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The Politics of Self-DeterminationRemaking Territories and National Identities in Europe, 1917–1923$
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Volker Prott

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777847

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198777847.001.0001

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A Precarious Border Zone

A Precarious Border Zone

Ethnic Violence and the Greek–Turkish War of 1919–1922

(p.180) 6 A Precarious Border Zone
The Politics of Self-Determination

Volker Prott

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the ferocious three-year war between Greece and Turkey between May 1919 and September 1922. It examines three key episodes of the war in detail: the Greek landing in Smyrna in May 1919, the violent Greek retreat from the Yalova-Gemlik region in 1921, and the mass deportations of Pontic Greeks by the Kemalists in 1921–2. In all three cases, the Allied decision at the Paris Peace Conference to partition off the Ottoman Empire triggered radical local ethnic violence. The chapter concludes with the crucial impact that the Greek–Turkish War and the subsequent population exchange between the two states had on international politics: these further disillusioned Western audiences with regard to the justice of the Paris peace settlements, and at the same time established patterns of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of minority populations as viable tools of international politics.

Keywords:   Greek–Turkish War of 1919–23, ethnic violence, genocide, forced removal, ethnic cleansing, Ottoman Empire, Turkish national movement, Pontic Greeks

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