Ismet Admits Decree of Banishment.
Instead of retreating before Lord Curzon's attack, Ismet agreed that the
Greeks must leave Anatolia and volunteered the statement the Greeks in
Constantinople had better depart also. Lord Curzon protested that this would
mean great economic loss for Turkey. Ex-Premiere Venizelos declared that if
those hundreds of thousands were sent to Greece the country could not care
for them and would have to ask the United States for aid. When Lord Curzon
warned Ismet of danger to the Turks in Western Thrace, which remains Greek,
Ismet coolly replied that it might be good idea to trade the Greeks in Turkey for the Turks in Greece.
Lord Curzon then said that he wished to give some statistics in order that
there might be a clear idea what was at stake. He said that figures from
American sources showed that before 1914 there were 1,600,000 Greeks in
Anatolia. Between 1914 and 1918 300,000 died, left the country or otherwise
disappeared. Between 1919 and 1922 another 200,00 left Anatolia or
disappeared. In September and October of this year another reduction of
500,000 took place leaving now 500,000 or 600,000 Greeks in Anatolia, most
of whom were males between 15 and 60, to whom the Turks had refused
permission to leave.
Venizelos · Possibly the greatest
Greek politician of the 20th century. He was Prime Minister of
Greece during the most trying of times.