When Turkey Destroyed Its Christians

Yes, Research Shows Christians of Asia Minor and Thrace really were the Victims of Genocide by Turkish Muslims

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[From RORATE CAELI]

Turkey, of course, still denies it. But they created modern-style genocide and initiated the process that led to the current near-disappearance of Christians in the Middle East — Christians who were until the beginning of the 20th century a considerable proportion of the regional population.
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From The Wall Street Journal (excerpts):
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When Turkey Destroyed Its Christians

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From 1894 to 1924, a staggered campaign of genocide targeted not just the region’s Armenians but its Greek and Assyrian communities as well

 By Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi
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Between 1894 and 1924, the number of Christians in Asia Minor fell from some 3-4 million to just tens of thousands—from 20% of the area’s population to under 2%. Turkey has long attributed this decline to wars and the general chaos of the period, which claimed many Muslim lives as well. But the descendants of Turkey’s Christians, many of them dispersed around the world since the 1920s, maintain that the Turks murdered about half of their forebears and expelled the rest.
 
The Christians are correct. Our research verifies their claims: Turkey’s Armenian, Greek and Assyrian (or Syriac) communities disappeared as a result of a staggered campaign of genocide beginning in 1894, perpetrated against them by their Muslim neighbors. By 1924, the Christian communities of Turkey and its adjacent territories had been destroyed.


Over the past decade, we have sifted through the Turkish, U.S., British and French archives, as well as some Greek materials and the papers of the German and Austro-Hungarian foreign ministries. This research has made it possible to document a strikingly consistent pattern of ethno-religious atrocity over three decades, perpetrated by the Turkish government, army, police and populace.
 
The concentrated slaughter of Turkey’s Armenians in 1915-16, commonly known as the Armenian genocide, is well documented and acknowledged (outside of Turkey, which still bitterly objects to the charge). But the Armenian genocide was only a part, albeit the centerpiece, of a larger span of elimination that lasted some 30 years. Our work provides the first detailed description and analysis of the 1894-96 massacres and the destruction of the region’s Greek and remaining Armenian communities in 1919-24 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish republic.
 
The bloodshed was importantly fueled throughout by religious animus. Muslim Turks—aided by fellow Muslims, including Kurds, Circassians, Chechens and Arabs—murdered about two million Christians in bouts of slaughter immediately before, during and after World War I. These massacres were organized by three successive governments, those of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, the Young Turks and, finally, Atatürk. These governments also expelled between 1.5 and 2 million Christians, mostly to Greece.
 
 
During 1919-22, amid a war against invading Greek forces in western Anatolia, Turkish nationalist forces commanded by Atatürk mounted a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Turkish Greek communities, concentrated along the Black Sea and the Aegean coast. Claiming that Ottoman Greeks were assisting the invading Greek army, the Turks took the opportunity to murder hundreds of thousands of them, as well as expelling more than a million Ottoman Greeks to Greece.
 
After the defeat of the Greek army, many thousands (and possibly tens of thousands) of the Greek and Armenian inhabitants of Smyrna (now known as Izmir) were murdered. The American consul general in the town, George Horton, reported that one of the “outstanding features of the Smyrna horror” was the “wholesale violation of women and girls.” In 1924, the British Foreign Office assessed that “not less than 80,000 Christians, half of them Armenians, and probably more” were still being detained in Turkish houses, “many of them in slavery.”
 
 
In all, we found that tens of thousands of Christian women suffered rape, abduction and forced conversion during this period, along with the mass murder and expulsion of their husbands, sons and fathers.
 
The German people and government have long acknowledged the genocidal horrors of the Third Reich, made financial reparations, expressed profound remorse and worked to abjure racism. But every Turkish government since 1924—together with most of the Turkish people—has continued to deny the painful history we have uncovered.
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