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Fuat Dündar and the Deportation of the
Greeks
a

Ahmet Efiloğlu
a

Bülent Ecevit University, Turkey
Published online: 28 Apr 2014.

To cite this article: Ahmet Efiloğlu (2014) Fuat Dündar and the Deportation of the Greeks, Middle
East Critique, 23:1, 89-106, DOI: 10.1080/19436149.2014.896593
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19436149.2014.896593

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Middle East Critique, 2014
Vol. 23, No. 1, 89–106, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19436149.2014.896593

Fuat Du¨ndar and the Deportation of the
Greeks
˘ LU
AHMET EFILOG

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Bu¨lent Ecevit University, Turkey

ABSTRACT A review of the controversial book by Turkish historian Fuat Du¨ndar, Modern
Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, I˙ttihat ve Terakki’nin Etnisite Mu¨hendislig˘i [The Code of Modern Turkey: The
Committee of Union and Progress’ Ethnic Engineering], published in 2008. The main thesis of the
book is that the fundamental aim of Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) government was to
Turkify Anatolia through the deportation and re-settlement of its non-Turkish population. Du¨ndar
deals primarily with the deportation of the Armenians. He believes that the Unionists had been
exerting their utmost effort toward Turkifying Anatolia since 1913.1 The CUP master plan was to
deport the Armenians, thus cleansing them from Anatolia. Du¨ndar claims that in 1915 the CUP even
found it necessary to massacre the Armenians in some regions.2 However, this review examines only
the section of his book on the deportation of the Greeks, a topic that does not garner as much
attention as the Armenian deportations. This review attempts to show how Du¨ndar addressed this
topic, how he used the documents, and how well he managed to deliver on his aim of interpreting the
documents in a way that sheds new light on the deportations of Greeks. He views the deportation and
resettlement of the Greeks as a development that came about after the beginning of World War I,
when the CUP entered into an alliance with Germany, and references documents that he studied in
the Ottoman archives to support his argument.
KEY WORDS : Armenians; Committee of Union and Progress; deportations; ethnic engineering;
Greeks; migration; Talaat Pasha; Turkey; World War I

To conduct his research, Du¨ndar relies on public documents in the Ottoman archives. He
states that it is necessary to look at how the documents in these archives are read,
summarized, and interpreted. He claims that he gives the documents the meaning that
they deserve and an interpretation that is necessary in order to understand the deportation
in a way that no one else has. He discusses the deportation of the Greeks in the Otoman
Empire by focusing on: (1) Germany’s prevention of a war that was about to break out
between the Ottoman state and Greece over the Aegean Islands; and (2) the migration of
Greeks in the first half of 1914. According to Du¨ndar, Germany brought Greece and
Ottoman authorities together to establish what became known as the Balkan Alliance. He
states that Ottoman Grand Vizer Said Halim Pasha and Greek Prime Minster Eletherios
Correspondence Address: Ahmet Efilog˘lu, Assoc.Prof.Dr., Bu¨lent Ecevit University, College of Humanities,
Department of History, Zonguldak, Turkey. Email: ahmetefiloglu@hotmail.com
1
Fuat Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, I˙ttihat ve Terakki’nin Etnisite Mu¨hendislig˘i, 1913–1918 (Istanbul:
I˙letis¸im Yayınları, 2008), pp. 85–225.
2
Ibid, pp. 30, 257, 345.
q 2014 Editors of Middle East Critique

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A. Efilog˘lu

Venizelos met in Brussels on 23 July 1914 and commenced efforts to build an alliance.
He asserts that CUP (Unionists) leaders were desirous of such an alliance, largely
because Germany prodded them into it; indeed, Germany played a key role in ending the
abuses that the Unionists allegedly were committing against the Greeks, and it was
because of Germany that the Unionists’ policy toward the Greek population changed
immediately after the declaration of mobilization.3 However, according to the Ottoman
ambassador to Greece, Galip Kemali Bey, this meeting never took place. He wrote that
Said Halim Pasha avoided meeting with Venizelos and stayed in Constantinople.4 Galip
Kemali Bey also would have understood why the Grand Vizier under Unionist rule,
whom he believed was on the verge of building an alliance with Greece, avoided meeting
with Venizelos, who opposed such an alliance.
Moreover, Du¨ndar’s assertion that it was only upon Germany’s behest that the Unionists
shifted their policy toward the Greeks needs further investigation. Developments during
the period of Greek migrations reveal that pressure from Britain, France, and Russia, in
addition to that from Germany, forced the CUP to take efforts to halt the migrations of
Greeks in Western Anatolia. Representatives from these different states even came to
Western Anatolia per the request of the CUP in June 1914 to investigate the situation.5
Du¨ndar’s claim that the Unionists changed their stance toward the Greeks only after
forging an alliance with Germany is also incorrect. This is because the CUP already had
changed the informal Greek migration policy it had been pursuing up until late June,
before it entered into an alliance with Germany, which was in August.6 It is misleading to
attribute all of these developments to Germany and say that the Greek migrations were
stopped only after money was received from Germany. Also, if the Germans acted so
compassionately toward the Greeks and, in Du¨ndar’s words, ‘the abuses that the CUP
committed’ were too much for the Germans to accept, why was it that the Greeks blamed
the Germans for the deportations after the war?7 Also if the Germans had prevented the
deportations of the Greeks, why did the Greeks think that the Germans were going to
exterminate them during the war?8 Du¨ndar does not address these questions.
Another issue is Du¨ndar’s claim that ‘the day immediately before the mobilization, the
Ottoman state began to (1) detain citizens of Greece between the ages of 16 and 45; and (2)
hastily sent the Greeks in this age group to garrisons.’9 Hence, according to Du¨ndar, the
Unionists tried in some odd way to try to forge an alliance with Greece on the one hand,
while arresting Greek nationals living in the country during the summer of 1914 on the
other hand. In other words they tried to implement two contradictory policies at the same
time. It is not possible to explain in any logical way why the Ottoman government would
act with such inconsistency. Also the government allegedly continued to act inconsistently
3
4

5

6
7

8
9

Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 228–230.
Galip Kemali So¨ylemezog˘lu, Hatıraları, Atina Sefareti (1913–1916) (Istanbul: Tu¨rkiye Yayınevi, 1946),
pp. 169 –176.
Ahmet Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, Go¨c ve Tehcir (1912 – 1918) (Istanbul: Bayrak Yayınları, 2011),
pp. 214 – 218.
Ibid, Osmanlı Rumları, pp. 204–213.
Bayram Bayraktar, Osmanlı’dan Cumhuriyet’e Ayvalık Tarihi, (Ankara: Atatu¨rk Aras¸tırma Merkezi
Yayınları, 1998), pp. 63–65.
See Mihail Rodas, Almanya Tu¨rkiye’deki Rumları Nasıl Mahvetti, (Istanbul: Belge Yayınları, 2011).
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 229–230.

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by arresting all Greeks in the country between the ages of 16 and 45. In other words, it
allegedly jeopardized its relations with Greece at a time when it was trying to form an
alliance. Du¨ndar cites two Ottoman documents in support of his claim. However, the first
document is a telegram to Mosul, Diarbekir, and Urfa concerning inter-tribal fighting in
areas which had no Greek migrations. The second document is a report from the Bolu
district on the arrest of a certain Apostol. Apparently the man had been encouraging
members of the Etnik-i Eterya Society and other Greeks to refuse enlisting in the army or
paying the military exemption tax.10
Du¨ndar referred to Ottoman archival documents that contradict his claims that the
Ottoman government persecuted Greek citizens living in the empire. From the start of the
mobilization in August 1914, the government treated these Greeks citizens as subjects of a
neutral state until Greece officially entered the war in 1917.11 Moreover, the Ottoman
government recruited local Greeks. Yet, instead of deploying them for front line service,
the men were enlisted in labor battalions. It is incorrect that the Ottoman government
detained all Greeks in the Empire and sent them to garrisons.12
The Question of Prohibiting Greek Migration
According to Du¨ndar, the Ottoman government prohibited Greek migration on 22 October
1914, and all oppression against the Greeks ended. The reason for this was that two days
prior Ottoman and German administrators had met in secret. Germany had promised that it
would offer financial help to the indebted Ottoman Empire if it would enter the war as an
ally. Consequently the Ottomans forbade the Greeks from migrating, both in groups and
individually, no matter the reason.13 Du¨ndar’s periodization of the Greek migration raises
some issues. For example, he asserts that October 22, 1914 was the very date that the
migrations of Greeks were made illegal and that the Ottoman government ended its
oppression of the Greeks. He substantiates this claim with an encoded message sent by
Talaat Bey to Adrianople province ordering that the ‘Greek migrations are to be strictly
forbidden.’ However, in June, July, and August a number of telegraphs were sent to places
where migrations were taking place that contained phrases such as ‘all types of migration
are strictly forbidden’ and ‘migration is to not be permitted.’14
This telegram sent in October was characteristically different from orders that had been
sent to Adrianople province before. The government gave up on its informal policy of
forced migration of the Greeks in June and July. However, it was not easy to settle disputes
that arose among the Muslim people, the migrants, and the Greeks. Even if the Ottoman
government tried to prevent clashes between locals and violent attacks on Greeks, these
10

11
12

13
14

Bas¸bakanlık Osmanlı Ars¸ivi (hereafter: BOA). Dahiliye Nezareti (hereafter: DH), S¸ifre Kalemi (hereafter:
S¸FR), 43/143. Ministry of Interior to Urfa district, Mosul, Diyarbekir provinces, 2 August 1914; BOA, DH
Emniyet-i Umumiye Mu¨du¨riyeti (hereafter: EUM) 3.S¸ube (hereafter 3.S¸B), 1/27, Bolu district to Ministry of
Interior, August 21, 1914.
Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, pp. 303–304.
¨ zdemir, ‘Du¨nya Savas¸ında Amele Taburları,’ (Master thesis, Gazi University Social Sciences
Zekeriya O
Institute, Ankara, 1994), p. 31; and Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, pp. 265 –267.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 230.
DH.S¸FR, 41/211, Ministry of Interior to Edirne Province, June 9, 1914. See also, Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları,
pp. 204–213.

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still occurred, occasionally resulting in some casualties. Also the government did not
appear to alter its population policy in any way during the month of October. Nothing
resulted from talks between Ottoman and Greek representatives in Europe over the
Aegean Islands. Uncertainty persisted over the issue of the Islands as well as the issue of
population exchange. In November, talks about a population exchange were initiated once
again; however, it appears that no progress was made.
Despite Du¨ndar’s assertion that Greek migration was prohibited on October 22, it
appears that many migrated to Greece and the Aegean Islands even after that date. For
instance, in a message sent to the Ministry of the Interior on October 20, it was stated that
3,000 Greeks migrated from Thrace to Alexandroupolis.15 Even after the Ottomans
entered the war there were people who migrated from Aydin province to islands in
Greece’s possession. Du¨ndar offers no explanations for these migrations.
The July 1914 Decision to Deport the Greeks
Du¨ndar claims that the Unionists decided to deport the Greeks at the end of July 1914.16
He supports this claim by citing a talk between the vali of Aydin, Rahmi Bey, and the
British Consul at Smyrna. However, the claim that the Ottoman government made the
decision to deport the Greeks to the inland regions of Anatolia cannot be taken seriously,
since it is based only an informal talk between the vali and the British Consul. In order to
establish the seriousness of such a claim it would be appropriate to corroborate it with
other documents and statements, not simply the Consul’s words. In fact, every claim that
Du¨ndar makes regarding the supposed deportation decision of July 1914 is based on
‘secret correspondence’ that he does not reference. So far, the existence of such
correspondence cannot be ascertained in the Ottoman documents.
Shortly after the declaration of mobilization, Talaat Bey sent a telegram on August 10,
1914, to the provinces of Adrianople, Erzerum, Adana, Angora, Aydin, Bitlis, Basra,
Baghdat, Beirut, Hedjaz, Aleppo, Bursa, Diyarbekir, Trebizond, Kastamonu, Konya,
Mosul, and Van and to the districts of Izmit, Bolu, Samsun, Balikesir, C¸anakkale,
Menteshe, Teke, and Cesarea informing them ‘at the present time we remain neutral and
depending on the direction that these events take, it is possible and probable that we will be
exposed to invasion from some direction’ and asking them to keep an eye out for such a
possibility and to take preventative measures on the coasts especially.17 The decision to
withdraw people inland from the coasts was made in the context of war preparations
during this period. Yet, the order makes it clear that only Muslim women and children
were to be withdrawn inland. For instance, a telegram to Aydin province and C
¸ anakkale,
Balikesir, and Menteshe districts on 6 August 1914 requests that the necessary military
precautions be taken due to the extraordinary situation on the coasts and the islands, and
that Muslim women and children be settled in villages and towns far from the coast.18 In a
15

16
17

18

BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B 2/5, Ottoman ambassador at Athens Galip Kemali Bey to Ministry of Interior, October
16, 1914, No. 835.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 232.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 43/219, Talaat to Adrianople, Erzerum, Adana, Angora, Aydin, Bitlis, Basra, Baghdat, Beirut,
Hejaz, Aleppo, Bursa, Diyarbekir, Trebizond, Kastamonu, Konya, Mosul, Van provinces, Izmit, Bolu,
Samsun, Balikesir, C
¸ anakkale, Menteshe, Teke, Cesarea districts August 10, 1914.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 43/176, Ministry of Interior to Aydin, Tchanakkale, Balikesir, Menteshe, August 6, 1914.

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telegram sent to the valis of Smyrna, Beirut, Aleppo, Adana and the mutasarrıfs of
C¸anakkale, Balikesir, Antalya, Menteshe, and Jerusalem on September 28, 1914, in which
it is revealed that the Allied Powers intended to attack the coasts in due time, no mention is
made of deporting Greeks and other non-Muslims living along the coasts so as to protect
the coastline.19
The Ottoman government thought it necessary to move inland only Muslims. The
mutasarrıf of Balikesir informs the Ministry of the Interior in a telegram sent on August
13, 1914, that ‘all Muslim women and children in the villages in the center of Edemit were
taken inland, and that the process of transporting those in Burhaniye was begun, as well as
those Ayvalik, even though the Muslim people there were few.’20 Initially the order to
move Muslims living on the coast inland did not apply to every location. For instance, a
telegram sent to the mutasarrıf of Samsun on October 7, 1914 ordered that ‘women and
children [are] not be moved inland unless it was absolutely necessary so as to avoid
causing unnecessary agitation on the Black Sea coasts.’21
The transfer of populations to inland regions began after the Ottoman state entered
World War I in November 1914. Even before the Ottomans entered the war, Allied fleets
began blockading the coasts in September and started to attack both military targets and
civilian settlements. Once the Ottomans entered the war in November, the bombardment
of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts intensified.22 In order to keep civilians from
exposure to attacks, Ottoman authorities moved an increasing number of them inland,
particularly on the coasts of Smyrna and Balikesir.23 Du¨ndar does not say anything
regarding these matters.
The Locations of the First Population Transfers
Du¨ndar notes the following on the population transfers:
Toward the end of the month of January [1915, A.E.], after the attacks on the Greeks
in Aivali, Talaat Pasha managed to put an end to the wave of terror. It was at about
that time that the Ottoman government made their first decision to transfer the
Greeks to inland Anatolia . . . . The Ottomans first sought to remove the Greeks in
the region of Thrace. This decision to move them inland was spurred by the fact that
a large of number of Greeks were gathered in the Adrianople region waiting to cross
into Greece. Not long after the decision was made, Greece reacted to the news and a
new crisis arose between the two states.24
19

20
21
22
23

24

BOA, DH.S¸FR, 45/112, Ministry of Interior to Aydin, Beirut, Aleppo, Adana provinces, Tchanakkale,
Balikesir, Antalia, Menteshe, Jerusalem districts, September 28, 1914.
BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 1/20, Governor of Balikesir to Ministry of Interior, August 13, 1914.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 45/206, Ministry of Interior to Samsun district, October 7, 1914.
Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, pp. 235–240.
BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 2/56, p. 4, Balikesir district to Ministry of Interior, November 6, 1914. It is written in a
memorandum published by Rahmi Bey on March 9, 1915, that unarmed civilians with their women and
children have agreed to move inland for protection against the cannon balls and bullets that are being fired.
After this announcement the people, who are mostly women and children were sent by private trains on March
12, 1915, to Aydin Denizli, Salihli, and Cumaovası. Ahmet Mehmetefendiog˘lu, ‘Rahmi Beyin I˙zmir Valilig˘i’,
C¸ag˘das¸ Tu¨rkiye Tarihi Aras¸tırmaları Dergisi 1, no. 3 (1993), pp. 364–365.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 232–233.

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In the text above, Du¨ndar asserts that the place first targeted after the deportation decision
in January 1915 was Thrace. Here Du¨ndar is wrong. He references the Ottoman document
DH.S¸FR 47/335 as attribution for the claim that the Greeks in Thrace were deported to
inland Anatolia.25 In order to understand why Du¨ndar has made a mistake here, it is
necessary to look first at some documents that are dated before the above-mentioned
document. The incident that Du¨ndar gives as an example is related to the migrations that
were going on in November and December 1914 in the environs of Adrianople. As
indicated before, the Greek migrations continued to occur during these months, even if
they were fewer. In fact, in a telegram dated November 16, 1914, the Ottoman ambassador
to Athens, Galip Kemali, said that Greek Prime Minister Venizelos acknowledged that
3,000 Greek refugees were expelled from Thrace and were heading to Alexandroupolis in
order to enter Greece. The telegram further stated that Venizelos sent two ships to take in
the refugees and requested that (1) measures be taken not to allow such an event to happen
again; and (2) that the Joint Exchange Commission hasten its operations.26
In a telegram that he sent to Adrianople province on October 22, Talaat Bey cited the
information that had come from both Galip Kemali and from the Greek Embassy, and just
as he began hearing complaints, he ordered that the migrations of the Greeks be stopped.27
Afterward on October 24, in a second telegraph, he asked that the governor of Adrianople
look into the matter and that all migration be prohibited until the joint commission was
assembled. No Greeks were to migrate and no one was to pressure any Greeks to
migrate.28
On December 5, 1914, Talaat Bey sent another telegram in which he touched on the
very issues that he had addressed in the October telegram: ‘The Greek ambassador has
complained that a number of migrants have been sent from the village of Satık or Saltık
the day before yesterday. It causes us a great deal of embarrassment before the embassy
to receive such information and also to confirm that the Greek Embassy’s complaints
are indeed valid.’ Talaat Bey once again reiterated his demand that the migrations to
Greece be prevented.29 Despite the above-mentioned information, Fuat Du¨ndar
misinterprets the migrations of the Greeks in the Adrianople region to Greece and the
December 5, 1914 telegram from Talaat Bey as evidence that Greeks in Thrace were
deported to inland Anatolia. It is not possible to understand how Du¨ndar arrives at such
a conclusion.
Du¨ndar is so sure that the Greeks in Thrace were deported to inland Anatolia in January
that he uses another two telegrams to buttress his claim: DH.S¸FR, 49/2 and DH.S¸FR,
49/29.30 Yet, it is not clear whether Du¨ndar is using these documents as evidence of a new
crisis between the Ottoman Empire and Greece or as evidence of deportation of Greeks in
Thrace to inland Anatolia. If the documents are used as evidence of deportation, then it is
impossible that the two documents, which were sent to the Balikesir district concerning the
25
26

27
28
29
30

BOA, DH.S¸FR, 47/335, Ministry of Interior to Adrianople province, December 5, 1914, No. 85.
BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 2/5, Ottoman ambassador of Athens Galip Kemali to Ministry of Interior, October 16,
1914, No. 835.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 46/66, Talaat to Adrianople province, October 22, 1914.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 46/67, Ministry of Interior to Adrianople province, October 24, 1914.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 47/335. Talaat to Adrianople province, December 5, 1914, No. 85.
BOA, DH.S¸FR 49/2, Ministry of Interior to Balikesir district, January 14, 1915; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 49/29,
Ministry of Interior to the Civil Inspector in Aivali, January 14, 1915.

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situation in Aivali, have any relation to the Greeks in Thrace. If the telegrams are used as
evidence of a new diplomatic crisis, they contain no information about such a crisis
between the two states, since they only inform the recipients of the Greek ambassador’s
complaints concerning Aivali.
In his analysis of the documents, Du¨ndar struggles to follow the line of events in
Ottoman history and confuses the concepts of migration and deportation:
Nevertheless, the Ottomans deported (sevk) the Greeks in Thrace to inland Anatolia.
Not long after, Greece reacted to the news and a new crisis arose between the two
states. Since Greece’s neutrality was important to both the Ottoman Empire and
Germany, these deportations (sevk) were put to a periodic end in February 1915.
Another reason for this decision was to prevent Venizelos, who was using the Greek
migrations (go¨c ) as political leverage, from gaining more power against the Greek
king . . . . Therefore, Berlin stepped in and called on the Ottoman authorities to put
an end to the politics of oppression against the Greeks. Talat Pas¸a then sent an order
to cease the operations of deporting (sevk) Greeks to the inland regions.31
It is hard to understand whether Du¨ndar means deportation (sevk) or migration (go¨c ).
At first he uses the term deportation (sevk), in other words the deportation of the Greeks
from Thrace to inland Anatolia. However, afterwards he uses the term migration (go¨c ).
He says that the deportations were halted in February 1915 and the reason for this was
to ‘prevent Venizelos, who was using the Greek migrations (go¨c ) as political leverage,
from gaining more power against the Greek king.’ After referring to migration, he then
turns again to the term deportation and asserts that Talaat Bey halted the deportations of
the Greeks to inland Anatolia at the behest of Germany. Du¨ndar’s reasoning remains
unclear on this point.

Deportations from the Coasts: The Deportation of the Greeks of the Marmara
Islands, Gallipoli and C
¸ anakkale
Du¨ndar’s main argument for Ottoman deportations of Greeks is that the CUP sought to
cleanse ethnically the coasts of Greeks. According to the author, the first region in which
the Ottoman state ordered deportations of Greeks were islands in the Marmara Sea: ‘On 7
March 1915, Ottoman authorities began to cleanse the Marmara Islands and, soon after,
the Marmara coasts. They then chose Gallipoli and C
¸ anakkale as their next targets on 21
March and 22 May respectively.’32 These claims are not true. First, deportations did not
begin on the Marmara Islands but as part of preparations for the Allied Powers’ operations
against the straits. They started in Gallipoli near the battlefields. Moreover these
deportations had started in November 1914, well before March 1915 when the most
violent period of the Gallipoli Campaign began. Once the battle grew more intense,
deportations were expanded. The Ottomans began evacuating areas close to
Constantinople and along the Bosporus. Du¨ndar does not address these matters. While
he claims that the area was emptied in March 1915, the evacuation of the Marmara region
31
32

Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 232–233.
Ibid, p. 233.

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did not take place before June and July 1915.33 Du¨ndar’s own references contradict his
statements. His claim that Marmara Island was evacuated is based upon a telegram to the
Menteshe district on the Aegean coast. Talaat Bey inquired about the population on the
small Tersane Island near Fethie, which was to be evacuated. A few days later, however,
Talaat Bey abandoned the project. He argued that the island could not be defended by sea
and might become a base for militants or bandits. In other words, the documents in
question are not related in any way to Marmara Island. Moreover, the material contradicts
Du¨ndar’s claim that the Aegean coast already had been cleansed Greeks before the start of
World War I. In essence, Du¨ndar misinterprets the aims of the CUP. The party had not
sought to evacuate the Aegean coasts entirely. Secondly, Talaat Bey’s decision in the case
of Tersane Island proves that he opposed the views of local authorities. It shows that it is
incorrect to speak of a deportation policy or a cleansing of Greeks from the coasts. Also,
Du¨ndar confuses the Menteshe district with the distant Marmara region.34 Finally, Du¨ndar
claims that the evacuation of Gallipoli took place on March 21, 1915. The date, however,
is incorrect, as the author has changed the date in the relevant document. Instead, his
references are related to the transfer of Greeks who were evacuated from Gallipoli to
C
¸ anakkale and Balikesir.35
The Deportation of the Thrace Greeks
As stated before, Du¨ndar believes the purpose of deporting the Greeks inland was to
cleanse them from the coasts. Greeks removed from Gallipoli, C
¸ anakkale, Marmara, and
the Aegean and Black Sea coasts were sent to inland Anatolia. Another area of ‘cleansing’
was Thrace, from where the Greeks also were sent inland. For Du¨ndar, it seems impossible
to talk of deportation without mentioning ethnic cleansing. Hence, let us examine the
deportation of the Greeks from the Marmara coasts and Thrace to establish more clearly
whether this indeed constituted an ethnic cleansing. Du¨ndar writes that the Greeks from
the Marmara coasts and Thrace were sent to inland Anatolia via Izmit, Bursa, and
Balıkesir:
The Thrace Greeks were deported to Anatolia generally via two routes. Those in
northern Thrace were deported to inland Anatolia via Izmit and those in southern
Thrace via Balikesir. Some were deported inland via Bursa.36
33

34

35

36

Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, pp. 270 –271, 279 –281; and BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 4/27, Constantinople province
to Ministry of Interior, March 9, 1915.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 50/187, Talaat to Menteshe district, March 7, 1915, No. 53; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 50/236, Talaat to
Menteshe district, March 11, 1915; and Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye S¸ifresi, pp. 233. Du¨ndar also confuses dates
and contents of his references. In a telegram dated July 1915, the Ottoman government ordered the evacuation
of the islands. Thus, it is clear that these had been emptied a month earlier than Du¨ndar believes; See DH.
EUM.3.S¸B, 6/101, Ministry of Interior to Balikesir district, July 2, 1915; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 54/104, Directorate
for the Settlement of Tribes and Immigrants (hereafter: IAMM) to Bursa province, June 22, 1915; and BOA,
DH.S¸FR, 54/118, Ministry of Interior to Bursa province, C
¸ anakkale, Balikesir districts, June 23, 1915.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 233; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 52/75, Ministry of Interior to Balikesir district,
April 21, 1915, No. 7; and BOA, DH.S¸FR, 52/224, Ministry of Interior to Tchanakkale district, May 4, 1915,
No. 5.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 234.

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Although Du¨ndar claims that Greeks were deported to inland Anatolia and settled in
Greek, Armenian, and Muslim villages, he is not always clear as to where exactly they
were sent and settled.37 He sometimes does mention that they were sent to Ertughrul and
Bilecek and settled there, but continually uses the general term ‘inland Anatolia’ instead
of mentioning specific locations.38 The reason that Du¨ndar does not specify the exact
locations perhaps lies in the fact that the Ottoman documents themselves write ‘interior’
(daˆhil) or ‘inside the vilayet’ (daˆhil-i vilayet). But Du¨ndar reads the lack of specificity in
the documents as evidence of an ethnic cleansing. If Du¨ndar had thought the reason for
this over a little more, he would have seen that a large number of the Greeks who were
evacuated from Thrace were settled in a different area of Thrace and that those
evacuated from the Marmara coasts were settled in Bursa, Balikesir, and Izmit. In fact,
nearly all of the Greek evacuees from the Marmara region were settled in the inland
regions of Bursa and Balikesir. Du¨ndar’s own bias has led him to an erroneous
conclusion.
Even if Du¨ndar claims that Greeks in Thrace were sent to inland Anatolia after the
‘cleaning operation’ undertaken there, it can be confirmed from the Unionists’ own
documents that an important part of the Greeks on the coasts Adrianople province [Thrace]
were settled inside the same province far away from the coast.39 The Ministry of the
Interior ordered Adrianople province to re-settle the Greeks on the coasts and the border
areas in the inland region of Adrianople province.40 Also even the documents that Du¨ndar
references show that a great number of Greeks in Adrianople province were resettled in
inland areas of the same province and that those who remained behind were deported to
Bursa and Balikesir. They also show that Greeks living on the coasts of Gallipoli, Rodosto,
C¸anakkale, Bursa, and Balikesir were resettled far away from the coasts and inland areas
of Bursa and Balikesir provinces.
Du¨ndar writes that ‘the Greeks of southern Thrace were sent to inland Anatolia via
Balikesir.’41 However, in the document that he cites as a reference, it is stated that
nearly 13,000 Greeks were evacuated from Gallipoli (which Du¨ndar refers to as Thrace)
and were transferred to places where other Greeks were found, such as Erdek in the
Balikesir districts on the Marmara Sea coast.42 Yet Du¨ndar claims, using this very same
document, that the Greeks from Gallipoli were sent to inland Anatolia. Another
document that Du¨ndar references to support his claim that Greeks were sent to ‘inland
Anatolia’ actually says that a number of the Greeks deported from Gallipoli for
Balıkesir were sent to Bandirma, a port city on the Marmara coast, because it was too
crowded in Balikesir.43
Elsewhere in the book Du¨ndar claims, ‘Greeks living in southern Thrace [Gallipoli]
were sometimes sent to inland Anatolia via Bursa.’ However, in the document that he
37
38
39
40

41
42
43

Ibid, p. 235.
Ibid, pp. 233, 234, 235.
BOA. DH.EUM. 3.S¸B, 11/29, Adrianople Governor Zekeriya Bey to Ministry of Interior, January 23, 1916.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 57/324, EUM to Adrianople province, November 7, 1915; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 10/69,
Ministry of Interior to Adrianople province, December 28, 1915; and BOA, DH.S¸FR, 56/182, Ministry of
Interior to Adrianople province, September 26, 1915.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 234.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 52/75, Ministry of Interior to Balikesir district, April 21, 1915. No. 7.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 53/143, Ministry of Interior to Balikesir district, May 27, 1915. No. 19.

98

A. Efilog˘lu

references, the Ministry of the Interior asks authorities in Bursa province to settle the
Greeks coming from Adrianople somewhere just outside the Marmara coast. In other
words no information is to be found in the document concerning the Greeks being sent to
‘inland Anatolia.’44 The telegram reads as follows:

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Encoded Telegram to the Viceregency of Bursa province,
22 Tes¸rin-i Evvel [1]331. The Greeks coming from Adrianople are to be settled in
appropriate places except for the coasts and those who so desire are to be allowed to
travel to and fro.
25 Tes¸rin-i Evvel [1]331 [7 November 1915A.E]—Minister Talat
On the same page, Du¨ndar writes, ‘instructions were given to send all the Greeks living
within one hour’s distance from the Thrace coast and the Marmara Sea to inland Anatolia
toward the month of July.’ He even gives a transcription of the document. But in the
telegram, which is addressed to the Adrianople and Bursa valis and the Balikesir and
C
¸ anakkale mutasarrıfs, there is no order to send the Greeks living one hour’s distance
from the coast to inland Anatolia. Rather the telegraph states that the Greeks in these
regions are to be sent inland, i.e., the inland areas of the same provinces in which the
Greeks originally were living.45 According to the Encoded Telegram:
This note is regarding the villages on the coast of your provinces/districts and is
based on information from the Chief Commandership showing the necessity of
bringing inland the Greeks living on the coast of the Marmara basin and in villages
within one hour’s distance from the coast.
10 Haziran [1]331 [23 June 1915 A.E] Minister Talaat
Du¨ndar is positive that the Greeks living on the Marmara coasts were deported inland and
cites a number of references to back this claim. However, these following two examples
show that Du¨ndar misinterprets the word ‘interior’ (daˆhili). He writes, ‘ . . . general
instructions were to settle the Greeks in Greek villages in inland Anatolia.’ The exact text
of the instruction telegraphed to the C
¸ anakkale and Balikesir districts states that the
Ministry of the Interior orders that the Greeks be resettled in inland Greek villages of these
same province:
The Greeks who live in villages within one hour’s distance from the coast and who
are to be deported inland are to be settled entirely in Greek villages and not be
dispersed among the population.
In footnote 229, the exact text of two documents, DH.S¸FR, 53/330 and DH.EUM.3.S¸B,
7/3, is given. The original text of DH.S¸FR, 53/330 is as follows:
44
45

BOA, DH.S¸FR, 57/329, Ministry of Interior to Bursa province, November 7, 1915, No. 151.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 54/118, Talaat to Adrianople, Bursa provinces, Balikesir, Tchanakkale districts, June 23,
1915.

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99

Encoded Telegraph to the Viceregency of the Edirne Vilayet,

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The encoded telegraph sent on 27 Mayıs 1331 [June 9, 1915, A. E.], which shows the
necessity of evacuation, contains a complete notification of the reasons for the
deportation and dispersion of the Greek people in the villages (which have been
specified to the governor) to other Greek-populated villages inside the vilayet
[meaning the Edirne Vilayet].
The text of the other document cannot be fully provided since it is quite long. But it
essentially states that the Greeks who are transferred from the jurisdiction of the
‘Directorate for the Settlement of Tribes and Immigrants’ to that of the ‘Directorate for
Public Security’ and who are sent to Bursa province from Adrianople province and the
Balikesir district are too many. Therefore, a part of them are to be sent to Afion and
Ku¨tahia districts instead.46 The interesting point is that text of the document in the book
and the document originals that are referenced are different. Neither the text of the
untagged document in the book or the text of document referenced as DH.S¸FR,
53/33047 assert that all of the Thrace Greeks were sent to the inland sections of
Anatolia. Thus, Du¨ndar’s claim that all Greeks were cleansed from Thrace is far from
the truth.

Strong Reactions from Greece and the Cessation of Deportations in 1915
Du¨ndar’s interpretation of Ottoman-Greek relations in connection with the deportations is
interesting. For instance, he claims that Greeks sometimes were sent to Muslim villages as
part of the deportation and resettlement policies, and this led to serious problems with
Greece. Du¨ndar’s references, however, do not offer information supporting his thesis.48
He also overemphasizes the Greek embassy’s complaints at the time. Greece, which had
reacted on numerous occasions to the Greek migrations, reacted strongly only once in June
1914 when the two countries were on the brink of war.49 But Du¨ndar sees the cessation of
the deportations in July 1915 as evidence for Greece’s strong reaction. However, Prime
Minister Dimitrios Gounaris maintained relatively amicable relations with the Ottoman
government as well as with the Muslim population of Macedonia. Greek elections in June
1915 brought Venizelos back to power. The latter, however, did not assume the position of
prime minister until the cabinet was formed in August. Gounaris had been against Greece
entering the war. Venizelos, however, had followed a more belligerent policy. He had tried
to rally public support for his position and worked to persuade Anatolian Greeks to join his
efforts by organizing public meetings with Greek migrants from Anatolia. Gounaris and
46
47
48

49

BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 7/3, IAMM to EUM, July 13, 1915.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 53/330, Ministry of Interior to Adrianople province, June 12, 1915, No. 53.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye S¸ifresi, pp. 235. ‘ . . . despite the large numbers of coming Greeks, it is a political
necessity to settle them in Armenian and Greeks villages. This telegram is concerning the obstacles of
dispersing them inland.’ BOA, DH.S¸FR, 54/158, Ministry of Interior to Bursa province, June 26, 1915, No. 42.
The second document addressed the transfer of Greeks in the Samsun, Bafra, and Tcharshamba areas. BOA,
DH.S¸FR,76/243, Ministry of Interior to Angora, Sivas, Kastamonu provinces, Samsun district, May 22, 1917,
No. 1297.
So¨ylemezog˘lu, Hatıraları, p. 120.

100

A. Efilog˘lu

Ottoman Ambassador Galip Kemali Bey shared concerns about Venizelos’ campaign to
stir up public opinion for war. Thus, they asked the CUP to moderate its attitudes toward
Ottoman Greeks. Accordingly, the CUP decided to cease deportations of Greeks in July
and August 1915 in order prevent Venizelos from using the deportations as a pretext for
entering the war against the Ottoman Empire. CUP leaders, too, also dispatched telegrams
to governors throughout the empire urging them not to take any action that might give
cause for complaints.50 Du¨ndar failed to understand the complexity of Ottoman-Greek
relations as well as the CUP’s own strategies.

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Deportation as an Ethnic Operation
Du¨ndar explains the deportations of Greeks as a form of ethnic engineering that
created a geographic prison for deported Greeks. While Ottoman documents show that
military authorities were hesitant to undertake deportations, he doubts that they
actually were. He bases his skepticism on three main reasons. First, his belief that the
evacuations continued even after the Allied Powers had cleared out of the
Dardanelles; second, his contention that Muslim Turks were settled in evacuated
areas; and third, his assertion that Ottoman authorities periodically conducted secret
censuses.51
Du¨ndar never addresses the Greek deportations during World War I in the context of
Entente attacks on the Turkish Straits. Apparently, he is unaware that hostilities along
the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts did not end with the evacuation of landing troops
from the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1916. Since August 1914, allied warships had
bombarded the Dardanelles and blocked the straits. Attacks on Smyrna [Izmir] harbor
began in September, even though the Ottoman Empire still was neutral. Warships also
patrolled the shores and destroyed ships and smaller vessels.52 One aim was to weaken
Ottoman defense of the straits and adjacent regions. Following the assault on the
Dardanelles, their attacks on Smyrna and its environs increased. Smyrna, Aivadjik,
Edremit, and Aivali were among the most heavily shelled regions. The Entente attacked
residential centers, factories, and watch houses with ship and submarine artillery as well

50

51
52

Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, p. 273; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 10/25, Foreign Ministry to Ministry of Interior, July
29, 1915; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 28/20, Foreign Ministry to Ministry of Interior, August 21, 1915; BOA, DH.
S¸FR, 54-A/109, Talaat to all provinces and districts, July 16, 1915.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 236–240.
BOA, DH.EUM.5.S¸B, 1/11, Tchanakkale to Ministry of Interior, August 12, 1914; BOA, DH.EUM.5.S¸B,
1/12, Edirne to Ministry of Interior, August 13, 1914; BOA, DH.EUM.5.S¸B, 1/29, Tchanakkale to Ministry of
Interior, September 5, 1914; BOA, DH.EUM.5.S¸B, 1/43, Tchanakkale to Ministry of Interior, September 15,
1914; BOA, DH.EUM.5.S¸B, 1/58, Tchanakkale to Ministry of Interior, September 22, 1914; BOA, DH.
EUM.5.S¸B, 2/1, Tchanakkale to Ministry of Interior, September 30, 1914; BOA, DH.EUM.5.S¸B, 1/29,
Tchanakkale to Ministry of Interior, September 5, 1914; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 2/70, Rahmi Bey to Ministry
of Interior, November 16, 1914; Sabri Su¨rgevil, ‘I˙tilaf Devletlerinin I. Du¨nya Savas¸ı Bas¸larında Osmanlı
Devletine Bakıs¸ Ac ılarına I˙lis¸kin Belgeler’ C
¸ ag˘das¸ Tu¨rkiye Tarihi Aras¸tırma Dergisi 3, no 8, (1998), pp. 301–
302; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 2/45, Balikesir to Ministry of Interior, November 1, 1914; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B,
3/31, Balikesir to Ministry of Interior, January 6, 1915; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 3/7, Menteshe to Ministry of
Interior, October 26, 1914; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 2/73, Antalia to Ministry of Interior, November 17, 1914;
and BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 2/44, Commander of the Old Fotsha Port to Ministry of Navy, November 1, 1914.

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101

as from the air.53 The heavy bombardment of the Aegean and Mediterranean coast
continued in 1916.54
Greeks from islands close to the Ottoman shore, including those who had migrated from
Anatolia in 1914, attacked the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts either individually or as
organized bands. These raids at times were coordinated with Allied forces. On January 26,
1916, for instance, 500 Greeks from Kastelorizo Island raided Andikli village in Kash subdistrict. They were accompanied by about 200 French soldiers who joined in plundering
dwellings and shops. Many of these Greeks were deserters who had fled from Antalya
district. The attack was not an isolated incident. Many more occurred before the end of the
war. Du¨ndar does not address these activities.55
Du¨ndar sees the settlement of Muslim Turks in emptied Greek villages as the second
major proof that the Greek deportations qualified as ethnic engineering. According to him,
this settlement policy aimed at creating a geographic prison for Greeks. In order to evaluate
his claim, one needs to take a closer look at relevant government policies. The example of
Albanian immigrants is a good case to elucidate actual settlement projects. The Ottoman
wartime settlement efforts were a continuation of policy implemented since the Balkan
Wars. At the time, the government placed migrants arriving from the Balkans in locations
that were closest to the regions they had come from, namely, Thrace and Western Anatolia.
The decision to direct Muslim immigrants to these regions also can be explained as due to
local Ottoman Greek support for Greece during the wars. Du¨ndar observes that ‘the Turks
who were driven from Europe, the Balkans, and Crimea and who were the main element of
the empire, were settled in areas where they had a strategic importance in defending the
nation, increasing the Turkish population, and inhabiting critical areas.’56 In essence, he
claims that securing Anatolia was the main reason for settling the migrants. Yet the
government settled migrants during the Balkan Wars in Thrace and Western Anatolia in
53

54

55

56

BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 4/47, Nazım Bey to Ministry of Interior, March 5, 1915; and BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B,
4/46, Balikesir to Ministry of Interior, April 1, 1915. Balikesir reported that a cruiser had fired 157 shells on a
factory, a police station, and on other locations in Edremit causing losses. Three days later the district reported
that planes had dropped 21 bombs on Tuzla and four on Sarimsak in the Edremit region. Moreover, a warship
had destroyed a surveillance post along the coast. See BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 7/65, Balikesir district to
Ministry of Interior; and BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 7/65, Balikesir to Ministry of Interior, July 7, 1915.
The governor of Menteshe reported, for instance, that an enemy ship had bombarded and damaged or
destroyed a pier, a number of houses, a windmill, and the watch house at Bodrum in BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B,
10/72, Menteshe to Ministry of Interior, January 1, 1916; and in BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 11/16, Antalia to
Ministry of Interior, January 14, 1916, it was reported that a warship fired 30– 35 shells on farmland located
about 10 km west of Antalia; it also destroyed gasworks in a village. See also BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 12/32,
Rahmi Bey to Ministry of Interior, March 7, 1916; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B 13/75, Ministry of Post, Telegraph,
and Telephone to Ministry of Interior, May 21, 1916; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 12/13, Ministry of Interior to
Aydin province, February 29, 1916; and BOA, DH.S¸FR, 61/58, EUM to Aydin province, February 29, 1916.
BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 14/7, Report of the governor of Aydin Rahmi Bey, May 14, 1916; BOA, DH.EUM.3.
S¸B, 14/60, C¸anakkale to Ministry of Interior, July 25 –26, 1916; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 41/53, Enver Pasha to
Ministry of Interior, December 10, 1916; and BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 41/53, Menteshe to Ministry of Interior,
October 26, 1916. The district governor of Menteshe reported that a total of 23 people had been killed or
wounded in an attack on the coast of Mughla. By 1917, 30 Ottoman officials either had been captured or killed
in Kash sub-district alone; see BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 52/9, Kash sub-district governor to Ministry of Interior,
November 30, 1917; and BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 13/85, Antalia district to Ministry of Interior, February 16,
1916.
Du¨ndar, I˙ttihat ve Terakki’nin Mu¨slu¨manları I˙skaˆn Politikası (1913–1918) (Istanbul: I˙letis¸im Yayınları,
2001), p. 165.

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A. Efilog˘lu

much the same way they settled them in the same regions during World War I, at a time when
those regions were much more vulnerable to attack.
According to Du¨ndar, the Ottoman government selected Turkish immigrants for
settlement close to the coast. Immigrants of non-Turkish ethnic background, however, had
to move on to inland areas. Hence Albanians were settled in Sivas province and Bosniaks
in Angora [Ankara] province.57 He cites documents that referred to ‘Turks’ and
‘Muslims.’ Here Du¨ndar misses an important point. Nearly all of the Balkan immigrants
were Muslims or Turks. They were not exactly sifted out from the non-Muslims and nonTurks. In the document that Du¨ndar references to back his claim, the word ‘Turk’ is used
particularly in relation to people whom the government sought to settle.58 Why was ‘Turk’
used in a telegram when the terms ‘Muslim’ or’ immigrant’ were used to characterize the
people who already were Muslim and Turk in almost all of the documents concerning the
migrants?
The first reason why the government settled particularly Turkish migrants on the
Marmara coasts was that the Albanian migrants were forbidden to settle there. The
second reason were the clashes during the Balkan Wars. The central government
opposed settling Albanian and Bosniak migrants in such areas. Consequently they
decided to move them to inland Anatolia until the end of the war. During the war, the
Ottoman government was preoccupied with providing security for migrants rather than
conducting some sort of ethnic engineering. In ˙Ittihat ve Terakki’nin Mu¨slu¨manları
˙Iskan Politikası (1913 – 1918) [The Settlement Policy of the Committee of Union and
Progress toward Muslims (1913 – 1918)], Du¨ndar asserts that Constantinople, Aydin,
Adrianople, and Bursa provinces, as well as the Gallipoli, Izmit, C¸ataldja, and
C
¸ anakkale districts were designated ‘forbidden areas’ for settling Albanians. The
reason, according to Du¨ndar, was that the Albanians recently had revolted against
Ottoman rule. Thus, the Ottoman government did not want them to concentrate in a
single area but moved them further away from the Balkans. However, the CUP did not
victimize Albanian immigrants before or during World War I. The Ottoman state rather
pursued a policy that would not expose its territorial integrity to any sort of threat and
sought to settle Albanians far from the frontlines.59 Du¨ndar views the government’s
decision to send the Albanians to inland Anatolia as ethnic discrimination. To
understand, however, why the government deemed it necessary to engage in
engineering in this region it is necessary to take a look at the actions of Greeks in the
Marmara Sea region during the Balkan Wars and World War I. Moreover, one has to
consider that the Marmara Sea became a theatre of war. Therefore, it is crucial to
analyze the context in which deportations and settlement efforts took place. During the
Balkan Wars, smuggling had been widespread. Greeks living on the islands in the
Marmara Sea and along the Aegean coast had smuggled food for the Bulgarian army,
which was occupying Thrace and experienced food shortages. Thus, Greeks living
between C
¸ ekmedje and Silivri supplied the Bulgarian army with food. Lack of
Ottoman security facilitated these activities and the islands in the Marmara Seas as
well as coastal towns like Erdek, Kapidagh, and Bandirma turned into centers for
57
58
59

Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 237.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 54-A/203, I˙AMM to Bursa province, Balikesir district, July 31, 1915.
Du¨ndar, ˙Ittihat ve Terakki’nin Mu¨slu¨manları I˙skaˆn Politikası (1913–1918), pp. 109– 114.

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smuggling.60 During World War I, local Greeks along the Marmara Sea supplied
enemy submarines. The submarines tried to disrupt military supplies for Ottoman
armies operating near Gallipoli. They caused significant damage by sinking Ottoman
ships, attacking railway lines, and even were threatening shipping at Constantinople.
The submarines sank a number of ships in the Sea of Marmara, caused significant
damage along the coastline, and also posed a threat to Constantinople. Thus, at a time
when the Ottoman state was doing whatever it could to try to defend the straits, local
Greeks were supplying the enemy with food and intelligence.61 Not surprisingly, the
Ottoman government considered these activities as a threat. The settlement of Muslim
immigrants appeared to be a measure that could improve security in coastal regions. On
February 21, 1916, the Ottoman government provided the following guidance to
provincial authorities:
The immobile property belonging to the second group [of deportees] is to be
preserved and not distributed. However, it is not permissible for villages that are left
empty on the coast to be left in an abandoned state. From now on Muslim migrants
are to be settled on the Ottoman coasts since they are already concentrated there and
since it has become a political necessity to have them settled there.62
Du¨ndar claims that the Ottoman government undertook secret counts of the local
population and of property like houses and land in preparation for the planned settlement
of immigrants along the coasts of Bursa province and Balikesir district, and on the
evacuated Marmara Islands.63 He claims that all the information on population, which the
central government requested from local authorities, was for a census. Du¨ndar asserts that
such censuses were conducted on a monthly basis. These counts, however, were not a
census. They constituted rather computations of basic information on local population. But
Du¨ndar bases himself on a document that neither concerned the deportation nor the
settlement of immigrants. Instead the telegram concerns how many Greeks were sent to
certain regions by local authorities, how many migrants were helped, and how many were
in need of help. Du¨ndar wrongly claims that the document was evidence that the
government was undertaking a census to inform itself better about the ethnic composition
60

61

62

63

Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Tu¨rk I˙nkılabı Tarihi, II -II (Ankara: Tu¨rk Tarihi Kurumu Yayınları, 1991), p. 117; BOA,
DH.SYS, 112-19/34-1, Ministry of War to Ministry of Interior, December 21, 1912; BOA, DH.SYS, 11219/34-6, Nevshehir Battleship, December 31, 1912; and BOA, DH.SYS, 112-19/32-1, Ministry of War to
Ministry of Interior, January 12, 1913.
Mustafa Selc uk, Hedef S¸ehir I˙stanbul, C¸anakkale Gec ildi mi? (Istanbul: Emre Yayınları, 2005), pp. 110– 113;
BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 10/30, Constantinople to Ministry of Interior, December 5, 1915; BOA, DH.EUM. 3.
S¸B, 10/47, Constantinople to Ministry of Interior, December 12, 1915. Mehmet Ali Ayni, Ulusc uluk
(Milliyetc ilik) (Istanbul: Pera Yayınları, 1997), pp. 305; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 15/6, Ministry of Interior to
Ministry of War, August 24, 1916; BOA, DHS¸FR, 54-A/34, Directorate of General Security to Bursa province,
July 18, 1915; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 12/66, Chiefs of Staff to Ministry of Interior, December 27, 1915; and
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 61-2/193, Ministry of Interior to Balikesir district, March 6, 1916.
BOA, DH.HMS¸, 12/82, Ordinance and Appendix regarding the Preservation and Administration of Greek
Abandoned Properties, February 21, 1916. In February 1916, Trebizond province reported that 80,000
refugees had been placed in abandoned Greek houses, in BOA, DH.EUM.VRK, 16/34, Trebizond province to
Ministry of Interior, Trebizond; for more information see, Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, p. 315.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 237.

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A. Efilog˘lu

of the population. The document does not confirm that the government deliberately sought
to cleanse the area of Greeks, but rather appears to state that it actually was trying to assist
them.64
Du¨ndar also cites documents that are unrelated to deportations or resettlement. For
instance, he presents documents as evidence that the local government was undertaking a
population count in Afion district. But no evacuations or settlement of immigrants took
place in the area. Moreover, that district is far from the Aegean coast. Furthermore, the
documents did not concern Afion district but rather the C¸anakkale district. It appears that
Du¨ndar is unfamiliar with his own references.65

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Deportation of the Greeks on the Black Sea and Places of Deportation
The author’s analysis of Greek deportations from the Black Sea coast is highly
problematic. Du¨ndar writes: ‘The CUP had a clear plan to cleanse Thrace and the coasts.
In May 1916, they started to cleanse the Black Sea region and commenced deportations of
people on the Black Sea shores. However, because of the negative reverberation that this
caused in Greece, Talaat Bey had these deportations stopped.’ He adds: ‘the main
deportations in the Black Sea region started after Greece entered WWI.’66 This, however,
is incorrect. These deportations began on March 9, 1916, in Kerrasund and not at
Trebizond or Samsun. At the time, the Russian army had advanced on the Ottoman Black
Sea port of Rize. Perhaps not surprisingly, the first deportees were supporters of the
Russians who had hid deserters from the army or draft dodgers. Some of them had been
involved in forming armed gangs.67
Du¨ndar’s statement on repercussions in Greece and their impact on the CUP lacks
adequate documentation. While it is true that the CUP closely followed political
developments in Greece, his sources do not concern debates in the Greek National
Assembly or Greek diplomatic representations. Moreover, these documents date from
November 1915. In other words, they precede the deportations by about five months.68
There is also no indication that Talaat Bey stopped the deportations shortly after their start.
On the contrary, Talaat Bey believed that Greeks had to leave certain areas for military
reasons. Thus, evacuations continued until mid-July 1916.69
64

65

66
67
68

69

BOA, DH.S¸FR, 55/215, Talaat to Bursa province and Ismid, Balikesir districts, August 25, 1915. Du¨ndar,
Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 237.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 66/158, Ministry of Interior to Tchanakkale district, General no. 7716, Special no. 20, August
6, 1916; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 66/161, Ministry of Interior to Tchanakkale district, General no. 7736, Special no. 21,
August 7, 1916.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, pp. 238–239, 241–242.
BOA, DH.KMS, 43/45, Djemal Azmi Bey to Ministry of Interior, March 14, 1916.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 249, note 247; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 57/366, Ministry of Interior to all
provinces and districts, November 9, 1915, No. 6312. One document reads: ‘[it is desired that] the claims
published in Greece newspapers that armed Muslim bands in Nighde, Nevshehir, and Cesarea [region] have
attacked Greek villages and killed some Greeks be investigated;’ See BOA, DH.S¸FR, 58/90, Ministry of
Interior to Cesarea and Nighde districts, November 22, 1915.
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 64/260, Talaat to the Trebizond province, June 8, 1916; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 65/121, Talaat to
Trebizond province, June 29, 1916; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 65/126, Talaat to Sivas province, June 29, 1916; BOA,
DH.S¸FR, 65/136, Talaat to Kastamonu province, July 1, 1916; BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 17/52, Talaat to
Kastamonu province, August 15, 1916; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 65/166, Talaat to Sivas province, July 8, 1916.

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Fuat Du¨ndar and the Deportation of the Greeks

105

Du¨ndar links the Black Sea evacuations to Greece entering the war. Thus, he ignores
Russia’s pivotal role in the region. He only mentions Russia once in the case of some
Greeks seeking refuge there before and during the war. Du¨ndar leaves out that Russian
troops advanced along the Black Sea and occupied Trebizond and other places. Du¨ndar
does not mention that the Russian navy blocked and bombarded almost the entire Ottoman
Black Sea coastline. It also armed local Greeks who tried to assist the Russian army in its
westward advance. In other words, Du¨ndar excludes the war in the Black Sea region in
order to link the evacuation of local Greeks exclusively to Greece’s entry in the war. The
Ottoman archives contain abundant material on these aspects, yet Du¨ndar chose to ignore
them.70 His statements on the destinations for deported Black Sea Greeks are imprecise.
He claims that they were deported to Sivas, Angora, Kastamonu, Tchorum, Tchankiri,
Afion, Konia, and Kutahia.71 But this is wrong. Instead, his references show that local
Greeks were not deported to places far from the Black Sea coast. Greeks sent to the abovementioned inland cities were not registered local residents but had come to the Black Sea
region from Western Anatolia.72 However, these documents do not specify to where the
Greeks are being sent.
Conclusion
Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi looks at the cases of deportation and resettlement between
1913 and 1918 and argues that these serve as evidence that the CUP was undertaking a
policy of Turkification. However, the questions that we have raised in relation to the
book’s argument about the deportation and settlement of the Greeks cast doubt on the
quality of Du¨ndar’s analysis.73 He claims Ottoman documents support the CUP’s
deportation and settlement policy. However, by analyzing only one part of his book, I
found a number of serious problems in the way he has used the documents. Du¨ndar has
replied to one critique of his work,74 claiming that it does not undermine his main
thesis.75 However, even if he believes the validity of his own thesis, it does not make it
right. In both his replies to critiques and critiques that he has made of others, Du¨ndar
believes this all to be a matter of scholastic historiography.76 He especially blames
scholarly works in Turkey for not using rigorous methodology, lacking objectivity, and
70

71

72
73

74

75

76

¨ zel, Milli Mu¨cadelede Trabzon (Ankara: Tu¨rk Tarihi
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 239; Sabahattin O
Kurumu Yayınları, 1991), pp. 6; and Efilog˘lu, Osmanlı Rumları, pp. 288 –297.
Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 242; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 75/113, IAMM to Afion district, April 12, 1917;
BOA, DH.S¸FR, 75/114, IAMM to Konya province, April 12, 1917; BOA, DH.S¸FR, 75/120, IAMM to
Eskishehir district, April 12, 1917. Du¨ndar incorrectly attributes the last telegram to Kutahya district; the
number of Greeks mentioned in the telegram was 1,000, not 1,500.
BOA, DH.EUM.3.S¸B, 7/3, IAMM to Ministry of Interior, July 13, 1915, No. 261.
I look at just how problematic Du¨ndar’s argument is in relation to the migrations of Greeks to Greece after the
Balkan Wars in Ahmet Efilog˘lu, ‘Fuat Du¨ndar’ın Osmanlı Belgelerinde Kaybolan Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin
S¸ifresi,’ Belleten, 270 (August, 2010), pp. 531 –570.
Ayhan Aktar, Abdu¨lhamit Kırmızı, ‘‘Bon pour l’Orient:’ Fuat Du¨ndar’ın Kitabını de S¸ifre Ederken . . . ,’ Tarih
ve Toplum Yeni Yaklas¸ımlar 8 (Spring, 2009), pp. 157 –186.
¨ lcu¨yu¨ Tutturma Sorunu,’ Tarih ve
Fuat Du¨ndar, ‘Aktar ve Kırmızı’nın les¸tirisi Vesilesiyle: Algılama ve O
Toplum Yeni Yaklas¸ımlar 9 (Fall, 2009), pp. 227–246.
Du¨ndar, ‘Taner Akc am’ın Son Kitabı Vesilesiyle %10 Katliam Sorunu ‘Ermeni Meselesi Hallolunmus¸’
mudur?’ Toplumsal Tarih, 174, June 2008; Du¨ndar, ‘Hacısalihog˘lu’na Cevap I˙TC Do¨neminde Nu¨fus
Cetvellerinde Etnik Kimlikler,’ Toplumsal Tarihi, 185, May 2009, p. 185.

106

A. Efilog˘lu

copying each other.77 Yet he himself appears not to care to be rigorous or to present any
sort of scientific historiography. It is not possible to explain his book as a scientific
analysis given its problems.

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77

Du¨ndar, Modern Tu¨rkiye’nin S¸ifresi, p. 39.

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