AMERICAN ACCOUNTS DOCUMENTING THE DESTRUCTION OF SMYRNA
by the Kemalist Turkish Forces, September 1922
In September, 1922, the thriving, cosmopolitan city of Smyrna was captured and put to the torch by Turkish forces, led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This was the culmination of a war that resulted in the transformation of the Ottoman Empire into the modern Turkish state. The destruction of the middle class Greek and Armenian quarters of the city, and the slaughter or expulsion of its inhabitants, represented the final seal of Turkish dominion. The "Progressive" Kemalist secular state-building ideology in part was the child of Bolshevik, proto-fascist and radicalist influences. It assumed that the construction of modern Turkish identity required religious, ethnic and even "racial" uniformity. For this reason genocide and the expulsion of heterogeneous, especially middle class and Christian groups was an integral element and underlying principle of the Turkish modernization reform process.
The governments that succeeded that of Ataturk, including the present secular "democracy," continued to subscribe to this principle (witness the effort to crush Kurdish identity over the last two decades). However, the exigencies of dealing with western liberal democracies required that another reality be superimposed: Turkish regimes hence founded an entire industry to deny the genocides of the Armenians, of the Pontians and other Greeks, even that of smaller religious or ethnic groups such as the Arab Nestorian Christians. The destruction and burning of Smyrna became one of the first projects of systematic denial by Turkish governments. The evidence in this book includes official U.S. State Department documents, press and other eye witness accounts that testify regarding the details of ethnic persecution. The reality they project must be contraposed to that promoted by the present Turkish regime and its mercenary propagandists in Washington and elsewhere.
The Great Fire | Smyrna September 1922
Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City
La Mort de Smyrne (The Death of Smyrna), René Puaux
16 Sep 1922: Turks Killed 120,000, East Oregonian
15 Sep 1922: Turks Kill Women and Babes, The Evening Star
18 Sep 1922: Smyrna Ablaze. Stories of Massacre