Dr. Chryssoula Karamatsiou

The network of local Young Turks in East Thrace and their genocide strategies against Greeks, 1913-1920.

This paper presents the emergence of the political and individual responsibility of the local leaders of East Thrace with the synergy of the Young Turks of the Ottoman state in the systematic ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Greeks living there. Our goal is to present the nationalist strategies of discovery of the history and reproduction of the geography and the space, on the basis of which the members of the Committee “Union and Progress” (CUP) from Eastern Thrace attempted to impose the Muslim masses there and direct them against their non-Muslim Ottoman fellow citizens. In this context we will emphasize the implementation of the strategies of Turkish nationalism in Thrace in three phases: the precursor of the genocide from 1908 to 1912, the main phase of genocide with the organization of ethnic cleansing by the Turks from 1913 to 1918 and then the repetition of genocidal practices to a lesser extent from 1918 to 1920. The systematic genocide plan drawn up by the Young Turks leadership team involved a network of thirty-five members of the Committee Union and Progress (CUP) from Thrace, who at the same time held an important organizational position in the Ottoman administration. Finally, we must point out that through the search for new historical data in archives and modern scientific studies on the genocide policies of the Ottoman Turks, the participation of the Thracian Turks in the implementation of these is demonstrated for the first time.