Anastasis Haranis (p.4)
The people gathered around us to hear the news. The priest started to tell them how it was. A committee showed up from Menemen.
The next day, the Valı contacted the Bishop:
–They’re leaving of their own accord, nobody’s forcing them out.
The Bishop promised the Valı that he would send someone to tell them to remain in their villages. I volunteered. I went into the school were the Seyreköy and Gerenköy refugees had been sheltering and talked to them.
–On the Bishop’s command, I am here to tell you to go back home. Nobody will touch you. They will send you food and the Valı will send guards.
The Seyreköy villagers, who had already been through a lot and had fled like crazy to Menemen, started shouting.
–You go tell the Bishop to go back himself, they said. We saw the crimes with our own eyes, we’re not going back.
I stayed in Menemen for a few days. To leave I had to get special permission from the Police Station Chief. I went to the konak and found the finance commissioner, with whom we were personally acquainted, and told him to help out. He called up the Police Station and told them to let me through, and that’s how I returned to Smyrna.
I had no news of my father. People said he was killed. But within a few days, the Bishop said there was a letter from him from Mytilene.
In Smyrna all sorts of committees showed up. They went to the Bishop, asking what would happen to them. The Greek consul Evgenides, and his wife, made sure to gather clothes for the refugees.