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The 1923 Population Exchange, Refugees and National Historiographies in Greece and Turkey.

by Onur Yildirim

When historical significance is attached to an occurrence independent of the event, the facts of the case cease to matter. And where subsequent accounts are parasitic on a prior memory, documentation seems almost unnecessary (Amin 10).

Introduction After nearly two and a half months of tortuous negotiations, Turks and Greeks concluded on January 30, 1923, the first phase of peace conference at Lausanne by signing the Convention concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish nationals in Greece and Turkey. The signing of the Exchange Convention marked a turning point in the history of these countries by causing a major transformation in their population and landscape. Nearly one year after the conclusion of the Lausanne Conference, approximately 700,000 people were removed by virtue of the Exchange Convention from their native soil and made refugees and this agreement also confirmed the refugee status of an additional more than one million people displaced since the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. For Greece and Turkey, the decade of 1923-1933 was a period of national reconstruction at the center of which stood thousands of homeless, jobless and hungry refugees. The latter posed a multi-faceted national challenge, called the refugee problem, never absent from the agendas of parliamentary sessions and general public opinion in both countries. Of all these challenges the most conspicuous was the integration of the refugees with the existing national fabric which involved, among other things, the reading into respective national narratives, of the events of the past decade, more particularly the Turco-Greek War of 1919-1922 and the resulting exchange of populations, which led to the transformation of their status from minority into refugee. Thus the 1920s saw the precipitation of efforts on the part of the political leadership in both Greece and Turkey to construct or reconstruct national narratives with a view to remolding these events into the collective memory of their respective societies. Whether or not these efforts would cultivate a sense of belonging among the refugees and help their integration with the existing national fabric remained to be seen. Written from the vantage point of the nationalistic ideological concerns of the ruling elite, the official histories in Greece and Turkey appropriated the historical setting of the Exchange from the very beginning and molded along the way the local ramifications of the Lausanne Treaty as a whole into the master narratives of their respective nations. Whereas Greek official historiography looked upon the events which led to and were associated with Lausanne as a collective tragedy and sanctioned them under the rubric of the Asia Minor Catastrophe, Turkish scholarship viewed these events as a triumphant recreation and epitomized them as the National War of Independence. These two attitudes engendered, in turn, two discernible and diametrically opposed patterns in the representation of the Exchange, pointing at best to the use of history as an instrument of manipulating collective memory.

Accordingly, the episode of nearly two million people, who were subjected to the provisions of the Exchange Convention, was either remembered or forgotten in a manner pertinent to the ideological goals of the political leadership. Whereas Greek historians from the very outset remembered the Exchange as a turning point in the consolidation of the country's ethnic and national homogeneity, their Turkish counterparts, carried away by the foundation of the new state, tended to forget by treating it as hardly more than a footnote--despite its immediately visible effects on the social, economic, and political conditions of the country--in the master narrative of the Turkish nationalist struggle and the quest for statehood. Therefore, it was not necessarily the relative impact, whether quantitative or qualitative, of the Exchange upon the countries concerned, though it might have been, but rather the relative specificities and historical contingencies of the political discourse that conditioned the representation of this topic in Greek and Turkish mainstream historiographies. The present article attempts to map out some of these specificities and contingencies as they evolved from the signing of the peace treaty at Lausanne to the present.

Greek National Historiography


In Greek national historiography, the Turco-Greek Population Exchange stands out as the symbol of a national failure, namely the Asia Minor Disaster ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), which, according to some scholars, "ranks in historical importance with the fall of Constantinople in 1453" (Sbarounis 7) and to some others "ranks among national disasters second only to the Civil War of 1946-9" (Koliopoulos and Veremis 130). The Disaster, having derailed the entire course of Greek history and therefore closely linked with the fate of Hellenism, secured itself from inception a distinguished, if not autonomous, place in the early historiography of modern Greece. The historiographical conventional wisdom, which, according to Alexander Kitroeff, was hardly affected by "the collapse of Greek irredentism with Greece's military defeat in Asia Minor in 1922," (Kitroeff 143-144) had no trouble in claiming the ensuing trauma as one of its own. As Benedict Anderson reminds us, "the deaths that structure the nation's biography are of a special kind," and "... to serve the narrative purpose, they must be remembered/forgotten (my italics) as 'our own'" (Anderson 205-206). In this very goal, the historical narrative left little to be accomplished by the monument of "unknown-soldier" (LeGoff 89). Insofar as the survivors of the disaster are concerned, the British historian Douglas Dakin, writing in the late 1960s, became the mouthpiece of the then prevalent rhetoric (Dakin 268), But Greece, as on all occasions, bore her cross bravely. She gathered in her children, not by conquering the soil on which they had laboured for centuries, but by receiving them--a million or more--within the existing Greek homeland. No nation has achieved so much as Greece on this occasion. Enmeshed in the traditional rhetoric of historical Hellenism, many politicians and historians set out to read these traumatic events into the existing biography of the Greek nation in the wake of the Exchange. As the visible testimony to these developments, the incoming refugees provided politicians and historians alike with "a forceful tool with which to decry the persecutions of Greeks in general" (Karakasidou 147). (1) This attitude was hardly a reflection of the public opinion concerning the refugees since the latter were not welcome unequivocally by the native populations. To the contrary, the specificities and contingencies of the national discourse on the

refugees were determined from the very beginning by the polarized structure of the Greek politics; the Venizelists on the one side and the Antivenizelists on the other ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]/ National Schism) (Mavrogordatos 1996; Mihalopoulos). (2) The refugees who harbored the bitter memories of forced expulsion from their native soil, a development that they associated with the Antivenizelist government then in power, ranked almost solidly with the Venizelist camp (Mavrogordatos 1983). (3) As Mavrogordatos argues, "the individious distinction between refugees and natives [rooted in ethnicity rather than class] provided the basis for the most salient cleavage in inter-war Greek society, which truly dominated the politics of the period" (Mavrogordatos 1983, 182). Correspondingly, the politicians on the Venizelist (Liberal) side of the ballot declared the ensuing refugee problem to be not simply "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (a National Question) but "to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (the most National of the Questions) (Tounta-Fergadi). (4) On the opposite side, the tendency on the part of the Antivenizelists to view the incoming refugees as the harbinger of disruption in the Greek national unity stemmed from the hostile attitude of the native populations towards the refugees. Thus, a prominent spokesman of the Antivenizelist camp, namely G. Vlachos, publicly attacked the refugees "as a captive electorate which, brought through its numbers and through fraudulent means (gerrymandering, multiple registration and voting, etc.), had deprived the native majority of its legitimate political power and has made Venizelist usurpation possible" (Quoted by Mavrogordatos 1983, 204). In the political arena, the first decade of refugee presence in Greece was characterized by an intensive debate between the Venizelists and the Antivenizelists over the participation of the refugees in the Greek political life. As the results of several nation-wide elections (1923, 1926 and 1928) had shown, this debate was resolved, at least for the time period concerned, in favor of the former. The ways in which the refugees were represented in the historical writings reflected for the most part the political climate of the country at the time. Thus, it was not the anti-refugee overtone of the Royalist political discourse but the conciliatory rhetoric of the Liberals that became more popularly represented. Many scholars, known for their affinity towards Venizelism, anonymously embraced the refugees as the victims of "the triumph of the brutal force over the Law" (Kiosseoglou 201) and set out to recast them as the proper subject of political life. In this respect, a body of scholarship quickly flourished with a view to removing the historical basis of the ever-growing cleavage--pondered by the Antivenizelists--between the natives and the refugees by molding the latter into the theoretical framework of the historical continuity of Hellenism (Kitroeff, Herzfeld). (5) Needless to say, this emergent scholarly attitude tended to speak not so much of the actual manifestations of the refugee plight per se but of the broad national ideological aspects of the refugee presence in the country. To this effect, many scholars, playing upon certitude of facts and making a cascading set of selections, embarked on the construction of a pervasive Greek national ideology in order to accommodate the newly introduced elements of particularity and difference, represented by the refugees, in the national fabric. This was in tandem with the attempts of the Greek politicians who were trying to divert the attention away from the rationalizations for the two pillars of the Greek nationalist ideology, namely Megali Idea, to the consolidation of the country's territorial integrity and the fulfillment of the internal goals that had been largely neglected during the previous

decade. Scholars, be they historians or non-historians, adopted an utterly nationalistic discourse to legitimate the ideological goals of the ruling elite, among which the national and social homogeneity of the country was deemed to have primary importance. Thus, what Eftihia Voutira terms the exilic bias (Voutira), combined with anti-Turkish sentiment and a sense of deception by the West, came to dominate the approach of Greek scholars to the events of the recent past. To this end, the negation of the Ottoman/Turkish past and the condemnation of foreign interference in Greek affairs were fused to constitute the historical parameters, whereby many scholars and politicians set out to proclaim the cohesiveness of the Greek nation in which the incoming refugees were accorded a place. Not surprisingly, many of the studies on the Exchange and the refugee problem were produced by individuals, who were closely affiliated with the Greek state. Some of these people were clearly of refugee background while some others were active members of Venizelist governments. The affiliations of a list of individuals illustrate this point. For instance, Emmanuel Tsouderos, who produced the most comprehensive account on the refugee loan program of the Greek government, was the Governor of the Central Bank of Greece, while C. G. Tenekides, who authored the first study in a foreign language (in French) on the Exchange of Populations, was the legal advisor to the diplomatic team of Venizelos at Lausanne. Andreas Andreades, who wrote extensively on the social and economic effects of the WWI and the Turco-Greek War on Greece, was the Greek representative sent to Geneva to negotiate with the League of Nations over the refugee loan. Apostolos Doxiades, who wrote the pamphlet "Ca Question des Refugies en Grece" was the Minister of Social Health in the first Venizelos government. Th. P. Kiosseoglou, who authored one of the classic works on the Exchange, was the cousin of the Constantinopolitan businessman Alexandre Ch. Kiosseoglou, who was evicted from the City and his properties were confiscated by the Turkish authorities during the Exchange. Athanasios B. Protonotarios was serving the Greek state as an inspector of the Exchange when he published his book. A. Bakalbashis who dealt with the refugee problems during the period 1914-1922 was a deputy and also acted as minister in the government of Papanastasiou (1924). Mihail Notara was the head of a department in the Greek Agricultural Bank. A. I. Aigidis was a member of one of the sub-commissions of the Mixed Commission in Kozani. Stelio Seferiades, who was a professor of international law in the Faculty of Law in the University of Athens, had been working closely with various governments on minority issues since the early months of 1922. And lastly George Streit, who was to take part in the Mixed Commission, had been involved in the relief of refugees from the last phases of the Turco-Greek war. Various publications produced by these individuals during the 1920s and early 1930s on the Exchange and the ensuing developments, namely the resettlement and assistance policies of the Greek state sought to illustrate, often through selective quotation, the quality of Greek statecraft in absorbing over a million displaced individuals as well as the contributions of the latter to the economic and cultural development of Greece (Seferiades, Devedji, Kiossdoglou, Tenekides, Gounaraki, Protonotariou). In this picture, refugees were portrayed merely as figures defined in their relation to specific essential tasks of the Greek state such as security, stability, and welfare. Some scholars, looking at the economic aspects of the subject, produced more scholarly evocations of the same themes (Notara, Petsali, Tsouderos, Andreades). By and large, the immediate shock of the defeat and the Exchange, thus

the refugee presence, was accommodated rather successfully by the political and intellectual discourse, largely of Venizelist orientation, over national unity within the first decade of the Exchange. From the early 1920s on, another strand of scholarship along nationalist lines developed among the refugees themselves who tried to highlight their contributions to the economic and cultural development of Greece. During the first decade of their arrival, the refugees were conscious of their arbiter role in the Greek electoral process and produced many political writings to enhance their participation in the political system. In one of the refugee papers of the period, it was stated that "it is an incontestable fact that the refugee factor will play a significant role in the political life of the country. Nor can it be disputed that the refugee world is the one, which for a series of decades will give by its compact bloc the final victory to one or the other side of various political battles" (Pentzopoulos 169; Mavrogordatos 1983, 184). As was anticipated by this statement, the refugees who voted heavily for the abolition of Monarchy in the 1924 referendum (Clogg 108), also played a crucial role in the triumph of Venizelos in the national elections of 1926 and 1928. It was only during the early 1930s that the support of refugees for the Liberal Party declined due primarily to the rapprochement of Venizelos with Turkey. In the Ankara Agreement of 1930, Venizelos agreed to a document that ended the hopes of refugees to receive compensation from the Turkish government for their properties in Turkey. This agreement alienated the refugees not only from Venizelism but also from the political system. Thenceforward, the refugees increasingly gave their support to the Communist Party or turned their attention to less political issues. In the 1931 byelections in Salonica, where the refugees constituted nearly half of the population, only 38 per cent of the voters voted (compared to 69 per cent three years earlier) for the candidate of the Liberal Party while the Communists doubled their votes (Koliopoulos and Veremis, 133). In the national elections of 1932, the Communists almost tripled their votes in certain refugee dominated locations such as Mytilene (Mazower 1992, 122). The change in the political orientation of the refugees was also reflected in their intellectual pursuits which clearly saw an outburst in the early 1930s. In their endeavors, the refugees tried to mark their stories for life, to the purpose of which they "made every effort to record and preserve their precious local heritage for posterity" (Herzfeld 140). Accordingly, they nostalgically pondered on the folkloric aspects of the past in order to keep the historical memory alive. In a short period of time, a sizable literature of local historical and ethnographic studies on the Greek presence in Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, and the coasts of the Black Sea came into being. This trend has since then remained unchanged. A bibliographical survey conducted in 1981 contains the titles of some 45 journals specializing in Asia Minor and other centers of Hellenism and nearly 2258 entries of books and articles on related topics for the 1919-1978 period (Hatzimoises). In addition to the two strands of scholarship recounted above, there was another scholarly tradition developed during the 1920s, which concerned itself with the Exchange and the refugees. This one, with its politically and methodologically distinct features, emerged and grew within the womb of the Greek Communist Party.

Prior to the Lausanne Conference, the Greek socialists, who first organized around the Socialist Labor Party ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 1918) and then the Communist Party ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], KKE, 1920), had publicly denounced the involvement of Greece with the imperialist projects of the West and had mobilized their followers against the Asia Minor Campaign. Having characterized this project as a bourgeois venture, they viewed the Greek presence in Asia Minor with concern, as did the Bolsheviks, and set out to conduct anti-war propaganda in Greece and at the front. The war-time activities of the Greek Communist Party, certain leading members (e. g. Serafim Maksimos and Nikos Zaharyadis) of which were of Asia Minor origin, have already been covered by various publications (Carabott, Zapantis) and its role in the Asia Minor Disaster as a source of demoralization and defeatism amongst the Greek soldiers still constitutes a subject of controversy among Greek scholars. What is of immediate relevance to the purpose of the current discussion is that prior to the Lausanne Conference, the Greek scholars, associated closely with the Communist Party, became a mouthpiece of the views of the Comintern (the Communist International) on the Western imperialist designs pursued in the region (Clogg 106). Once the peace settlement was signed at Lausanne, Greek Communists set out to conduct their propaganda efforts among the incoming refugees with a view to showing that the ordeal of Exchange was inflicted upon them as the outcome of imperialist projects pursued by Western imperialists in cooperation with their indigenous allies, namely the local bourgeoisie. And the latter were responsible for most of the predicaments which ensued during and alter the implementation of the Exchange Convention. These propaganda efforts bore their early fruits in sporadic social movements among the agricultural workers, largely of refugee background, who were settled primarily in the rural sections of Northern Greece. But as Angelos Elefantis points out, the Communists failed to attract a larger group of adherents, especially among the refugees, to their cause at the beginning due largely to the internal dissension within the Party (Elefantis 55). On the other hand, as a distinguished student of the period points out, "Venizelos' enormous popularity left no room for a moderate socialist alternative" to develop (Mazower 1992, 122). Even then, the K.K.E. took advantage of the political vacuum and continued to present a major source of challenge to the Liberal and Populist parties alike. It eventually entered the Parliament in the national elections of 1926, which were held under a proportional system of representation. The growing leverage of the Communists in the Greek political life brought with it an influential inter-war Marxist historiography. With their emphasis on social issues, Marxist scholars such as Thomas Apostolides, E. Stavrides and more notably Yannis Gordatos, all of whom were formally affiliated with K.K.E.'s administration, wrote extensively on the social and economic conditions of the country during the 1920s. Their efforts to "tear [the refugees] away from Bourgeois influence," represented chiefly by Venizelism and Liberal Party in the political arena, found their expression in their scholarly pursuits (Mavrogordatos 218). These scholars from the beginning focused on the social, economic and political developments of the recent past with a view to highlighting the wrong-doings of the Greek governments and pinpointing the deficiencies of the nationalistic-minded historiography in its approach to national development. Although the critical stance of these scholars has not directly affected the study of the Greco-Turkish Population Exchange, it has benefited the Greek historiography by demonstrating that the study of the foundation of the country requires a more pervasive coverage of the social and economic developments and

actors. Moreover, they showed that the social and national homogeneity, which has been the principal driving force behind the accounts of nationalistic-minded historians, is not only couched in the vaguest and most general terms but also rests upon the flimsiest basis in fact. The triumph of the Metaxas regime in the mid-1930s dealt a significant blow to the Communists. With anti-Communism as one of its principal tenets the dictatorial rule of Metaxas outlawed communist activities and purged Marxist intellectuals from the academic establishment, two developments that combined to enhance the position of the nationalistic-minded historians in the realm of Greek historiography. For nearly four decades, the Marxist scholarship remained away from the Greek academic establishment. It was only after 1974, when the military dictatorship collapsed, democracy was reinstated and all the political parties, including the Communists, were legalized that many Marxist scholars returned home from exile and gained access to the academic establishment (Kitroeff 146). But, as in many other developing countries of the world, the research efforts of these scholars focused largely on the broader questions of capitalist development and underdevelopment. To find the answers for these questions, most of the Marxist scholars turned their attention to the events of the remote past instead of historical developments of the contemporary period. Unlike the period from the early 1920s to the mid-1930s when the Exchange and the refugees occupied the commanding heights of the Greek scholarly agenda, the period from the mid-1930s to the early 1970s saw no systematic attempt to study these topics. Very few studies that appeared during the 1960s kept the subject in the scholarly agenda (Pentzopoulos, Zampata). However, Turkish military intervention in Cyprus in the summer of 1974, causing yet another refugee crisis between Greece and Turkey (Loizos 1981), acted as a catalyst for the proliferation of academic and popular studies (sometimes through the reprint of early studies) on these topics along most fervent nationalistic lines (Tsouloufi, Lampsidi, Svolopoulou). The traditional double-edged tendency to fit the Exchange within the neatly woven pattern of nationalist narrative became once again a common feature of Greek historical writings and dominated the studies of various Greek scholars, established in Greece or living in the Diaspora. Their indispensable contributions into the documentation and reconstruction of the Exchange for Greece notwithstanding, these standard accounts have not only rendered the Turkish side of the story nearly obsolete but have also reduced the whole discussion in an utterly nationalistic discourse to a one-sided appraisal for Greece. Moreover, these studies tended to overlook on the whole the problems of the refugees with the native populations and operated through the assumption that since the incoming refugees were ethnically of a common origin, they were quickly accommodated into the existing social and national framework. Several studies fulfilled the same task from the refugees' point of view (Pelagides, 1994; Pelagides 1997). Nearly eighty years after the Exchange, this traditional tendency among many historians, especially within the Greek academic establishment, continues to characterize the study of the Exchange and the refugees. The deficiencies in the traditional interpretations of the Exchange mentioned above have provided the departure point for the recent approaches to the subject. On the Greek side of the event, scholars coming from the disciplines of authropology and sociology produced, on the basis of oral history material, pioneering studies regarding

the cultural, social and economic aspects of the Exchange. Under the leadership of such prominent figures as Michael Herzfeld (1985, 1991a, 1991b), Renee Hirschon (1992), Maria Vergeti (1992) and more recently Anastasia Karakasidou (1997), the anthropological approach to the relations between the refugees and Greek nationalism has modified quite a few of the widely-held opinions on the subject and brought attention to the voice of refugees (Loizos 1999; Voutira). These studies have unpinned the multiple ramifications of the refugee identity and demonstrated that the Greek nationalist ideology has played from the beginning a vital role in the suppression of the distinct identity represented by these people. In the same critical tradition, a few political scientists and economic historians have concerned themselves respectively with the participation of the refugees in mass politics and their integration with the economic life (Mavrogordatos 1983; Mazower 1991; Mazower 1992; Kostis). They tracked the impediments experienced by the refugees in political and economic realms and their continued grievances of social and economic nature with the native populations during the first years of arrival. These studies have been particularly critical in order to debunk a set of scholarly attitudes such as the "twin myths of ethnic and national homogeneity" that had been promoted through the combined efforts of politicians and scholars during the post-Lausanne era with a view to demoting the effects of the military defeat in Asia Minor. Suffice it to say that where the study of the Exchange and the accompanying developments are concerned, the traditional tendency among historians, especially within the Greek academic establishment, to fit the event within the neatly woven pattern of nationalist narrative remains for the most part unchanged. In this regard, scholars, especially professional historians, writing on the subject, continue to practice their craft by taking the information in the existing sources for granted and persistently using them to catalog the horrors and sufferings of the past within an utterly nationalist framework. Still today, this traditional tendency continues to dominate the orientation of the mainstream historiography on the history of the Exchange and refugees in Greece.

Turkish National Historiography


In Turkey, the nationalists, who emerged triumphant from the struggle for independence, adopted a tendency opposite to that of their Greek counterparts and subdued specific occurrences such as the Exchange to the success story of the War of Independence and the making of the Turkish nation-state. The emergent attitude in the Turkish nationalist historiography tended to portray the Turco-Greek War as an event that marked the unification and independence of the Turkish nation while viewing all the rest as trivia. But even the trivia is inseparable from the success story and thus should be molded, preserved, and defended. Thus, during the formative phase of Turkish national history, the Turco-Greek Population Exchange among many other topics of the period was suppressed under the shade of the preordained literature of "the Turkish Revolution" and eventually denied a place in the historical narrative of the nation. Thus, it can be argued that inasmuch as Greek historiography embraced "remembrance" as the essence of its pursuit, Turkish mainstream historiography adopted "forgetting" as the guiding line in tailoring a brand new history for the Turkish nation. In terms of its ultimate goal, however, in close semblance to its counterpart, it tried to foster the myth of a unified nation. To this effect, it labored vigorously to cut its ties with the imperial past characterized by the reconciliation of

ethnic and confessional differences and acculturate various ethnic groups (Tatars, Circassians, Lazes etc.) into a single Turkish nation. Inevitably, this period within Turkish history has from the very beginning fared embarrassingly poorly at the hands of professional historians and politicians. Where the approach of the early Turkish scholars to the Exchange is concerned, let alone the social and economic ramifications of this event on the country, some scholars even got the date wrong, and there has been some understandable confusion about the exact number of people involved in the Exchange. A cursory overview of the literature in the 1930s reveals that the subject was treated on the whole with passing notes or overt generalizations. In a very rare remark on the subject, one of the prominent scholars of the early Republic evaluated the economic impact of the Exchange simply by stating that "We benefited a great deal from the Exchange. Greeks perhaps gained more benefits. So the Exchange was to the benefit of both sides" (Saylavi 34). Such indifferent attitude prevailed in the work of the eminent Ottomanist, the late Omer Lutfi Barkan, who drew attention to the importance of the adoption of a comprehensive policy of immigration and resettlement in Turkey in an article published in 1949, but refrained from a critical examination of the TurcoGreek Exchange as an appropriate example to articulate his point (Barkan). On the other hand, apart from several leading communists such as Sefik Husnu in the early 1920s, Turkish Marxist intellectuals, unlike their Greek counterparts, waited for another fifty years to develop interest in the broad social and economic questions of the period concerned (Sefik Husnu, Tungay, Keyder 1982; Keyder 1989). In the aftermath of the military intervention of 27 May in 1960, which overthrew the conservative rule of the Democrat Party and established a more progressive government instead, there was an upsurge of popular Marxist historiography. But, influenced by the more general questions of capitalist development and modes of production (e.g. feudalism, Asiatic Mode of Production, etc.), Marxist scholars turned their attention to the distant past in order to trace the anomalies of the Turkish historical development. At their best, these scholars viewed the Turkish war for independence as a popular revolt led by the indigenous bourgeoisie against Western imperialism, and thereby brought the social dynamics of the phenomenon to the foreground. But none of these scholars attempted to question the social formation of the new state, nor did they examine the impact of the demographic developments owl the social fabric of the new Republic. Consequently, the occurrences of the recent past, such as the Exchange, remained marginal as a subject of scholarly interest not only in the agenda of Turkish official historiography but also in the context of a scholarly tradition with an alternative ideological orientation. By the same token, some other historians, who were known for their liberal views, either treated the subject in brief notes or made no mention at all (Karpat 40). Consequently, in the absence of a demonstrated scholarly interest, the study of the period was confined, at least until very recently, to the dictates of national history, and its documentation has since remained bound to the self-serving documents, edited or doctored diaries and memoranda written for the record. Not surprisingly, the collection of the speeches of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Nutuk, still remains the most credible source and historical account for the political, social, and economic developments of the period under consideration (Zurcher 182-183).

The general neglect of this crucial period within Turkish historiography has to do with the close involvement of the Turkish state with the writing of history from the beginning. As early as the late 1920s, having settled some of its domestic and foreign problems, the new state turned its attention to the question of national identity. It began to sponsor historical and ethnographic research and organize national festivals of various kinds to recast national identity. Early in 1927, the Ottoman institution of Tarih-i Osmani Encumeni was reorganized via a state directive under the leadership of Fuad Koprulu into Turk Tarih Encumeni. However, for providing intellectual reinforcement for the political process of nation-building, the revolutionary leadership took its most decisive step in 1930 and established the Turkish History Research Commission as part of the Turkish Hearths (Turk Ocagi Turk Tarihi Tetkik Heyeti) (Ustel, Landau), which was transformed in 1931 into the Turkish Historical Research Commission (Turk Tarihi Tetkik Cemiyeti) (Igdemir, Copeaux). This institution, four years later, was renamed the Turkish Historical Society (Turk Tarih Kurumu), and continued the mission of its antecedents in fashioning a brand new history of the Turks. In pursuit of this goal, it put the emphasis not on pan-Turkist ideals but on cultural continuity and geographical locus, namely Anatolia proper (Lewis). In this respect, national historians, folklorists and other scholars campaigned to prove the Turkish heritage of Anatolia's population, thus demonstrating conclusively that the territory belongs to the new nation-state. The ruling government took the measures necessary to disseminate these ideas through the institutional channels of national enculturation, namely the schools (Ersanh-Behar, Landau, Copeaux). The program and activities of the Turkish Historical Society in propagating the twin myths of ethnic homogeneity and national unity have already been the subject of several dissertations and books (Ersanh-Behar). There is widespread consensus that this institution contributed greatly to the spread of scientific historical research, especially on the pre-Ottoman and Ottoman past of the Turks (Ortayli 77-79). However, where the study of the recent past is concerned, with this organ, the state not only institutionalized its official narrative of events but also legitimized its supremacy and control in the domain of history as a discipline. This was attested by the mandatory instruction of the history of Turkish Revolution by the standard textbooks prepared by the Ministry of Education. In course of the next sixty years of the Republic, several military coup governments took extra measures to restore and further enhance the state directive in researching, writing, and teaching history. Oddly enough, since the 1930's, historians in Turkey, including those representing the left of the spectrum, have in general been reluctant to criticize the state for its strong grip over history. Those who are interested in the early history of the Republic have traditionally been most silent in this respect. In justification of their unwillingness to get involved with the study of the period, these scholars have either turned their attention to Ottoman history or simply adopted a silent attitude towards the standard narrative of the period. Yet others have taken refuge in technical explanations in preference to anything that may be considered critical. In this respect, the lack of archival sources for this period, due to the strong grip of the Turkish State, has been one of the most quoted reasons (Ortayh 79; Zurcher 5). The assumption that sources in Turkey for this specific period are not presently available or accessible to the researchers has long been quoted as a major handicap for the limited interest in this period. An overview of the existing sources reveals however that the availability of sources is less of a constraint than it appears at first

sight. With the exception of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives, which remain closed to date to researchers apart from a select group of very "trusted" people who generally show no intent to challenge the established historical version, the archival sources for the study of the period in general and the Exchange of Populations between Turkey and Greece in particular can be considered paradoxically and relatively abundant and easily accessible to the researchers. For example, the collections of the Cumhuriyet Arsivi (Republic Archives) in Ankara contain catalogued documents and manuscripts including the resolutions of the government and the individual archives of various institutions, i.e. ministries, municipalities etc. (6) As for the archival material pertaining specifically to the Exchange, many local archival collections such as those of the Bureaus of the Village Affairs (Koy Isleri) are known to have existed for a long time, but they have only recently attracted the attention of researchers (Alim-Baran). These local sources contain valuable information for the documentation of the specific aspects of the Exchange such as the composition of the refugee population, property structure of the urban areas, the settlement policies of the state, the methods devised in the property liquidation, etc. Thus from the foregoing it can be inferred in line with the remark of a prominent Ottomanist that "when the scholarly concern is there, historians can be quite inventive in locating the requisite sources, while mountains of primary material will remain neglected when interest is lacking" (Faroqhi). As for the interest of the Turkish refugees in their own histories, unlike their Greek counterparts, they have not engaged, at least not until very recently, in any attempt to produce accounts of their experiences. Nor has there been any effort on the part of scholars to insert the refugee experience into the historical narrative of the nation. The only accounts at my disposal which bear the refugee tag are the publications of various Refugee (muhacir) Associations of Rumelia, which were sponsored respectively by Ottoman and Turkish governments. These are detailed reports, covering lists of Greek atrocities, and official documents that were aimed principally at revealing the ruthlessness of Greek policy in Rumelia and Anatolia. Newspaper articles were sometimes compiled to produce such material. With its propagandaoriented nature, this literature remained a war time production and resurfaced only in times when the tension with Greece increased. Only recently the growing number of memoirs (Kosova, Tesal, Ozyurek) and some oral history studies (Koker, Kaplanoglu, Yorulmaz, Ozsoy) give some clues as to social, economic and cultural effects of the Exchange on the Turkish refugees. Otherwise, the latter, on the whole, remain, using a slightly different reading of Eric Wolf's famous dictum, "people without history" (Wolf). All in all, where the Turkish historiography of the Exchange is concerned, it would be fair to infer from the above observations that the prevailing political climate and the strict agenda of national historiography on the recent past have categorically prevented the topic of Exchange from entering the scholarly calendar since the beginning of the Turkish Republic. The disruptive effects of these factors upon the writing of early Republican history were coupled by the reluctance of historians to get involved with the study of the period under concern. This intellectual dilemma benefited Ottoman history by promoting a decidedly liberal and empirically oriented historiography of the Ottoman past. But where the recent past is concerned, it was reflected rather negatively in both the quantity and the quality of publications that have appeared over the course of the last seventy years in Turkey. Where the specific

subject of the Exchange is concerned, while Greek intelligentsia, both at home and in the Diaspora, put out numerous publications specializing in this topic as early as the first decade of this tragic event, its counterpart in Turkey was able to produce only two specific studies over the course of five long decades. Both of these studies are actually government-sponsored publications. While the first one is a compilation of the official documents concerning the activities of the Mixed Commission (Altuner), the other, produced by an anonymous author, is a volume about the resettlement policies of the government. Both were published in the 1930s and since then have remained standard reference books on the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations. In the 1990s, the critical trends in social sciences, especially in regard to the role of the nation-state, were combined with the political developments unfolding in the Balkans and rising critical voices in Turkey and abroad over the issues of democratization, minority rights and the larger question of human rights to wield significant bearings on many scholars established in Turkey or abroad and who are specialized in the early Republican period of Turkish history. In this context, many scholars and journalists produced a large body of publications on a selective list of topics concerning the institutions and policies of the early Turkish Republic, largely as a background "to understand the present situation" (Kaplan, Ustel, Yesilkaya, Ozturkmen, Demirel, Alpkaya, Bali, Zurcher 1993; Zurcher 2000). The discovery of the Exchange as a proper subject of historical research took place as part of these revolutionary trends when the power of the nation-state began to be questioned in Turkey. Then several studies cropped up to probe into the foundations of the Republic with reference to specific occurrences such as the Exchange in order to highlight the process of the making of the Turkish state. However, while the plethora of publications in Greek historiography has begun to challenge various theses of nationalistic historiography concerning the Exchange from all directions, Turkish domestic historiography, perhaps due to the fact that it had just discovered the subject, has become home to two contradictory tendencies. On the one hand, a group of scholars undertook original archival research with a view to fitting the Exchange into the master saga of the Turkish Revolution (Ari, Alim-Baran, Ipek). On the other hand, several scholars attempted to reread the existing secondary sources with the objective of portraying the Exchange as an independent event with all its opportunities and constraints upon Turkey, paying due attention to the predicaments experienced by the refugees (Aktar, Adamr, Gokacti). The former tendency is of a piece with the state-centric approach that has long crippled Greek national historiography on the role of Exchange and the refugees in Greek history. This view can be summarized as such: While the state benefited greatly from the Exchange in terms of providing the ethnic homogeneity of the country and the nationalization of the country's physical and human geographies, not to mention the economy, on the one hand, the incoming refugees came to contribute a great deal to the economic and cultural development of the country on the other. It is possible to argue in this sense that the first category of recently developing Turkish scholarship on the Exchange represents a mode of thinking that has long been phased out or marginalized in Greek scholarship. As for the latter trend, it is represented by scholars who are well grounded in the most recent scholarly currents and methodologies in social sciences and aware of the ongoing scholarly research of revisionist overtones on the subject in Greece and

abroad. Unlike those representing the first mode of scholarship, the scholars in this category tend to adopt a critical approach to the formation of the nation-state in Turkey, underpinning the social, cultural and economic consequences of the Exchange for the country as a whole. In this context, the significance of the Exchange is attributed not so much to its role in the eradication of an allegedly potentially dangerous minority, thus the homogenization of the country's population, as to its transformatory impact upon the physical and human geography of the country by restructuring its property map as well as by reshaping its composition of the human capital and class structure (e.g., the formation of a Muslim-Turkish bourgeoisie, etc.). Suffice it to point out here that regardless of their orientations, both these scholarly trends should be appraised for having played an important role in bringing the topic of the Exchange to the public attention in Turkey.

Conclusions
Several major conclusions can be drawn from the foregoing discussion. As far as the representation of the Exchange in the Greek scholarship is concerned, this event has been the subject of a double-edged interpretation. While its sheer occurrence was considered as a tragedy to be endured by the Greek society, the successful handling of this draconian challenge by the Greek state was regarded as a testimony to the vitality of Greek statecraft. The tragic dimension of the story was effectively incorporated into the political rhetoric and historical discourse with a view to being "remembered" in pertinence to the ideological goals of political leadership. More often than not, it was the success paradigm attributed to the role of the Greek state in the handling of such a huge influx of refugees in a short period of time that became largely identified with the Exchange in historical writings. Although refugees suffered numerous predicaments during the implementation of the Convention, the long-term advantages of such an arrangement were praised to have far outweighed its short-term disadvantages. Since such an arrangement brought in its wake the safety of the northern borders of the country, on the one hand, and accounted for its ethnic and national homogenization, on the other. Furthermore, the refugee input into the Greek economy in the form of industrial workforce and the expansion of domestic market was coupled with foreign loans floated at the time to boost the country's economy. Thus, in the final analysis, the standard Greek explanation on the consequences of the Exchange emphasized the advantages of this event for the country while its dramatic effects upon the refugees were for the most part overlooked. Needless to say, the Turkish dimension of the Exchange has been rendered nearly obsolete in this narrative. Such a monolithic tendency was buttressed from the very outset by the indifferent approach of the Turkish national historiography to the subject. Like many historical developments behind the making of the Turkish nationstate, the Exchange could not secure itself a place in the newly written biography of the Turkish nation. The new political leadership tended to "forget" many historical occurrences that they considered irrelevant or potentially threatening to their national project. The adoption of religion as the principal criterion for the Exchange might have been considered quite incompatible with the secular vision of the political leadership. In addition, the differences of the incoming refugees from the native populations were not so easily reconcilable given the fact that religion--upheld as a unifying device during the war--was discredited as a baseline for national unity. Perhaps more importantly, the revolutionary leadership adopted a commanding

attitude on the 'imagination' and imposition of a national identity that would unify the populations on the basis of common ethnicity and territorial belonging. Such concerns figured prominently in the identity politics of the ruling elite and underscored the template of national history. Needless to say, those concerns brought about the exclusion of historical occurrences, such as the Exchange, from the newly reconstructed "History of the Turkish Revolution." The silence of the Turkish historiography on the Exchange has in turn resulted in the rooting of the unbalanced representation of this event recounted above, in which the Turkish role in the decision making process as well as the implementation of the Exchange Convention, more particularly the resettlement of the incoming refugees, have been subjected to overt generalizations and unfounded assumptions (Yildirim). In the final analysis, it is the contention of the present author that the study of the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations as a historical occurrence has been the subject of much distortion in the historiographical traditions of nationalist lore in Greece and Turkey. The representation of the Lausanne refugees has thus been dictated by the orientation of these tendencies. It is my contention that only when the Exchange is not treated as an abstraction but as a concrete historical phenomenon that the Lausanne refugees--with their enormous suffering including the loss of homes and livelihoods and the disruption of social, cultural and economic ties--will emerge as active agents of history, more actors than acted upon.

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Notes
(1.) Karakasidou notes that "the refugees are still enshrined in much Greek historiography as exemplary victims of the persecution suffered by the Greek nation at the hands of its eternal enemy, the Turks." (Karakasidou 150) (2.) The National Schism arose over the issue of Greece's position in the WW1. Venizelos and his Liberal Party advocated a pro-Entente position, urging the country to join the war on the side of the Entente which would enable Greece to fulfill its irredentist dreams. King Constantine and his supporters adopted a pro-German position out of respect for the latter's military strength. This dispute generated a constitutional crisis, leading to a virtual civil war in 1916-1917 between the provisional government which Venizelos set up in Salonica and the official government in Athens. The dispute continued to divide politicians during much of the interwar era. (3.) According to Dimitri Kitsikis, the massive refugee support to Venizelos in the political arena was the reflection of a "collective masochism" on the part of the refugees since Venizelos was the principal figure responsible for their uprooting from Asia Minor (Kitsikis 214) (4.) From the speech of the Deputy, M. Kurkos in the Greek Parliament on July 7, 1924. (Quoted by Tounta-Fergadi, 24). (5.) This paradigm continues to be the backbone of the political rhetoric. In 1984, the Greek president, Constantine Karamanlis, who made the opening speech in a conference organized by the Institute for Balkan Studies to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the Macedonian Struggle, pointed out that "the course of a nation is

always related to the purity and the depth of its memory. This memory is a source of knowledge of the achievements and the shortcomings of the past, and also a source of principles that will determine the nation's future mission. Memory for the Greeks is identified with the consciousness of the unbroken continuity of Greek life from Homer to the present day." (Translated and cited by Gounaris 237). (6.) The catalogued material concerning the Exchange in the archival collections of the Republic Archives (Cumhuriyet Arsivi) in Ankara is currently limited to the governmental decrees and resolutions on the subject. It is known to the present author that this particular repository contains many other documentary collections relevant to the Exchange. Among these sources are the liquidation certificates of the refugees (tasfiye talebnamesi), the transcriptions of the discussions in the Mixed Commission (Muhtelit Mubadele Komisyonu), the files on cases between the Greek refugees and Turkey according to the Athens Accord of 1926. The Republic Archives has long been pursuing a policy to retain the archives of all the state institutions.

Questia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com Publication Information: Article Title: The 1923 Population Exchange, Refugees and National Historiographies in Greece and Turkey. Contributors: Onur Yildirim author. Journal Title: East European Quarterly. Volume: 40. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 2006. Page Number: 45+. COPYRIGHT 2006 East European Quarterly; COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group