Representation of the lausanne refugees in greek and turkish historiographies

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Onur Yıldırım

Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara 06531
After nearly two and half months of tortuous negotiations, Turks and Greeks concluded on January 30th 1923 the first phase of peace conference at Lausanne by signing the Convention concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish nationals in Greece and Turkey. The signing of this covenant marked a turning point in the history of these countries. With the Exchange, both countries underwent not only a major transformation in their population and landscape but they also found themselves challenged by an immediately pressing problem of immense proporitions, namely the refugee problem. Nearly one year after the conclusion of the Lausanne Conference, approximately 700,000 people were removed by virtue of the Exchange Convention from their native soil and made refugees and this agreement also confirmed the refugee status of an additional more than one million people displaced since the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. For Greece and Turkey, the decade of 1923-1933 was a period of national reconstruction at the center of which stood thousands of homeless, jobless and hungry refugees. This brief paper looks at the representation of the Turkish and Greek refugees in the official histories of the two countries and argues that there is a intrinsic relationship between the representation of the Exchange as a historical event and that of the refugees in these histories.

Written from the vantage point of the nationalistic ideological concerns of the ruling élite, the official histories in Greece and Turkey appropriated the historical setting of the Exchange from the very beginning and molded along the way the local ramifications of the Lausanne Treaty as a whole into the master narratives of their respective nations. Whereas Greek official historiography looked upon the events which led to and were associated with Lausanne as a collective tragedy and sanctioned them under the rubric of the Asia Minor Catastrophy, Turkish scholarship viewed these events as a triumphant recreation and epitomized them as the National War of Independence. These two attitudes engendered, in turn, two discernible and diametrically opposed patterns in the representation of the Exchange, pointing at best to the use of history as an instrument of manipulating collective memory. An eminent historian has noted this function of history to be in the service of dominant social groups in order to attain such objectives since the beginning of the age of nationalism and nation-states. He stated

Collective memory has been an important issue in the struggle for power among social forces. To make themselves the master of memory and forgetfulness is one of the great preoccupations of the classes, groups, and individuals who have dominated and continue to dominate historical societies. The things forgotten or not mentioned by history reveal the mechanisms for the manipulation of collective memory.i
In Greece, the remembrance of the Asia Minor Catastrophy constituted the backbone of political rhetoric on the past, the present and the future of Greek nation-state, not to mention the Greek national identity.ii This event, having derailed the entire course of Greek history by ending the hopes for a Greater Greece and therefore closely linked with the fate of Hellenism, secured for itself from inception a distinguished, if not autonomous, place in the early historiography of modern Greece.iii Many politicians and historians set out to read this traumatic event into the existing biography of the Greek nation in the 1920s. The Exchange and more particularly the refugees as the most concrete manifestation of this national disaster provided politicians and historians alike with “a forceful tool with which to decry the persecutions of Greeks in general”iv and were conveniently incorporated into this discourse as reminders of the defeat, humiliation and victimization inflicted by Turks.v These people also sought to illustrate, often through selective quotation, the quality of Greek statecraft in absorbing over a million displaced individuals as well as the contributions of the latter to the economic and cultural development of Greece. This double-edged tendency to fit the Exchange within the neatly woven pattern of nationalist narrative became a permanent feature of Greek historical writings and dominated the studies of various Greek scholars, established in Greece or living in the Their indispensable contributions into the documentation and reconstruction of the Exchange for Greece notwithstanding, these standard accounts have not only rendered the Turkish side of the story nearly obsolete but have also reduced the whole discussion in an utterly nationalistic discourse to a one-sided appraisal for Greece. Moreover, these studies tended to overlook on the whole the problems of the refugees with the native populations and assume that since the incoming refugees were ethnically of a common origin, they were immediately accommodated into the existing social and national framework. Nearly eighty years after the Exchange, this traditional tendency among many historians, especially within the Greek academic establishment, continues to characterize the study of the Exchange and the refugees.vii

As for Turkey, the nationalists, who emerged triumphant from the struggle for independence, adopted an opposing tendency and subdued specific occurrences such as the Exchange to the success story of the War of Independence and the making of the Turkish nation-state. The emergent attitude in the Turkish nationalist historiography tended to portray the Turco-Greek War as an event that marked the unification and independence of the Turkish nation while viewing all the rest as trivia. But even the trivia was considered inseparable from the success story and thus molded, preserved, and defended. Thus, during the formative as well as later phases of Turkish national history, the Turco-Greek Population Exchange among many other topics of the period was suppressed under the shade of the preordained literature of “the Turkish Revolution” and eventually marginalized to the historical narrative of the nation.viii If the Exchange was ever spelled out in this narrative, it was either portrayed identical to the expulsion of the enemy from a homeland that was not there before or be subjected to false generalizations. In this context, some scholars even got the date wrong, and there has been some understandable confusion about the exact number of people involved in the Exchange.ix This was not at all surprising since what is called the early Republic period has from the very beginning fared embarrassingly poorly at the hands of professional historians.x Thus, it can be argued that inasmuch as Greek historiography embraced “remembrance” as the essence of its pursuit, Turkish mainstream historiography adopted “forgetting” as the guiding line in appropriating such occurrences as the Exchange while tailoring a brand new history for the Turkish nation.

By and large, both Greek and Turkish mainstream historians invariably entangled all the historical events of the 1920s with the affairs of their respective nationalisms and engendered from the beginning a body of scholarship bound up principally with the dominant political discourse. Accordingly, the episode of nearly two million people, who were subjected to the provisions of the Exchange Convention annexed to the Lausanne Treaty, was either remembered or forgotten in a manner pertinent to the ideological goals of the political leadership. Whereas Greek historians from the very outset remembered the Exchange as a turning point in the consolidation of the country’s ethnic and national homogeneity, their Turkish counterparts, carried away by the foundation of the new state, tended to forget by treating it as hardly more than a footnote – despite its immediately visible effects on the social, economic, and political conditions of the country – in the master saga of the Turkish nationalist struggle and the quest for statehood. Therefore, it was not necessarily the relative impact, whether quantitative or qualitative, of the Exchange upon the countries concerned, though it might have been, but rather the relative specificities and historical contingencies of the political discourse that conditioned the representation of this topic in Greek and Turkish mainstream historiographies.


In contrast to the previous ones, the seventieth and seventy-fifth anniversaries of the Lausanne Treaty coincided with the rise of new scholarly voices, mostly of a “revisionist” tone, in Greece and Turkey as well as abroad. This new trend originated largely from amongst Greek and Turkish scholars disenchanted with the nation state paradigm and the explanations of political history, a universal trend in social sciences in this era of global revolutions. This “revisionist” tendency is characterized by its critical approach to the recent past and its overt emphasis on the role of social and cultural factors in historical analysis. Thus, the Lausanne Treaty, which has been epitomized as a major watershed in the recent history of Turkey and Greece,xi is now exposed to a critical reading and reassessment by social scientists,xii who have traditionally been reluctant to undertake such attempts owing to the strong grip of the state on the writing of history. Accordingly, hitherto neglected effects of the Treaty, such as the social and cultural ramifications of the Exchange Convention on the modern history of Greece and Turkey, have recently begun to receive their due scholarly attention in both countries as well as abroad. Our current level of knowledge on the consequences of the Lausanne settlement, and more particularly of the Exchange, which suffers a great deal from a state-centric perspective operating on the premises of a teleologically grounded nationalist historiography, promises to undergo substantial revisions in the light of new sources and approaches.

The deficiencies in the traditional interpretations of the Exchange mentioned above have provided the departure point for the recent approaches to the subject. On the Greek side of the event, scholars coming from the disciplines of anthropology and sociology produced, on the basis of oral history material, pioneering studies regarding the cultural, social and economic aspects of the Exchange. Under the leadership of such prominent figures as Michael Herzfeldxiii, Renée Hirschonxiv, Maria Vergetixv and more recently Anastasia Karakasidouxvi, the anthropological approach to the relations between the refugees and Greek nationalism has modified quite a few of the widely-held opinions on the subject and brought attention to the voice of refugees.xvii These studies have unpinned the multiple ramifications of the refugee identity and demonstrated that the Greek nationalist ideology has played from the beginning a vital role in the suppression of the distinct identity represented by these people. In the same critical tradition, a few political scientists and economic historians have concerned themselves respectively with the participation of the refugees in mass politics and their integration with the economic life.xviii They tracked the impediments experienced by the refugees in political and economic realms and their continued grievances of social and economic nature with the native populations during the first years of arrival. These studies have been particularly critical in order to debunk a set of scholarly attitudes such as the “twin myths of ethnic and national homogeneity” that had been promoted through the combined efforts of politicians and scholars during the post-Lausanne era with a view to demoting the effects of the military defeat in Asia Minor.

As for Turkey, in the 1990s, the critical trends in social sciences, especially in regard to the role of the nation-state, were combined with the political developments unfolding in the Balkansxix and rising critical voices in Turkey and abroad over the issues of democratization, minority rights and the larger question of human rightsxx to wield significant bearings on many scholars established in Turkey or abroad and who are specialized in the early Republican period of Turkish history. In this context, many scholars and journalists produced a large body of publications on a selective list of topics concerning the institutions and policies of the early Turkish Republic, largely as a background “to understand the present situation”.xxi The discovery of the Exchange as a proper subject of historical research took place as part of these revolutionary trends when the power of the nation-state began to be questioned in Turkey. Then several studies cropped up to probe into the foundations of the Republic with reference to specific occurrences such as the Exchange in order to highlight the process of the making of the Turkish state. However, while the plethora of publications in Greek historiography has begun to challenge various theses of nationalistic historiography concerning the Exchange from all directions, Turkish domestic historiography, perhaps due to the fact that it had just discovered the subject, has become home to two contradictory tendencies. On the one hand, a group of scholars undertook original archival research with a view to fitting the Exchange into the master saga of the Turkish Revolution.xxii On the other hand, several scholars attempted to reread the existing secondary sources with the objective of portraying the Exchange as an independent event with all its opportunities and constraints upon Turkey, paying due attention to the predicaments experienced by the refugees.xxiii

The former tendency is of a piece with the state-centric approach that has long crippled Greek national historiography on the role of Exchange and the refugees in Greek history. This view can be summarized as such: While the state benefited greatly from the Exchange in terms of providing the ethnic homogeneity of the country and the nationalization of the country’s physical and human geographies, not to mention the economy, on the one hand, the incoming refugees came to contribute a great deal to the economic and cultural development of the country on the other. It is possible to argue in this sense that the first category of recently developing Turkish scholarship on the Exchange represents a mode of thinking that has long been phased out or marginalized in Greek scholarship.

As for the latter trend, it is represented by scholars who are well grounded in the most recent scholarly currents and methodologies in social sciences and aware of the ongoing scholarly research of revisionist overtones on the subject in Greece and abroad. Unlike those representing the first mode of scholarship, the scholars in this category tend to adopt a critical approach to the formation of the nation-state in Turkey, underpinning the social, cultural and economic consequences of the Exchange for the country as a whole. In this context, the significance of the Exchange is attributed not so much to its role in the eradication of an allegedly potentially dangerous minority, thus the homogenization of the country’s population, as to its transformatory impact upon the physical and human geography of the country by restructuring its property map as well as by reshaping its composition of the human capital and class structure (e.g., the formation of a Muslim-Turkish bourgeoisie, etc.). Suffice it to point out here that regardless of their orientations, both these scholarly trends should be appraised for having played an important role in bringing the topic of the Exchange to the public attention in Turkey.


Several major conclusions can be drawn from the foregoing discussion. As far as the representation of the Exchange in the Greek scholarship is concerned, this event has been the subject of a double-edged interpretation. While its sheer occurrence was considered as a tragedy to be endured by the Greek society, the successful handling of this draconian challenge by the Greek state was regarded as a testimony to the vitality of Greek statecraft. The tragic dimension of the story was effectively incorporated into the political rhetoric and historical discourse with a view to being “remembered” in pertinence to the ideological goals of political leadership. More often than not, it was the success paradigm attributed to the role of the Greek state in the handling of such a huge influx of refugees in a short period of time that became largely identified with the Exchange in historical writings. Although refugees suffered numerous predicaments during the implementation of the Convention, the long-term advantages of such an arrangement were praised to have far outweighed its short-term disadvantages. After all, such an arrangement brought in its wake the safety of the northern borders of the country, on the one hand, and accounted for its ethnic and national homogenization, on the other. Furthermore, the refugee input into the Greek economy in the form of industrial workforce and the expansion of domestic market was coupled with foreign loans floated at the time to boost the country’s economy. Thus, in the final analysis, the standard Greek explanation on the consequences of the Exchange emphasized the advantages of this event for the country while its effects upon the refugees were for the most part overlooked. Needless to say, the Turkish dimension of the Exchange has been rendered nearly obsolete in this narrative. Such a monolithic tendency was buttressed from the very outset by the indifferent approach of the Turkish national historiography to the subject. Like many historical developments behind the making of the Turkish nation-state, the Exchange could not secure itself a place in the newly written biography of the Turkish nation. The new political leadership tended to “forget” many historical occurrences that they considered irrelevant or potentially threatening to their national project. The adoption of religion as the principal criterion for the exchange might have been considered quite incompatible with the secular vision of the political leadership. In addition, the differences of the incoming refugees from the native populations were not so easily reconcilable given the fact that religion –upheld as a unifying device during the war-- was discredited as a baseline for national unity. Perhaps more importantly, the revolutionary leadership adopted a commanding attitude on the ‘imagination’ and imposition of a national identity that would unify the populations on the basis of common ethnicity and territorial belonging. Such concerns figured prominently in the identity politics of the ruling elite and underscored the template of national history. Needless to say, those concerns brought about the exclusion of historical occurrences, such as the Exchange, from the newly reconstructed “History of the Turkish Revolution”. The silence of the Turkish historiography on the Exchange has in turn resulted in the rooting of the unbalanced representation of this event recounted above, in which the Turkish role in the decision making process as well as the implementation of the Exchange Convention, more particularly the resettlement of the incoming refugees, have been subjected to overt generalizations and unfounded assumptions.xxiv

In conclusion, it is the contention of the present author that the study of the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations as a historical occurrence has been the subject of much distortion in the historiographical traditions of nationalist lore in Greece and Turkey. The representation of the Lausanne refugees has thus been dictated by the orientation of these tendencies. It is only when the Exchange is not treated as an abstraction but as a concrete historical phenomenon that the Lausanne refugees—with their enormous suffering including the loss of homes and livelihoods and the disruption of social, cultural and economic ties—will emerge as active agents of history, more actors than acted upon.


i Jacques LeGoff, History and Memory, (trans.) S. Rendall and E. Claman, New York: Columbia University Press, 1992, p. 54. Cf. Giovanni Levi, “The Distant Past: On the Political Use of History,” in Mediterranean Historical Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, June 2001, pp. 61-73.

ii For a historiographical survey of the literature on the Asia Minor Catastrophy, see Victoria. Solomonidis, “Greece in Asia Minor 1919-1922, A Historiographic Survey,” in New Trends in Modern Greek Historiography, Occasional Papers 1, (eds.) A Lily Macracis and P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, Athens: The Modern Greek Studies Association in Cooperation with Anatolia College, 1982, pp. 121-128. For a thorough analysis of the intricate relationship between politics and history in Greece with special reference to the “strategic manipulation of nationalist feelings by politicians”, see A. Triandafyllidou, M Calloni and A. Mikrakis, “New Greek Nationalism,” Sociological Research Online, Vol. 2, No. 1,

iii For a periodization of modern Greek historiography, see Alexander Kitroeff, “Continuity and Change in Contemporary Greek Historiography,” in Modern Greece, Nationalism and Nationality, (eds.) M. Blinkhorn and T. Veremis, London: Sage-ELIAMEP, 1990, pp. 143-144.

iv Anastasia Karakasidou, Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood, Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia, 1870-1990, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1997, p. 147. The author notes “the refugees are still enshrined in much Greek historiography as exemplary victims of the persecution suffered by the Greek nation at the hands of its eternal enemy, the Turks.” Karakasidou, Fields of Wheat, p. 150. For an in-depth psychological analysis of the Greek view of the Turks and vice versa, see Vamik Volkan and Norman Itzkowitz, Turks and Greeks: Neighbours in Conflict, Cambridgeshire: The Eothen Press, 1994, pp. 10-12

v This discourse is represented by a vast literature written in Greek and French by Greek authors of varying backgrounds. For practical purposes, only the five most representative studies are cited here. Alexandre Devedji, L'échange obligatoire des minorités grecquès et turques, Paris: Imprimerie du Montparnasse et de Persan-Beaumont, 1929; Stelio Séfériadès, L'Échange des Populations, Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1929; Th. P. Kiosséoglou, L'echange forcé des minorités d'après le traite de Lausanne, Nancy: Imprimerie Nancéinne, 1926; C. G. Ténékidès, "Le statut de minorités et l'échange obligatoire des populations Gréco-Turques," in Revue Générale de Droit International Public, Vol. 31, 1924, pp. 72-88; Αθανασιου Πρωτονοταριου, Το Προσφυγικον Προβλημα απο Ιστορικης, Νομικης και Καρατικης Αποψεως, Athens: Τυποις Πυρσου Ανων. Εταιριας, 1929. A few foreign observers of the situation who also participated in the official undertaking of the Exchange shared the same discourse. See Charles Eddy, Greece and the Greek Refugees, London: George Allen & Unwin LTD., 1931; Henry Morgenthau (in Collobaration with French Strother), I Was Sent to Athens, Garden City, NewYork: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1929; Eliot Grinnell Mears, Greece Today: The Aftermath of the Refugee Impact, Stanford University, California: Stanford University Press, 1929.

vi Pentzopoulos, The Balkan Exchange of Minorities; Ευστρατιου Χρ. Ζαμπατα, “Οι εκ Μικρας Ασιας Ελληνορθοδοξοι Προσφυγες,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Athens, 1969. Αγγελου Τσουλουφη, Η Ανταλλαγη Ελληνικων & Τουρκικων Πληθυσμων και η Εκτιμηση των Εκατερωθεν Εγκαταλειφθεισων Περιουσιων, Athens: Εκδοσεις Ενωσεως Σμυρναιων, 1989 (first edition appeared in 1982); Κωνσταντινου Σβολοπουλου, Η Αποφαση για την Υποχρεωτικη Ανταλλαγη των Πληθυσμων μεταξυ Ελλαδος και Τουρκιας, Salonica: Εθνικη Βιβλιοθηκη, 1981; Γιωργου Ν. Λαμψιδη, Οι Προσφυγες του 1922, Η Προσφορα τους στην Αναπτυξη της Χωρας, (3rd Edition), Salonica: Εκδοτικος Οικος Αδελφων Κυριακιδη, 1992. A more comprehensive list of such publications for the1923-1978 period can be found in Παυλος Χατζημωυσης, Βιβλιογραφια 1919-1978, Μικρασιατικη Εκστρατεια-Ηττα Προσφυγια, Athens: ΕΡΜΗΣ, 1981. For the publications after 1980, see Γιοργος Α. Γιαννακοπουλος, “Οι Μικρασιατες Προσφυγες στην Ελλαδα, Βιβλιογραφικο Δοκιμιο,” in ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΚΜΣ, Vol. 9, 1992, pp. 283-291.

vii Ευσταθιος Πελαγιδης, Προσφυγικη Ελλαδα (1913-1930), Ο Πονος και Η Δοξα, Salonica: Εκδοτικος Οικος Αδελφων Κυριακιδη Α. Ε., 1997; also by the same author Η Αποκατασταση των Προσφυγων στη Δυτικη Μακεδονια (1923-1930), Salonica: Εκδοτικος Οικος Αδελφων Κυριακιδη Α. Ε., 1994. These two studies present a fairly rich documentation of the refugee resettlement in Greece, but in terms of their approach to and analysis of the Exchange, they are also characterized by a parochial view of the subject. For some insightful comments on the parochial orientation of Modern Greek historiography, see Thomas W. Gallant, “Greek Exceptionalism and Contemporary Historiography: New Pitfalls and Old Debates,” in Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, 1997, pp. 209-216.

viii M. Cemil (Bilsel) Lozan, Reprint of 1933 Edition, İstanbul: Sosyal Yayınlar, 1998; Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Yeni Türkiye Devletinin Harici Siyaseti, İstanbul: Burhaneddin, 1935; Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Türk İnkilabı Tarihi, İstanbul: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1940; Enver Ziya Karal, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Tarihi, (1918-1944), İstanbul: Milli Eğitim, 1945. The findings and arguments of this early scholarship were adopted without modification by later scholars. See Hamza Eroğlu, 70. Yıldönümünde Lozan, [Ankara]: T. C. Kültür Bakanlığı, 1993; Salahi Sonyel, Türk Kurtuluş Savaşı ve Dış Politika, 2 Vols., Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1986; Türkiye Dış Politikasiıda 50 Yıl: Lozan (1922-1923), Ankara: T. C. Dışişleri Bakanlığı, 1973.

ix Prof. Sinop Saylavi [Yusuf Kemal Tengirşenk], Türk İnkilabı Dersleri—Ekonomik Değişmeler, İstanbul: Resimli Ay Matbaası, 1935, p. 34.

x For a concise review of the early developments in Turkish national historiography see, İlber Ortaylı, “Atatürk Döneminde Türkiye’de Tarihçilik Üzerine Bazı Gözlemler,” in his Gelenekten Geleceğe, İstanbul: Hil Yayınları, 1982, pp. 72-79. Çağlar Keyder offers some explanations as to why certain historical events such as the Exchange were left outside the scope of Turkish national history in his “Whither the Project of Modernity? Turkey in the 1990s,” in Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey, (eds.) Sibel Bozdoğan and Reşat Kasaba, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1997, p. 44. Cf. Lucette Valensi, “Notes on Two Discordant Histories: Armenia during World War I,” in Mediterranean Historical Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, June 2001, pp. 49-60. As for the reasons behind the under-representation of the refugees in Turkish national historiography, some insights can be gained from Kemal Karpat’s “Historical Continuity and Identity Change or How to Be Modern Muslim, Ottoman, and Turk” in Ottoman Past and Today’s Turkey, (ed.) K. Karpat, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2000, pp. 1-28.

xi L. S. Stavrianos, The Balkans Since 1453, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1958, pp. 589-591; Γρηγοριου Δαφνη, Η Ελλας μεταξυ Δυο Πολεμων, 1923-1940, Vol. 1, Athens: Εκδοσεις Κακτος, 1997, pp. 36-63. Harry J. Psomiades, The Eastern Question: The Last Phase, A Study in Greek-Turkish Diplomacy, Salonica: Institute for Balkan Studies, 1968, pp. 60-68. Cf. Fahir Armaoğlu, 20. Yüzyıl Siyasi Tarihi (1914-1980), Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1988, pp. 320-333; Oral Sander, Siyasi Tarih, İlkçağlardan 1918’e, Ankara: İmge Yayınevi, 1989, pp. 368-377. A more recent study on the history of Turkish foreign policy acknowledges the importance of the Exchange for Turkey with the following words: “. . . the draconian exchange of populations, combined with the massacres and deportation of virtually all the former Armenian community of Anatolia during the great war . . . had a transformatory effect on the cultural and political landscape of the country”. See William Hale, Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774-2000, London: Frank Cass, 2000, pp. 55-56. A similar tendency characterizes some recent general studies on the Balkans. See Misha Glenny, The Balkans, 1804-1999, Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, London: Granta Books, 1999, pp. 392-396; and finally Mark Mazower, The Balkans, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000, pp. 101-102.

xii The most recent organization on the Lausanne Treaty took place at Oxford University with the participation of scholars from Greece, Turkey and other countries. The conference was dedicated in its entirety to the discussion of the Exchange with special emphasis on its social, political, economic, and psychological impact on both Turkish and Greek refugees. Turkey and Greece: Assessment of the Consequences of the Treaty of Lausanne Convention 1923 (75th Anniversary), hosted by the Refugee Studies Programme, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University, September 17-20, 1998. In 1998, the Boğaziçi University of İstanbul and the Panteion University of Athens signed agreements for the exchange of students and scholars, and also organized conferences in Athens and İstanbul: “Socio-Political Sciences and Historiography in Turkey Today: Major Currents,” 28-30 May, 1998, Panteion University, Athens and “The Greek–Turkish Workshop on Citizenship and the Nation-State,” 8-9 January 1999, Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. These collective ventures focused largely on the current state of social sciences and specifically that of historical studies in both countries with special reference to historiographical problems. A recent conference, organized by the Centre for the Study of South Eastern Europe, was entitled “Intersecting Times, The Work of Memory in Southeastern Europe” and had a special workshop devoted to the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations, 25-28 June 2000, Prifysgol Cymru University of Wales, Clyne Castle, Swansea, Wales, UK.

xiii Michael Herzfeld, A Place in History, Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan Town, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991, pp. 65-66. Also see by the same author, The Poetics of Manhood, Contest and Identity in a Cretan Village, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985, pp. 31-32. Also see his review essay on Hirschon’s book “Displaced: The Spaces of the Refugee Identity in Greece,” in Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 2, 1991, pp. 92-95.

xiv Hirschon, Heirs of the Greek Catastrophe, p. 2.

xv Μαρια Βεργετη, “Η Ποντιακη Ταυτοτητα της Τριτης Γενιας,” in ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΚΜΣ, Vol. 9, 1992, pp. 80-96.

xvi Karakasidou, Fields of Wheat, particularly pp. 146-161.

xvii For an anthropological study that places the Exchange dimension of the Lausanne Treaty within the general literature on forced migrations and juxtaposes the stories of Greek and Turkish refugees with the other victims of ethnic-unmixing policies during the late Ottoman period, see Peter Loizos, “Ottoman Half-lives: Long term Perspectives on Particular Forced Migrations,” in Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1999, pp. 237-263. This article is an expanded version of the Colson Lecture that the author has given at the invitation of the Refugee Studies Program at Oxford University, 12 May 1999. For a study that compares the case of Greek refugees with that of other refugees (e.g., White Russians) in Europe during the inter-war era, see Eftihia Voutira, “Population Transfers and Resettlement Policies in Inter-War Europe: The Case of Asia Minor Refugees in Macedonia from an International and National Perspective,” in Ourselves and Others, the Development of a Greek Macedonian Cultural Identity Since 1912, (eds.) P. Mackridge and E. Yannakis, Oxford, New York: Berg, 1997, pp. 111-131. Voutira acknowledges that “most Greek research and scholarship on the Asia Minor refugee resettlement and assistance polices” are characterized by the “exilic bias” which her study “seeks to redress”. See p. 111.

xviii George Th. Mavrogordatos, Stillborn Republic, Social Coalitions and Party Strategies in Greece, 1922-1936, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983; Mark Mazower, Greece and the Inter-War Economic Crisis, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991, pp. 73-100; also his “The Refugees, the Economic Crisis and the Collapse of Venizelist Hegemony, 1929-1932,” in ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΚΜΣ, Vol. 9, 1992, p. 120. See in the same volume, Κωστας Κωστης, “Η Ιδεολογια της Οικονομικης Αναπτυξης, Οι Προσφυγες στο Μεσοπολεμο”, in ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΚΜΣ, Vol. 9, 1992, pp. 31-46.

xix Recent developments in the Balkans prove that the coexistence of different ethnic and religious groups within a nation-state framework continues to be an artificial construction translating easily into inter-communal strife. The case of the ex-Yugoslavian republics, Bosnia-Herzogevenia, Croatia, Serbia and more recently Kosova, demonstrated at best the failure of such attempts. Worldwide examples range from Lebanon and Ireland to the ex-Soviet states. In particular, the appearance of old-style ethnic cleansing techniques in the Balkans during the early part of the 1990s increased interest in the demographic and ethnographic history of the region, of which Greece and Turkey are integral parts with sizable minorities. The Bosnian case, and more recently Kosova brought about further interest in the Ottoman past, which is held accountable on the whole for the developments currently unfolding in the region. Greece and Turkey are viewed as potential arenas for such incidents and therefore attract the attention of individual scholars as well as that of international organizations, such as the European Union and the United Nations. Under the auspices of those institutions, certain projects and scholarly meetings were organized in both countries to promote dialogue between Turkish and Greek scholarly circles. See, for example, the proceedings of the Second International History Congress (8-10 June 1995, İstanbul) devoted to the topic of History Education and the Problem of “the Other” in History. The majority of the presentations were on the contents of history textbooks in Greece and Turkey. Tarih Eğitimi ve Tarihte “Öteki” Sorunu, İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1998. A similar meeting on the contents of history textbooks had been held in İstanbul some twenty-five years ago. Felsefe Kurumu Seminerleri, November13-15, 1975, İstanbul. In May 1986, a similar colloquium was convened in Paris under the title of “Le Differend Greco-Turc.” The proceedings of the latter were published as Türk-Yunan Uyuşmazlığı, (ed.) Semih Vaner, İstanbul: Metis Yayınları, 1990. Lastly, one should mention the activities of a Salonica-based NGO, the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe. The Center has been pursuing multiple joint-history projects about history teaching in the region. The preliminary results of one of these projects were recently published. See Christina Koulouri (ed.), Teaching the History of Southeastern Europe, Salonica: Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, 2001.

xx The recent waves of attacks on the policies of the early Republic originated from two extremist sides, namely Islamic fundamentalists and Kurdish nationalists. Both movements claim anonymously that early Republican efforts to transform the country into a secular one and to mold different ethnic groups into one homogenous nation have thus far proven futile. Since both movements are inclined to legitimize their ideologies by blaming the policies of the early state authorities for producing a false account of the early Republican history, they tend to reread this particular phase of contemporary Turkish history in a manner exclusive to their "adherents". These tendencies are not without their advocates among the leading journalists and intellectuals of the country. With their liberal views, they are pejoratively referred to as "İkinci Cumhuriyetçiler" (Second Republicanists). This somewhat alternative re-reading of history has certainly stimulated interest in the origins and growth of Turkish nationalism and played a major role in bringing the social foundations of the Turkish Republic under the magnifying glass. It will awaken further interest in the essence and early manifestations of Turkish nationalism and thus in the hitherto neglected aspects of the early Turkish history, such as the Turco-Greek population exchange. Interestingly enough, most of the publications and television documentaries on the Exchange continue to be undertaken by intellectuals and organizations closely associated with these views.

xxi For example, some political scientists who were concerned about the educational policies of the current government studied the foundations of the educational system. See İsmail Kaplan, Türkiye’de Milli Eğitim İdeolojisi, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2000. Some other political scientists who were prompted by the revival of the nationalist movement, attempted to examine the institutional foundations of this movement. See Füsün Üstel, İmparatorluktan Ulus-Devlete Türk Milliyetçiliği, Türk Ocakları, (1912-1931), İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1997. An urban planner who was intrigued by the relationship between ideology and architecture looked at the early manifestations of this relationship in the example of Halkevleri. See Neşe Gürallar Yeşilkaya, Halkevleri: İdeoloji ve Mimarlık, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1999. Finally, a few anthropologists who were prompted by the current orientation of anthropological research, looked at the early institutional developments and the work of leading anthropologists. See Arzu Öztürkmen, Türkiye’de Folklor ve Milliyetçilik, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1998. A few other studies on the topics of political opposition and minorities also appeared during the 1990s. For the political opposition see Ahmet Demirel, Birinci Meclis’te Muhalefet, İkinci Grup, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1994 and Faruk Alpkaya, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin Kuruluşu (1923-1924), İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1999. As for the minorities see Rıfat Bali, Cumhuriyet Yıllarında Türkiye Yahudileri, Bir Türkleştirme Serüveni (1923-1945), İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1999. A good foreign representative of the newly emerging revisionist scholarship on the early Republic period of Turkish history is Eric J. Zürcher. See his Turkey: A Modern History, London: I. B. Tauris & Co Ltd., 1993, pp. 170-172. Also “Young Turks, Ottoman Muslims and Turkish Nationalists: Identity Politics, 1908-1938,” in Ottoman Past and Today’s Turkey, (ed.) Kemal Karpat, Leiden: Brill, 2000, pp. 150-179.

xxii Kemal Arı, Büyük Mübadele, Türkiye'ye Zorunlu Göç (1923-1925), İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1995, pp. 1-5. Tülay Alim Baran, “İzmir’in İmar ve İskanı, 1923-1939,” Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, İzmir, 1994; Nedim İpek, Mübadele ve Samsun, Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınevi, 2000.

xxiii Ayhan Aktar attempts to assess critically the importance of the Exchange for the economic and social foundations of Modern Turkey. See his “Nüfusun Homojenleştirilmesinde ve Ekonominin Türkleştirilmesi Sürecinde Bir Aşama: Türk-Yunan Nüfus Mübadelesi, 1923-1924,” in Varlık Vergisi ve ‘Türkleştirme’ Politikaları, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2000, pp. 17-69. For an attempt that places the Exchange in the historical context of the Ottoman collapse, see Fikret Adanır and Hilmar Kaiser, “Migration, Deportation, and Nation-Building: The Case of the Ottoman Empire,” in Migrations et Migrants dans une Perspective Historique. Permanences et Innovations, (ed.) René Leboutte, Brussels: Peter Lang, 2000, pp. 273-292. Fikret Adanır has also undertaken a survey of Turkish historiography on the Exchange. The findings of the author are on the whole in line with my findings but he seems to provide a more optimistic view of the current scholarship on the subject. A major novelty of Adanır’s article is found in his explanation of why the Exchange has become a popular topic of research in recent decades. Adanır provides the following explanation: “The discourse on the history of the early Republic has undergone significant shifts during the last decades. To some extent, this had to with the growing international interest in the question of the Armenian genocide during World War I, which was articulated with special urgency in the aftermath of the Turkish intervention in Cyprus in 1974, when Armenians and Greeks succeeded in mobilizing Western public opinion against Turkey. In the 1980s, the U.S: Senate, the U.N. and the European Union began to pass resolutions which aimed at institutionalizing the remembrance of the victims of the Armenian genocide. The pressure upon Turkey to reconsider her stand in the Cyprus question and vis-à-vis Greece mounted. The Turkish nationalists’ reaction was unequivocal and quite sharp. Some authors even spoke of a conspiracy, which had always striven for Turkey’s destruction. One result of this political development for historical research was a renewed effort to collect evidence underlining the Turkishness of Asia Minor from times immemorial.” See Fikret Adanır, “Lo Scambio Greco-Turco di Populazioni nella Storiografica Turca,” in Esodi: Transferimenti Forzati di Populazioni nel Novecento Europeo, (eds.) M. Cattaruzza, M. Dogo and Raoul Pupo, Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2000, pp. 89-101. I thank Fikret Adanır for sending me the English version of this article (The Greco-Turkish Exchange of Populations in Turkish Historiography) and Marco Dogo for providing me with a copy of the volume in which this article was originally published.

xxiv All these issues have been discussed at length in my dissertation. See Onur Yıldırım, “Diplomats and Refugees: Mapping the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations, 1922-1934,” Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University, 2002.

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