The opposition won the election and Venizelos was removed
from power. The monarchist also won the plebiscite which called on the
return of the King. As a result of the removal from power of
Venizelos, and the return of the King Constantine to Greece nations that
once supported Greece now turned their back on Greece.
opposition did not keep their promise to the Greek people instead they
continued the war with Turkey. The king removed the officers in the
army who were loyal to Venizelos, replacing them with officers that were
loyal to himself destroying the moral of the army. What Venizelos had
managed to win in two years of war King Constantine managed to lose in only
a few months. The army worn out, with low morale and ammunitions
had no chance against the Turks who were supported by many countries
throughout the world. On the outskirts of Ankara, at Afion Karahisar
and Sagaria the Greek army was totally destroyed by the Turkish Army.
On September 9th, 1922 the Turkish army entered Smyrna and
burned the Greek and Armenian sections to the ground. It is estimated
that over 100 000 defenseless civilians were killed at Smyrna by the Turkish
army in that three day period that followed. Allied warships stood idly by as the
people were massacred before their eyes in the harbor. American
consular documents from that time period indicate that the Turkish brutality
was so barbaric that the surrounding water of Smyrna turned red from the
tens of thousands that were slaughtered and thrown into the harbor.
The result was the greatest disaster ever for the Greek
people, "The Asia Minor disaster". The Asia Minor disaster results
in the uprooting and forced expulsion of the Greek populations that have
lived in Asian Turkey, and Eastern Thrace for over three thousand years.
Hundreds of thousands of Greeks are slaughtered during this time period,
including 350 000 in the Pontus region, and 1.5 million Greek refugees
arrive in Greece.
Elefterios Venizelos is then elected to power once again in
Greece replacing the king. This time he takes on a defeated nation
that is under the huge economic strain of over a million refugees.
Elefterios Venizelos once signing treaties expanding Greek territory now
signs the humiliating treaty of Laussane. Turkish demands are at a
maximum, Greece returns all the territory in Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, and
the islands of Imvros and Tenedos. All the populations that are
"Orthodox Christian" are forced to leave Turkey.
Venizelos was prime minister of Greece for a short period
after the disaster, this period was unlike his previous periods as
prime minister. This last time period as prime minister was a time of
instability, and constant threat of revolution.
on the Asia Minor Disaster (by the New York
Times) · A great disaster for Hellenism,
the forced expulsion and murder of millions of Greeks in Turkey in the early
Balkan Wars · During
these wars that occurred in the early 20th century Greece managed to double
its' territory and population.