The Greek islands of Imvros and Tenedos were ceded to Turkey by the Treaty of Lauzanne (1923). These islands had been liberated from Ottoman control in 1912 by the Greek Navy. Under Article 14 of the Lausanne treaty, Turkey assumed the legal responsibility of ruling these islands with a special self-governing status, which was to be exercised by local authorities. Under these provisions order would be kept by a police force recruited from the local Greek population that would also have the responsibility of overseeing the Greek educational system.
Turkey followed here its usual tactic of never abiding by its international obligations. Numbers speak for themselves. In 1920 the islands of Imvros and Tenedos had a population of approximately 10,000 Greeks. Today only a few hundred Greeks remain. In order to accomplish this drastic result, the Turks took a number of measures :
- They expropriated the best properties, without compensation, in order to deprive the residents of their means of survival.
- Greeks who traveled abroad were not allowed to return and their property was confiscated.
- They forbade the teaching of the Greek language.
- Imvros was converted into a prison without walls for convicted Turkish fellons who terrorized the Greek residents.
Using such dreadful measures, the Turks managed to bring decay to the way of life of the Greek inhabitants and they thought that they would enjoy the fruits of their crimes in perpetuity.
Vandalism of Turks at the chapel of St Anne of the village Agridia (1967).