The following is an expert from an article titled "Greek Labor - Battalions Asia Minor" by Dr. Speros Vryonis Jr.
It is one of several articles from the book "The Armenian Genocide" Cultural and Ethical Legacies, Edited
by Dr. Richard Hovvanisian, Published/Copyright by Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Permission has been granted by Dr. Hovannisian and Dr. Vryonis to allow the Pontian Greek Society of Chicago
to post this article on its website.
The final collapse of the Greek armies in western Asia Minor at the battle of Anon Karahisar, August 13-15, 1922,
constitutes the last and decisive phase of the reentry of the Kemalist armies into western and coastal Asia Minor.
By early morning of Sunday, August 27, the Turkish irregulars entered Smyrna and by that evening the first
detachments of Turkish regulars began their entry into the city. Killings, looting, and the final burning of the city
(beginning August 31)were accompanied by comparable events and disasters/victories in the rest of western Asia Minor.
Vahram Karabent of Merzifon, was an Armenian citizen from the
Ottoman Empire born in the city of
Merzifon in 1905.
At the age of 10, Karabent witnessed the Ottoman Turkish deportation of the Armenians - four of his uncles, along with his Father and Grandfather were deported from their homes and never heard from again. Karabent along with his mother and brother, were the only members of his family to survive.
In addition to the suffering of the Armenian community, Karabent also witnessed similar measures taken by the Turks against the Greek community of Merzifon, and tells of the Greek resistance to the expulsions – below are excerpts from his story:
“At that time the Sultan was still the ruler.The Sultan issued an imperial decree saying, 'Those who become Muslims will remain!' Whether you were Armenian or Greek Orthodox, if you were willing to change your religion and become a Muslim, you would be saved. Those who refused to do so were rounded up and moved.... The government encouraged artisans and tradesmen who had necessary skills to adopt Islam and be saved. There were those who were saved in that way.”
Excerpts from the book You Rejoice My Heart by Kemal Yalcin
Printed by Gopsons Papers Ltd, Distributed by Garod books Ltd.
Permission has been obtained by Garod books to use and post excerpts from the true story of Vahram Karabent of Merzifon
From the stories of George Andreadis, author of Tamama and numerous other books, this is posted with permission by the author.
Stories of Orthodox Greeks, appearing as Ottoman Muslims, kept their faith alive through two centuries of catacomb existence.
Pontus was isolated by its 700-mile chain of towering peaks and river-fed chasms,threaded with narrow muddy tracks on which, even now, it is easy to lose one's way in the dense forests of black pine and impenetrable alpine mist. As if approaching an island, visitors sailed to
Pontus over the
Black Sea rather than attempt the unyielding peaks from the south.Beyond the torturous summit of the Zagara pass, and several days journey by pack animals from
Trebizond, the barren low-lying mining region of Kromni was an isolated refuge for crypto-Christians.Eagles and vultures, wild boar, deer, bears and wolves, all made their homes there.
Although some Greeks remained openly Christian, burdensome taxes anddiscrimination caused many to convert to Islam and their children todayare Turkish Muslims. Another large group said, "No, we will keep our religion, but how will we survive? How can we save our lives and the honor of our daughters?" In the end, they became secret Christians.
Although denying Christ, even outwardly, is a sin for a Christian, during these times when many civic leaders, the educated, and wealthy turned toIslam, how could illiterate and primitive mountain people be held accountable? In many cases the Eastern Christian Church accepted the solution of crypto-Christianity so as to withstand the waves of voluntary and compulsory Islamization that were leaving churches empty of believers.
This is a true story from the book Brazier of Memory – Stories Forgotten even by God written by the author George Andreadis.
Professor Phufas of Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY, and members of the Pontian Greek Society of Chicago have translated the article, which is posted here with the permission of the author.
I was born during 1911, in the village Ahurnu, south of Ordu, in the
Black Sea region. I had nine brothers and sisters. My father's name was Panagiotis and my mother was named Pelagia.
When the tragic moment came, they gathered all the Christians of our area. I was only five years old at the time and cannot remember much more. All I recall is that only my sister Evropi and I survived; the rest of my family perished.
The following is a true story from the folkloric magazine “Pontian Forum”, Year 23 – Issue 92, October-December 2007, of Eyxinos Club of the city of Kozani, Greece. This article has been posted on our website unedited, and with the permission of Mr. K. Sanidis, publicists, Kozani, Greece.
Professor Phufas of Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY, and members of the Pontian Greek Society of Chicago have translated the article.
The Genocide Continues… An Authentic Sincere Testimony Source of Information:Penelope, daughter of Grigoris Lipiridis and Nikos Kiriazidis. Supervised by:Christoforos Christoforidis
Finally seeing the light of day, is one of the thousands of unknown but genuine firsthand accounts of the appalling events that followed the implementation of genocidal measures by the Young Turks against the Greek Christian population of the Pontus.
The following account was written by Grigoris Lipiridis, born in the village of Partin in the prefecture of Argyropoulis in the Pontus region of Asia Minor in 1904.His parents were Christos and Rebecca.In 1924, along with four sons, Grigoris, Lefteris, Kostas ad Theodore and two daughters Anatoli and Margarita, he settled in the village of Xerolimni of the Kozani prefecture.Two of the daughters of the family died in quarantine at Selimiye in Constantinople.In Xerolimni, Grigoris married Kyriaki (Kitsa) of the Rodopoulos family from the “Nanak” settlement of Kromnis, a neighboring village of Partin.He died in Xerolimni in 1985.