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Turkish public unaware of truth of Imbros: Patriarch

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-public-unaware-of-truth-of-imbros-patriarch.aspx?pageID=238&nID=34603&NewsCatID=341 Turkish public unaware of truth of
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15, 2012
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      http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-public-unaware-of-truth-of-imbros-patriarch.aspx?pageID=238&nID=34603&NewsCatID=341

      Turkish public unaware of truth of Imbros: Patriarch

      ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
      Turkish public must acknowledge the injustices committed against
      Anatolian Greeks on Imbros island during the 1960s, Bartholomew says

      Erdem Güneş erdem.gunes@...

      The Turkish public must acknowledge the injustices Greeks on Imbros
      island (Gökçeada) suffered in the 1960s, Greek Orthodox Patriarch
      Bartholomew said Nov. 12 at the launching of a book on the island’s
      Greek community.

      “Imbros could be a bridge between Turkey and Greece, but it was
      comprehended as a threat by Turkey. With this approach, the Rum
      [Anatolian Greek] minority, who were engaged in agriculture and raising
      livestock on the island, were forced to emigrate from there,” the
      patriarch said.

      Turkish society is not informed about the cruelty that occurred on the
      island at the time because of limited opportunities for communication,
      he said.

      Jail built on island

      According to Feryal Tansuğ, a historian at Istanbul’s Bahçeşehir
      University, who compiled the book “İmroz Rumları, Gökçeada Üzerine”
      (Rums of Imbros, on Gökçeada), non-Muslims on the island were targeted
      as part of an official policy that included allowing inmates at a jail
      built on the island to roam free and harass locals.

      “In 1960, there were nearly 6,000 Rums on the island, and the number is
      only 300 now,” Tansuğ told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

      The book represents the first comprehensive academic study written in
      Turkish on the island’s Greek minority issue.

      Imbros, which was officially renamed Gökçeada in 1970 by Turkey, is
      located in the north Aegean Sea at the entrance of Saros Bay and is also
      a district of Çanakkale. A large majority of the island’s Greek
      population has left the island for various reasons since the beginning
      of the 1960s.

      “There is a lack academic study on such an important matter. When we
      talk about Rums of Turkey only Istanbul, Cappadocia and Pontic Rums are
      remembered, but Imbros is forgotten and it is a case that cannot be
      ignored,” Tansuğ said.

      Pro-Hellenic name

      Tansuğ said she titled the book “Imbros,” a pro-Hellenic name, because
      the appellation is 5,000 years old and is still used by locals, unlike
      “Gökçeada,” which was given by the Turkish government in 1970.

      The patriarch also expressed hope for the future. “Even if it has a
      different demography now, we will do our best for Imbros to [make it] an
      island where people live happily,” he said. k HDN

      November/14/2012
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