Evgenia Kostis Fourmouzis (c. 1940).

Evgenia Kostis Fourmouzis was born in 1890 in Milio (today Güzelköy) in the Ganohora region of Eastern Thrace (today Turkey). She was one of 8 children. The following testimony was submitted by her great-granddaughter via our online questionnaire.   

1. From which region of the Ottoman Empire were your ancestors from?:
    My great-grandmother was from Milio (today Güzelköy), Eastern Thrace.

2. How did their life change when the Neo-Turks and/or the Kemalists came to power? :
    They were forced out of their villages. My great-grandmother was taken to a concentration camp and tattooed with a prison number on her arm. The tattoo, as my mother recalls was about 5 or 6 numbers on her right forearm above the wrist. She doesn’t remember the number and my great-grandmother was ashamed of it so she mostly covered it up with long sleeves.

3. Were they deported during the genocide? If so, when, where to, and describe their experience:
    Yes. They were deported some time between 1912 (after the earthquake) and 1915. Around this time my great-grandmother and her older sister found themselves on a ship heading to Pireaus, Greece. However they first went to Nea Poteidaia near Thessaloniki and later to Filippoi. They left for North America in December of 1915 and arrived at Ellis Island on January 16, 1916. Then they went on to Canada and settled in London, Ontario with their brother who had immigrated years before.

Marriage photo of Evgenia Kostis Fourmouzis and Pericles Haralambopoulos. Marriage date: March 7, 1918. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

4. Were they held in a concentration camp or labor camp? If so, where was it located and describe the conditions :
    Yes. My great-grandmother was taken by the Turks and held as a prisoner in a camp. I don’t know where she was kept or how she came to reunite with her family.

5. Did they lose family and friends? If so, how did they cope?:
    I'm not sure.

6. Did anyone within Turkey including Turks try to help them during the genocide? :
    I don't know.

7. How did they cope emotionally with their genocide experience? Did it affect the remainder of their life? :
    My great-grandmother would not talk about it. She only said that she was taken by the Turks and held as a prisoner in a camp.

8. Did the denial of the genocide by the perpetrator (the successor state of Turkey) affect their ability to form closure?:
    I'm not sure.

9. How did they feel about Turkey after the genocide? :
    I'm not sure.

 

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