The Asia Minor Debacle

"A few months after the Great Armistice was signed, a few weeks after our Near East Relief party reached Constantinople, on May 15th, 1919, the Greek army had occupied Smyrna. That city had been prevailingly Greek from its foundation. It was the traditional birthplace of Homer. The Turks called it "Giaour Izmir", "Infidel Smyrna",--that is, alien, not Moslem. Its military occupation while the Peace Conference was in session was supposed to be due to rivalries among the allied powers, who thought the Turkish Government was down and out. But the Turks were angered and embittered exceedingly by the sight of Greek troops in Smyrna and that neighborhood. They had lost two-thirds or more of their territories in Europe, Asia and Africa with the people dwelling therein, but they had not lost Anatolia, as they called Asia Minor, the heartland of the Turkish people."

[From: George E. White's "Adventuring With Anatolia College", p. 103 (Herald-Register Publishing Company, Grinnell, Iowa, March 1940)]

*********************************************************************************

"Eight hundred and fifty-nine new villages were reckoned to have been established and occupied by about 1,000,000 refugees and other citizens located in Macedonia and Thrace, which was adjacent on the east. It was interesting on any journey to observe that practically the first important building in every village was a school, beside which was usually a new church. Visiting foreigners remarked on the absence of beggars and criminals. There was tree planting "almost everywhere". Some carpet and rug weaving had been brought by the refugees from Asia Minor. Improvements in agriculture, stock-breeding, and considerable silk production were in evidence. There were said to be some two thousand cooperative societies among the people."

[From: George E. White's "Adventuring With Anatolia College", p. 135 (Herald-Register Publishing Company, Grinnell, Iowa, March 1940)]

Back to "postscript"