Ethnic diversity has been the status quo in Europe for longer than commonly assumed. In Greece and Asia Minor Greek- and Turkish-speaking communities had lived side by side for centuries, developing complex religious, social and linguistic identities.
Tragically, in the 20th century forced population movements became a way of solving ethnic and political conflicts. In 1923 the governments of Turkey and Greece signed a Convention Concerning the Exchange of Populations, as a result of which 2 million people were forcibly resettled. 1.5 million Turks resident in Greece and half a million Greeks from the Anatolian Peninsula were expelled from their homes. In a single day whole towns (like Misti in Cappadocia) ceased to exist. The social and emotional impact of this forced migration is still felt in both countries, almost a century later.
The establishment of nation states and standard languages, and the increased value given to ethnic, cultural and linguistic homogeneity stigmatized regional variation in modern Europe and also discouraged the study of multi-ethnic interactions across countries and languages. We aim to redress this balance.
Interviews with Anatolian immigrants
- Clark, Bruce. 2007. Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey. London: Granta Books. Movie
- Günhan, Ahmet. 2017. The Karamanlides: Anatolia's forgotten Orthodox Turks
- Flores, Natalia. 2018. Shifting Worlds: A Convention Orders The Exchange Of Greek And Turkish Populations Against Their Will.
- Hirschon, Renee (ed.) 2003. Crossing the Aegean: An Appraisal of the 1923 Compulsory Population Exchange Between Greece and Turkey. New York & Oxford: Berghan Books.
- Milton, Giles. 2009. Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922. New York: Basic Books