The Great Fire of Smyrna or the Catastrophe of Smyrna destroyed much of the port city of Smyrna in Turkey in September 1922. Eyewitness reports state that the fire began on 13 September 1922 and lasted until it was largely extinguished on 22 September. It occurred four days after the Turkish forces regained control of the city on 9 September 1922, effectively ending the Greco-Turkish War in the field, more than three years after the Greek army had landed troops at Smyrna on 15 May 1919. Estimated Greek and Armenian deaths resulting from the fire range from 10,000 to 100,000.
Approximately 50,000 to 400,000 Greek and Armenian refugees crammed the waterfront to escape from the fire. They were forced to remain there under harsh conditions for nearly two weeks. Turkish troops and irregulars had started committing massacres and atrocities against the Greek and Armenian population in the city before the outbreak of the fire. Many women were raped. Tens of thousands of Greek and Armenian men (estimates vary between 25,000 and at least 100,000) were subsequently deported into the interior of Anatolia, where many of them died in harsh conditions.
This is a short extract from the documentary “The Asia Minor Campaign” by SKAI TV. It features several shocking eyewitness accounts of the event such as the chronicle by George Horton who was then USA Consul at Smyrna and a live interview with Ioannes Krassopoulos who survived the holocaust.
Πηγή: Athena Vibrating