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Smyrna, Asia Minor, from Polyglot Multiculturalism to Barbarism



Smyrna, re-named Izmir in modern Turkey, was a centre of Greek, Armenian, Levantine, British, American and Turkish mercantile empires where all religious and ethnic people lived in complete harmony. Smyrna was not adversely affected by World War One, in fact, trade increased ensuring the mercantile families profited from the war. The consequences for Smyrna with the demise of the Ottoman Empire ensured the Greek Army attempted to defeat the remnants of the Turkish Army on the Anatolian plateau. The success of the Greek Army encouraged them to enter the waterless desert to their cost in lives and the utter defeat of the Greek Army. At this time the ambitious Mustafa Kemal, later Ataturk revitalised the Turkish Army and pursued the defeated Greek Army who retreated to the capital of Asia Minor, Smyrna. Fighting between retreating Greek troops and advancing Turkish troops ignited ferocious fighting among terrified refugees in Smyrna. Smyrna witnessed carnage, barbarism and extreme hatred as Greeks, Armenians, Levantines and others were murdered by both Turkish irregulars and Regular Turkish troops.


Kemal Ataturk was capable of halting the carnage, however he did not want minorities in modern Turkey. This was how Turkey's minorities were removed from western Turkey. Allied warships eventually evacuated their national s from the quays at Smyrna. Other citizens were left on the quays as Smyrna was deliberately set on fire by Turkish troops. Their fate was eventually decided by a flotilla of ships sent from Greece to Smyrna, from where penniless evacuees were settled in Cyprus and Malta and near Athens. No second Smyrna. Kemal Ataturk imposed a secular society with Judicial, Economic and other societal values modernised. In 1923 The Republic of Turkey was established.


Later under the Treaty of Lausanne, 1923, 1.2 million Orthodox Christians were uprooted and moved to Greece, with 400,000 Muslims living in Greece were moved to Turkey.


Modern Turkey with Erdogan in charge in 2023 has suppressed their Kurdish minority yet they absorbed 6 million Syrian refugees with the Muslim religion the state religion. Izmir, today, offers questionable cosmetic surgery to wealthy westerners.


Paradise Lost, Smyrna, 1922, the destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance, Giles Milton, Sceptre, 2008


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