Greek population in Turkey on the verge of extinction

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Greek population in Turkey on the verge of extinctionThis population decline of Greeks in Turkey has not been due to natural causes but rather the result of state-sponsored attacks and pressure

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

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

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

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

Death sentences, with no defense

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

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

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

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

Greek-speaking Orthodox citizens 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schools belonging to the Greek community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:clarionproject.org

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Tornos
  1. 28/04 21:54

    Hilton Athens operator Ionian Hotel Enterprises reports lower 2016 results

  2. 28/04 21:42

    2nd Thessaloniki Street Food Festival celebrated this weekend

  3. 28/04 20:36

    €600 million worth of NPLs in Greek tourism sector sliced off 'bad loan' total

  4. 28/04 19:19

    Report: Athens an attractive option for Turks looking for a safety net

  5. 28/04 18:17

    Outgoing SETE head: Greek hotel industry will not lose its national identity

  6. 28/04 16:10

    Eupalinos Tunnel: A masterpiece of ancient engineering on Samos opens to public

  7. 28/04 12:03

    Skopelos fishermen catch 7m shark weighing over 300 kilos

  8. 28/04 10:57

    Travel guide: What to see and do in Agios Nikolaos in Crete

  9. 28/04 10:10

    Mycenean-era tomb with grave goods unearthed in Salamis main town

  10. 27/04 22:10

    Visit Greece - Unlock your senses in the Cyclades islands

  11. 27/04 21:55

    16ο East Med Yacht Show promotes Piraeus as a tourist destination

  12. 27/04 21:48

    Turkish government to offer subsidies for cruisers carrying tourists to country

  13. 27/04 21:38

    Jet2.com: New connections to Rhodes and Heraklion in 2018

  14. 27/04 21:34

    Greek low-cost airline Ellinair announces new Georgia flights

  15. 27/04 21:23

    Online survey in 17 countries: Twice as many people prefer relaxing vacations to active ones

  16. 27/04 21:11

    Sojern: 6 trends that hoteliers need to pay attention to in 2017

  17. 27/04 21:07

    British tourism: + 4% travel abroad during first 3 months of 2017

  18. 27/04 20:53

    Jetsetter: 10 stunning hotels on the Greek Islands

  19. 27/04 20:44

    NASA publishes thousands of pictures to prove landing on moon was real

  20. 27/04 20:41

    Greek Prime Minister marks start of Greece-China Year 2017

  21. 27/04 20:34

    European Investment Fund pumps €420 million into 2,000 enterprises in Greece

  22. 27/04 20:27

    World Travel & Tourism Council CEO calls for a more sustainable world

  23. 27/04 20:17

    Thessaloniki port consortium announces joint venture share breakdown

  24. 27/04 19:47

    Ex US VP Joe Biden to address first Concordia conference in Athens on June 6-7

  25. 27/04 19:31

    Global tourism conference puts emphasis on Chinese and Indian markets

  26. 27/04 19:24

    Alitalia faces bankruptcy as its workers vote ‘no’

  27. 27/04 19:08

    Greek-American assemblywoman running for New York City Mayor

  28. 27/04 19:04

    Arrivals of refugees on Aegean islands remained low in the last 24 hours

  29. 27/04 18:02

    Piraeus port eyes first place in Mediterranean traffic by 2019

  30. 27/04 17:00

    Egnatia Odos workers in northern Greece to hold 24-hour strike on Tuesday

  31. 27/04 15:56

    EOT supports foreign TV productions in Greece to promote Greek tourism

  32. 27/04 15:53

    Nevada couple imports several affordable wines from Greece to the US

  33. 27/04 14:50

    Athens buses and trolley-buses announce strike action on May 1

  34. 27/04 13:48

    Medical Tourism: OTE Group launches Data Center for Greek hospitals

  35. 27/04 12:40

    US$ 1.2 trillion spent globally on business travel in 2016

  36. 27/04 12:35

    Greek trade unions' 24-hour general strike on May 17 to affect travel

  37. 27/04 11:32

    2nd Greek Tourism Workshop in Beirut on May 10 to woo Lebanese tourists

  38. 27/04 10:28

    No trains in Greece on Monday due to Labour Day strike action

  39. 26/04 20:23

    Chinese Cosco's interest in Greek shipyards of Elefsina and Syros

  40. 26/04 20:11

    IOBE: Greek economy to grow by 1.5% this year

  41. 26/04 20:05

    “Tonight: Lola Blau” at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens

  42. 26/04 20:01

    Goldcar: Average Briton walks 355 miles through airports

  43. 26/04 19:58

    Neos adds new Greek routing from Milan during summer of 2017

  44. 26/04 19:36

    Oceanos Hotels Group Greece expands into Arabian market

  45. 26/04 19:26

    Nasa bootcamp completed in Larissa - next appointment in Thessaloniki

  46. 26/04 19:17

    New ferry connection between Lesvos island and Dikili in Turkey

  47. 26/04 19:06

    First 1,200 cruise passengers for 2017 arrive in Kos

  48. 26/04 18:53

    Caldera Collection starts collaboration with 14 luxury villas in Mykonos

  49. 26/04 18:48

    Week long Spring Sales period in Greece starts on May 2

  50. 26/04 18:44

    “Hello Sunshine!” celebrates May 1st at SNFCC in Athens

  51. 26/04 18:41

    College Year in Athens brings foreign students in Greece for 55 years

  52. 26/04 18:28

    1st International Workshop for Western Silk Road in Alexandroupolis, Greece

  53. 26/04 17:46

    Ermia Hotels & Resorts: Three new properties added in Halkidiki

  54. 26/04 17:37

    Property rates in central Athens and Glyfada rise during Q1 of 2017

  55. 26/04 16:08

    Emirates: New offers for passengers to and from Greece

  56. 26/04 15:58

    Β2Β Travel Event for travel agencies in Bansko, Bulgaria

  57. 26/04 13:50

    South Aegean Governor meets UK Ambassador as bookings surge by 14%

  58. 26/04 13:45

    Costa Navarino: Local students learn about the Messinian Nature and History

  59. 26/04 13:31

    Athens Municipality hires a chief digital officer

  60. 26/04 13:28

    Greece-China cultural exchanges year opens officially on April 27

  61. 26/04 13:21

    Tez Tour: First charter flights launched on CS300 - Connections to Heraklion

  62. 26/04 13:12

    Booking.com: The top 5 brunch restaurants in Athens

  63. 26/04 12:59

    Survey: Resilience of European travel industry despite terrorist attacks

  64. 26/04 12:54

    Meridiana adds new seasonal Naples – Zakinthos route in summer 2017

  65. 26/04 12:49

    Tax Free Premiere: Chinese tourism to Greece to “explode” during 2017

  66. 26/04 11:47

    Athens Medical Group's CEO: Significant prospects for medical tourism in Greece

  67. 26/04 10:42

    Research Centre for Global Tourism Programme Silk Road in Greece

  68. 25/04 23:07

    German tourists regain trust after terror strikes and favor bookings to Greece

  69. 25/04 23:02

    New York-based Fragoudaki holds Art Project at Syntagma Square

  70. 25/04 22:59

    VASISTAS group performs The Divine Comedy at Onassis Cultural Center

  71. 25/04 22:41

    Chalkidiki fish farming exports 95% of production to global markets

  72. 25/04 22:17

    Greece and Italy examine cooperation opportunities in sea cruise sector

  73. 25/04 21:06

    Rethimno Prefecture in Crete expands to the Polish market

  74. 25/04 20:56

    Loved by Guests Awards 2017: Top Greek hotels and two golden winners from Athens

  75. 25/04 20:54

    Report: Get your Santorini dream house with Santopoly board game

  76. 25/04 19:51

    New En Lefko Film Festival for motion pictures in Athens

  77. 25/04 19:33

    New York workshop: Tourism is a key pillar of growth for the Greek economy

  78. 25/04 18:28

    Guardian writer obsessed with Greek island of Leros (video)

  79. 25/04 17:26

    Thessaloniki to host International Public Television Conference on May 7-11

  80. 25/04 16:22

    Charter flights with visitors from Moscow and Kiev for Kastoria Fur Fair

  81. 25/04 15:19

    Greek Presidential Guard Evzones visit Sydney for Anzac Day

  82. 25/04 14:34

    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America resolution adopted by Orthodox Christian Laity

  83. 25/04 14:29

    Interactive Map: What Pangea would look like with the current international borders

  84. 25/04 14:12

    Greek island of Fleves in the Saronic Gulf up for sale

  85. 25/04 12:59

    Greece aiming at continued increase in tourists from United Arab Emirates

  86. 25/04 12:03

    No trolleys in Athens on Monday

  87. 25/04 11:25

    Private sector arrears to the Greek state up €989 million in February

  88. 25/04 10:17

    Hellenic Post begins operations in electricity energy market in Greece

  89. 25/04 00:14

    Greek government's VP chairs meeting with banks' leadership

  90. 25/04 00:11

    Athens journalists union condemns attack against Kathimerini newspaper's offices

  91. 25/04 00:06

    Crete’s new creativity emerges to the world of International Jazz Music

  92. 25/04 00:03

    Serbia warns of new war in the Balkans if Albania unites with Kosovo

  93. 25/04 00:00

    Italian tourist market gets familiar with Rhodes alternative tourism

  94. 24/04 23:56

    Report: Oldest YouTuber in the world just turned 106 (video)

  95. 24/04 23:53

    Attorney Thomas Demetrio: Too late for American Airline’s CEO to apologize

  96. 24/04 23:48

    German tourism: Strong increase in March bookings to Kos, Rhodes and Heraklion

  97. 24/04 23:44

    AHEPA Supreme President Zachariades talks about Phanar, Greece, and Cyprus trip

  98. 24/04 23:35

    Hotel chain promotes naked guests selfies as works of art (video)

  99. 24/04 23:28

    Hotels.com: The formula for the perfect hotel revealed by guest comments

  100. 24/04 23:20

    Large number of contraband cigarettes seized by Igoumenitsa port in Greece