Even after the Greek war refugees had already fled to the Greek islands and ports, the victorious Turks insisted on the immediate and forced removal of their remaining religious minorities. The Allied governments, who had asked the Greeks to occupy Anatolia but then abandoned them, were now negotiating Greece’s fate at Lausanne, Switzerland. The Allies readily, though reluctantly, consented to ethnic cleansing as a solution to irredentism. British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon thought it was inhuman. The Turkish Nationalists wanted the Armenians expelled as well, but there was no one to negotiate with, nor any country to take them. The Christians were horded into refugee camps at ports like Constantinople and Mersin on the south coast, awaiting food, medicine and ships.
Venizelos and Ismet signed a Convention at Lausanne, Switzerland, on 30 January 1923 for the compulsory expulsions to occur when the final Treaty was implemented later in the summer. The ‘exchangeables’ (a bureaucratically impersonal term for human beings) were to be forcibly evicted from their homelands and impoverished for generations to come. Thousands of Karamanlides (Turkish Christians who wrote Turkish using Greek letters) in Cappadocia, who had remained as peaceful subjects alongside their Moslem neighbours throughout their recent history, were also suddenly included in the expulsion. Even hundreds of thousands of Moslems in Macedonia and in Salonika who had been living peaceably in northern Greece for centuries appealed to stay in Greece but would be uprooted and expelled as refugees into modern Turkey, a calamity for everyone involved.
The tens of thousands of the first wave of refugees would soon be increased by tenfold in the hundreds of thousands.
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