Did the Greeks in Athens see the Anatolian Greek refugees as Turks after the Greece-Turkey population exchange?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-20 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: History, Modern Greek

There was indeed nativist animus against the Anatolian Greeks arriving in Greece in 1922. The term used wasn’t Turks, but it was τουρκόσποροι, “Turk seed” (i.e. born among or from Turks).

Ο Αγκόπ στην Αφγανιστανούπολη reproduces some anti-refugee rhetoric in the Vradyni newspaper of 1923. To translate:

It is incredible how quickly these myriads upon myriads of arrivals gain rights which we natives do not have in our own country. As soon as they arrive, before they even know what street they are on, they head to the central welfare agency. And they like nothing in our unfortunate country, except for the central welfare agency. (1 Dec 1923)

(Parodying the dialect of “two formerly unredeemed” refugees.)

Eleftherios Venizelos with empty hands will not come. Will bring us money, will bring us Pastirma for to eat. Must come Venizelos.
Aman canım (Alas, dear). He come, why he not come, because we will eat.
Yaşasın Venezuelo (Long Live Venizelos). Yaşasın President. (3 Dec 1923)

A caricatured refugee in the newspaper is named Hagop Hemhemhemdendendenjerenrenrennenrenrencoğlu. [Hagop is of course Armenian for Jacob.]

—My good man, why don’t you get a simpler surname? Abacoğlu, Cabacoğlu, Arpaktoğlu, Venizeloğlu? [Coatmakerson, Freeloaderson, Grabwhatyoucanson, Venizelosson]?

—What you will give me so I take name Demokratiezoğlu? (3 Jan 1924)

And a piece headed “Afganistanopolis”, 3 Dec 1923, laments how Athens has ended up a shanty town:

But since those who have piled in arriving in Athens and Peiraeus insist on settling in those two cities, though their erstwhile abode was some insignificant village, they all demand to occupy its most central locales, with their trays of goods, their huts, their fried liver, their cod, their halva, their galaktoboureko, their sacks and their belts.

We have thus ended up a town of Afganistan, while there was no need for it, and though such a state is undesirable. (…) We have become so accustomed to this depravity as a normal expression of Athenian life, that we think it an irregularity to see the authorities appear without wearing a turban. Se we advise all our city officials to start wearing turbans, as well as robes with a hookah pipe in hand. What sort of leaders of Afganistanopolis can these men be, while still wearing ties and hats?

EDIT: as Achilleas Vortselas points out in comments, there was violence, robbery, and murder against refugees in Macedonia; excerpts from the contemporary press are included in Σφαγές στην Τουρκία, τρόμος στην Ελλάδα.

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