Turkish Genocide against the Armenians: Refugees--Greece

Figure 1.--These Greek and Armenian refugee girls are enjoying the sea near Marathon, Greece, in 1915 or 16. They fled Tirkey as aesult of the Armenian genocide. The caption read, "Making friends with the sea--These orphan children at Marathon, Greece, were brought from the interior of Asia Minor by the Near East Relief and never saw the sea before." They were photographed by the American Committee for Relief in the Near East for use in promotional literature to raise funds. Source: George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress, Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-130734.

Armenians also made it to Greece. The Armenian presence in Greece was not new. Armenians have been noted in Greece and Greek islands for centuries dating back to the anvient world. Their common Chritian heritage was a factor here. What was involved, howver, was the movement of indivisuals and individul families. This changed fundamentally with the 20th century and World War I. The brutal Turkish genocide of the Armenian people (1915) resulted in Armenians from Cilicia, Smyrna, Ionia, Constantinople and other regions of Turkish Anatolia seeking safety in Greece. Armenians settled in Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace, and other areas of Greece. Smaller numbers found refuge on Crete and Kerkyra (Corfu). Some 70,000-80,000 Armenians settled in Greece. [Paulston, p. 72.] The Greeks generously received the Armenians. An exchange of population followed the Greek-Turkish War (1920-22) which included according to the League of Nations some Armenians including some 17,000 orphans. [Zenian] An estimated 1.5 million Greeks were expelled. Eventually because of the numbers involved, an Armenian community developed in Greece (1920s). Over time the Armenian community in Greece has declined in numbers, many migrating to the United States.


Paulston, Christina Bratt and Donald Peckham. Linguistic minorities in central and eastern Europe (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1998)..

Zenian, David. "Greece: Alays a safe haven to Armenins," AGBU (November 1, 1999).


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Created: 1:49 AM 1/12/2017
Last updated: 1:49 AM 1/12/2017