Who set İzmir on fire?

General chat as in a "çay evi" (Turkish tea house).

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suppiluliuma
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Re: Who set İzmir on fire?

Post by suppiluliuma » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:09 am

Ankara has a special corner in my heart, I've lived 5 years when I was a student of Hacettepe University, Department of American Culture & Lliterature :)
İzmir occupies another corner, in spite of the fact that I'm of central Black Sea origin, who currently lives in Kocaeli district.
Don't worry, I guess Ankara forgives you for such little shifts.:)
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just come as you are


Tavsan
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Re: Who set İzmir on fire?

Post by Tavsan » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:31 am

Suppiluliuma

I just visited that very department a few weeks ago and briefly spoke to a class for a faculty friend of mine there. It's a great university and an excellent department.

Tavsan

DumTekTek
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Re: Who set İzmir on fire?

Post by DumTekTek » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:12 pm

In Smyrna, it was impossible to live if you didn't speak Greek. Only in 2 places the Attic dialect was spoken so good, in Athens and Smyrna, according to historians. Not all Greeks were rich, there was a variety of social classes, there were many Greeks that worked hard in agriculture, like Turks. In testimonies Greek refugees usually say, ''Turkish people were mainly our servants'', ''we gave them baksis and we did the job'', ''it was forbidden to speak Turkish in a Greek house'', ''we had plenty of orchestras and we were listening mainly to French and Italian conzonettas and not eastern melodies, as you might think''. I was shocked because their songs, comparing to equal Greek traditional, were far more progressive and talked about a variety of subjects, especially love, romance etc. You have an image of people, that didn't have economic problems and they were devoted to art, literature, poetry and music. Many of them say ''we helped many times poor Turkish people and many of them betrayed us, during the disaster'', ''Germans were highly involved and Liman Fon Sanders especially who convinced Turkish people that Greeks and Armenians were responsible for their misery''. During the Greek occupation of the city, there was a Greek officer, called Stergiadis, who was hated among Smyrna Greeks, because he was more into protecting the Turkish people and he didn't allow Greek population to express free. He left before the fire and went to France, where he lived the rest of his life. There is an important chapter, which is not quite promoted and it's the result of the election, when the King won. The reason he won is because he promised he would stop the war. Greek society was exhausted from fighting all these years in Balcan wars and World War I and they voted him, hoping he would stop the war, but he continued, because he was attached to the Germans. In the case of the Smyrna fire, we have the result of a long time period, characterized from massacre of all minorities. In 1908 Kemal started his carreer promising he would bring equality to all residents and respect of human rights, but later he did exactly the opposite. Even if the Greek army never landed in Smyrna, it would still be impossible for people to continue living there. Here many professors say, that he even studied the wind direction, so that only the Greek and Armenian quarters would be burnt. The testimonies are amazing, pure horror, once you read all these tones of papers, it would be impossible to sleep for many nights. Refugees wonder ''why Turkish people say we burnt our houses. Would you burn your house? And we didn't have the luxury of time for anything, we had to run and escape''. Many of them had the hope of return, so they wouldn't burn their house. The ironic is that the same time Kemal sent the upper social classes into the sea, he wondered how he is gonna form a new class and he did it from the army, I guess that's the reason why democracy in Turkey has been kind of ''military'' all these decades. The Turkish people who were poor and uneducated in those times, instead of blaming their leaders who kept them in poverty and demanding their rights, they blamed the minorities. This is what the nazist party Golden Dawn wants to do in Greece too now, clean up ''the dirt''. The true enemy is within and not without. It's always easy to point your finger and say ''you are the problem'' but you know, that the real problem is somewhere else. So, unless people in all countries demand their rights, their right to express free and the right to progress, eliminate the impact of religions that only spread poison and make people further uneducated, I can't see any light in the tunnel. There is noway to eliminate minorities and make a country which is homogenous. This is pure fascism and it is proved not to be successful through history-you still have a huge minority of Kurds and everywhere in Europe there are minorities. A leftwing ideology, combined with ancient Greek ideals is the only light in the world this moment.

DumTekTek
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Re: Who set İzmir on fire?

Post by DumTekTek » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:15 am

I give you some links from Greek TV series talking about Smyrna. They were very popular in Greece. In one of those there is a Turkish actress, Fidel Koksal, who is loved very much by the Greek community.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEL0zquKTRI - Witches of Smyrna
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO3iPH5Dg0k - Matomena homata/From Anatolia with love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TckEsmGH83c - Rebetiko

Kahrolsun sebep olanlar - Anathema stous aitious - Ανάθεμα στους αίτιους

suppiluliuma
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Re: Who set İzmir on fire?

Post by suppiluliuma » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:03 pm

Hello DumTekTek.
Nice nickname, really liked it.

A leftwing ideology, combined with ancient Greek ideals? How can an “ancient” ideal be combined with leftwing ideology? Like bechamel sauce on iskender kebab. No, thanks, I pass to desert :wink:

Anyway, I’d like to write stg on your arguments, from a very leftwing point of view, but combined with objectivism.
The title of the topic was “Who set Izmir on fire?” but actually I was questioning the aim and use of Smyrna plot patched into the script of a TV show, of which theme was about Pacific front in WWII, moreover there was no such a passage in the original book.
Dear friend, I don’t care about the nationality of the saboteurs; probably they were not the inhabitants of the district. The point is, if there is war, there is fire, there is blood.
Ottoman records note that Turks have never been the minority in any territory of Anatolia during the last decades of the Empire, but Turks were definitely the poorest subjects of the Sultan (I say so, not Ottoman records). Izmir was a very busy port, probably having one of the largest and richest Greek community, living in decent neighborhoods, where one must speak Greek to communicate, and where poor Turks serve them for a slice of bread. Does it make Izmir a Greek town?

Please put aside your Greek ID for a while and read your testimonies once again with your leftwing ID (combined with humanity):
-“Turkish people were mainly our servants”
-“We gave them bahşiş…”
-“It was forbidden to speak Turkish in a Greek house”
-“We had plenty of orchestras and we were mainly listening to French and Italian conzonettas, and not eastern melodies”


Sorry dude, with all my lefty feelings, whoever reported such testimonies, they definitely deserved to be kicked in the ass.
They are not real Greeks, but only wannabe French & Italian Levantines. Anatolian Greeks’ music is Rebetiko. Can’t you see the humiliation in their manner? And how can you give credit to them as a Greek intellectual? What they depicted is a Levantine aristocracy; we still have such families in Izmir.

-“We helped many times poor Turkish people, and many of them betrayed us during the disaster.”
Helped for what? Betrayed them doing what? Sultan had granted to those Greeks all the riches of the country to make use of. What did they do in return? Supported imperialist invasion of the country; that seems more betrayal when looking from here.

That Greek officer, Stergiadis…why local Greeks hated him? I see there your “because…” but the fact is still obscured to me. Can it be because he did not allow local Greeks to give bahşiş to poor Turks? Why did he protect Turks, against what?
Disaster, yes; one’s disaster, other’s war of independence.

Sad but true: innocent people are killed in wars. There are stories at both sides, have you ever listened or read ours? I pity for all innocent losses from both sides, but don’t accept the term “massacre”. Did Turks do anything to Greeks during centuries until they took a voluntarily role in the invasion of Turkey? I’m originally from central Blacksea region, where my ancestors live together with Greeks in the village; heard stories from elders about how good neighbors Turks & Greeks were. Then war came, good neighbors turned to be enemies somehow.

-“In 1908, Kemal started his career promising he would bring equality to all residence and respect of human rights, bu later he did exactly the opposite.”
I don’t think that a young army officer at the the age of 27 has no such concerns, not only in Turkey, but anywhere in the world at that times.

-“Even if the Greek army never landed in Smyrna, it would still be impossible for people to continue living there”
Depending on what do you say so? If Greeks didn’t land, perhaps war would not happen, and rich Greeks might continue listening French or Italian music happily ever after…thought again, no in no way they could avoid having their asses kicked :x

-“Here many professors say, he even studied the wind direction, so that only the Greek and Armenian quarters would be burnt.”
Professors? This is my favorite. Yeah, we have many similar bullshitting so-called “professors” here too. Do you really believe them? How old are you?

-“Refugees wonder, “why Turkish people say we burnt our houses…”
Idiots may exist in every nation, if any Turk says so, but I’ve already explained my personal opinion here above; they were not the inhabitants, some dark gangs did it. I don’t have any idea about their nationalities, but I don’t care.

-“The ironic is that the same time Kemal sent the upper social classes into the sea, he wondered how he is gonna form a new class and he did it from the army, I guess that’s the reason why democracy in Turkey has been kind of “military” all these decades.”
This is the most sophisticated thesis ever, almost hits some truth. He tried to form a Turkish bourgeoisie in order to be an economical power as an independent country, but his successors sit on the imperials' laps again after his death.

-“The Turkish people who were poor and uneducated in those times, instead of blaming their leaders who kept them in poverty and demanding their rights, they blamed the minorities.”
Correct, Turkish people were poor and uneducated, could hardly discover the reason why they were so poor. Even so, they have never got problem with their Greek or Armeinan neighbor, unless not attempted to get surpassed by them. Besides, Turkish War of Independence was waged not only against the imperial armies, but also against their local servant, the Sultan and his sick dynasty, who was the real guilty of his people’s poverty.

I don’t give a shit to Golden Down here, but I can say that your last paragraph gives me only the light of a “leftwing stand”. I have no objection what you’re speaking in general – except that naïve thesis suggesting a ”Hellenistic” version of a leftwing ideology. :D

About Kurd problem; believe me it’s one of the most complicated cases of the history. Kurds are not “minority” like either Greeks or Armenians, but yes, there’s a huge Kurd issue. It’s such a hard subject, that can’t be digested by most of the Turks and Kurds themselves, yet. You must observe, but please don’t do it from a Greek leftish way :D

Last words: it is Izmir, not Smyrna. What’s the point in insisting on ancient naming? Do you know, İzmir is a derivation from Smyrna anyway, like İstanbul from Constantinople?
Come whoever you are...
just come as you are


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