778-1854) reached similar conclusions, speaking about the statistical pre-domination of Greeks over the Turks with the Rhodopes Mountains as a natural border, and contrasting the corresponding Slavic domination with Ainos as a border. The prominent French geographer Auguste Viquesnel (1800-1867) also noted the numerical domination of Greeks in the most important urban centres of the Thracian littoral from Constantinople to Ainos, Sylebria, Heraclea, Raidestos, Ganochora, Dydimotichon, Ortakoy, Lititsa and other places.
The French discoverer and geographer Guillaume Lejean (1828-1871) pointed out that along Evros and in the whole Eastern Thrace and Bosporus, Greek rural population dominated, preventing, by its presence, the eventual settlement of Turkish refugees.. Similar conclusions were reached by the French archaeologist Albert Dumont (1842-1884), who by presenting many statistical data regarding the demographic and ethnological composition of the biggest and smallest urban centres of Eastern Thrace, noted that the entire littoral from Constantinople to Callipolis was resided exclusively by Greeks. In his Nouvelle Geographie Universelle of 1876, Elisée Reclus (1830-1905) points out that the population of the villages and of the plain in the interior of Thrace were constituted by Greeks. The entire Eastern Thrace from Bosporus to Andrianople and from the Dardanelles to the Gulf of Pyrgos comprised an integral part of the Greek character. The ethnographic maps of European Turkey that were issued during the last quarter of the 19th century, trace with analytical data the ethnic composition of Ottoman Thrace. For instance, the map of A. Synvet, a Greek schoolmaster of Constantinople, estimates the Greek residents of Thrace, except for the Greek populations of Constantinople, the dioceses Derka and Varna, as 380,000, including the 68,000 Greeks of Eastern Rumelia that came under the metropolis of Phillipoupolis, Anchialos, Mesembria and Sozoagathoupolis. The ethnographic map of Edward Stanford (1877) points out the absence of a stable Slavic population at the south of Phillipoupolis and identifies the dominant presence of the population in Eastern and Western Thrace and in every urban center from Constantinople to Evros.  In the late 18th century, the Marseillan Peyssonel refered analytically to the trade of Euxinos Pontos and to the offshore urban centers. Sozopolis was then a remarkable trade center with a good port and a rich import trade made by numerous ships. [The French geographer Jean Baptiste Lechevalier (1752-1836) reports that Sozopolis was inhabited exclusively by Greeks and that it exported rural products. According to Lechevalier, Pyrgos was one of the most important trade centers of Euxinos Pontos where products from Russia, France, Venice, Constantinople, Smyrna, Thessaloniki, Cairo, and Brussa were stored. Élie de la Primaudaie speaks about Greek Mesembria while undoubtedly Varna, from the end of the 18th century, was the biggest trade center of the littoral of Euxinos Pontos where about 15,000 - 16,000 Greeks, Turks, and Armenians lived and had trade shops Varna was the biggest trade storage of rural products of Euxinos Pontos that were transported every year by 300 Greek and Turkish ships to Constantinople. Particularly relevant was the trade of nuts while the Greeks in Varna were responsible for the production of wine. During the second decade of the 19th century there was much activity in Rouchstouk which was then inhabited by 18,000 - 20,000 Greeks, according to Ludwig von Stürmer while the US representative Henry Alexander Scammel Dearborn (1783-1851)points out that Sozopolis was resided exclusively by Greeks who were exporting wood and wine. He estimates the population of Varna at 16,000 Greeks, Turks, and Armenians and this information is confirmed by Thielen. Thrace during the period 1875-1924: Persecutions, tortures, refugees Northern Thrace (Eastern Rumelia): At the end of the 19th century the Bulgarians were trying to dominate the area since they had two important advantages: the first was that they bordered Thrace and the second was that Turkey was unable to counter the infiltration of Bulgarian guerillas (komitadji, in Slavonic language komitatsi: a member of a secret revolutionary organisation; a rebel) in Thrace. With the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate (1870) by the Ottoman authorities, that led to a split from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the national awakening of Bulgarians, the Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano (1878) and the subsequent Berlin Peace Conferenfce (1878), the Greeks and Bulgarians of Macedonia and Thrace were confronting each other through vicious battles, taking place in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early 20th century. Article 10 of the Ottoman firman, establishing the Bulgarian Exarchate, expanded the jurisdiction of the Exarchate to Ottoman regions, where Greek and Bulgarian populations were mixed and aggravated the antagonisms between Greeks and Bulgarians in Macedonia and Thrace. During the Berlin Peace Conference (1878) the Russian plans were revised and Ottoman Rule was maintained in Macedonia and Thrace. Regarding Eastern Rumelia, an autonomous rule was foreseen after the withdrawal of the Russian army, which finally withdrew on August 1879 thus facilitating the dominance of the Bulgarian element in Northern Thrace. Thus, the British altered their plans, in the hope that with the establishment of a self-governing province in Eastern Rumelia, the power of the Bulgarians would be counterbalanced by the large Greek and Turkish elements. Although the Law for autonomy of East Rumelia secured, at least theoretically, equal rights for Greeks, Bulgarians, and Turks, in reality, it paved the ground for the eventual incorporation of this province into Bulgaria. Even the Greek consul in Philippoupolis, Athanasios Matalas, despite his attempts to secure Greek interests, suspected that East Rumelia sooner or later would become part of Bulgaria. With the signing of the Treaty of Berlin (1878), the entire region of Thrace, apart from the districts (“sanjaks”) of Philippopolis and Selimnos and a part of sanjak of Andrianople that constituted East Rumelia, was divided into the vilayet of Constantinople and the vilayet of Andrianople. The first included the administrative parts of the larger province of Constantinople, Peran and Catalza. The second - the province of Adrianople - included the sanjaks of Adrianople, Saranta Ecclesiae, Gioumoultzin (Komotini), Callipolis, Raidestos and Dede-Agach (named later Alexandroupolis). In Eastern Thrace, the Greek element represented 37 – 39 % of the total population, Turks 42 - 47 % and Bulgarians 11 %. In East Rumelia, the ethnic composition changed in 1885 after theexpulsion of the Turkish population and the domination of the Bulgarians. The occupation of East Rumelia by the Bulgarian army in 1885 worsened Greek-Bulgarian relations, causing high tensions in the area, and uprooted all Greeks in Thrace and Macedonia. Indicative is a report of the Greek consul in Thessaloniki, P. Logothetis, who wrote on the 1st of October 1885: “Hellenism resents the news that are transmitted by telegraphs from Europe, which are trying to eliminate the rightful desires of Greeks, where Greek education excels with great unique institutions, where Greek trade distinguishes, where the Greek population is 250,000 and the Bulgarian is only 2,000”. After 1885 the countdown for Greeks begain in East Rumelia, which reached its apex in 1906 after anti-Greek persecutions that broke out in the most important urban centers of this province. In the meantime (1886-1906) two plans were put into effect: the first was the policy of the Bulgarization of the Greek populations in East Rumelia with the obligatory introduction of the Bulgarian language in Greek schools and the subsequent abolition of the Greek language. The second was the occupation of the Greek commercial element and the occupation of the Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries in Stenimachos, Philippoupolis, Kavakli, and Kouklena by the Bulgarians. Especially after the Revolution of Iliden (1903) the Bulgarians unleashed a ferocious paramilitary army which tried to incorporate Northern Greece into Bulgaria. From the summer of 1906, Greek educational and ecclesiastical institutions were oppressed in all East Rumelia. This persecution started from Varna and expanded to the entire East Romulia with attacks against eminent teachers and priests taking the form of beatings and even assassinations. At the same time, the Bulgarian population and the Bulgarian state/ destroyed Greek institutions, such as schools, churches, hospitals, unions etc., stole by Bulgarian authorities their belongings and forbade the Greek language at schools. On August 1905 Anchialos was set on fire after a battle with 12,000 Bulgarians, most of them members of paramilitary groups. The slain Greeks, who were in most cases old people or children, were burnt in their homes, numbered over 100. In Pyrgos, Mesembria the property stolen from the Greeks was estimated at more than 2,000,000 gold francs (approximately 20.000.000 Euro) . In July 1906 terrorism was intensified through robberies, arson, beatings, assassinations and vandalism. In Philippoupolis the Greek Orthodox cathedral was damaged as were 113 houses of worship in the area. The Maraslios School was set on fire and its library was destroyed while another 66 schools were destroyed including the Zariphios School - a boarding house for female students. The property belonging to the community of Philippoupolis, confiscated on 6/8/1906, was of immeasurable value. The persecution reached the Greek cities of Stenimachos, Varna, Mesembria, Sozopolis, Pyrgos, Agathoupolis, Kavakli, and Artaki. 88 Greek communities were decimated and their fortune - of great value - had been expropriated by the Bulgarian state without
compensaton. Bulgarian vandalism and violence against Greeks were such, that even Bulgarians started to protest. In response the semi-official newspaper Vetcherna Poshta commented: ”Only one tribe must dominate the Aimos peninsula and that is the Bulgarian. Therefore, Greeks of East Rumelia, Thrace and Macedonia must be destroyed or exterminated. Their destruction must be an article of faith for all Bulgarians . The last flow of Greek refugees from East Rumilia arrived in Greece in May 1914 after further anti-Greek persecutions that occurred in the aftermath of the Second Balkan War (1913). Approximately 200,000 came as refugees, and the Greek communities of Northern Thrace, East Rumelia, Philippoupolis, Kouklena, Stenimachos, Kavakli, Vodena, Sozopolis, Anchialos, Mesembria, Varna, Pyrgos, and elsewhere were destroyed. The persecutions against the Greeks of Eastern Thrace The Greek element of Eastern Thrace suffered immensely as a result of Turkish violence. Accompanying the violent action of the Bulgarian guerrillas, who tried in vain, with the uprising of Iliden of June 1903, to shake off the traces of the Turkish army in West Macedonia and in the vilayet of Andrianople. The continuing aggravation of the situation and the tyrannic behaviour of the komitadji towards the Greeks of Thrace led to the organization of a Greek counterguerilla, which was set up in 1905 under the leadership of Georgios Kondylis (1879-1936) in Agathoupolis. But the most important impulse for the organization of the national resistance of the Greeks in Thrace and the revival of nationalism came with the presence of Stilianos Gonatas in 1907, who, with the help of the Greek consular officers and the Pan-Hellenic Organization (founded in 1908), laid the foundations of the Greek resistance movement against the persecutions in the region of Thrace. The movement of the Young Turk revolution (1908) renewed the sufferings of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace. While proclaiming equality for all ethnic minorities under Ottoman rule. The Young Turks initiated an unprecedented campaign in Thrace in order to Turkify the Greek population through the introduction of compulsory education of the Turkish language in Greek schools, the restrictions on Greek-Orthodox churches and the application of the law for obligatory national service. The sufferings of the Thracian Greeks were without end. Bulgarian violence was observed during the first Balkan War (1912) in Adrianople, Sylebria, Raidestos, Heraclea, Xanthi, Komotini, Alexandroupolis, Soufli, Dydimoticho, when these regions were occupied by the Bulgarian army. With the outbreak of the Second Balkan War in summer of 1913, Eastern Thrace was occupied again by the Turks and many Greek villages were completely destroyed by the Ottoman army. Despite the fact that the Greek army was dominant at that period in Xanthi, Komotini, and Alexandroupolis, the Treaty of Constantinople (16/19 September 1913) ceded Western Thrace to Bulgaria while Eastern Thrace stayed under Ottoman rule. In Western Thrace, the policy of the Bulgarian occupation aimed at the vitiation of Hellenism with the impoverishment of its educational and ecclesiastical activity. An even worse situation was faced by the Greeks of Eastern Thrace, where the policy of the Young Turks forced the Greek element to endure deportation, expatriation and any form of intimidation. From 1907 on, Bulgarian gangs invaded Eastern Thrace by robbing, killing and forcing the population to join the Bulgarian Exarchate. After many decisive actions and steps, the Turkish authorities allowed Greeks to take up arms to defend themselves. During the First Balkan War, the Turks moved with violence against the Greeks of Eastern Thrace, as the Bulgarian army attacked the Turks. Moreover, they stole relics, icons and manuscripts from various places (Heraclea, Panio, Vizye etc.). Bulgaria withdrew its forces from Eastern Thrace, which was then re-occupied by the Turks. While the Bulgarians directed their violent actions against the Turks, the latter turned against the Greeks. So, began the persecutions, violence, arsons, and outright slaughter against Greeks, especially in Malgara, Kessani, Charioupolis, and Makra Gephyra, which were the first to be occupied by Turkish troops. The Turks tortured and slaughtered many Greeks especially in the villages of Alepli, Dervenaki etc. while in Raidestos alone they killed 60 Greeks. The Greek victims during the re-occupation of Eastern Thrace were 15,700, while in the coastal regions 120,000 were displaced. The Treaty of Bucharest (10/8/1913), which terminated the Balkan Wars, left approximately a million Thracians outside of the Greek borders and under Bulgarian or Ottoman rule. Since autumn 1913 plans for the expulsion and annihilation of the Greeks in Eastern Thrace were put into effect. The methods used were: attacks, siege of villages, terrorism, threats against individuals or communities and expulsion. Involved in these intimidations were rangers, Ottoman Turkish military, civil and judicial officials and irregulars with the help of the Turkish army. They immediately expelled residents of ten villages in the districts of Saranta Ecclesiae and Vizye. In winter 1913 Ottoman paramilitaries laid siege to Greek villages, curtailing circulation and communication, while in February 1914 began the shooting at the rural Greek population. Ecumenical Patriarch Germanos had sent a letter to the Russian Czar Nicholas II and to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking for intervention to rescue the Christian population of East Thrace while he met, for the same reason, the Grand Vizier Said Halim Pasha (12 May 1914). Thus, the Ottoman authorities legalized theft since the assets were evaluated up to 5 percent of their value. The real estate, the houses, the fields were not compensated. Mobile property such as furniture, clothing and tools as well as the rural production had to be abandoned by the displaced and dispossessed Greeks. 30,000 residents of Greek villages of the area of Vizye were expatriated. The same happened in the areas of Ganou, Tyroloe, and Sylebria. In spring 1914 the Turkish authorities executed the mayors of Samokovo and Skopos, the teachers, and scientists. With the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918) the conditions of the Greeks had worsened and the plans for the cultural destruction of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace were implemented by deporting the Greeks to remote and inaccessible areas in the East. The deportation of Greeks from Eastern Thrace was implemented in various ways: Intimidation of the main bodies of the Greek resistance, intense paramilitary activity against Greek refugees, repression of Greek Orthodox religious practices, deportations and sale of belongings at discreditable prices, deportation from the interior, in particular from wealthy centres (Vizye, Tyroloe, Loule-Bourgaz [Arkadioupolis], Saranta Ecclesiae, Kessani, Malgara, Charioupolis, Uzun Köprü [Makra Gephyra] and others), and compulsory deportation to the coastal cities of Raidestos, Heraclea, Callipolis, and Ganochora. The recruitment of Greeks from Eastern Thrace into army battalions of forced labour (amele tamburu), and their physical destruction by exhaustion and tortures, the continuous requisitions, the additional taxation and the languishing of trade and industry, comprise the tragedy of Hellenism of Eastern Thrace during World War I. It is estimated that in 1913 232,999 Greeks were deported from East Thrace. Of those approximately 100,000 deportees, which had been sent into the interior of Asia Minor (Central Anatolia), only 54,000 returned after the Ottoman war capitulation (30 Otober 1918). The other half – 46,000 people – perished during their exile from exhaustion, force labour and deceases. In 1906 the total figure of Greeks in that area were 349,734, whereas according to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in 1911 they were 331,530; according to the Ottoman pre-war census of 1912 there were 253,000 Greeks in East Thrace, while the post-war data submitted to the peace committee in Paris reported 367,362 people.
Thrace after World War I Before the conclusion of peace treaties that would end World War I, the Greeks of Thrace did not remain indifferent. On the contrary, they sought to prepare a diplomatic campaign for those who would defend their rights. On the 29th of September 1918 the first meeting of Thracians took place in Thessaloniki and issued a resolution, which was sent to the French marshall Franchet d’Espery, the commander-in-chief of Entente forces in Western Thrace. With this resolution, the Greek Thracians were asking for the security of Hellenism and the protection from further sufferings until the implementation of their repatriation. Secondly, they hold a demonstration with the support of Greeks from, Christians from Asia Minor and on-Muslims from Asia Minor on 14 October 1918 in the Omonoia Square of Athens. At least sixty thousand people participated, which an impressive figure is considering that the population of Athens then numbered only some hundreds of thousands. The conference forwarded two demands: The first related to the unification of Western Thrace with Greece and to the autonomy for Eastern Thrace, whose incorporation was impossible at that time. The long term aim was the union of the whole of Thrace. On the demand of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this irredentist – from the point of view of Bulgaria or the Ottoman Empire - decisions were not publicised. At the Peace Conference in Paris (1919) the issue of Thrace arose again. Although the Greek side struggled hard, the Thracian issue was not resolved according to Greek wishes. The proposals of the President of the USA, Woodrow Wilson concerned the incorporation of the area of Xanthi-Komotini to Greece, while the rest of Western Thrace would remain with Bulgaria, while the rest of Thrace along with Eastern Thrace would be part of the state of Constantinople (a part of the Ottoman Empire controlled by the Sultan’s government and under the Entente Monitoring. The American proposal was finally rejected by the Great Britain and France. On October 1919, the Hellenic army occupied the area of Xanthi with the agreement of the Peace Conference and the French military authorities settled in Western Thrace, undertook the administration of “Inter-allied Thrace” with the collaboration of the former Greek deputy of the Ottoman Parliament, Charisios Vamvakas. The Inter-Allied occupation lasted until May 1920 when it was substituted, as it was supposed to, by the Greek army under the leadership of lieutenant general Emmanouil. Zimvrakakis, who managed to occupy almost the entire Eastern portion of Thrace reaching till Karagach, a suburb of Adrianople, beyond the Western bank of the river Evros. According to the Treaty of Sèvres of 28 July 1920, Greece occupied Eastern Thrace until Catalza within a distance of 20 kilometres from Constantinople and the peninsula of Gallipoli. Greece also occupied the Aegean islands Imbros and Tenedos as well as the whole area of Smyrna according to earlier decisions of 1919. In accordance with the terms of the Sèvres Treaty, the occupied area of Smyrna would be incorporated into Greece, five years later, after a referendum. In Smyrna the population had a relative Greek majority and an absolute Non-Muslim majority. In the area of Thrace that was under Hellenic administration, the Greek element was still dominant despite the persecutions it had endured. Immediately after its liberation, Eastern Thrace was divided into four prefectures (Adrianople, Saranta Ecclesiae, Callipolis, and Raidestos), thus preserving with only a few modifications the Ottoman administrative units. At the beginning of September 1920 South-Western Thrace was unified with Eastern Thrace and subsequently two more prefectures were added: that of Rhodope and Evros, in which Kypseli (Ipsala) and Ainos belonged to Evros and in 1922 came under the Turkish domination. The Hellenic troops in Thrace found a region totally wasted by continuous oppression during the past decade. The Greek population was partly destructed and partly expatriated. Commerce and local markets were destroyed while a general feeling of insecurity prevailed. Such was the disaster that some repatriated were unable even to locate the boundaries of their local estate. While the population of Thrace, according to the official statistics of 1906, was 1,106,338 residents (of which 193,923 resided outside the area that belonged to Greece), in 1920 the population was reduced to 671,301; there was a real decrease of 241,114 residents. In the entire area of Thrace that used to be Greek, on 28,143 square kilometers the average was approximately 24 people per km2. If we subtract those who lived in cities, the average was 16 people per km2. The day that Thrace was occupied by the Greek army (14/5/1920), its population consisted of: 1. Native Greeks, most of whom had been expelled by the Bulgarians or the Turks, and who had started to repatriate after 1918. 2. Native Muslims of various ethnicities: Pomaks, Roma (Gypsies) etc. 3. Native Muslims from Crimea, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, and Albania, who settled here after the Russian-Turkish war (1877-78) and the Balkan Wars (1912-13). 4. Bulgarian new-settlers (only in South-Western Thrace). Those Bulgarians who resided in East Thrace, according to the Bulgarian-Ottoman Treaty of 1915 for the exchange of populations, had to move to Bulgaria. The 103 villages that were evacuated according to this treaty were colonized mainly by Muslim refugees from Bulgaria. To this number we can add 23 more villages that were evacuated during the Balkan Wars. On 9 August 1920, Venizelos, in his telegram to the Hellenic High Commissioner in Thrace, Adamantios. Sachtouris, recommended the enforcement of substantial measures for the re-organization of the new Greek territories and the application of a plan that would bring tranquillity to each community, would ensure autonomy and equality, and would pardon the crimes that had been committed, and would contribute to the direct repatriation of the expelled Greeks. Gradually Hellenic administrative authorities were installed in Thrace, and the Turkish officials of the offices in Andrianople and of the administrations of Raidestos, Saranta Ecclesiae and Callipolis were forced to concede to their Hellenic colleagues all the regular protocols. The basic aim of the Hellenic administration was autonomy for all ethnic minorities and the development of peaceful relations with the Muslim element. For the achievement of this aim a decisive role was played by the moderate stance of the Greek population, despite the horrors they had endured under the Young Turks. But the problems were tremendous. The economic difficulties for the population of Eastern Thrace resulted in miserable conditions while the circumstances were critical due to the general turmoil; the overthrow of the resistance of the Ottoman rebel Tzafer Tagiar, the break-up of the Ottoman army and the attempt of the Bulgarian guerrillas (“komitadji”), who sided with Turkish rebels to influence the Muslim population of Bulgaria. In the election to the Hellenic parliament on 1st November 1920 the population of free Thrace participated. In the Hellenic Parliament, the Greeks of Thrace were represented by 30 representatives, the Muslim by 20, the Jews and the Armenians by one each. However. When at the same time the authority of the “Thracian committee” was significantly expanded, the political balance was disturbed. Şevket, the mufti of Adrianople and former mayor, had a leading role. After the discovery of weapons and the arrest of Şevket’s son, in February 1921, rumours about an imminent rebellion by that movement were rampant. It was then that the centre of Bulgarian-Turkish activity was discovered in Arkadioupolis, under the leadership of the previous colonel of the Turkish army, Mahmut Bey. Those who were guilty were arrested and sent to the military special court of Saranta Ecclesiae.
The mission of the Hellenic administration in the united region of Thrace and the hopes of thousands of Greeks remained unfulfilled. The events of the Asia Minor campaign directly affected the Greek presence in Eastern Thrace, just before the signing of the protocol of Moudania (28 September/ 11 October 1922). After the signing of the protocol, the Hellenic army was forced to evacuate Eastern Thrace within 15 days and to retreat to the West of Evros. Allied troops had undertaken the task to transfer the political power to the Turkish authorities 30 days after the evacuation of Eastern Thrace. Natives and refugees fled in panic. With the expulsion of Eastern Thrace by the Greek population and the withdrawal of the Hellenic forces, the only Greek elements left behind were the Hellenic civil authorities and the Hellenic police. Turkish armed groups began to repeatedly attack the Hellenic police. Murders of refugees, theft of property, telegraph and telephone sabotage were also observed. Order could not be restored. From mid-October 1922 the transfer of power in the biggest urban centres of Eastern Thrace to French representatives of the inter-allied committee began. The last Hellenic officials made appeals to be allowed to stay on. Arkadioupolis was transformed into an abandoned area after the withdrawal of the Hellenic army. On 8th October the Greek church of Agios Demetrios was destroyed by the Turkish army. The same happened in the Greek district of Makra Gephyra (Uzun Köprü) in front of Hellenic officials. On October 24 the Hellenic administration of Saranta Ecclesiae was handed over to the inter-allied committee. The French president of the inter-allied committee identified Thrace as Greek, thus confirming the tragic irony. 150 Greek families that stayed in Saranta Ecclesiae were forced under these circumstances to expatriate on March 1924. In the first fortnight of November (1922) the transfer of Callipolis to the commander of the French troops was completed. The last part of the Hellenic army left Adrianople on 18 October 1922. Unilateral Turkish / Mutual ethnic cleansing and the “exchange of populations” The triple partition of Thrace brought about radical changes to the demographic composition of the area. This occurred because the national states, into which the three parts of Thrace were incorporated, in their attempt to ensure ’ethnic homogeneity’, applied the method of ethnic cleansing that included persecutions, transfers of populations, expropriation of belongings and land, severe administrative measures etc. The method of “population exchange” had been applied in Thrace for the first time already after the Balkan Wars: According to an agreement that was signed between Bulgaria and Turkey in Constantinople on September 1913, Muslims who had settled around Evros River and Bulgarians who had settled within a 15 kilometres zone from the river had to leave their homes. Thus, approximately 65,000 Muslims of this zone (including the present Bulgarian side) moved to Eastern Thrace while an unidentified number – not higher than 15 -20,000 - from Eastern Thrace moved towards South-eastern Bulgaria. The next exchange of populations happened between Bulgaria and Greece: In 1919-1920 within the framework of the Treaty of Neuilly on ’voluntary exchange of populations’, about 55,000 Greeks of East Rumelia, i.e. North Thrace, were forced to abandon their houses and settle as refugees in Greece (especially in Macedonia and Thrace). Within the frameworks of the same Treaty, about 50,000 Bulgarians abandoned South Thrace – especially its Western part - after its incorporation to Greece in 1920. It is worth mentioning here that an important number of Greeks of Northern Thrace and a corresponding number of Turks of South-Western Thrace preferred to stay in their homes. With the passage of time, these Thracians were Bulgarified or Hellenised without any further direct persecutions. For the last time, the method of the “population exchange” was applied in Thrace in 1922. In October of the same year Greeks who settled in Eastern Thrace and who, according to credible sources of the period, comprised more than 40% of the population, were forced to abandon their ancestral houses. Thus, more than 220,000 East Thracian Greeks became refugees and settled in Western Thrace or Macedonia. The abandonment of Eastern Thrace by the Greeks was confirmed by the bilateral treaty that brought about the mandatory and asymmetric exchange of populations that was signed in Lausanne on 30 January 1923 between Greece and Turkey. It is worth mentioning that with the same treaty, Muslims who lived in the Greek part of Thrace, numbering about 90,000, were excluded from the exchange with the status of a religious minority. In a similar way, Ottoman citizens of Greek-Orthodox religion who resided in Constantinople were exempted. Conclusions The protocol of Moudania that was signed in October 1922 was the coup de grace for Thracian Hellenism, since the Hellenic army was ordered to evacuate Eastern Thrace within 15 days and withdraw to the west of Evros. Therefore, Eastern Thrace was lost and in 1922 the number of Greek refugees increased to 350,000. The official Turkish claims at the Lausanne conference were articulated by Mustafa Ismet Inönü: transfer of all territories East of Evros to Turkey. Aleksandar Stabomliyski (1879-14.06.1923) spoke for the Bulgarian side, urging that West Thrace will have to come under an autonomous regime as a neutral zone under the protection of the Allied Great Powers, of not returned to Bulgaria, as it happened with East Thrace to Turkey. Only in this way, the Bulgarian access to the Aegean Sea would be secured without having to transit through Greek or Turkish territory; however, this demand was rejected by the conference as unacceptable. The decision of 30 January 1923 for the mandatory exchange of populations (which was hastily recommended by Venizelos in order to counterbalance the violent expatriation of Ottoman Greeks from Turkey with the corresponding expatriation of Muslims from Greece) defined an exception: in order to secure a Greek presence in Constantinople – a distant part of Thracian space – a corresponding exemption of Muslims in Western Thrace was accepted. On the contrary, one day after the exchange, after the massive departure of Bulgarians, the Muslim element was to be reduced from 65 percent - 123,000 in population - to 39% - 191,000 in population while the corresponding Greek element, after the settlement of refugees, reached approximately 170,000. The demographic picture of Thrace, at the end of the period 1912-1923, was formed under the pressure of massive transfers of populations – in reality the forced expatriation, expulsion and deportation if millions of people, which under contemporary legal conditions was highly doubtful at least and under the legal understanding of today would be considered as crime against humanity. Before the enacting and with the simultaneous application of the decisions for the exchange of populations, the catalytic facts that took place in the area – Balkan Wars, World war I, the Asia Minor Catastrophe- had caused major situations outside of any conventional expectations. It is very characteristic that in the south zone of the Balkan Peninsula, which surrounds Greek Thrace, the number of Greeks, Bulgarians, and Muslims that have changed their place of residence, is estimated at around 2,300,000 - 2,500,000. The radical change of the balance of populations, first of all the movement (flight, deportation, expatriation?) of Bulgarian residents – settled there in a dramatic fashion after the enforcement of the Bulgarian domination. Their population figures, according to the statistics of the French allied authorities after the re-establishment of the Greek administration – to 54,092 out of the 196,000 residents. Their number clearly decreased when probably more than 30,000 followed the Bulgarian authorities in their obligatory withdrawal. After the application of the bipartite convention about “voluntary immigration of the tribal minorities from Greece and Bulgaria”, at least half of the 25,000 of Slavophones or Bulgarophones that had remained there followed the same route; according to A. Pallis there were more. From 1913, after the Turkish-Bulgarian convention for the exchange of populations, 49,000 Muslims had been compelled to abandon areas of Thrace that fell under Bulgarian domination. From the end of 1919 until the entry of Hellenic forces into the area, there would remain less than 84,000 to 100,000 according to an estimation this is a number that was going to be exceeded in the following years reaching 303,000 refugees in 1928. Among them, Turks would excel continuously and Pomaks and Gypsies would follow.
Along with the transiently decreased but gradually re-strengthened Muslim the Greek nation was emerging steadily and amplified. A comparison of the data shows that the Greek population increased between 1920 and 1928 by 96,264. This number includes the majority of the thousands of residents that abandoned the area after the Balkan Wars and during World War I, as well as a part of refugees – 60,000 from South Russia who settled in the greater geographical zone of Northern Greece as well as Greek residents of Bulgaria, who chose as a place of settlement Macedonia or Thrace according to the treaty about the exchange of populations. The consolidation of the Greeks would comprise the prerequisite and the basis for the security of the national preponderance in connection with the evident augmentative stress that became clear to Greek Thrace just after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne. The official estimation of the years 1920 and 1928 respectively show an arithmetic difference that comes to the 50 percent - 303,171 residents against 209,443 residents eight years earlier. Today the Genocide of the Greek Thracian people is an issue that has been left aside for many years. It is a political issue and its international extension refers to the obligation of all estates of the international community, the countries and the institutions, to recognize the crime of the genocide committed against the Greek people in Thrace, and generally in former Ottoman Empire so through this, compensate for the enormous psychological damage that they have suffered. Moreover, the genocide constitutes, according to the International Law, a crime that primarily aimed at the extermination of the Greek element in the territories that were under the ottoman rule. The International offence of the Genocide indicates certain obligation not only to the country that has committed the crime, but also to the entire international community, i) not to acknowledge as legal, a status that emerges from an international crime, ii) not to facilitate the executor of such a crime to preserve the illegal status and iii) to help other countries regarding the application of the above commitments. Thus, the international community is obliged not to acknowledge an illegal status emerging from genocide. The prospect of creating a new Europe and a new peaceful planet that will be much more democratic and realistic, is realized today, through the creation of a liberal, just, equal and harmonic world. This model of Europe and also this type of international community that we are trying to create, can not face with indifference and hypocrisy their own selves and history overall. An ecumenical struggle for the quest and demonstration of truth will certainly find a number of peoples accordant. For example see the resolution from International Association of Genocide Scholars for the Genocide (December 2007) and the announcement from New York Life Insurance Co for a program to locate and compensate heirs of approximately 1,000 life insurance policies issued to Greeks in the Ottoman Empire prior to 1915. In order not to have the crimes ever repeated we need to indicate the ones responsible and the reasons that lead them towards that direction. We need to seek the truth and present it to the public opinion that is a judge beyond any kind of interests. Today, that other peoples are subjected to genocides by racist regimes, the first step has to be made towards the recognition of the Greeks in Thrace. On the other hand, Turkey has to take responsibility for the Genocide of the Greeks, the same way that other countries that have committed massive crimes, have also done, without turning to propaganda and constantly projecting lies aiming to get rid of the accusations. Every people have the right to memory, the right to persistently demand official recognition by the authorities of the crimes that have been committed on his expense. The greater the crime, the longer the facts have been neglected, the greater the urge for the according recognition becomes. The recognition, which is a meaningful way of resisting against the universal plague of genocide, the recognition which consists a confirmation of a people’s right to have one’s existence respected and provides an apotropi of new crimes. The genocide of the Greek people in Thrace is a current issue with multiple dimensions, which through the events that occur in Europe as well as in the world-wide arena, promote it as a modern issue of major importance regarding democracy, freedom, dignity, an issue of historical truth. The effort to project the massive crime against the Greeks is not an act merely seeking in the past, showing hatred, but on the contrary the recognition of the crimes committed against the Greeks of Thrace, the recognition of the genocide itself, and a sincere apology by the part of Turkey, would consist a presupposition for an also sincere friendship and brotherhood between the two peoples, that will not be based on lies but on the truth. Taking into consideration the current international situation, having governments and countries guilty for massive crimes, similar to the ones that Turkey has committed against the Greeks, and having full recognition by the part of those countries and reconciliation with their history, thus being able to move ahead, in peaceful and creative deeds, accordingly we ask Turkey to recognize the genocide that they have committed against the Greeks. This is an obligation that Turkey has to the victims of the genocide that it has committed and cost the life of thousands of people. This would be an act to make amends regarding history and to give justice. It is an obligation of the victimizer towards the victims, it is a contribution of the international community, its institutions and its laws, in order not to have such massive crimes repeated again, it is the obligation of every people, not nourishing feelings of hatred and revenge, but having sincere intentions of friendship and co-operation, to demand the official recognition of the crimes committed against him. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- «The anti-Greek persecutions carried out in Turkey since the beginning of the European War are but the continuation of the plan of extermination of Hellenism practiced by the Young Turks, since 1913».(Henry Morgenthau, "The Greatest Horror in History," Red Cross Magazine, March 1918).  The reporter of the newspaper “The Morning Post” states that «All crimes committed by Nero, Caligula, Attila and Abdul Hamit, are equal to nothing, compared to the millions of people deliberately murdered in Turkey, during the last four years”. Among the victims lie foreign enemies, prisoners of war, Armenians, Greeks, Arabs, e.t.c. » (The Morning Post, London 6.12.1918).  The presentation of the sources, some of which are presented to the open public for the first time, are part of official archives from the European countries, Turkey, the U.S.A., as well as from other private sources, and regard the Genocide of the Greeks, committed by the Young-Turks and the Kemalist status and also the organized Para-military Turkish gangs. Yet, the thing that is of major importance for the documentation of this massive crime are the evidence we draw from the Turkish sources and in particular, the official records of the Turkish National Assembly’s secret sessions (Türkiye Buyük Millet Meclisi) which were exposed in 1985.  Amb. Henry Morgenthau, Sr. "The Murder of a Nation," ch. XXIV, in
Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, 1919, pp. 52-53.  « ...thousands of (Greek) men, women and Children were expelled and dying. It was clearly a deliberate extermination. “Extermination” is not my word. It is the word being used by the American mission». (Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, House of Commons Parliament Debates, Fifth series, vol. 157 1922)  « The anti-Greek and anti-Armenian persecutions are two phases of one -- the extermination of the Christian element from Turkey».(31 July 1915: German priest J. Lepsius)  For the word Thrace see Ομήρου Ιλιάδα (Homer Iliada, L. 222) Pauly Real–Encyclopädie: Thracia, Paris, 1852, p.67, Lubker, Francis.: Reallexikon des klassischen Altertums. Leipzig 1914, p.34. Smith, William.: A dictionary of Greek and Roman geography, London 1872, p.67  Boué, Ami: La Turquie d’Europe. Paris 1840, p.45  Relations et influences reciproques entre Grecs et Bulgares, XVIIIe-XXe s. Arts et literature: Linguistique, Idées Politiques et Structures Sociales. Cinquième Colloque. Organise par Institut des Etudes Balkaniques de Thessaloniki et l'Institut d'Etudes Balkaniques de L'Académie Bulgare des Sciences a Thessaloniki et Jannina. 27-31 Mars 1988. Thessaloniki 1991. Kamperidis, Leonidas.: Τα εληνικά μοναστήρια της Σωζόπολης (The Greek Monasteries of Sozopolis), Thessaloniki 1993, p. 225(In Greek).  Synvet, Αugoustos: Table ethnographique de la Turquie d’Europe et dénombrement et la population Grecque de la Turquie d’ Europe de l’ Empire Ottoman. Paris 1877, p.98, Soustal, Peter: Thrakien (Thrake, Rodope, Haimimontos). Wien: Östereichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1991, p.67  Steven Francis Clair ( (F.O. /195/901/f.464); Tozis, George.: The view of Thrace from Sir Henry Blount, Thracian Archive 19 (1945), p. 213 (In Greek).  Grisebach, August Heinrich Rudolf: Reise durch Rumelien und nach Brussa im Jahre 1839. Bd. 1.2. Göttingen 1841, p.45.  Papathanasi-Mousioupoulou Kalliopi:.Η απελευθέρωση της Θράκης από το αρχείο του Χαρίσιου Βαμβακά (The freedom or Thrace from Harisios Vamvakas file), Athens 1975, p.123. (In Greek).  Blanqui, Adolphe Jérôme: Voyage en Bulgarie pendant l’année 1841. Paris 1843, p.56.  Viquesnel, Auguste: Voyage dans la Turquie d’Europe. Paris 1868, p.134.  Lejean, Guillaume: Εthnographie de la Turquie d’Europe. Paris 1861, p.78.  Dumont, Albert: Le Balkan et l’Adriatique. Paris 1873, p.98.  Reclus, Elisée: Nouvelle Géographie Universelle, Volume I : L'Europe méridionale (Grèce, Turquie, Roumanie, Serbie, Italie, Espagne et Portugal. Paris 1876, p.56. Bianconi, F. :Cartes Commerciales. Province de la Thrace. Paris 1885, p.45.  Apostolidis, Mirtilos. : Ιστορία της Φιλιππούπολης ( History of Fillipoupolis). Athens 1959 , p.56 (In Greek).  Synvet, A. op.cit.p.67.  Viquesnel, A.: Voyage dans la Turquie d’Europe. Description physique e géologique de la Thrace. Vol.1. Paris 1868, p.29.  Lejean, Guillaume: Εthnographie de la Turquie d’Europe. Paris 1861, p.178.  Peyssonel, Claude,Charles de : Traité sur le Commerce de la mer Noire. Amsterdam 1787, p.234.  Lechevalier, Jean Baptiste: Voyage de la Propontide et du Pont Euxin. Paris 1800, p.64.  Primaudaie, Élie. de la: Études sur le Commerce au Moyen Age. Histoire du Commerce de la Mer Noire et des Colonies Génoises de la Crimée. Paris 1848, p.45.  Sestini, George.: Voyage de Vienne a Routchouk par le Danube, de la par terre a Varna, et de Varna a Constantinople par le mer Noire. Paris 1854.  Walsh, Ralph. : Narrative of a Journey from Constantinople to England, London 1828, and Frankland Ch. Travels to and from Constantinople in 1827, London 1830, p.97.  Stürmer. Ludwig von: Skizzen einer Reise nach Konstantinopel des Freyherrn Ludwig von Stürmer, in den letzten Monathen des Jahres 1816, p.114, herausgegeben von Joseph Goluchowski. Pesth 1817, p.187.  Dearborn, Henry Alexander Scammel: A Memoir on the Commerce and Navigation of the Black Sea and the Trade and Maritime Geography of Turkey and Egypt. 2 vols. Boston 1819, p.52.  Thielen, Maximilian Friedrich: Die europäische Türkei. Wien 1828, p.76.  Meiningen, T.: Ignatiev and the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate 1864-1872, Madison 1972, p.63.  Reclus, Élie:. Peuples et Nations des Balkans a la veille du Congrès de Berlin 1878. Paris 1980, p.32.  Thrace. Greek Parliament, Athens 2000 (In Greek ), p.8  Kofos, Evagelos.: Greece and the Eastern Crisis, 1875-1878. With a Foreword by W. N. Medlicott. Thessaloniki 1975, p. 283  Vakalopoulos, Konstantinos: Θράκη (Thrace). Thessaloniki, Kyriakidis bros editions, 1992, p.56. (In Greek)  Papathanasi- Mousiopoulou, Kalliopi.: Ελληνικά προξενεία στη Θράκη (Greek consulates in Thrace), Athens, Leipzig editions, 1977, p.286. (In Greek)
See also the numbers of Greek population of East Roumelia. 1878:78.000 (Statistics of Ecumenical Patriarchate, Constantinople 1878, p.45, See Also AYE/ B 1895-1896, 201/22.5.1896), 1903:40744 (Statistics of General Consulate of Filippoupolis, History Archive of Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AYE), 17.2.1903)  Plencef Ivan, Rumelie, “Vetcherna Poshta”. Sofia 13/7/1906, p.1.  See the Greek population of East Thrace. 1878: 415,000 (“Allgmeine Zeitung”, Augsburg 15.5.1878). 1918: 367,000 .Grigoriou, E.: Έλληνες και Βούλγαροι (Greeks and Bulgarians), Thessaloniki 1953, p.144, In Greek). See also Vakalopoulos, Konstantinos A.:.Ο Ελληνισμός της Βόρειας Θράκης και ο Θρακικός Εύξεινος Πόντος σύμφωνα με το αρχείο του Γιώργου Γκιουμουρσδεδάνη (The Hellenism of Northern Thrace and the Thracian Euxinos Pontos according to the file of George Gioumousderdani), Thessaloniki, Kyriakidis bros editions 1995, pp .220-254 (In Greek)  Spencer, Herbet.: Travels in European Turkey. Vol. 2, London 1853; Mamelis, George.: Η Αδριανούπολη στην περίοδο της οθωμανικής κατοχής (Adrianoupolis in the period of Ottoman occupation). Thessaloniki: Educational Union of Adrianopolis, 1971, p. 17 (In Greek).  AYE, No 156/5.4.1905, 84/18.2.1905, 228/23.5.1905, 271/17.6.1905  Gonatas, Stilianos.: Αναμνήσεις από τη Θράκη (Memories from Thrace), “Thrakika”, 25 (1956), pp.183-219 (In Greek)  Vakalopoulos, Konstantinos A.:.Η εκπαιδευτική Ένωση της Αδριανούπολης (1872-1996) The Educational Union of Adrianople (1872-1996). Thessaloniki 1996. (In Greek)  Abbott, George.: Greece and the Allies. London 1922; Anderson, Michael.: The Eastern Question. London 1970; Frafistas, Charalambos.: The Balkan Wars. “Balkan Studies”, Vol. 3 (1962), pp.45-56; Hurewitz, George.: Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East: A documentary report. Princeton 1956; Kyriakidis, Stilpon.: Η Δυτική Θράκη και οι Βούλγαροι (West Thrace and the Bulgarians). Athens 1919 (In Greek); Rossidis, Antonios. : Ο βουλγαρικός αγώνας στη Θράκη (The Bulgarian struggle in Thrace). “Thrakiki Epetirida”, Vol. 5, (1992), pp. 287-341 (In Greek).  Kofos, E., op. cit. p. 234. Institute for Balkan Studies. First, Second Third and Fourth Folklore Symposium on Northern Greece: Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace. Thessaloniki 1974, 1975, 1979, 1982. Proceedings); Mazarakis-Ainian, Alexandros.: Αναμνήσεις (Memoirs.) Thessaloniki 1979, p. 447 (In Greek)  Mamoni, Kiriaki.: Οι Ενώσεις στη Θράκη και στην ανατολική Ρωμυλία, 1861-1922 (The Associations in Thrace and Eastern Rumelia, 1861-1922), Thessaloniki: Institute of Balkan Studies, 1995 (In Greek), also: Belia, Eleni.Εκπαίδευση και εθνική πολιτική: (Education and national Policy: The Case of Thrace, 1856-1912). Thessaloniki: Institute of Balkan Studies, 1995 (In Greek); Kotzageorgi, Xanthippi.; Xanthopoulou, Panagiota.: Νεώτερη και σύγχρονη Ιστορία της Θράκης. Βιβλιογραφικός οδηγός (Modern and Contemporary History of Thrace. Bibliographic Guide). Thessaloniki: Institute of Balkan Studies, 1993 (In Greek)  Ladopouloy Aimilia, Thrace, yesterday and today, Thessaloniki 1992, p.56 (In Greek)  Kyriakides, Stilpon. .: Τα βόρεια εθνολογικά όρια του Ελληνισμού (The Northern Ethnological Boundaries of Hellenism). Thessaloniki: Institute of Balkan Studies, 1955, p. 56 (In Greek)  Kyriakidis, Stilpon.: Για την ιστορία της Θράκης. Η ελληνική καταγωγή των σύγχρονων Θρακών Οι πόλεις Ξάνθη και Κομοτηνή (For the History of Thrace: The Greek Origin of the Modern Thracians: The Towns of Xanthi and Komotini., Thessaloniki 1960 (In Greek).  ΑΥΕ, 1914, Α/21 e’, f’, 10.4.1914. and Berlin, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes (PA/AA) Türkei Nr 175b, Bd. 9  Sophocles, Steven. M.: A History of Greece. Thessaloniki 1961.  Kiakidis, George.: Ιστορία του Σαμάκοβου και των γειτονικών ελληνικών κοινοτήτων History of Samakovo and the neighborhood Greek communities. Thrakika, Vol. 24, (1962), pp. 280-290. (In Greek).  Psomiades, Harry. J.: The Eastern Question: The Last Phase: A Study in Greek-Turkish Diplomacy. Thessaloniki 1968  Puaux, René: La deportation et la rapatriement des Grecs en Turquie. Paris 1919, p. 9.; Ecumenical Patriarchate: The Black Book of the sufferings of the Greek people in Turkey from the armistice to the end of 1920, Constantinople 1920, p. 409; Pallis, A.: Στατιστική της μετανάστευσης από τη Μακεδονία και τη Θράκη (1912-1924) Statistics for the immigration of Macedonia and Thrace (1912-1924). Athens 1925, pp. 6-7. (In Greek ); Elianos, Michalis.: Η ελληνική φροντίδα για τους πρόσφυγες The Greek care about refugees. Athens 1921, p. 53. (In Greek )  Vakalopoulos, Konstantinos A.: Vertreibung und Genozid an den Griechen Ost-Thrakiens (1908-1922) [Expulsion and genocide against the Greeks of Eastern Thrace, 1908-1922]. In: Hofmann, Tessa (ed.): Verfolgung, Vertreibung und Vernichtung der Christen im Osmanischen Reich 1912-1922 [Persecution, expulsion and annihilation of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire, 112-1922]. 2nd ed. Münster 2006, p. 140  Belia, Ε.: op. cit. pp.263-264, (In Greek ); Belia, E.: Κείμενο του Γονατά για τη Θράκη Paper of Gonatas for Thrace, Bulletin of Historical and Ethnological Union of Greece, vol. 24 (1981), pp. 260-284. (In Greek); Petsalis-Diomidis, N.: Greece at the Paris Peace Conference 1919. Thessaloniki 1978, p. 343; Miliotis, Antonios.: Η συνθήκη του Νειγύ και η ανταλλαγή των μειονοτήτων μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Βουλγαρίας The Treaty of Neuilly and the Exchange of Minorities between Greece and Bulgaria. Thessaloniki 1962, p. 38 (In Greek)  Sarantis, Michalis.: Ο ελληνικός πληθυσμός το 1921 The Greek population in 1921. “Thrakika” 23 (1955), pp.163-172 (In Greek )  Pallis, A. op.cit., pp. 20-23.  Psaltis, Steven.: Η θράκη και ο ελληνικός πληθυσμός Thrace and the Greek population. Athens 1919, p. 263. (In Greek )  Koukkidis, Konstantinos.: Ιστορία της σύγχρονης Θράκης History of modern Thrace. “Thracian Archive”, 26, (1967) pp. 330-336 (In Greek )  Petsalis-Diomidis, Nikolaos.: Greece at the Paris Peace Conference 1919. Thessaloniki 1978; Andreadis, Andreas. : La Grèce devant le Congres de la Paix. Paris 1919, p.78.  Antinoff, Johan.: La Thrace interaliée. Sofia 1921, p.56
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 In a groundbreaking move, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) has voted overwhelmingly to recognize the genocides inflicted on Assyrian and Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire between 1914 and 1923. The resolution passed with the support of fully 83 percent of IAGS members who voted. The resolution (text below) declares that "it is the conviction of the International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks." It "calls upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to issue a formal apology, and to take prompt and meaningful steps toward restitution." In 1997, the IAGS officially recognized the Armenian genocide. The current resolution notes that while activist and scholarly efforts have resulted in widespread acceptance of the Armenian genocide, there has been "little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire." Assyrians, along with Pontian and Anatolian Greeks, were killed on a scale equivalent in per capita terms to the catastrophe inflicted on the Armenian population of the empire -- and by much the same methods, including mass executions, death marches, and starvation. IAGS member Adam Jones drafted the resolution, and lobbied for it along with fellow member Thea Halo, whose mother Sano survived the Pontian Greek genocide. In an address to the membership at the IAGS conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in July 2007, Jones paid tribute to the efforts of "representatives of the Greek and Assyrian communities .... to publicize and call on the present Turkish government to acknowledge the genocides inflicted on their populations," which had made Asia Minor their home for millennia. The umbrella term "Assyrians" includes Chaldeans, Nestorians, Syriacs, Aramaens, Eastern Orthodox Syrians, and Jacobites. "The overwhelming backing given to this resolution by the world's leading genocide scholars organization will help to raise consciousness about the Assyrian and Greek genocides," Jones said on December 15. "It will also act as a powerful counter to those, especially in present-day Turkey, who still ignore or deny outright the genocides of the Ottoman Christian minorities." The resolution stated that "the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of genocide, enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides." The Assyrian population of Iraq, for example, remains highly vulnerable to genocidal attack. Since 2003, Iraqi Assyrians have been exposed to severe persecution and "ethnic cleansing"; it is believed that up to half the Assyrian population has fled the country.
Extensive supporting documentation for the Assyrian and Greek genocides was circulated to IAGS members in the months prior to the vote, and is available at http://www.genocidetext.net/iags_resolution_supporting_documentation.htm. FULL TEXT OF THE IAGS RESOLUTION: WHEREAS the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of genocide, enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides; WHEREAS the Ottoman genocide against minority populations during and following the First World War is usually depicted as a genocide against Armenians alone, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire; BE IT RESOLVED that it is the conviction of the International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association calls upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to issue a formal apology, and to take prompt and meaningful steps toward restitution.  New York Life Launches Voluntary Program to Reach out to Heirs of Greek Policies from 1914.New York Life Insurance Company announced an outreach program to locate and compensate heirs of approximately 1,000 life insurance policies issued to Greeks in the Ottoman Empire prior to 1915. As part of the Greek Life Insurance Policy Program, New York Life will publish notices in national and international newspapers about the claims review process so that heirs can submit claims relating to these policies. The company said it will also contribute $1 million to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, since descendants of many of those displaced from their ancestral homelands are now members of the Archdiocese. The total value of the voluntary program is $12-15 million, including administrative and other costs. “In the course of research associated with another historical matter regarding policies sold to Armenians who perished after 1914, the company became aware that Greek policyowners were evidently victims of the same violence in the Ottoman Empire. With the Armenian policy matter now successfully completed, involving benefits paid to heirs of 2,300 Armenian policyholders, New York Life conducted additional archival research and verified that there are Greek policies that may remain unpaid from 1915. We will offer heirs to the Greek policies the same benefits as those provided to persons claiming under the Armenian policies,” said William Werfelman, a spokesman for New York Life. “As with the Armenian policies, records confirm that the company succeeded in paying benefits in nearly half of the Greek policies. New York Life paid those benefits to heirs in the months and years immediately following the violence of 1915. However, New York Life received no claims and thus paid no benefits or cash value on 1,000 other Greek policies. Our company’s value system is rooted in humanity and integrity, and our willingness today to resolve these policies from 1915 shows that we still adhere to these values today.” The voluntary program uses the same criteria used to resolve the Armenian policy matter, including a multiplier of ten times the original face amount for those who can demonstrate that they are the rightful heirs to the policy proceeds. The public notices will commence in September. Descendants of persons insured under any of the Greek policies may submit claims for benefits for a six month period ending on February 28, 2009. Individuals who want to learn more can do so by visiting the program’s website at www.greekinsuranceclaims.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-922-2973. In Greece the toll-free number is 00 800 33 311144. In addition to providing benefits to heirs of its Greek insureds, New York Life will contribute $1 million to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. With these funds the Archdiocese plans to establish an endowed chair for the study of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor at its Holy Cross Theological School in Brookline, MA. New York Life expressed gratitude to Archbishop Demetrios, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, for his personal involvement in assisting with various aspects of the voluntary program. Archbishop Demetrios said, “The events in the Ottoman Empire and after led to the loss of countless lives and the expulsion of 1,500,000 Greeks from their ancestral homelands. New York Life is one of those rarest of companies today, a company of responsible action that believes in setting the record right, even if it means reaching back to the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The Greek Orthodox community gratefully applauds New York Life for establishing the Greek Life Insurance Policy Program and its very generous contribution of $1 million, which will be used to enlighten people about the long and rich history and culture of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor.” The company said it worked with attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan, one of the attorneys involved in the Armenian insurance settlement, to develop the voluntary program relating to Greek policies. New York Life Insurance Company has been headquartered in New York City since its founding in 1845. The company began selling policies in the Ottoman Empire in 1882 and withdrew from the region during World War I.