This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

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Tayyip Erdogan falsely claimed that Smyrna was burned by Greek soldiers, an unbelievable theory which, of course, is not stated in any of the history books that exist apart from, maybe, revised books that promote Turkish historical propaganda.

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

Tayyip Erdogan falsely claimed that Smyrna was burned by Greek soldiers, an unbelievable theory which, of course, is not stated in any of the history books that exist apart from, maybe, revised books that promote Turkish historical propaganda.


The following text, which was published on 17 September 2016, 94 years after Smyrna was destroyed, can be a response to Erdogan's false claims.


"My parents used to live in Smyrna and were called Andromache and Konstantinos Hatzimarkou. My father had a hotel and a coffee place in Smyrna's waterfront. I was born in Smyrna, in our hotel, on 15 March 1909. When my sisters grew up, my father didn't want us to live in the hotel anymore, so he went to live in a beautiful house from where we could gaze at the sea.

Our life was calm, and it became even happier when the Greek army occupied Smyrna. I even remember our anticipation on 2 May 1919 when we welcomed the Greek army in our house, my father dancing and me playing the National Anthem of Greece in the piano along with my sister. That's how three years passed by full of joy and happiness...

Our happiness, however, didn't last for much; One day in 1922, on the 14th of August, we learned that the Greek army had to draw back. At first, it seemed incredible, as our pride didn't let us believe it was true.

Nevertheless, one Saturday we heard the terrifying coming of the Turks..."

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

Amfilyki Hatzimarkou was a girl who grew up in Smyrna and had a happy life overall until September 1922. Her narration revives one of the darkest pages of Greek history; the slaughter and burning of Smyrna, that marked the ending of the Hellenism of Asia Minor.


On Saturday 9 September 1923, the Turkish army, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself, entered Smyrna. Seven days before, the last part of the Greek army had left from Asia Minor.


The Greek army's defeat and the occupation of the city by Kemal found Amfiluki's family unprepared. They searched for safety in their old hotel, but only managed to be rescued with the help of another, Muslim hotel owner.


Christians and Muslims helped each other under the rule of Ottomans during 1919-1922. However, in August-September 1922, it was proved that there was no safety...


"It was Wednesday night when the Turkish hotel owner told us: 'Save yourselves if you can; Smyrna is burning'", Amfilyki described. " We all went outside and saw Smyrna burning and people screaming, not knowing where to go. My father decided we should be burned there so that Turks wouldn't get us.

His decision was made. My mother and we were pleading him to leave, crying. The hotel owner came and told our mother: 'Come with your kids, we will all be saved." (...)

Amfilyki and her family were finally rescued, but they never forgot that tragic night. The big fire lasted from 13 to 17 September 1922 (31 August to 4 September according to the old diary).


"At 4 in the morning on 1 September, we reached Kordelio, a Smyrna's suburb. Turks were asking for several certificates to make it harder for the Christians. My father managed to create such a certificate, with the help of a Turkish lawyer. But unfortunately, he was held there by Turks. It was Saturday, 15 September 1922, the saddest day of my life. We tried to rescue him but in vain. On 15 September we left, leaving our beloved father, belongings, house, and our motherland behind".

Smyrna's evacuation started on the 11th of September and lasted for one week. After stiff pressures, Kemal Atatürk allowed Greek and other ships to enter the port.


When the town was up in flames on the 13th of September, 19 ships in total entered Smyrna to rescue people.


In total, 300.000 refugees arrived in Greece.


This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan

Photo sources: NHMuseum. gr, Smyrnimuseum.gr


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Thinking Humanity: This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan
This Is How Smyrna Was Set Up In Flames, Mr. Erdogan
Tayyip Erdogan falsely claimed that Smyrna was burned by Greek soldiers, an unbelievable theory which, of course, is not stated in any of the history books that exist apart from, maybe, revised books that promote Turkish historical propaganda.
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