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Source: DK/RA-UM/Gruppeordnede sager 1909-1945. 5. L. 15, ”Grækenland-Tyrkiet: Politiske Forhold”. Pakke 1, Juni 1914-31/12 1945
Edition: Danish diplomatic sources
Departure of telegram: 06/27/1914
Arrival of telegram: 07/01/1914
Embassy/consular serial number: No. 41
Translated by: Matthias Bjørnlund
Last updated: 04/01/2012

The minister in Constantinople (Carl Ellis Wandel) to the Foreign Minister (Erik Scavenius)


No. 41.

Constantinople, 27 June 1914.

The relationship between Turkey and Greece.

[Refers to] Leg. No. 31, 23rd of this month.

The continuation of the report from the Danish consul in Smyrna [Alfred van der Zee], which I announced in my last report on the relationship between Greece and Turkey, has now arrived. Among other things, it reports that:

The gangs that had gone south toward Menemen after having plundered all villages on the way, reached Phocea at night on the 12th, and attacked the town from 3 sides. An eyewitness tells among other things that 15 minutes after the attack had begun all boats and ships were filled with refugees. Those who could not escape in boats fled to the small peninsula where the lighthouse stands. On the coast the abovementioned witness to the events saw 11 corpses. He does not know how many were killed, but he saw, e.g., two other corpses in an entrance hall when he opened the door. And all shops were plundered, all possessions that could not be taken from the place were destroyed.

News from Phocea were withheld in Smyrna, and it was only a couple of days later that a French steam tug brought information about what had happened.

This steam tug had taken 700 refugees, half-dead from starvation, to Mytilene. The authorities at Mytilene sent ships and transported the remaining 5-6,000 inhabitants of Phocea to Mytilene. There is not the slightest trace of the Greek population of that town now.

North of Smyrna similar things happened. At Kato-Panaya (Assan Tchiftlik) 600 Muslims landed, drove the inhabitants out of their houses, and took possession of the houses and the household goods themselves. Others landed at Chesmé and went to Alatsata, whose inhabitants were forced by the authorities to abandon houses and possessions to the newly arrived. There were approximately 15,000 inhabitants of Alatsata, of which 9/10 were Greeks - now there is not a single Greek left.

The same thing happened in Chesmé. Rather than being chased away, the population wanted to leave while they were still only being threatened - and of 13,000 Greeks, only about 30 remained, the rest went to Chios and Samos.

Also in Reis-Déré, Ovalik, Kilisman, Saip, Vourla, Narli-Déré, and Abdullah-Chiftlik it started with threats and continued with assault and murder. 6,500 fled to Long Island where they were without food until foodstuffs were sent on the initiative of the Russian General Consul, Kalmykow [Andrey Kalmykov].

-It is estimated that, all in all, 70-80,000 persons have been chased away. The possessions of the refugees notwithstanding (probably about 2 Mill. £), the losses to the province are irreparable. An industrious class of human beings has been forced out despite the fact that the province was already thinly populated. It can be predicted that the province will feel the results of this failed policy for many years to come.

-The consul then turns his attention to Talaat Bey's journey, which he describes as "a farce." While the Interior Minister went from town to town, made speeches and promised full security, no one could go outside their houses at night or even go to their fields at day without being shot or mistreated. In Tireh, Eudemish, and Baindir the Greeks were boycotted and attacked by Bashibozuks when they tried to return to their wine gardens and tobacco plantations. In Menemen, Magnesia, Axar, Soma, and Pergamos no Greek can leave town even now, and in Kara Bournou the cattle has been robbed by Turkish officials from the inhabitants in the middle of the day and in front of the eyes of the Europeans. -

The consul also calls the drogmans' [dragomans, i.e. interpreters] journey a farce. From their automobiles and luxury special trains they will hardly get to see much of what they ought to see. He believes that the cruelties will be tempered, and they will take place in less overt ways - but they will not stop. Finally, he quotes a report from the American General Consul, Horton, to Singer Co., according to which the American ambassador has only been received guarantees from the Grand Vizier for the safety of the lives and limbs of the Greeks for the first couple of months.

-While the Danish consul at Smyrna in this way gives a description of the events that is largely similar to the Greek [description], the Turkish newspapers at Constantinople have for the last couple of days begun to report on Greek bands of robbers that, using the islands as a starting point, are cruising the coast of Asia Minor. Today, for instance, the daily newspaper ´Stamboul´ writes that it has received a telegram reporting that yesterday a boat with three Greek robbers approached Tschesmé (Chesmé) and shot at the inhabitants that were down by the coast at that moment. - At the same time it is being hinted that the drogmans (who have been to Chesmé and are now, among other things, considering going to Phocea) recognize that the government has done everything to stop the emigration and improve the conditions for the Greeks.

-Talaat Bey will probably leave Smyrna today to return, via Panderma, to the capital.

C. E. Wandel

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