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April 02nd 2013 print

John Williams

The Ethnic Cleansing of Greeks from Gallipoli, April 1915

It is imperative that from Istanbul to India and China there be only one Muslim population with Syria serving as a nexus between the Mohammedan worlds of Asia and Africa. This vast project will be accomplished through the scientific genius and organisational talent of the Germans and the valiant arm of the Turks.

—Dr Şakir, leading member of the CUP, Febr. 1916.

Australian soldiers, sailors and pilots saw columns of Armenian, Assyrian and Greek women and children being forced along the countryside in death marches. They saw their pitiful, bedraggled state. The homes, churches, monasteries and schools of these people became the prison camps of the captured Anzacs and their allies.
—Cherie Burton, Member of the Legislative Assembly of NSW, 30 November 2010.


Greeks have long described the persecution of the Ottoman Empire’s Hellenic population between 1913 and 1919 as ‘genocide’, a term commonly associated with the fate of that Empire’s Armenian subjects. Whether there was a Greek genocide or ‘merely’ a series of evictions and massacres better described as ‘ethnic cleansing’ is largely a semantic question. The facts are that in a period which began after the last of the Balkan wars and extended throughout the First World War almost half a million Greeks were among the upwards of two million human beings who lost their lives in a state-sponsored campaign of ethnic ‘purification’. The Gallipoli peninsula, where Greeks made up about half of the population, was not isolated from this ‘cleansing’. Quite the reverse. After April 1915, it was the site of a battlefield and this ensured that its ‘purification’ would be total. There were 32,000 Greeks living on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915. By 1919 the figure was NIL, the vast majority of these former inhabitants now dead. However ‘genocide’ is defined – in particular, however the distinction is drawn with ethnic cleansing –   what happened on Gallipoli is surely an instance. However, while the Gallipoli genocide was executed by Turkish gendarmes and auxiliaries, it was by no means a purely Turkish affair. It was called an ‘evacuation’ and was just one of a number of these to be ordered and organized by Germans. It coincided with the fighting because it was, in fact, ordered for reasons of military necessity. But it went further than such reasons warranted and its excesses were perpetrated under cover of those reasons. That cover has proven effective to this day.

At least two years before the landing at what was to be known as Anzac Cove, the name ‘Gallipoli’ was appearing in Australian papers. On 6 February 1913, the Sydney Morning Herald reported ‘Bulgarian cavalry attacking the Turkish outposts at Gallipoli, a town on the Dardanelles, 132 miles south-west of Constantinople’. The Bulgarians were also massing at Bulair and the reporter suggested that if their Greek allies could land a force ‘on the western side of the peninsula’, the 50,000 Turkish troops between Gallipoli and Maidos would be ‘in a difficult position’. These Turks were never put to the test because the amphibious task facing the Greeks was beyond their means, while the Bulgarians, their lines of communication overstretched, were held up at Bulair. Accounts of this rare Ottoman military success were overshadowed by reports of atrocities by Turkish troops. A dispatch on 7 July 1913 reported that Ottoman troops treated Gallipoli’s Greeks ‘with marked depravity’ as they ‘destroyed, looted, and burned all the Greek villages near Gallipoli’.

Kourtzali was sacked and destroyed completely, as was also Pashakioi. Mavra itself the Turkish soldiers and fugitives burned, killing sixteen Greeks.
The cause of this savagery of the Turks is their fear that if Thrace is declared autonomous the Greek population may be found numerically superior to the Mussulmans.

The 1913 massacres were spontaneous acts of savagery, based on long-standing hatreds inflamed by the recent deportations and massacres of Turkish Moslems from Greece and other Balkan lands. (Arnold Toynbee recorded a total 413,992  Moslems of former Turkish territory either massacred or expelled during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13.) Suspicion, fuelled by fear, was also part of the mix. With a Greek army expected to invade the peninsula at any moment, Gallipoli’s Greeks were perceived – not without grounds – as a fifth-column. Despite this, there was no attempt at that stage to deport or systematically annihilate them, even though just that kind of anti-Greek ethnic-cleansing action had begun in parts of Thrace and Anatolia.

Gallipoli escaped systematic ‘cleansing’ even during the critical months of May and June 1914, when between 100,000 and 150,000 Greeks were forcibly deported to Greece from elsewhere in of Turkish homelands. So ‘successful’ was this operation – meaning both efficient and free from interference from European powers – that it was taken by the CUP leadership as the model for the Armenian genocide. According to Toynbee ‘Entire Greek communities were driven from their homes by terrorism, their houses and land and often their moveable property were seized, and individuals were killed in the process’. These persecutions bore all the signs ‘of being systematic. The terror attacked one district after another, and was carried on by “chetté” bands, enrolled from the Rumeli refugees as well as from the local population, nominally attached as reinforcements to the regular Ottoman gendarmerie’. Persecution of this kind was still to come to Gallipoli. After Fahri’s troops left in July 1913, the Greeks there had been left to rebuild shattered lives as best they could. Until April 1915.

On Turkey’s entry into the war, the government policy of persecuting and deportation Greeks was suspended, a fact which has muddied the waters about what happened next. The change in policy arose in early 1915 out of a promise to Germany by Greek Prime Minister Venizelos that Greece would stay neutral provided that the Turks cease deportations and other maltreatments of Ottoman Greeks. The Turkish government attempted to oblige their German ally – or at least to appear to be doing so – though it had, in fact, little success in restraining the murderous activity it had unleashed. And once it became clear that the Allies intended to invade Turkey, deportations of a different kind began, justified by the more acceptable reasons of military necessity. But this rationale concealed an even darker reality. Now it was the Greeks of the coastal regions vulnerable to Allied attack who were deported, not to Greece, but to Turkey’s interior where they were at the mercy of hostile Turks.

A deportee from the Island of Marmora described just what deportation to Turkey’s interior involved; how the deportees were forced onto crowded steamers, standing room only; how, on disembarking, men of military age were removed (for forced labour in the labour battalions of the Ottoman army) and how the rest were ‘scattered… among the farms like ownerless cattle’.

Exposed to the burning rays of the sun and to the darkness and terrors of the night, we were…without any food, the transportation of which had been strictly forbidden us, and even without water until the second day when the station agent saw to it that two carloads of water was brought to us….We had been without bread, too, if some of our number had not been able to procure it from Turkish villages. For twenty eight days without bread, olives, or cheese, we set eyes on little else that was edible; our hardships could not fail to produce their natural result. Every day, three or four deaths occurred.

After sixteen days, these deportees were forced to walk for another four days to various villages, care being taken ‘upon entrance, to separate the members of families from one another’. One such village was Kermasti where the ‘crowding together and the hardships we endured resulted in 13-15 deaths per day of the 2,000 inhabitants of Marmora alone’. Corpses being ‘borne to the cemetery were stoned. If a man dared to go from one village to another, it was at the risk of his life’. One man, accompanied by his son, ‘ventured to go from Mitchlich to Apollionus, and both were found dead two days later, beheaded near a stream’.

Amongst historians, there is a consensus that, during the war, government policy concerning Turkey’s Greeks was ‘restricted to sending some of those living in coastal areas to interior provinces for military reasons’. This seemingly innocuous formula has obscures the reality. Though the entire Greek population of Turkey was not, in those years, targeted for genocide like the Armenians, pockets of Greek genocide not only occurred during the war, but were made possible because of the war. Gallipoli was such a pocket.[1]

With the official moratorium on Greek deportations in place, Liman advised the Ottoman government that ‘he would be unable to take the responsibility for the security of the army’ unless potentially disloyal Greeks were removed from the peninsula. The evacuation of Gallipoli now began less than a week prior to the invasion of 25 April. The Greek Patriarchate in Constantinople (legally responsible for the spiritual life of Greek Christians) kept careful records, including eye-witness reports. The latter accord with the foregoing eyewitness account from the Island of Marmora. Gallipoli’s Greeks received two hours notice before they were forced ‘to embark in steamers’. Their merchandise was seized and ‘sold to Mussulman societies’, while women were ‘exposed to the brutal instincts of their Mussulman guards’. Of the final deportation figure of some 22 thousand souls, a few managed to reach Greece, though in a pitiful state, and some others were able ‘to prolong their existence by embracing Islam’. For young Greek men, their fate was not (yet) deportation, but life or death in forced-labour battalions. But the majority of Gallipoli’s Greeks were lost in among the ‘490,063 souls wandering in the mountains, the plains and the villages of Anatolia’ where they ‘succumbed for the most part to hunger, cold and privations’.  Even as the first invading troops waded ashore, there were still some 10 thousand Greeks hiding out on Gallipoli – most in the countryside, some given refuge by humane and courageous Turks. As the fighting raged, squads of gendarmes and Arab auxiliaries, at times possibly aided by Turkish regulars, were rounding up Gallipoli’s last Greeks and sending them to their dismal fates. How did the Ottoman Empire, once, comparatively at least, a model of ethnic diversity and tolerance, come to this?[2]

In his famous ‘Salonica speech’ of July 1908, Enver Pasha proclaimed the soon-to-be-successful revolution against the arbitrary power of the Sultan. A major platform of that revolution was to be the brotherhood of all Ottoman subjects: ‘There are no longer in Turkey Bulgarians, Greeks, Servians, Roumanians, Mussulmans. Under the same blue sky we are all proud to be Ottomans.’ Seven years later, when the Gallipoli fighting was underway, Enver and his party were in power and Enver, as Minister for War was boasting to a German military attaché that he would ‘solve the Greek problem during the war’ just as he had ‘solved’ the Armenian problem. By now these ‘solutions’ had nothing to do with the brotherhood of ethnic and religious minorities and everything to do with their elimination. In Morgenthau’s opinion, the failure of Enver and the CUP to form a ‘positive regenerating force [was] probably the most complete and the most disheartening in the whole history of democratic institutions’. The more so, because ‘there is no question that, at the beginning, they [the Young Turks] were sincere’.[3]

Enver was surely also sincere when, in the same month as his Salonica speech, he announced to the world ‘We have cured the sick man!’ As he spoke, a massacre of Armenians, of a kind not seen since the bleak days of 1895-1896, was about to begin. Somewhat later, he reflected on the ‘joyous mood of the first days of the revolution’. These had been ‘short-lived, and an air of panic returned’ because the enemies of the Ottomans had taken advantage of the instability. Within months, Austria- Hungary had sent troops into Bosnia-Herzegovina and announced its annexation. Next, Bulgaria proclaimed independence and then Crete declared its union with Greece. The ideal of Ottoman brotherhood was no match for emerging nationalist aspirations and the Young Turks did a breath-taking about face. No longer was the empire’s decline due to a corrupt and retrograde regime which had kept it in a pre-modern condition, rather it was the fault of the its Christian subjects  – more specifically, it was the result of ‘the struggle of the Christian minorities for equal rights and reform’.[4]

By the time of the defeat of the Ottoman armies in the First Balkan War, it was clear that, far from having been cured, the ‘sick’ Ottoman empire was on the verge of death. On top of the losses sustained in the aftermath of 1908, the defeats of 1912-13 had seen the severance of a further 60 percent of the Ottomans’ European territory. Once again, Christian and Jewish conscripts were blamed for the losses. The CUP now sought only one solution. Maintaining that it was no longer possible for Christians and Jews to co-exist with ethnic Turks, it embarked on a program of the ethnic purification of Anatolia, the territorial heart of empire. According to the dissident Turkish historian Taner Akçam,[5] this had ‘two main components, the first [being] to disperse and relocate non-Turkish Muslims, such as Kurds and Arabs, among the Turkish majority with the purpose of their assimilation’. The second was the expulsion of ‘non-Muslim, non-Turkish people from Anatolia… two million people in all, essentially the region’s entire Christian population’.

While Armenians as well as Assyrians were targeted by special measures which aimed at their annihilation, Greeks were also expelled. In total, almost one-third of the Anatolian population were either relocated or killed. What is crucial is that this ethnic cleansing and homogenization paved the way for today’s Republic of Turkey.[6]


Until 1913, the CUP leadership had understated the Turkish nationalism of their platform for the sake of the ideal of Ottoman brotherhood. But after the loss of so much of its non-Muslim population in the Balkan Wars, it felt no such restraint. In Akçam’s words, the empire was now seen to be suffering ‘Allah’s divine punishment for a society that did not know how to pull itself together’. And pull the empire together was just what the CUP was determined to do. The comparative tolerance which had sustained its multi-ethnicity was now sacrificed in a wholehearted embrace of Turkish nationalism. Ridding Anatolia ‘of its “cancerous” concentrations of non-Turks’ was but the first step in the creation of an entirely new political formation, named – in anticipation – ‘Turan’, the homeland of all ethnic Turks. Its citizens would include ‘all the Muslim-Turkic peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia; an idealized entity which brought all Turks together and rejected foreigners’. In 1914, Enver was imagining himself as ‘the ruler of a resurrected Ottoman empire, one which, after uniting the Turks and Muslims of Asia and winning back the countries we had lost in Europe, would stretch from the Adriatic Sea to the waters of India’. [7]

Turan was never to be more than fantasy. On a map of the Eurasian landmass, Ottoman Turkey, despite its losses from the recent Balkan Wars, might still look like a world empire, comparable in area to the German Reich or to Austria-Hungary. But the dominion it held over these vast tracts was fragile and much of the territory itself was little more than barely habitable desert. In 1914, the Ottoman Empire was an empire only in name, a name obscuring the reality of a heavily indebted, economically underdeveloped, semi-feudal society. Its total population was no more than 25 million, most of whom lived at subsistence levels and barely half of which were ethnic-Turks. The Russian Empire, large parts of which would have to be won if Turan was to expand into Central Asia, had a population of at least 170 million. But in Enver’s thinking, Russia was about to collapse, clearing the way for a ‘powerful Turkish Empire to replace the weak and heterogeneous Ottomans and gather all the Turkish “race under its mantle’, ideas which, shortly thereafter, would be declared ‘a special Ottoman war aim’. The first attempt to turn fantasy into reality was Enver’s ill-fated military thrust into the Caucasus, Turkey’s worst defeat in the entire war. Tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers died, as many from freezing as from Russian bullets.[8]

The Germans, now asserting control over Turkish military affairs, put a stop to such disastrous ventures. Their own strategy for a Russian defeat was rather better grounded, relying on German military superiority on the Eastern Front, together with the isolation of Russia from its Entente partners through the blocking of the Dardanelles. With respect to Turkey’s internal ethnic problems – the next problem to be ‘solved’ on the way to Turan    the German military leadership was largely happy for the regime to have a free hand , except when these became matters of military security in which case they were willing to offer advice and practical assistance. But by now, the Germans were well aware of the importance of official secrecy surrounding the elimination of difficult or unwanted minority groups and they had no desire to be seen as needlessly aiding and abetting what was, in any case, internal Turkish business. This was especially important in view of the fact that, by April 1915, it was no longer possible for the Turkish regime to deny that there had been deportations and massacres. The official position was then, as it still is in Turkey, that what deportations there were took the form of evacuations from war zones and that any atrocities were a spontaneous (and perhaps understandable) response on the part of ethnic Turks against peoples who had, over many generations, themselves subjected Turks to economic subservience and persecution.  

In a manner still all too familiar, a few hot-headed pan-Turkish patriots were blamed for any admitted excesses, allowing the government to wash its hands of a responsibility which was, in fact, all its own. In fact, the massacres had been conceived from the outset in such a way as to allow for their disavowal. In order to distance themselves from the sordid reality central to the realization of their pan-Turanist vision, the CUP had, in 1911, founded the so-called ‘Special Organization’ – a front which would enable it to deny involvement while maintaining control of events on the ground. By 1914, this was ‘the foremost institution for both internal and external security for the Ottoman state’. Its role was to perform services beyond the scope and authority of government forces – intelligence gathering to begin with, followed by more direct actions in areas where the ‘connection and loyalty to the central government were always suspect, and in which non-Turkish races and nations formed a minority’.[9]

Actions organized and conducted by the Special Organization and directed at the ‘enemy within’ began well before the outbreak of World War One. But when Enver Pasha became Minister for War, they entered a more violent and extensive phase. Now the expulsion of the Aegean Greek population began in earnest. All the hallmarks of later 20th-century ethnic cleansing – rape, pillage, murder and the seizing and destruction of property – were present in full measure. The Special Organization was ready and primed to undertake ‘services which government and public forces could never hope to perform’. Its task was ‘to separate the loyal from the traitors’ by eliminating ‘the danger posed by the empire’s Christian communities’. [10]

Throughout 1914, secret meetings at the Ministry of War plotted the ways and means of liquidating non-Turkish populations deemed ‘susceptible to negative foreign influences’. The CUP had decided ‘the source of the trouble in western Anatolia would be removed; the Greeks would be cleared out by means of political and economic measures. Before anything else, it would be necessary to weaken and break the economically powerful Greeks’. A terror campaign was conducted through the Special Organization with no direct government connection. It was important that ‘“the provincial governors and other officials would not appear to be intervening”’, although ‘high-ranking officials were required to monitor the process’.

The ‘cleansing’ operation in the Aegean [was] implemented militarily by [the] Chief of Staff… of the 4th Army, by the governor of Izmir Province [and] on behalf of the Party of Union and Progress by Responsible Secretary Mahmut Celâl Bey… The state’s forces would act according to orders given by the Ministry of War and the Supreme Military Command to implement this plan. [11]

One Kuşçubaşi Eşref, largely responsible for implementing these veiled orders, later admitted that Greeks were ‘harassed through a variety of means’ and had been forced to emigrate under the pressure of armed gangs, which ‘conducted raids on Greek villages’. Young Greek men were gathered into labour battalions and ‘forced to work building roads in forestry and in reconstruction’. These battalions were by no means a guarantee of survival. Ambassador Morgenthau reported that, in them, young men were

… transformed into road labourers and pack animals. Army supplies of all kinds were loaded on their backs, and, stumbling under the burdens and driven by the whips and bayonets of the Turks, they were forced to drag their weary bodies into the mountains of the Caucasus. Sometimes they would have to plough their way, burdened in this fashion, almost waist high through snow. They had to spend practically all their time in the open, sleeping on the bare ground…  They were given only scraps of food; if they fell sick they were left where they had dropped, their Turkish oppressors perhaps stopping long enough to rob them of all their possessions – even of their clothes. If any stragglers succeeded in reaching their destinations, they were not infrequently massacred.[12]

In 1970, an establishment Turkish historian, Doğan Avcioğlu, maintained that there was ‘no existing information that would testify to large-scale massacre of the Greeks having been carried out’. If what counts as evidence is limited to material available from official Turkish archives, this is surely the case. In 2012, the Turkish General Staff archives remain almost as ‘completely closed to foreigners (and to most Turkish scholars as well)’ as the Dutch historian, Erik Jan Zürcher, had found them to be in 1996. In the meantime, though, a large amount of other archival material has become available, much of it on the internet. Ankara University’s website states that ‘all bureaucratic obstacles have been abolished, Turkish archives are now accessed freely by local and foreign researchers’. Naturally nations are unlikely to have, or to keep, records of their own less than savoury activities against vulnerable minorities. Nevertheless, for the alleged systematic persecutions to have occurred, orders must have been conveyed to district operatives who, in turn, must have organized the gendarmes and/or ‘special groups’ to perform the round-ups and removals. These groups would surely not have dared to send so many to their inevitable deaths without some confidence that such acts were sanctioned. Despite the fact that the Turkish literacy rate then was less than 10%, some of these orders must have been given on paper or in the form of telegrams. Is it conceivable that there would be no records of such instructions?[13]

For a number of reasons it is conceivable. Before the Greek and Armenian tragedies are dismissed as figments of anti-Turk western-liberal imagination, it must be acknowledged that scholars have found ‘powerful evidence’ of the deliberate purging – by Germans as well Turks – of ‘sensitive’ material relating to the Armenian genocide’. So there is every reason to believe that evidence of Greek atrocities would likewise have been purged. (This evidence is detailed by Akçam in his 2012 book, The Young Turks’ Crimes Against Humanity.) Some of this purging on the part of the Germans occurred in 1917 when it became clear that the Central Powers would lose the war and the order was given to destroy all military communications that could ‘fall into the hands of the enemy’. Orders to evacuate Greek citizens, issued during the war, counted as military communications, since that is, technically, what they were.

Also apparently purged – or at least missing – are documents submitted to war crimes tribunals, both those conducted by the Turkish government itself after the war, and the aborted ones attempted by the Allies (the ‘Malta trials’). Further muddying the record is that fact that orders relating to the deportation of minorities came mostly in ‘coded’ telegrams; in cases of ‘high confidentiality’, such telegrams were to be destroyed. In respect of the Greek deportations of 1913-14, authorities developed what Akçam calls a ‘dual-track’ system for communicating orders. As well as the official track there was second track for illegal acts of ‘forced evacuations, killing orders and massacres. These were the orders sent to the ‘Special Groups’ and were kept entirely separate from the first track. The dual track system was used also for the Armenian deportations. In the official track, orders were usually qualified with the proviso that ‘good care’ must be taken of the Armenians. In the second track these instructions were countermanded.[14] [15]

Since the Turkish Republic was announced in 1923, there have been a number of ‘clean ups’ in which documents relating to the Ottoman Empire has been destroyed. Whole sets of material have been dumped into the sea, onto rubbish tips, and on two occasions, destroyed as a result of a state policy of ‘house-cleaning’. So much is missing that, for example, ‘there is not a single useful document’ about the life of the last Sultan. But even in relation to material which is extant and available, there is reason to doubt just what ‘unrestricted access’ means.  At the time of writing, a major research project is underway at Sydney’s Macquarie University to make available in English a host of Turkish records relating to the Gallipoli campaign. Asked whether the plentiful records now at his disposal would throw any light on the Armenian genocide, Harvey Broadbent, the project’s director, had this to say:

I am sure that one of the reasons the Turkish archivists check their files so carefully before they release them to our research team is to ensure that there is no reference in the released papers to sensitive matters of the type to which you refer. So it is unlikely that we would learn of such matters during the course of our research project.[16]

 

Despite their stated policy of openness, then, it appears that Turkish archivists still check their documents for ‘sensitivity’ before releasing them.

On the other hand, Turkish historians can justly claim that some of the evidence for the Greek and Armenian genocides is scarcely impartial. Not only was the Greek patriarchate understandably partisan but Morgenthau was obsessively anti-German, holding to the view that they were the willing tools of German imperialism. Even Toynbee worked with Lord Bryce of the infamous ‘Bryce report’ – now regarded as a paradigm of excessive and unreliable propaganda. (There are solid grounds, though, to regard Toynbee as objective for, after reporting on the Turkish persecution of Greeks, he reported the subsequent Greek massacres of Turks, the latter costing him his chair of Modern Greek at Kings College.)  Nonetheless, in matters of genocide there are few, if any, disinterested observers. And eye-witness reports of victims probably don’t count as impartial either. Confronted then, on the one side, with unreliable and purged Turkish accounts which have been selectively released to obscure the truth, and on the other with plentiful detailed records of the alleged victims and those sympathetic to them, what should one believe?[17]     

Given official German disavowal of complicity in the Armenian genocide and of the ethnic cleansing of Turkey’s Christian population generally, it is not surprising that  neither in Liman’s account of his years in Turkey, nor in Mühlmann’s official monograph, nor in Kannengiesser’s memoir, is German involvement in Greek deportations acknowledged. All three go out of their way to imply, first, that only the Turks were involved and second, that deportations were only evacuations. Describing the peninsula after the landings, Kannengiesser wrote;

The population, for the most part politically untrustworthy Greeks, had been thrown out by the Turkish Government and accommodated in Asia Minor. The task of looking after the empty houses had been removed by the English who left no stone upon another in the whole of Gallipoli. In July 1915 I was unable to find a single complete house anywhere on the peninsula. [18]

The question of what happened to Gallipoli’s Greeks who were – courtesy of English warships? – never to return home is not pursued. Whatever did happen, though, was tacitly justified. Kannengiesser’s diagnosis of the degeneracy of the Ottoman Empire – a common one at the time and part and parcel of the ideology sustaining pan-Germanism and pan-Turkism alike – was miscegenation. When Christians and Jews intermarried and these elements were further mixed, ‘with occasional dilutions of French and Italian blood, [they] ally all the worse characteristics of their progenitors in themselves’:

[No] trace of national spirit or sacrifice of personal affairs in the interest of the Osman-Turkish Empire could be expected from such elements. For them the Turks and the Turkish state simply remained as an object of plunder for their numerous business talents. They inclined in the main to the Entente and fell an easy prey to the attempts to win them over. [19]

In his monograph, Mühlmann avoids the issue of Gallipoli’s Greeks but acknowledges that in the immediate pre-invasion period it was impossible to allow Greeks on the Asiatic side of the straits to ‘carry on their accustomed activities undisturbed. Greeks were ‘evacuated’ from ‘seawards facing localities, as it was revealed again and again that [they] practised espionage and conveyed information to the passing warships’. The most revealing reference (in the blatancy of its attempt to obscure) comes from Liman. With the land campaign due, he found quarters in the town of Gallipoli at the former residence of a French consular official. ‘When I left the house about four weeks later, the greater part of my linen had disappeared. I was all the more surprised later on when I was accused by Greeks of having robbed and plundered the house. I had something better to do than carry away the round table and t