Anatolia: Some Thoughts on the Catastrophe

[Editor’s note: In this Spring of 2019 we are approaching the centennial of the Asia Minor Catastrophe. Here is a summary of this immense tragedy by John Sakelaris, who did a master’s thesis about its historiography. John is a frequent contributor to this blog and is an instructor of History and Geography at Tulsa Community College. He and his wife attend Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Tulsa, OK.]

What we should know about the Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922, by John Sakelaris

I have long studied history, but it was not until after my undergraduate days that I, as a second-generation member of the Greek Orthodox diaspora in the United States, stumbled upon a historical bombshell, one that had been crucial in affecting so many Greeks and yet was not widely discussed here in the US, even among the more recent generations of the diaspora families that were impacted. I refer to the Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922.

You might now be thinking, just what was the Asia Minor Catastrophe?

I will start with some basics, knowing that this essay might be read by some who are of Greek ancestry and many who are not. Perhaps we can start with everyone’s knowledge of the first century AD, and the spread of Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean. You perhaps know of the large Asia Minor land mass which was crucial in much of the early Christian missionary activity described in the Acts of the Apostles. Further, the seven early churches mentioned in Revelation (Smyrna and others) were all in Asia Minor. It was a Greek-populated area of the Roman Empire. There were no Turks there at all.

And yet now the entirety of Asia Minor is coterminous with the nation of Turkey, where the population is Turkish and the religion is Muslim. The city and town names are all different. What happened?

For many centuries a Greek Asia Minor was an important part of the Byzantine Empire, which was a largely Greek, Orthodox Christian entity that reached the peak of its success and prosperity in the early eleventh century, when it was the envy of the rest of the known world. Then, over the following four centuries, the Byzantine Greeks were attacked by the Western European Crusaders and by the Muslim Turks. By the fifteenth century the Turks had conquered the region, including the Byzantine capital city of Constantinople. Horrible massacres of Greek populations occurred throughout these centuries, as well as massacres of other Christian nationalities conquered by the Turks.

Many of you will say that you knew all of that, and that you also know about the Greek Revolution of 1821 that led to a small independent Greek nation centered on the European peninsula with Athens, the Peloponnese and nearby islands, the Greece that exists today. Still, there is probably something important missing from your historical consciousness about the Greek story, the “Megali idea,” the idea that existed a century ago of a creating “Greater Greece,” a Greece that would include not only the European Greek area but also portions of Asia Minor where, importantly, despite years of massacres, there were still over one and a half million Greeks still surviving under Turkish rule. Some Greeks even hoped to include Constantinople in this effort.

There seemed to be an urgency to the matter. In the 1890s the Turks had massacred many thousands of their Armenian subjects, who were living to the northeast of Asia Minor. Then in 1912 the Turks began drafting their Asia Minor Greek Christian males into labor battalions, where they were to be essentially worked to death; and in June 1914 the Turks massacred the entire Greek population of the town of Phocaea in Asia Minor.

In the following months World War I broke out, which soon pitted Turkey against Russia, Great Britain, and France. The obvious question was whether this war constituted an opportunity to liberate the Greeks in Asia Minor.

By 1915 the apparent urgency of the matter was escalated, as the Turks turned even more fiercely against the Armenians, this time killing over a million helpless civilians. Would the Greeks of Asia Minor be safe if they remained under Turkish rule? Was this the time for the nation of Greece to try to work with the Great Powers in this war, especially Great Britain and France, to seek some zone or zones for protection of these Greek Christians from what was clearly a Muslim jihad against Christians? And there were plenty of requests coming from the British and French for Greece to get involved on their “Allied” side. Hints were given by the Allies concerning a possible Greek zone in Asia Minor. The Greek Prime Minister Venizelos was sold on joining the Allies for that reason. Who could disagree with such a course?

Actually, a number of Greeks had misgivings about joining the war over this. They rallied around King Constantine I and his military advisor General Ioannis Metaxas in supporting continued Greek neutrality. They realized that Allied promises were highly questionable. After all, Britain and France, for nearly a century by then, had treated the independent nation of Greece as a semi-colonial possession and had often supported the Turkish side in conflicts. In 1850 Great Britain had even blockaded Greece for two months over a financial claim that a British citizen had. In Crimean War of 1853-1856 the British blockaded Greece again.

So, if the Prime Minister wanted to join the war and the King wanted to stay neutral, who had the legal power to decide the matter? We in America should understand this type of conundrum, since the United States has never really resolved its own debates over who can lead it into war.. What then followed in Greece in 1916-1917 would be called the National Schism. A pro-Allied government under Venizelos was set up and recognized by the Allies in Thessaloniki. King Constantine I tried to maintain his rule in Athens and the Peloponnese. In response, the Allies landed troops at Athens, conducted bombardments, and most importantly, instituted a starvation blockade of the areas of Greece under the King’s control. A great deal of starvation and suffering occurred. Most English language survey histories of World War I do not tell of this period.

By June 1917 King Constantine essentially surrendered, went into exile and the Venizelos government took over and immediately led Greece into the war, confident that Greek actions on behalf of the Allies would be rewarded after the war. The Greek army ended up being very helpful in breaking through the German-Bulgarian lines on the Macedonian Front, setting in motion the chain reaction of armistices that brought the war to an end very suddenly in the fall of 1918.

One of the enemy powers to get an armistice, of course, would be the Turks. In early 1919 representatives of the major and minor members on the Allied side would gather at the Paris Peace Conference to work out settlements. Venizelos would be there to represent Greece. However, before the meetings took place, there was an ominous warning from the major powers informing all parties that any wartime promises would be subject to renegotiation. Another danger sign was that, as the negotiations were beginning, the “Big Four” Allied nations of the United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy were under domestic pressure to bring their troops home; their armies were rapidly shrinking.

Another bad sign was that the “Big Four” did not actually go into Asia Minor to firmly occupy it, instead there was a vague plan for some British officers to be able to enter it and disarm the still-large Turkish forces there. The all-important British and French were mainly focused upon setting up occupations elsewhere. They would try, above all, a presence in the Rhineland area of Germany. In the Turkish region, their focus was upon setting up League of Nations-sanctioned “Mandates” in Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. There would be a small token Allied presence in Constantinople as part of the “Zone of the Straits,” a place the British envisioned dominating, with the Greeks clearly to be kept out of power there. In any event, the small British garrison in Constantinople would not be large enough to put down any determined Turkish revolt, if it were to come to that.

So what could the Greek and Armenians hope to get out of this? In May of 1919 Greece got permission from the “Big Four” to go ahead and occupy Smyrna in western Asia Minor and a small area around that city. After that there would be an Allied permission given to occupy eastern Thrace, which was on the European mainland to the west of Constantinople. Further off to the northeast of Asia Minor, the long-suffering Armenians were trying to set up an independent nation for themselves. Ominously, these endeavors, although sanctioned by the “Big Four,” had to be undertaken by the Greeks and Armenians alone, without troops from Great Britain and France.

Further, even the limited British support for Greece was not without opposition. In March 1920 the British War Secretary Winston Churchill was writing in opposition to these plans. Concerning the Turks, he stated, “I counsel prudence and appeasement.” (Only later in Churchill’s career would he and others turn the word appeasement into something negative.)

By the time an actual treaty was being drawn up to settle the boundaries around Turkey in 1920, the important powers had been essentially reduced to the “Big Three,” as the United States Senate had rejected membership in the League of Nations and the United States president Woodrow Wilson was seriously ill and no longer able to play a leadership role. However, in May 1920, an offer was nevertheless made by the “Big Three” to the United States to accept a Mandate for Armenia. This would involve the US setting up a government there and offering protection to it. The US Senate rejected the offer by a vote of 52 to 23 in June 1920. The Armenians were going to be on their own. This rejection of the Armenian Mandate offer is not to be found in today’s US history books.

As June wore on, it was clear that the Turks, never effectively disarmed, were gathering hostile forces in the interior of Asia Minor. They were seen to pose a threat to the position of the British in the Straits Zone. The Venizelos government in Greece offered to help, and so the Greeks got a British endorsement to advance troops from their small zone around Smyrna and take up more extensive positions covering both Smyrna and the Straits. It seemed to be a successful operation at this point. The London Times even headlined a story “Greece the Allies’ Mandatory.” Ominously, however, this move greatly extended the Greek battle line in Asia Minor.

In August 1920 the “Treaty of Sevres” was signed covering the agreements for this region, but it was clear that the Turks in the interior of Asia Minor were in revolt against it from the start. The treaty confirmed the small Greek zones around Smyrna and Eastern Thrace and sanctioned an independent Armenian Republic. The western boundary of Armenia was to be delineated by the administration of the then-ill Woodrow Wilson in the United States.

The Turkish insurgents struck quickly at this resurrected Armenia and proceeded to wipe it out. By the time the Wilson administration’s map was issued, it was hopelessly out-of-date, all that remained of Armenia was a 20% slice that was taken by the Soviet Union in a deal with the Turks. Today’s Armenians appreciate that the Soviet Union did at least rescue that area; it became the Soviet Armenian Republic and is now the small independent nation of Armenia.

These successful attacks on a treaty caused concern to the British and French and they wondered whether the Turks would be a threat to their positions in the region. How could they avoid any embarrassment, while also not having to engage in any fighting? Moreover, the British and French were starting to quarrel with each other over their settlement with Germany. As a result, both Great Britain and France sought a way out of the Turkish situation..

For the French, after some limited 1920 fighting with the Turks just north of Syria, the choice was made to strike a deal with the Turks, essentially to promise to accept the Turkish insurgent hold on Asia Minor in exchange for a free hand in Syria. Quickly the French also began to provide military supplies to the Turks.

The British in late 1920 were still hoping to keep dominance over the Straits Zone, but they also sought a policy that was aimed at reducing their risks of having to do any actual fighting. With Armenia now effectively abandoned to the Turks, and Ireland then rising in revolt against British rule, the British were, more than ever, wanting to distance themselves from the combat that the Greeks would be expected to have. They found their opportunity in the results of a Greek election that returned King Constantine I to power. Obviously putting aside the famous World War I slogan about fighting for democracy, the British declared that, as a result of the election, they were switching to a policy of neutrality in the expected Greek-Turkish fighting.

So Greece had King Constantine back–and was facing the Turks in Asia Minor with no further support from the British as the 1921 campaign season opened. For their part, the British remained in their Straits Zone position, covered by the Greek forces, who, it must be remembered, had greatly extended their battle lines to protect those British positions. With that, what was left for Greece to do? Although there was talk about the British perhaps mediating between the Greeks and Turks, that was a forlorn hope, as the Turks were refusing to accept any negotiations until the Greeks were “destroyed.” With the Armenians crushed and the French tamed and transformed into being arms suppliers, the Turks were clearly mobilizing to take on the Greeks next.

The only real choices the Greek leadership had in 1921 were to try to evacuate their army and presumably as many of their Asia Minor civilians as possible without having made any real military effort against the Turks–or to try to strike hard at the Turks, in the hope that victory could be achieved before Turkish strength would get any greater. It was not a pleasant choice.

King Constantine’s government would choose the military option for 1921, apparently unaware of the degree of French help that would be flowing to the Turks and of the degree of British war-weariness that existed, as well as the extent of a latent pro-Turkish attitude among some of the British military officers and politicians. What followed was a year of heavy fighting, as the Greeks tried to advance in Asia Minor toward Ankara. They got within forty miles and were stopped in the very costly Batlle of Sakarya in August and September of 1921.

The Greeks and Turks then faced one another in long battle lines across western Asia Minor throughout the winter of 1921-1922, while the Turks continued to receive more supplies from the French. Again, no negotiations were possible.

By the summer of 1922 there would also be a huge propaganda success for the Turks, as the British writer and historian Arnold J Toynbee published the book The Western Question in Greece and Turkey. This writer strongly disliked the Greeks and wrote a book designed to assure the already wavering British that the Turks were the side they should favor. He even made the argument if a “territorial reservation” had not been attempted for Greeks in Asia Minor in 1919, Greek people there would not have been endangered. This was a strange argument to make in view of what had happened to the Armenians in 1895, the Greeks of Phocaea in Asia Minor in 1914, and the Armenians in 1915. Nevertheless, British book reviewers responded very positively to Toynbee’s work. Here the British ruling classes were getting the news they wanted; it would be okay to abandon the Greeks.

In late August 1922 the Turks launched an offensive that broke the line of the Greek army. Retreat of the army and of the Asia Minor Greek civilian population then became a matter of necessity, not choice. In September the Turks entered Smyrna and the city was largely burned and destroyed. Thousands of Greeks and Armenians there were killed. Others were evacuated by ship. A major complaint that the Greeks would make was that warships of the Great Powers in Smyrna harbor refused to help them at that time. No significant Greek populations would remain in Asia Minor.

The military scene quickly switched to the Straits Zone, as the Turks advanced there, making it clear that they also insisted upon complete control of Constantinople and the Eastern Thrace zone that had been given to Greece in 1920. The British made a show of making a stand, while hurriedly seeking to negotiate a way out of this situation. With their nation already in grief over their World War I death toll, their recent loss of most of Ireland, and with their media quick to add accounts of Greek atrocities against Turks to seek to counterbalance the huge numbers of reports of Turkish atrocities against Greeks, the British would breathe a sigh of relief in October 1922 when their Times would trumpet the news of a settlement in which the Turkish demands were all met.

Greeks would therefore have to leave Eastern Thrace, just as others had to leave Asia Minor.a month earlier. A new treaty, the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne would be worked out by the Great Powers, seeking to satisfy the Turks. Greece would take in about one-and a-half million refugees; others would scatter around the world. The only thing offered to Greece was that 380,000 Turks could be expelled from Greece’s Macedonia region to make some room for the far greater number who had already arrived from Turkey. . A Turkish presence in Greece’s Western Thrace province would be allowed to remain; it is still there. Greeks of Constantinople and the island of Imbros were to be allowed to remain under Turkish rule, although that part of the treaty would subsequently be violated by the Turks in the 1955-1964 years with huge attacks upon those Greeks. Few ethnic Greeks remain in those places now.

What mattered most to the British in working out the Treaty of Lausanne was that their own small troop contingent could march out of Constantinople and embark upon their ships in some semblance of order and dignity; this was accomplished in October 1923. Much of the world’s English language media rushed to praise the the treaty. But, of course, we can be sure that aspiring leaders of Germany, Italy, and Japan were paying attention to this precedent of violently overthrowing a peace deal. .

Another influential book would appear in 1928 that would be very influential in shaping the English language historiography of this story; it was Winston Churchill’s The Aftermath, part of his World Crisis series of books. In describing the subject of Turkey, Churchill would write that after the World War “right had changed sides,” as he argued that, although the Turks were on the wrong side in the World War, they were justified in resisting the Greeks. He also tried to weave a contradictory narrative that tried to link Greece’s loss of British support upon their late 1920 decision to return Constantine to power, when it should be clear that by that point any excuse for a policy change would have sufficed for the British.

The Greeks, meanwhile, had to take in the refugees, were dependent upon international aid in doing so, and were thus in no position to challenge any of this. For over a decade, the division in Greece engendered by the “National Schism” would remain and would even be evident in some Diaspora communities of Greeks in the United States. Turning frustration inward was the only option for a people that poor and dependent. This trauma would, however, be superseded by future tragedies in Greece, such as World War II. Greece remains a militarily weak and relatively poor nation to this day.

A pro-Turkish coverage of the 1919-1922 events is still quite evident in much of our literature and media. With the rising power of Islam in the world, the Turkish victory is even sometimes portrayed as a great early victory for them over the forces of European imperialism; with even neutral terms like Greco-Turkish War supplanted by terms like the Turkish War of National Liberation or Turkish War of Independence.

Many Greek-Americans who grew up in the US are ignorant of the story of the Asia Minor Catastrophe. It seems that their parents and grandparents felt some shame over the matter and did not discuss it. Any such shame would itself be a tragedy, as Greeks in the 1914-1922 years did the best they could while living in a rough part of the world. Learning of this story can be important for Greek Americans now and for all of their friends, as even a limited scan of current news shows that Greece’s twin problems of Turkish outrages and Great Power betrayals may not be over.


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    As always, it’s somebody else’s fault.

    Remember the ‘good old rule’:

    “The good old rule sufficeth them,
    the simple plan:
    Let him take, who hath the power,
    and let him keep, who can.”

    …Robert Burns, ‘Rob Roy’s Grave’.

    • John Sakelaris says


      Yes, it is so easy to say to the victims of mass genocide that they brought it upon themselves.

      The Scottish poet Robert Burns quoted here concerning about the “might making right” issue may or may not have had sympathy for the Scottish rebels killed by the English, but I will add that the entire last thousand years of Scottish grievances against the English pale by comparison with the experiences that Greeks had with the Turks over the same period.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Actually, I don’t think they brought it upon themselves.

        Nor do I think that “it’s not in the history books”, though of course, it’s not in the high school history books.

        It’s the ‘Great Power betrayal’ business. Your essay, though, pretty objectively points out that great-power assistance was a real longshot, and known to be.

        I’ve often read here in many contexts this undercurrent of blame the British, blame the Americans, etc. That’s my main criticism. These countries, like all countries, act in their own interests.

        My parish church was founded mostly by refugees from Marmara. This is acknowledged as a historical fact. But I can’t find that any of their direct descendants are still here, though it is possible.

        I wouldn’t have posted, but for this ‘betrayal’ business, which constantly plays into so many Orthodox discussions of all kinds. Right up there with the general conspiracy view of history. I probably shouldn’t have anyway. Indeed, I found most of your account to be objective. I would point out that Asia Minor was mostly lost well before the Crusades, though the 4th doubtless contributed to the ending.

        • John Sakelaris says

          Tim, I will not split hairs over my use of the “betrayal” word. Ignore it if you wish.

          Note that I did also mention that international aid was provided to Greece to deal with the 1922 refugee crisis. I will add now that much of that aid came from Great Britain.

          But do please note the Turks may not be finished with their outrages against Greeks and against Christendom in general.

        • Well, what about the “blame Russia” sentiment so many Americans have? And it probably would shock some Americans to learn that Communism didn’t originate in Russia.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Since we’re talking about betrayal and such, it is important to note that it was Wall Street financiers (e.g. Jacob Schiff, great-grandfather of Ole Pencil Neck hisself, Paul Warburg, et al) who subsidized Lenin and his henchmen. Some of the original Bolsheviks (like Lev Trotsky) were living in Brooklyn and agitating for racial war in the United States. Eventually, Wilson’s second Secretary of State, Palmer, exiled all these gangsters back to Russia.

      • Tim quite one can over play but devious, double faced bastards , the brits are at elite governing levels and have always been pro islam and Turkey, Ottoman and modern as part of their hate of Russia, in what ever guise. Their treatment of last Tsar And family well known.
        The ordinary people, bit zenophobic but on balance like the russians, see them as allied not threat and like the Greeks

    • Victims of genocide are generally to blame as are the greek victims of say Kalavrita my grand father’s village, are they not?
      Someone should have some shame. Or the slaughtered greek inhabitans in a world still at peace in early summer 1914 at the ancient city of Phokea. Or the Armenians. Brought it on themselves.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    John, brilliant essay! As for my own family, my maternal grandfather was an ardent Venizelist/Republican while my father was an ardent monarchist who, like King Constantine I, believed in neutrality. I love both men and while my grandfather was an active participant in the narrative which you so eloquently describe, I must agree with my father. Greece should have remained neutral. So for that matter should have the United States.

    • John Sakelaris says

      Thanks, George.

      As for my own family connections, my maternal grandmother suffered for the 1916-1917 British starvation blockade of the Peloponnese. Her brother served with the Greek army in Asia Minor.

      In 1978 I married a nice Greek girl who died of cancer in 2001. Her family had a major connection to the Catastrophe. Her maternal grandmother came to the US about 1912 as a young girl traveling with her family; they were getting out of the Cappadocia portion of Asia Minor.

      And in 1912 her maternal grandfather, from the same area, was working in Constantinople and had reached military age. He was informed of the plan to draft him and many others into those deadly labor groups I had mentioned. Instead of reporting for a slow horrible death, he got on a ship and came to the US. Those two grandparents later met in Massachusetts and married in 1920.

      The story was not so good for his parents who stayed behind in Cappadocia. They died in refugee camps in the Catastrophe.

      I was motivated to do my thesis about this subject in part due to accounts from my wonderful in-laws, and in part due to seeing so little in our well-known historical literature about these events other than the anti-Greek works of Toynbee and Churchill.

      • John Sakelaris says

        And I will add that I did meet a new woman and remarried in 2012; she is not of Greek ancestry, but eagerly converted from her Protestantism to the Orthodox Church after I took her to its services and Bible study classes.

        This fact addresses one of the other themes often covered on this blog, that the future of Orthodox Christianity in the US must include many conversions of non-Greeks. This issue is closely connected to the 1922 Catastrophe when one recalls that the original motivation of many Greek immigrants coming to the US before 1922 was to make money and return to Greece; some even hoped it would be to a “Greater Greece” that would include the Smyrna area. With the Catastrophe, there would be no good opportunity waiting for them back in the old country, so most of them stayed in the US, creating for the first time in a thousand years an opportunity for Orthodox Christianity to be widespread in a major new country–if only they would remember to practice and explain their faith.

        Reading of the Catastrophe can thus remind us that the presence of Orthodoxy in the US was purchased at a price.

    • George my grandfather on mother side fought in Asia minor and was venizelist. As a teacher AFRER he was sent to remote peloponisus village as a punishment where the peasants, while he was teaching, stole all the furniture from their home. The priest Cursed the thieves. Real life!!

      • George Michalopulos says

        Niko, both my grandfathers fought in the wars in question. My beloved maternal grandfather was a republican (i.e. Venizelist) as well as the only Greek-American to be a Republican for miles around when he immigrated to America. I imagine as a member of the GOP he was viewed as a freak of nature.

        My paternal grandfather (who I never met and became a doctor after the wars) was a monarchist as were most of the people in the south of Greece (esp Laconia although he was a Messenian). My father to this day is a monarchist and used to exchange Christmas greetings with King Constantine II (who, unless I’m mistaken, was the last consecrated Orthodox king). I pray for the restoration of the Orthodox Christian kingship in all Orthodox lands.

        Now that I’ve given some of you the vapors, allow me to explain. What we are witnessing today in America is the end-stage of legitimate republicanism, the chief hallmark of which is the democratic election of the Chief Executive and the peaceful transfer of power from one Executive to the other. If anything, the Russia Collusion hoax has proven to be a coup-d’etat against a duly elected Chief Executive and the constant subversion of his legitimate authority. We are talking about violations of the Logan Act, secret cabals designed to extort officials, the subversion of the Constitution (i.e. the attempt to get around the Electoral College) and even the plotting of assassination.

        We have simply lost the capacity in this country to accept peaceful elections. Or we’re darn near to it.

        Whether one likes Pres Trump or not is completely beside the point. The Constitution was set up to restrain all Federal power and the checks-and-balances provisions allows the Congress to restrain the Executive and visa versa. As well as the States. It is the duty and obligation of those who do not like Trump’s policies to exercise their legal capacity to do so within the halls of Congress.

        More later.

  3. Former GOA says


    Thank you for this wonderful piece. I, too, am a somewhat-Greek-American (sort of a mutt), though I was baptized in and grew up in the GOA. I’d never heard of the “Asia minor catastrophe” until I was in college, studying Modern Greek. One of our readings for I think 2nd or 3rd semester mentioned the “μικρασιατική καταστροφή” – I never heard of it and looked it up, discovering much of what you discuss.

    Along with the Armenian genocide, it’s truly one of the many tragedies brought on the world which the West prefers to ignore. For me, this was a big lesson that we do indeed live in a western world where the politicians, media, history books, etc., cater to western sensibilities. It’s just the way it is, and I guess the same kind of thing happens elsewhere in the world.

    America has been supporting the Saudi starving millions of Yemenis for 4 years now, and few westerners really care, since most don’t have any special attachment or connection with those in Yemen. Same thing with the terrible civil war in the Congo in central Africa for decades that killed millions – most westerners don’t know about it and don’t care because Africa is so different, most just don’t “get” it. Our useless mainstream media clearly doesn’t care about these things.

    If something like the Asia Minor catastrophe happened in Spain or Germany, it’d be front and center news and history for decades. This phenomenon perfectly highlights the western world that most of us live in and illustrates why few westerners know or care about the “μικρασιατική καταστροφή” or about the Armenian or about what’s going on in Yemen, etc. The people these dramas affect are different, and many westerners have trouble relating to or having compassion for those who are different.

    It’s always amazed me that in 1923 – just after the Asia Minor catastrophe – is when the Freemason patriarch M. Metexakis pushed forth the “new calendar” to please his British overlords. Hadn’t the Greeks had enough of British duplicity already? Talk about codependent – why were some Greeks still trying to make the abusive British pleased with them?

    As an aside: It’s cool these days to display “Μολών Λαβέ” – a Greek term that also highlights a different British atrocity against the Greeks (this time, Greek Cypriots). The Brits burned Greek Cypriot freedom fighters alive after they cried “Μολών Λαβέ” against the Brits to come get them in a decisive battle. God Save the Queen, apparently.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ii too, see more and more the words “Molon Labe” on bumper stickers on all sorts of vehicles here in Oklahoma. I pray that this sentiment spreads.

    • Former GOA. Yes the British worthy heirs of concentration camps, ( boer wars) .
      Greece including my family suffered beyond reason in wwii on behalf of the British. Greece could have escaped most of that by acceptance of italian occupation and surfacing as the victims in 1945. But we have what the British lack, HONOUR ( germans have honour too actually) and fought and suffered as allies.

  4. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Why in the world did anybody even come to this ‘Western’ country in the first place?

    Why do all haters of the West so wish to come here and stay? Here they flock and here they deprecate the indifference to their hoary resentments. But they still flock hither and still they stay. Of course, the reasons are obvious. They are free, they can keep the fruits of their labor, and they do not fear the old oppression. This is apparently not enough.

    By the by, Orthodoxy was established in North America long before the Catastrophe.

    I can say this about many ‘western’ European migrants: they came here to forever leave their ancient hatreds and grievances behind, and most have done so.

    • John Sakelaris says

      Tim–In response, I will first answer from personal experience. People who I have known who were of Greek immigrant ancestry loved America a great deal. I think of my maternal grandfather, a Greek immigrant who always made a point to display the US flag every holiday and proudly displayed a photo of his US Army officer son. It was not until after his passing that I learned of the harassment he endured in the 1920s from the Ku Klux Klan; he never wanted to talk about that. He liked to describe himself as an American. And I am an American as well.

      And as a descendant of that great and prosperous mostly Greek Byzantine Empire of a thousand years ago, I note that the Byzantine Empire was resented by envious groups on all sides; they eventually destroyed it. In today’s world, by the grace of God, I am blessed to be in this great and prosperous American nation that in many ways is in a similar situation, hated by so many others in the world. So here Greek Americans along with other proud Americans must take their stand; there is no where else to run to now.

      And, with all due respect to the works of the nineteenth century Orthodox missionaries in Alaska, etc, the majority of the Orthodox population in the US, for the last hundred years all the way to the present, have been descended from Greece. Many of them have drifted from the Orthodox faith, to be sure, but the Greek Americans remain a very important group to consider and work with if we want to have the Orthodox faith survive and grow in the US.

      To my way of thinking, the immigrants who flocked here with really strong “hoary resentments” were the Irish Catholics, from the 1830s to the 1920s. During those years they sometimes worked very hard to involve the US in a war with Great Britain. Although the British were not always saints, thankfully the Irish Catholics failed in those efforts.

      • George Michalopulos says

        John,, a lot of what you say here rings true, and pragmatic. In much the same way that Tim’s recitation of Robbie Burns’ poem above. Although I am most grateful that America did not fall victim to Irish victimology vis-a-vis a war with Britain, we could have been more sympathetic to Irish-American, Scandinavian-American and German-American grievances as regards to our participation in the Great War. And of course our present servility to AIPAC. (Yes, I am a consistent isolationist.)

        Having said that, you fall into the same trap that many Russophiles fall into regarding numbers and Orthodoxy. We Greek-Americans make much of the fact that although we came a century after the first Orthodox mission was established in North America, our numbers (supposedly) gives us pride-of-place on this continent.

        Leaving aside the fact that we are dwindling dramatically, let us accept the argument that numbers matter. If so, then it stands to reason that we should defer to Russia in the “great game” which is being played out at present between Moscow and Istanbul. Russia’s ecclesial dominance should be accepted without question or reservation.

        This explains to a great extent the resentment that many non-Greek-American Orthodox feel towards the GOA/EP.

    • Tim R. Mortiss: “Why in the world did anybody even come to this ‘Western’ country in the first place?”

      Well, they came for the opportunity – the sparsely populated huge land, with untapped resources. The law of nature.

      First the British settlers, who came from overcrowded and sometimes malnourished island.

      Negroes came because they were needed for cheap labor.

      Then desperate Irish and Italian peasants, same reason as British.

      Latinos are coming because their farms got ruined by the big agribusiness and plutocracy squeezes them too hard.

      Why do you ask?

    • George Michalopulos says

      True. Although my mother’s side of the family suffered because of the Catastrophe, we didn’t make a big deal about it. I for one, was raised to be a proud, patriotic American.

      Mr Sakelaris’ essay was written to correct a historical amnesia (if I may say so myself). I especially asked him to write something about it –as he is an expert–so that we can better understand the predicament that we find ourselves in today. Not only as Orthodox Christians who labor under the pretensions of the See of Constantinople but as Americans who labor under the myth of neoconservatism and its insistence on our duty to intervene.

      It is also a cautionary tale to our Ukrainian brethren who are in danger of losing their country because –like Great Britain and France who left the Greeks to hang out to dry at Smyrna–they too run the very real risk of the same should things get very bad in Ukraine because of “muh democracy”.

      • George a book worth reading on this is
        SMYRNA SEPT 1922, the American mission to rescue victims of the 20c first genocide, lou ureneck. An american intervention to be proud of, and as u know not too many of those.
        Yes Lloyd George always ready to aid the Greeks with honey words, of which he knew many.
        Just to say 24/4 is anniversary of the Armenian holocaust too. Until Turkey repents of that it cannot sleep easy.
        My grand father was a greek soldier at some of the fiercest battles and my grand mother on mother’s side as him, lost five brothers.

    • Former GOA says


      My take is that the western world has long been a beautiful place to live and worship God in relative freedom and peace. For that I’m thankful, as I’m sure are millions of others.

      However, as Solzhenitsyn discussed during his 1978 Harvard address (for which he was much maligned), that does not mean that western free-market unbridled Darwinian capitalism is the savior of mankind. Solzhenitsyn knew that while communism was a dead end and would collapse in his native Russia, the answer for the communist bloc would not rest in adopting free market Darwinian capitalism.

      I am a patriot and love my country and the western world, yet I don’t believe that she is above criticism. There are many things wrong with today’s western world, foremost of which is the western elite’s full acceptance that the militant secularist lie accurately describes reality. Most westerners are severely deluded in ignoring God and believing that only what we can see and touch is all that there is. Most westerners believe that when you die, that’s it, there’s nothing – such a deluded outlook is often used to justify hedonism here and now.

      The west can’t be above reproach, especially to those of us who live here and are patriots and love her. We’re Christians foremost, after all.

      CAIR and some other militant Muslim groups are known for believing that it’s impossible for anyone to write critically about Islam, or the deeds of Muslims, in good faith. The only acceptable angle for CAIR and those like them is flattery. We can’t mimic CAIR but must be diligent about loving our country while not being afraid to constantly point out how the western elites have taken us in a dangerous direction.

  5. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Romfea News website.

    Thousands honoured the Pontian Genocide Remembrance Day in Manhattan
    by NewsRoom
    Apr 16, 2019 | 16:45

    • John Sakelaris says

      To Greatly Saddened: Thank you for your post. As I wrote this article on the Asia Minor Catastrophe, I was so often conflicted about how much of the story to include. So I did not mention the portion of the Catastrophe that occurred in Pontus. Some of that began during the World War; by 1921 it was largely completed. Thousands of Pontic Greeks died; the remainder became refugees.

      I should explain that Pontus was the region along the Asia Minor Black Sea coast, to the west of Armenia.

      Reports of the 1921 slaughter in Pontus did travel to the news outlets of the Great Powers, but it did not create in any of them a plan to set up any garrisons to protect Smyrna, which was destroyed by the Turks in 1922.

  6. Michael Bauman says

    Former GOA,
    You statement is eloquent but your phrase “Darwinian capitalism” is quite misleading and,
    I am afraid, leads to the very thing Solzhenitsyn decried: ideology. He certainly said nothing about any such non-existent reality as Darwinian capitalism. The economic system most closely resembling what you protest is fascism.

    Solzhenitsyn clearly saw that the secular elites of the west were little different than the atheist elites of communism. Tyrany, lies and nihilism are their trinity.

    Do not fool yourself in thinking any of us are free of such vain imaginings. They are everywhere.

    Still, genuine capitalism does not exist, only the effort toward a fair and just market that allows all to potentially prosper. Yet variously modified versions of the word have become a mindless stalking horse for fantasy based ideologies that are not really any better and are usually worse.

    Our current economy is based on the acquisition and sale of debt in order to promote consumption and maintain most people in a kind of servitude. It is not capitalism of any kind.

    So, if you dislike our current economic system it would behoove you to describe it accurately and not in jingoistic broadsides that provide no light.

    • “Genuine capitalism does not exist”

      The commies say the same thing about their ideology too.

      Both communism and capitalism are materialistic and inherently evil. Communist society assaults the Church, while capitalist society slowly sucks the life out of it through its excess of luxury items and infantile distractions.

      We as Christians need to look back to the pre-modern era for inspiration for truly just economic systems; the medieval guild systems, I propose, are a good starting point. The Catholic Distributists and the Orthodox Brotherhood of the Holy Cross were trying to get at this in the first part of the 20th century.

      • Basil: “Both communism and capitalism are materialistic and inherently evil. Communist society assaults the Church, while capitalist society slowly sucks the life out of it through its excess of luxury items and infantile distractions.”

        In a sense that this world is fallen, and not capable to resemble Kingdom of God the above is true.

        But in a worldly practical sense it is naive. The socioeconomic systems do not arise according to some plans, they grow naturally out of historical circumstances. One can try to improve systems and ameliorate their worst shortcomings, why not?

        But the main social calling for the Christians is to preserve way to the salvation of souls open. This world will be fixed only after the Second Coming.

        • John Sakelaris says

          To Michael, Basil, and Martin:

          Your comments are good. But could they be better placed on one of the other threads of this blog? As I noted in my comment below, I hope to see people focus here on memories and historiography of the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe, hoping to not go too far into other things.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            John, because George normally puts out new material every few days, there is going to be all kinds of discussion going on. However, if you go to the main page of Monomakhos and click on the link for your paper, you will see just the comments that concern what you wrote.

          • ” But could they be better placed on one of the other threads of this blog?”

            No. I cannot reply on another thread than the original post was placed. At most I can refrain from replying. It is getting too complicated.

  7. John Sakelaris says

    What I hope to see on here in future days and weeks will be people posting with family memories of the Catastrophe era and also comments about the ways in which the Greek experience of that time has been described and often distorted. I will offer some additional details from my studies.

    Hopefully we will not be getting too far afield into other topics.

    • Former GOA says


      While I don’t have any personal family memories of the Asia Minor Catastrophe to recount (the Greek part of my family comes from the eastern Dodecanese islands, to America in the early 1900s, maybe originally Ionian Greeks from western Anatolia/Asia Minor before then?), I was so moved by the Asia Minor Catastrophe story that I bought a book not long ago highlighting a Pontic Greek woman’s and family’s forced death march and expatriation. The book is “Not Even My Name” by Thea Halo.

      Turkey’s party line at the time was that these Greeks “went back home.” Makes absolutely no sense since the Pontic Greeks, Cappadocian Greeks, and Ionian/Smyrnan Greeks lived in Turkey/Asia minor for thousands of years. Just as they sat by and let Turkey occupy Cyprus decades ago, the world sat by and let Turkey commit genocide against those it deemed undesirable to live with.

      Recall what Adolf Hitler replied, when people commented to him that the world would not allow his planned extermination of Jews: “Who remembers the Armenians?” Hitler saw that the world powers let Turkey exterminate its Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian populations — it was his blueprint for doing the same thing to the Jews 15-20 years later.

      More reading on the Asia Minor and Pontic Greek genocide:

      A blessed Lazarus Saturday to all tomorrow! Remember to get working on making your Lazarakia if you haven’t started already. (

      • John Sakelaris says

        To Former GOA:

        Thank you for your comment. Concerning the “Who remembers the Armenians?” quote attributed to Adolf Hitler, those words are said to have come from a speech he made to his officers shortly before the 1939 invasion of Poland. It got into print in 1942 in the United States in a book entitled “What About Germany?” by Louis Lochner, an American correspondent in Germany who had witnessed the German war activities in the war’s first two years, when the US was officially neutral. In 1942 he was interned in Germany due to the end of US neutrality and then came back to the US as part of a diplomatic exchange. Once in the US he published his book, seeking to arouse the US to the dangers posed by Nazi Germany.

        Lochner had not heard Hitler’s 1939 speech firsthand; he cited a source who was only incompletely identified. Other versions of the Hitler speech omit the comment about the Armenians.

        The historiography battle between the Turks on one side and the Armenians and Greeks on the other side (in this instance, mostly Armenians) did not get started in a big way until after Lochner’s death in 1975 at the age of 87. On their side the Turks have argued that there is no convincing evidence that Hitler actually said those words about the Armenians in his speech.

        Do I think Hitler said “Who remembers the Armenians?” Yes! Could I prove that in a court of law? Maybe not.

        You will notice that I did not put the quote in my summary. Instead, I pointed out one fact that is undeniably true and is in many ways far more crucial: With the events of 1920-1922, the aspiring future leaders in Germany, Italy, and Japan saw that a nation could violently overthrow a peace arrangement.

        I will post more in the coming days. Yes, happy Lazarus Saturday.

        • John,

          This subject matter is dear to my heart. Thank you for bringing light to a subject matter most don’t know, nor care about. Of course except those who were affected by the hushed up tragedy. Both sides of my family were affected by it.

          My mother’s family were from Smyrna, and fled during the massacre and fire. The speed with which it happened was what was most shocking. The family members left only with keys to their home, and rushed to the harbor. Much time was spent getting everyone together to get on boats. At the harbor my grandmother told me , the horror of walking over dead bodies, men, women, and children. The panic, screams, and hopelessness, Im sure ,never left them. They by God’s Grace all escaped to the island of Chios. An island with it’s own history of massacre, and tragedy, at the hands of Turks.

          My father was a Pontic Greek, in Northern Turkey. His family fled Turkey as well, in a rushed panic. The story told was some got on boats and ships to Greece, and some to Soviet Union, Georgia. They suffered again at the hands of Stalin. My grandfather spent eight years in a Gulag, was part of the only 10% his Greek village that survived, and mainly so because he was a tailor, not a digger, and by the Grace of God, released with only the clothes on his back, returned to his village working his way back home. Luckily after WW2 they all left the Soviet Union for Greece.

          What can I contribute from my own personal experience? They never spoke of it much. They never complained over the loss of personal property, and never took on a persona of victimhood or of a persecuted people. No, they always thanked God they were spared death, and with it our family drew strength from it to this day. No matter how “depressed” or “distressed” life can be in these comfortable days we complain about, when problems occur, natural or not. We remember those before us who survived and pushed forward to give us a better life, and honor those never given the opportunity. It is the backbone of my family, to which we carry on.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            This was beautifully written, Dino. I liked where you say, “They never complained over the loss of personal property, and never took on a persona of victimhood or of a persecuted people. No, they always thanked God they were spared death, and with it our family drew strength from it to this day.” Unfortunately, too many others, similarly displaced, carry their anger forward into future generations.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Indeed, Dino. My mother’s family did not suffer anywhere near to the extent that your parents’ respective families did. And yet, I truly admire people like you who thank God for their safety, get up and dust themselves off and then get on with their lives.

              In case you can’t tell, I have absolutely nothing but contempt for those who engage in non-stop grievance-mongering.

              • Thank you George and Gail,

                Come to think of I never even mentioned that the Nazi occupation all but ruined by mother’s, father’s side of the family business, who had a motorcycle, and auto dealership in Chios, this before being run out of Adana, Turkey, and losing businesses and many properties, in fact their last name was associated with a large section of Adana city. Displaced and persecuted from all four sides of my family, and three different governments.(Nazi, Soviet, and Ottoman) Again, it could have been worse, or as Greeks say during a crisis,(Me Herotia).

                Sorry for all my offenses towards you, please forgive me. A blessed Palm Sunday, and Good Pascha to you both.

                “As by baptism we were buried with Thee, O Christ our God, so by Thy Resurrection we were deemed worthy of immortal life; and praising Thee we cry: Hosanna in the Highest; blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord!”
                (Apolytikion: Fourth Tone)

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Thank you, Dino. Wishing you the best. . . always. Kali Anastasi!

                  • John Sakelaris says

                    In keeping with the spirit shown in the above posts, I will add that there was a League of Nations institution that operated in Greece during the years immediately following the Catastrophe; it was known as the Refugee Settlement Commission. In working on getting most of the refugees settled in Greece, the Commission insisted upon one major requirement: There would not be any class of “professional refugees” created. And so the Asia Minor and East Thracian refugees did get settled in with the rest of the Greek population. No identifiable refugee cities were created in Greece after 1922 to my knowledge.

                • Dino my brother! It is so good to hear from you, I envy your heritage.

                  God bless you richly, and have a most blessed Pascha.

                  • Brian and Matthew, Thank you.

                    Brian, my favorite poster. I envy your faithful heart, and balanced mind. With all I have personally witnessed, and stories told by my parents, and grandparents, and saintly spiritual father, I always struggle with my faith and religion. God only knows were I would be without them, and their prayers from above.

                    I will not post as much as most topics are not healthy for ME. I must say the absence of Michael Stankovich is missed. He brought a great balance, even when I disagreed with him, on social issues. On a spiritual level you and he gave me much ammunition and lifting of my soul from darkness. I miss those days. May you have blessed Holy Week.

        • Many future nazis were German officers in wwi Ottoman Turkey so they saw and record, with their own eyes. Some were disgusted. For others it gave them ideas.
          My family suffered and under germans. I forgive but do not forget because in forgetting it can happen again.

          • Just to say I had an Armenian patient in Uk, 95 yrs old who saw his entire family murdered in 1914/15. Escaped to Cyprus in end and made a new life in Armenian community there. Only to be in wrong part of Cyprus ( Kyrenia) in 1974. So he and family fled before the turks arrived, whose first act was to bulldoze the Armenian cemetry.

            He then started all over again in Uk.

  8. Monk James Silver says

    Please understand that it is not my intention to trivialize the suffering of Armenian and Greek Christians at the hands of the Turks, but if the 1920s ‘exchange of populations’ was mentioned here, I must have missed it.

    As I recal, many thousands of ethnic Greeks were expelled from Anatolia at the same time as many thousands of ethnic Turks were expelled from the Balkans. Both groups suffered, and I think that justice requires that the suffering of ethnic Turkish civilians must be acknowledged at the same time as that of the ethnic Greek and Armenian civilians. All of them were pawns in this great tragedy, generally not perpetrators of violence, although that was certainly true of some individuals on both sides.

    These people should be respected as being completely separate from the militants who slaughtered their compatriots on both sides.

    May the Lord grant us forgiveness of our own sins, and help us to forgive those who have sinned against us.

    • John Sakelaris says

      I did mention in my article that 380,000 Turks were expelled from Greece’s Macedonia region.

      • Monk James Silver says

        Thanks you. Please forgive me for missing that.

      • Veras Coltroupis says

        In the population exchanges, Slavs were sent to Bulgaria and Greeks from Philipupolis were sent to Greece. Woodhouse mentions with amusement how the Y\yugoslvas were upset some of the Slavs sent to Blulgaria should have een sent to them instead.

    • Yes monk James u make a valid point about population exchange., 1.5 million Orthodox, as by religion, not by spoken language, from Turkey to Greece and half a million Muslims from Greece.
      My secretary in London had a Turkish husband from Smyrna whose grand parents from Crete spoke only Greek and Sym remember his Grandmother dyeing eggs at Easter and watching Greek tv from Chios and calling him a ‘papas ‘ because of his long hair . Many of the refugees to Greece were refered to as’ baptised in yoghurt ‘ as they brought a more sophisticated byzantine cuisine to the simple peasant fare of old Greece (παλαιά Ελλάδα). Or worse as ‘turkish spawn’ Greek though they were. There is a very good film. SPICE (Πολιτική κουζίνα) about some of these themes.
      Turks suffered badly. But I want to make an important point.
      There is all the difference in world between atrocity in war or civil unrest, disgusting as it may be. The Greek army commited crimes in it’s 1922 retreat to the Sea. The father of Prince Philip, consort to the Queen of Great Britain, was not called, ‘ Burn a village, Prince Andrew ‘ for nothing.
      However this is not the same as a government coldly and systematically slaughtering in a methodical way, it’s own citizens. This ONLY Ottoman Turkey did clearly and criminally as a government policy as Hitler with jews.
      At end of wwii millions of germans were slaughtered in eastern Europe and exiled in revenge for what they did during the war. This needs to be discussed more and can be because Germany has in as far as is possible, come to Terms with and faced it’s past. Turkey has not. It is changing with more turks willing to look at history but the official line is denial. This means it is difficult to look at their own suffering and share our common human tragedy until this is done. Same for Armenians.

  9. Matthew Panchisin says

    Dear Dino,

    Thank you for your comments, they certainly are authentic and significant.

    Kali Anastasi!

  10. John Sakelaris says

    I want to add some words about a veteran of Greece’s 1920-1922 war with Turkey. This man, George Hlepos, served in the engineers. He made it out alive and was able to eventually get into the United States, passing away in 1992, in his nineties.

    In the 1980s we talked about his experience. Oh, how I wish I had taken more time talking with him and had taken notes! He lamented the Greek defeat in this war, saying, “If we had won that war, we would be twenty million instead of ten million!”

    • John Sakelaris says

      And just think what Mr Hlepos must have felt in his many years here in the United States, with so much attention being paid to the stories of America’s war histories, especially with all of our books, movies, and TV shows on fighting World War II. Yet the massive struggle he participated in to try to save a presence for Greek Christian civilization in Asia Minor was forgotten, when it was not actually being condemned.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you for mentioning my beloved grandpa.

    • There is a very good book published about the memories of a greek soldier in 1922 who was prisoners of war, escaped to save his life and pretended to be a turk. He was from Asia minor so spoke Turkish perfectly. Very moving revealing story especially when he has to take part in Muslim prayer and holidays. He eventually got to Lesvos and then to Athens.

  11. Puleeese! The “Asia Minor Greeks” were wastrels who fled the 1983 Olympics bankrupcty, then arabated themselves and brough evil to Greek shores. They should all be sent back!

    • John Sakelaris says

      On this Orthodox Holy Friday it seems that bigotry has made an appearance on this thread in the form of a George Comney.

      First, there was no Olympics in 1983. The two times Greece hosted the Olympics were in 1896 (before the Catastrophe) and in 2004. Secondly, it was not clear what evil these defeated refugees brought to the rest of the Greek people. My experience with the refugees and their descendants has been extremely positive. So sad to see this nonsense showing up. ,

      • George Michalopulos says

        Totally agreed. While the massive influx of 1.5 million refugees into the Greek mainland was an immediate economic catastrophe (just like the daily infusion of illegal aliens into the US), these Anatolian Greeks were on the whole better-educated and the women were quite emancipated for their time.

        I remember hearing stories about how they were housed in tin shacks with dirt floors but they went out of their way to make their hovels look as clean and presentable as possible.

        I’m not sure how many of this influx Greece proper was to absorb as opposed to how many went to South Africa, Rhodesia, the Americas or Australia, but wherever they went they tended to prosper or at least not be a drag on their host countries (unlike the present non-European migrants who are a complete drain on Greece and the rest of Europe presently).

      • Yes I made same points . Very bigoted post it was. I have posted info re a great book to read on this.

  12. Constantinos says

    Mt. Sakelaris,
    On this Holy Saturday, I cannot stress how vital Greek and Hellenism is to Orthodoxy. As we know, Jesus spoke Greek along with Aramaic and Hebrew. There is good reason to believe that some of His teachings were spoken in Greek. The New Testament was written in Greek.
    In my opinion, the greatest blessing is to be an Orthodox Christian. The second greatest blessing is to be Greek. Simply put, the Greeks are the greatest race in all of history. Don’t forget, while Mr. Comney’s ancestors were still swinging from trees, our forbears were an advanced civilization. Many of the greatest saints in the Orthodox Church have been Greek. I’m deeply honored to be a Greek Orthodox Christian. Helen of Troy- the most beautiful woman in all of history. What race was she? Greek, of course. By the way, my mother is still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, she’s 92 years old, and could pass for 65. Some people think she’s a freak of nature. No! She’s Greek!

    • Former GOA says

      Christ is not present where there is pride or boasting.

      Constantinos, you are a free man and are free to ride your racist pride right where it takes you: into the hands of the evil one. Any church jurisdiction that plays the racism/racist pride angle also goes right into the hands of the evil one, Though thank the Lord that most jurisdictions extol their ethnic heritage only to the extent that it glorifies Christ.

      It’s racist garbage like this which is a prime reason why I left the GOA.

      George, why do you post this stuff? It makes many of us want to never visit your blog again – to wipe our feet of this kind of thing and not come back.

      To those who have ears to hear, a blessed upcoming glorious resurrection of our Lord – who is the Lord for everyone, for all peoples, all ethnicities, all skin colors!

      An early Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ανέστη! Христос Воскресе! Le Christ est ressuscité!

    • Drawings show the Trojans with slanted eyes. They were Turanian Hittites, oppressed by the Greeks for three millenia who avenged themselve sin 1922

      • John Sakelaris says

        The Lakis comment strikes me as a questionable and simplistic history, not to be taken seriously.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Truly. The Hittites (as far as we know) were Indo-Europeans; i.e. “Aryans”. Just like the the peoples of Europe and those who established the Persian Empire and founded the Hindi civilization. (“Iran” and “Eriu/n” are derived from the word aryan and are the ancestral names of Persia and Ireland, incidentally.)

          • Zem Contrikis says

            The Hittite type is represented, not only on their own monuments, but on those of the XVIIIth and XIXth Egyptian Dynasties, including a~ colored picture of the time of Rameses III. The type represented has a short head and receding forehead, a prominent and sometimes rather curved nose, a strong jaw and a hairless face. The complexion is yellow, the eyes slightly slanting, the hair of the head black, and gathered into a long pigtail behind. The physiognomy is like that of the Sumerians represented on a bas-relief at Tel-loh (Zirgul) in Chaldea, and very like that of some of the Kirghiz Mongols of the present time, and of some of the more purely Mongolic Turks. The head of Gudea at Zirgul in like manner shows (about 2800 BC) the broad cheek bones and hairless face of the Turkish type; and the language of his texts, in both grammar and vocabulary, is closely similar to pure Turkish speech


            • John Sakelaris says

              Hittites lived in Asia Minor over three thousand years ago. The area later was Hellenized, and to my knowledge, there was no Greek action against the earlier populations that included major warfare or genocide. We can assume that the populations mixed.

              So…today’s Greeks of Asia Minor extraction may have some oriental genes from way, way, back. So what?

              Remember that, in the first century AD, unlike any distant Turkish 30th cousins of theirs who were living in Central Asia at that time, the Asia Minor population was not only a Hellenized population, it quickly became an important part of Christendom. In the fourth through the eleventh centuries, it was the core of the great Byzantine Christian Empire. The focus of this thread will hopefully be for all of today’s Christians to respectfully remember the Asia Minor Greeks and what happened to them.

  13. Michael Bauman says

    And Windex cures everything

    • John Sakelaris says

      To Constantinos and to Michael: Whatever our feelings are about Greeks in general, I suppose it falls to me, the author of the article, to politely ask that the future comments here in some way relate to the Asia Minor Catastrophe and its memory.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    John, it is precisely Costas type of comments that take away from the genuine human tragedy in which have a share. Costa manages to denigrate pretty much everybody. It is the kind of attitude that ends in genocide if unchecked. Just replace Greek with Turk in Costa’s comments to see what I mean If you want a clean thread on this site, George is who you need to talk to. Otherwise, you cannot expect clearly stupid comments that are hurtful and destructive to remain unchallenged.
    I am sorry I offended you. I contemplated responding at all. My comment should have been similar to yours.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Which does not carry well on blogs unannounced.

    • John Sakelaris says

      To Constantinos and Michael: As this line of thought continues, I must say that I like you both, but Michael’s points are well taken.

      In the coming days I will try to post more about the Catastrophe.

      • There is a very good book about the catastrophe and wider issue of the.population exchange in 1922.
        And the reality that greeks and many turks are united in blood but divided in religion. And the karamanli or secret Christians.

        The book is

  16. Lakis Velotris says

    December 1919 (US Admiral) Bristol commission condemned Greek atrocities at Smyrna. If Venizelist war criminals were executed for their atrocities in Smyrna and Crete, the Greek Civil War would not have been worse. Justin McCarthy proves Turks justified in expecting Greek genocide in Chyprious by showing they did the same in Crete and Smyrna

    • John Sakelaris says

      This is the second anti-Greek comment on here from “Lakis.” In the case of Admiral Bristol, his hatred for Greeks is pretty well-known. The “Lakis” agenda, however, may be more interesting, if it could be known.

      The weird effort to connect the Venizelists to the Greek Civil War era shows the importance of not believing everything you read on the internet. We are getting into in-foil hat territory.

    • LAKIS, Exagerated rubbish. While there was an Exagerated response of greek troops to being fired on when they landed in Smyrna in 1919, and to be condemed, THIS in no way was a massacre or to be compared to the organised Ottoman government slaughter of their greek and Armenian population from 1896_1923 . Yes the greek army, as any guerrilla fighting army, committed atrocities, burning villages etc during Campaign as the turks committed whole sale slaughter, but look at what yr own USA army did in Iraq, but the greek civil administration supported and protected Turkish population.
      The disaster of 1922 was not from venizelos but from the royalists of course.

      • John Sakelaris says

        Nikos, as I said in response to another Lakis comment below, it seems Lakis is an unstable hater of anyone and anything connected to Greece. A Google search will confirm that for you.

        • Constantinos says

          Mr. Sakelaris,
          It is my personal belief that this clown “Lakis” is not really Greek. He’s just some jerk who was rejected by a Greek girl, and now he’s been sulking and pouting ever since. His mother needs to wash this villain’s mouth out with soap-and change his diaper!

  17. John Sakelaris says

    I thought that today I would give an example of the anti-Greek and anti-Armenian writing that is out there concerning the Catastrophe. I will quote from “The Pelican History of the World,” by J M Roberts, published in 1976 and revised in 1980, with 1052 pages.

    Completely overlooking the 1915 genocidal Turkish actions against the Armenians, Roberts gives us these words about the 1920 Sevres Treaty:

    “The British, French, Greeks and Italians had all agreed on their shares of the booty in Turkey….Faced with Greek and Italian invasion, the sultan signed a ludicrously humiliating peace. Greece was given large concessions, Armenia was to be an independent state while what was left of Turkey was divided into British, French and Italian spheres of influence. This was the most blatant imperialism.”

    Wow, where do we begin to see the garbage and distortions here? In this Sevres Treaty he refers to, Greece was given zones for the protection of its people that amounted to only about 5% of the territory that now comprises Turkey. Armenia, if effectively set up, could have brought the non-Turkish claims to around 20% of today’s Turkey, but, of course, with the author not mentioning the 1915 genocide, there is no context provided. The French and Italians were not seriously pursuing their “spheres.” The British “sphere” of Constantinople was quite small. Thus, about 80% of what is now Turkey was essentially reserved for the Turks anyway, something that a reader of the J M Roberts history book could not discern.

    There is more nonsense I will quote from Roberts in coming days.

  18. Tim R. Mortiss says

    I am sure that one can find any opinion to set up, as a sort of a straw man, in the musty tomes of general histories by forgotten authors, out of print and gathering dust in libraries.

    Why quote from Roberts, now or in coming days? Is he widely read on this issue? Is he held to be an authority on the subject? I don’t know the answer, though I see he has a Wikipedia entry; I hadn’t heard of him. If he is to be set up as some kind of negative example, we should at least know why– beyond saying he is an example of anti-Greek writing that is ‘out there’.

    As for the comparison with the Armenian catastrophe: if you go to Armenian churches, you will find various prominent shrines and memorials to the genocide. This seems to have become a touchstone of Armenian identity. Many of these have been put up only in recent years.

    Should GOA churches do something similar?

    • John Sakelaris says

      I thought that books presenting themselves as “world history” would be a worthwhile arena to look at and J M Roberts was pretty prominent in that field until his death in 2003. Why that particular book? Well, I saw my copy of his book from the 1980s glaring at me from my bookshelf. I have many more examples of this treatment that I can post on this site. I have to start somewhere.

      Yes, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese churches should look at the Armenian example for memorials.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Well, there you have it. It won’t be the church of Jesus Christ: it will be the church of the grievances of the 20th century Greek people, as nurtured by certain people ever preoccupied by the ”issue”….

        Why should my Anglo grandchildren stay there?

        I came to the Orthodox Church for Jesus Christ. I care about Greece at about 20% of what I care about Italy or Germany or France, and about 5% of what I care about England.

        • John Sakelaris says

          Remembering what has happened to overseas Christians under persecution can be a worthwhile part of a church’s mission. Not the total mission, to be sure.

          Anglos with the tunnel-vision of their limited Protestant historical consciousness might indeed have to make an adjustment. It might help to begin seeing the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US as part of the same story.

          • George Michalopulos says

            It would indeed be wise for all Christian confessions and ethnicities to see that we have been in a perpetual war with Islam for 1,400 years. I’m with you on that one, John.

            If American public schooling was less horrible than it has been, the average American citizen would know about the depredations of Islam and the inter-Christian warfare of the Teutonic Crusades. We would even know why the Russians experience their national trauma regarding invasion from the West. I’d imagine we wouldn’t fall for the “muh democracy” argument which justifies perpetual war.

            However, we cannot blame “Anglo” converts for their disdain for ethnic traditional ethno-Orthodox grievances, especially when we ethnic Orthodox choose to ignore the sufferings of other Orthodox peoples. Or more disastrously, when we continue to play ethnic oneupmanship games here in America.

            I for one believe that America needs an authentic Orthodox witness here in America. Sincere Protestants and Catholics have been starved for such a meaty feast, unfortunately, ever since the defenestration of Arb Iakovos in 1996, we have only offered a thin gruel.

          • Agree totally.

  19. John Sakelaris says

    Here is more from “The Pelican History of the World” by J M Roberts, this time dealing with the Catastrophe period and its aftermath:

    “…an outstanding soldier, Mustafa Kemal…drove out French and Greeks in turn…With Bolshevik help he crushed the Armenians….The British decided to negotiate. Turkey gave up its claims to…the islands of the Aegean, Cyprus, Rhodes, and the Dodecanese. A big exchange of Greek and Turkish populations followed and the hatred of these peoples for one another received fresh reinforcement…[The Turks] now turned away from Islam and towards the goal of national modernization….The law was secularized…The result was the creation of a state then in some ways among the most advanced in the world.”

    The errors and omissions here are numerous. Nothing was listed of the destruction of Smyrna, or of the fact that over four times as many Greeks as Turks became refugees, often under far more deadly conditions. There was something of a sneering Englishman’s disdain for far-away quarrels in the overall treatment. (Roberts was British.)

    As for the suffering of the Armenians, it was convenient that the Bolsheviks could get some responsibility–when the Bolsheviks actually preserved a remnant of those long-suffering people.

    We can see that more recent events and threats show clearly that Turkey does not consider itself finished with the Aegean, Cyprus, Rhodes, and the Dodecanese, as Roberts had maintained. Even before this history book was written, the Turks conducted their 1974 aggression against Cyprus. Near the end of the book Roberts merely referred to a “Greek revolution and a consequent outbreak if hostility between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus,” thus ignoring the invasion that came then from Turkey.

    The glowing praise that he gave for Turkish “secularization” ignored the anti-Christian bias of the secularization laws. And do we want history books to say we were the victims of a more advanced nation?

    • George Michalopulos says

      John, I’m curious. Why do you think that so many British intellectuals sided with the Turks and/or have such disdain for Greeks and other Christians in the Balkans and the Levant?

      I have a theory, namely that Protestants prefer the simplicity of Islam to the intricacies of Orthodoxy. Or perhaps the predominance of Freemasonry with its Islamophilia?

      What do you think?

      • Estonian Slovak says

        How did Churchill weigh in on this? He was wise to Hitler, unlike that jerk Chamberlain. BTW, I had a Ukrainian Great Grandfather who fought against the Turks either in the Crimea or in the Balkans. My father, who heard this from his grandfather, said that the Turks were armed with American Winchesters.

      • Michael Bauman says

        George, what links Protestants, Islam and secularists is iconoclasm and all the attendant theology.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Everything is thus explained. Islam had been around over a millennium when the Protestants came along. Without Protestantism, there’d be no secularism. Thus Islam causes secularism. (No doubt this is an extension of the thesis.)

          This is a sounder explanation that that which holds that every ill of the West, from before 1,000 AD to the US Constitution, the Nazis, the Bolsheviks, and the Democratic and Republican parties, is the result of the filioque. (Not making this up; I’ve heard it more than once.)

          The Roman Catholics were never iconoclasts; untouched by that heresy. And yet, their iconography is wrong….how is that?

          Just what, exactly, does “links” mean?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Tim, “Thank you for giving me a chance to clarify and expand on my statement. Links” was a poor choice of words. The three groups in their own ways each reject the Incarnation. Each has an iconoclastic out look as a result. Iconoclasm is a specific manifestation of nihilism.

            Among other things that means an elevation of the individual human will and eventually tyranny. Thus there will be areas of commonalty between them such as the desire to destroy anything or anyone who teaches and practices an incarnate, crucified and resurrected God who rejects the triumph of human will. It also explains the attraction of certain Brits to these three types of iconoclastic philosophies.

            With the CP chasing the same basic goals: “First without equals” combined with their centuries long strangulation by Islam, it should not surprise to see cooperation there either. Who knows, maybe the devil will be tricked once again: thinking himself victorious by the ‘death’ of the CP only to find out he has unknowingly accepted the one thing that can defeat death.

            BTW: Protestantism did not create or cause secularism. Chasing down such causation in history is futile. Every such causal chain leads back to either the “nothing” or Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Secularism is the natural result of a movement away from God. We Orthodox are also secular in many ways. However, the theology and practice of the Church provide some level of antidote. How much we each partake of that antidote God leaves to us.

      • John Sakelaris says

        I must respond to the George’s question about how British Protestantism is related to a pro-Turkish policy by endorsing what Michael Bauman has stated on here far more eloquently than I could have. It seems that for several centuries now the British have given up on Christianity, Protestant or otherwise, in favor of a cynical secularism. They tend to see Americans as religious fanatics simply because here we have some Americans who are actually trying to continue to practice and believe Christianity.

        This anti-Christian attitude of the British has shown up in a number of ways. Certainly there is no great impulse in Britain for rescuing endangered Orthodox Christians on the eastern frontiers of Christendom; that impulse ended with the Crusades. Moreover, the British imperial heritage created a special attachment to world Islam. It calls to mind a conversation between the pro-Turkish Winston Churchill and the sometimes pro-Greek David Lloyd George, as retold by Churchill in his “World Crisis” series. Lloyd George was apparently wanting to be helpful to the Greeks as the Catastrophe approached and Churchill responded by advocating for good relations with the Turks, explaining that, with its Empire, Britain was then the greatest Islamic political entity in the world and so Britain needed to be on good terms with Muslims.

        This British disdain for the cause of Orthodox Christians in particular was also fed by a centuries-long British opposition to Orthodox Christian Russia, part of a particularly paranoid aspect of British empire-building. Any move of Russia southward to liberate Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian or Greek Orthodox Christians from the Turks was seen as a threat to Britain’s position in the Mediterranean.

        “Estonian Slovak” raised an interesting question about how this matter was related to the Winston Churchill we now see as someone who was “wise to Hitler.” Well, although we can see the late 1930s Churchill in that way concerning Hitler’s Germany, the harsh facts of the matter were that in the early 1920s that same Winston Churchill was quite willing to sacrifice a lot of Greeks and Armenians to the Turks if that could serve British interests. As I mentioned in the long article at the top of this page, in March 1920 Churchill even stated that, concerning the Turks, “I counsel prudence and appeasement.” That was before “appeasement” became a bad word.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Thank you, John.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Churchill was always for the British Empire. Anyone or anything that got in the way of that, he would happily destroy including any indigenous culture if it were necessary to retain power.

          My maxim for evaluating rulers: The “greater” the ruler is considered by the world, the more people he/she killed or cultures destroyed.

          • John Sakelaris says

            Michael: Leo Tolstoy did a magnificent job of explaining the world’s sad focus on “great” men in War and Peace, Book IV, Part Three, the last half of Chapter 18.

          • Constantinos says

            Mr. Bauman,
            Knowing that you are a very humble man, I must say I wholeheartedly concur with you. Don’t forget, my brother, Churchill suffered from manic depression. His mental illness is well documented.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Yes he did, knowing people who suffer from that disorder — they do not have good decision making skills and tend to be rather inflexible. The inflexible part is what got the British through the war.

        • John. Well put. I long noted any mention of persecuted christians in Uk gets you total Silence if not irtitation.
          They do not want to know and do not want to learn. Even Christians seem disinterested. As for mentioning eastern Europe and Russia. Don’t bother.
          And yes russophobia care of empire delusions. Don’t mention machine gunning and gas bombing march arabs in 1920s from the air. Thank you Winston.

      • George the brits have a schitzophrenic attitude to things greek. And they have always been pro Turkish as part of their anti Russian mania. Remain so. What we suffered for them in wwii ignored and unknown.
        And yes I have always considered protestants to be a regression to judaism with it’s denial of mystery, the sacraments and obscession with old Testament.
        Do protestants, especially American, read the GOSPELS??

  20. Tim R. Mortiss says

    That’s the British for you: wiser than serpents, more devious than Bolsheviks, cryptic enemies of Christianity, hidden rulers of the world, whose secret services are more powerful and subtle than the NKVD, Gestapo, Mossad, and CIA put together…..

    Proof?.. you ask. It’s obvious: they unleashed due process, rule of law, incorrupt politics, tolerance, and empiricism on the world– not to mention representative government.

    Unforgivable! Pelicans ain’t in it!

  21. Michael Bauman says

    When have the British ever been tolerant?

    • Baloney. The Brits, Israelis and Jordanians brought down the ottomans and those who hate them are really nostalgic for their lost ottoman franchises

      • John Sakelaris says

        This is the third nonsensical posting on this thread from “Lakis Velotris.” He appears to be a mentally unstable hater of anyone and anything even remotely associated with Greece. A simple Google search will reveal this.

        George, this is your blog and not his. You do not have to give his rants a voice here.

  22. Michael Bauman says

    They have been enemies of Christianity since Henry VIII. To achieve “representative” government they killed there King and created a theocratic tryanny to replace the monarchy.

    Their inbred pseudo aristocracy that ran the intelligence service produced as their highest product Kim Philby.

    Their rule of law more often than not required the suppression of indigenous cultures that frequently understood humanity much better.

  23. ReaderEmanuel says

    Venizelos was a personal friend of my great-grandfather and his brothers. He gets much maligned for all of this, but the real fault is that of the Great Powers. Venizelos never should have trusted them after they stabbed him in the back in Crete several years before.

    • John Sakelaris says

      Very well put. From the distance of a century, we should see the basically good motives of both factions into which the Greeks were split preceding and during the Catastrophe and give honor to both. Those who are worth criticism (beyond the Turks, of course), would be the Great Powers, as you said, and the English-language historians, mostly British, who followed in their wake and worked to cover their tracks.

  24. Hello!
    I dont understand, why does greeks idetifies themselves as greeks, when in fact they are actually Roman?

  25. John Sakelaris says

    There is no Roman Empire now. Many nations exist in what was once its territory.

    The Greeks were part of the Roman Empire during its day, but the Greeks spoke Greek and not Latin.

    Of course, much of the Greek area was lost to the Turks. When the Turks tell of the pre-Turkish history of Asia Minor (Anatolia), they often mention the time it was under the Romans, even though the populace was Greek. This is a way of denying it was ever Greek. Are you a Turkish person advancing that agenda?

    • George Michalopulos says

      True enough John. Although you are aware that throughout the Byzantine period, Greeks called themselves “Romans” (as do Turks and other Moslems do today). To be an Hellena (i.e. Greek, masc.) meant that one was still a pagan.

      • John Sakelaris says

        Yes George, but I suspected a pro-Turkish agenda was what motivated that “Hernan” comment.

      • Brian D Finch says

        Yes…but: When the Romans were pagan, the Greeks were subjects of the Roman Empire. But, when the Roman Empire became a Christian Empire, the Greeks became Roman because they were were Christian.

        • John Sakelaris says

          Yes, Bryan, but nevertheless, we have to watch out for the Turkish agenda of denying that there was a major Greek presence in Asia Minor.

  26. John Sakelaris says

    I see today that my writing here on the Asia Minor Catastrophe has been referenced on the web site. So I welcome readers from that site. Some of you may want to add family memories. This horrible event was truly a hushed-up matter.

  27. Brian D Finch says

    John, Though I am an Irish citizen (it’s a long story), I am a Scot and will never be anything other. Nevertheless, I am also Orthodox – and Greek Orthodox at that. This is also another long story. However, I am also a poet – and a Scots one at that. Therefore I recognise that ‘Tim R Mortiss’ is not a real name. It is a cognomen derived from the refrain of the ‘Lament for the Makaris’ by the great mediaeval Scots poet William Dunbar. The refrain reads:
    ‘Timor mortis conturbat me’ [The fear of death disturbs me].
    The poem can be read in the original Scots here:
    or in modern English translation here:

    Finally, the quotation: “…Let him take, who hath the power,
    and let him keep, who can” is not from the Scot Robert Burns’ poem “Rob Roy’s Grave”,
    it is from the Englishman William Wordsworth’s poem “Rob Roy’s Grave”.
    The full poem may be accessed here:

    Having said that, thank you for the excellent essay. These things need to be remembered.

  28. Brian D Finch says

    PS: Lamentably, there are lots of misspellings in the ‘Lament for the Makaris’ at:
    Nevertheless, with care it is readable and understandable.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Brian, Alba go brach!

      I can’t tell you how much my sons and I enjoyed Scotland.

  29. Lon Calefas says

    Edinbourgh is the Athens of the North

    • Brian D Finch says

      Glasgow is the Saloniki of the West

      • George Michalopulos says

        There’s an old joke: At a crossroads in Scotland, there was a signpost that said “Glasgow: 15 mi west”; other said “Gentlemen: the other way”.

      • John Sakelaris says

        Brian, welcome to the site. Hope to see you post again. Tomorrow I will be posting something on here that will relate to the Asia Minor Catastrophe and…of all places, Glasgow!

  30. John Sakelaris says

    One of the strangest aspects of the era of the Great Catastrophe was that token forces from the Great Powers were so close by during all of this story.

    This included the nearly five-year long “Allied” occupation of Constantinople, from November 1918 to October 1923. This force never consisted of much more than 50,000 troops. The largest contingent of them was British, with some French and Italian troops and even a few hundred from Greece. It was clear, however, that the British were the ones running the show. Greeks had based their hopes on the British giving protection in the area, even though the historic Constantinople would not be officially turned over to Greece. It was a tense situation, as there were numerous acts of Turkish resistance to this occupation.

    As was explained in the essay at the top of the page, the British and French changed their tune in the region when it looked like major fighting was likely. They used a Greek election result as an excuse to justify a decision to become neutral in late 1920.

    And when the Greek forces were defeated in September 1922, the British situation recalls the title of the British TV show, “Keeping Up Appearances.” They did not want to fight for the Greeks and wanted to find a way out, while not appearing to have been defeated. Blaming certain British politicians and blaming the nation of Greece in general for what was said to be an unjust 1920 settlement seemed much better to the British than admitting that Christendom was enduring mass genocide on its eastern frontier while the British were sitting on their arms. It seemed good to an isolationist US as well.

    So, the Turks let the British and others stay in Constantinople for another year while the new treaty was being drafted. They were then allowed to leave in ceremony and in good order.

    It is notable, in view of some discussion here, that one of the British occupation units was from Scotland, specifically from Glasgow. That force was nicknamed “Hell’s Last Issue.” Photos of the occupation on the internet do show many soldiers with kilts.

    So with the withdrawal and the new 1923 treaty, lives of the members of the Great Powers were saved–for a time anyway. Those lives would instead be spent a generation later, as other nations had noticed that treaties could be violently undone.

    • Orthojock says

      That would be the Highland Light Infantry you are referring to, a unique and somewhat ambiguous regiment of the British Army. Although officially a highland regiment, they recruited from the Lowlands (mainly) and wore trews instead of kilts, at least initially. The Glasgow Highlanders, however, were battalion within the HLI that wore kilts but (again) recruited mostly from the Lowlands.

      Although, by checking some historical ORBATs, it seems like the HLI were not the only Scottish regiment involved in the occupation of Constantinople, as a number of other Scottish regiments (both Highland and Lowland) were, including the Royal Scots Fusiliers, with whom the HLI merged in 1959.

    • The Uk has always led Greece down garden path, but then u have to be willing!! And has total amnesia towards Greece. But then, never friendship, only interests. We greeks saw friendship.
      Germany what ever can be said, has always had more honour with it’s allies, as here in Bulgaria even today, as Croatia. .

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        “Total amnesia towards Greece”….I suppose that would be too much to ask for my parish! (Just kidding, folks….a little.)

        I’m thinking of printing up bumper stickers with Michael Bauman’s recent description of Englishmen: “Enemies of Christianity Since Henry VIII”.

        We who sit around at afternoon tea with cucumber sans and pinkies raised would like the irony of that! I’d sell ’em like crumpets, don’cha know!

  31. Tim R. Mortiss says

    In keeping with the capitalizations: Perfidous Albion.