Twice A Stranger
It was a massive, yet little-known landmark in modern history: in 1923, after a long war over the future of the Ottoman world, nearly 2 million citizens of Turkey or Greece were moved across the Aegean, expelled from their homes because they were of the ‘wrong’ religion. Orthodox Christians were deported from Turkey to Greece, Muslims from Greece to Turkey. At the time, world statesmen hailed the transfer as a solution to the problem of minorities who could not coexist. Both governments saw the exchange as a chance to create societies where a single culture prevailed. But how did the people who crossed the Aegean feel about this exercise in ethnic engineering? Bruce Clark’s fascinating account of these turbulent events draws on new archival research in Greece and Turkey and interviews with some of the surviving refugees, allowing them to speak for themselves for the first time.