Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ayvalik: Ghosts Awakened - Greeks of Turkey



by Chrysovalantis Stamelos

Published July 22, 2014 in the PappasPost.com

The name of this village is a name sung beautifully in so many Greek songs which harp back to the romantic era of Smyrna and an eastern Aegean coastline, which was home to a great population of educated and accomplished Ottoman Greeks.  In fact, by 1922, Ayvalik was mostly an Ottoman-Greek inhabited area, with a view decorated by Orthodox church domes and monasteries.  Ironically, at the same, the island across the shore, Lesvos, was greatly populated by Ottoman Muslim Turks, usually of higher-class.  No one at that time would expect that a forced immigration battered by years of war would see a complete change of the ethnic and religious dynamics within months of their formation as we know both countries today. . . . 

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