Accepted Paper:

Greek Orthodox and Muslim communities: from coexistence to the exchange of population  


Lisa Montmayeur-Deheurles (PACTE, IEP Grenoble)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will examine the past and present relations between Greek Orthodox and Turkish Muslim communities with the local populations of their "original homelands" until and after 1923 (date of the exchange of population between Greece and Turkey).

Paper long abstract:

Greek and Turkish authorities agreed after the Greek Turkish war that the Greek-orthodox populations of Turkey and the Muslim populations of Greece have to be integrally exchanged between 1923 and 1925, with the only exceptions of the Greek-orthodox inhabitants of Istanbul and the Muslim residents of Western Thrace. Have the eligible populations, who were compelled to follow this decision, willingly accepted it? How did these communities experience the gradual transition from coexistence to defiance, or resentment and hatred in various cases, to a final complete rupture of their relationships?

The now-days reconciliation initiatives between the refugees of both countries have dramatically developed since the 1980's. A comparative approach of the reconciliation process undertaken by the descendants of refugees informs us retrospectively on the different ways the communities may have experienced the Greek-Turkish conflicts. For instance, the Greek-orthodox populations originating from Cappadocia, and more precisely from Gelveri (today G├╝zelyurt) have undertaken a wide range of ambitious initiatives with the local populations of their "hometown". As they have not directly experienced the horrors of war and as they could leave relatively quietly from Anatolia in 1924, the Greek-orthodox Cappadocians experienced the troubled period of the war rather differently from the Greek-orthodox populations located on the Aegean coasts of Anatolia. This specific situation led to a paradox: Muslim native populations of Gelveri, affected by the departure of their Christian counterparts, rejected for more than 50 years the Muslim exchanged populations from Greek Macedonia, who had been reinstalled in the deserted neighborhoods of Gelveri.

Panel W053
Fragile transitions: from coexistence to the emergence of hatred, a comparative approach between Southeast Asia and South-East Europe