EN | GR
CENTRE OF ASIA MINOR STUDIES TESTIMONY
Athens 3, 20 & 22/3/1959
C.A.M.S. researcher: Zoe Kyritsopoulou
Italics: researcher’s commentary
Journey Sheet (3/3/1959)
I took the street car from Akadimias St. close to the mortuary, in order to go to the neighbourhood called Analipsi and find the informant, Ms. Despoina Pepe. Her street, Odemissiou St., is on the third stop, exactly by the Analipsi Church. I found the house easily. Ms. Pepe was equally kind and willing to talk to me. She immediately accepted to answer all the questions I had. I stuck to the questionnaire order. I took notes about general things, many things, like her memories from 1912-1913 and 1914. We will continue on another day. I found the experience good because it was the first time we collected information on New Phocaea. I felt I shouldn’t tire my informant on the first time we met; after all I showed up unexpected.
It was the Balkan Wars, we were enthusiastic about it and followed the events closely. All sorts of boats and ships would take food and material to the Greek army on Mytilene (Lesvos), which had just been liberated. These vessels were from Phocaea. One of our compatriots, he was a captain, they accused him of supplying the Greek Navy, the caught him, slew him and threw his body in the river Ermo (Gediz). That same year we, as (female) teachers, went to visit a Notable Elder; the Müdür and the Head of the Port Authority came with us. The Turks were very upset with all the commotion happening on the West Coast. At one point, the Müdür complained: “I have never seen you go visit your Ottoman (female) colleagues”. And we replied: “Why don’t they come to us?” “It is you who must go and be an example; they are less developed. You must go teach them many things, and how to sew. But you are fanatics. If I were the Ottoman State myself, I would uproot all the Greeks of the coast. You are fanatics.” Next year, the pogroms of 914 befell us.
1914 (collected on 22/3/19159)
In 1914, when they closed the churches and World War I broke out, the greater slaughter of New Phocaea took place. Whoever managed to get out in time was uprooted and sought shelter on Mytilene and other islands.