The HELLENIC GENOCIDE. A Case Study of the Thracian Greeks
Bilingual edition, in Greek and English of the Panhellenic Federation of Thracian Unions and Endochora magazine. August 2009.
The beginning of the Greek presence in Thrace and also in Pontus, Ionia (Asia Minor) and Kappadokia, parts of Greek presence in former Ottoman state, starts from the myth and continue to historical facts. The myth starts with Prometheus, the missions of Hercules, 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 (in Georgia today) and transformed the axenos (unfriendly) sea to Euxeinos (friendly) Pontus (sea in ancient Greek language), 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. 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, Byzantio.
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 islamization.
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” (union for Greek independence), that promoted the Greek Revolution, takes place in a powerful economical and political centre, Odessa, 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 islamization and turkization, having an outmost peak the extremely well organized, planned, 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 Thrace, Pontus, Ionia (Asia Minor), Kappadokia, 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 Ottoman, Young-Turks, and Kemalist authorities pre-planned and realized the genocide against the Greeks.
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 Thrace, as well as in Ionia (Asia Minor) and in Pontus.
Among the victims of the genocide there was a great number of women and children, groups of the Greek population that consisted 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.
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), Kappadokia, abandoned the land of their ancestors, their homes, churches, graves, 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 1.000.000 Greeks and total 2.750.000 Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians, who lived in the Ottoman state in the beginning of the 20th century.