The way Turkish people are looking over the relations between Greece and Turkey

The way Turkish people are looking over the relations between Greece and Turkey

It is quite difficult to make a research and find answers to controversial issues such as the conflicts among different groups of people or countries, religions political theories and so on.

My interest was focused on issues related to conflicts between Greek and Turkish people as a result of hundreds of years of animosities and fighting that goes on, even up today.

To arrive at some conclusions I have followed two approaches. The first approach was to exchange views, directly, with some Turkish people and the second method was to follow discussions on various related subjects published in an international public site   ‘Quora’ that specializes in publicizing discussions among people who want to investigate views and opinions in public.

By asking relevant questions one may receive answers from various sources including responses from your target groups.

In this way one may filter out opinions of many people exposing issues related to propagandas or facts of reality prevailing within the target group, that one may take into consideration either way,

I attach one certain report that can help the reader to form its own opinion on the subject.

I the end of this chapter I provide a separate document regarding my discussion with a Turkish person that I maintained on ‘facebook’  over a long period.       


Why Quora site exists

Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. Not all knowledge can be written down, but much of that which can be, still isn’t. It remains in people’s heads or only accessible if you know the right people. We want to connect the people who have knowledge to the people who need it, to bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better, and to empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the world.



Although Turkish and Eastern sources say that more than half of Janissaries in Ottoman army were Turkish, why do Westerners insist that Janissaries were of Albanian and Balkan origin? Why do Turkish historians argue that Janissaries were Turkish?


According to the history books I have read, the Janissaries were the Ottoman Sultan’s Christian born fighters. Many Westerners claimed they were slaves, but most were from the Christian minority from throughout the Empire. The Sultan encouraged non-Muslims to live in the empire, mainly for intelligence about Europe, but would tax them a bit differently. Many of the Christian subjects, in an effort to avoid the increased taxes, would sign their sons into the Ottoman military. I am not positive that most Janissaries were Turkish, but a large number of the Christian minority in Turkey at that time probably served with them. Of course, the enemies of the Ottomans would not wish this to be known.

How did the Ottomans, when they were a small principality in Anatolia, defeat the nations produced the best warrior units in history, namely the Greeks, Macedonians, Eastern Romans, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians and the Holy Roman empire?


I think something is wrong with your watch^^All that you mentioned referred having their peak during different times and the only ones Turkic Ottomans faced were the East Roman Byzantine Empire. Of course they defeated them with about 70 K against 10 K of warriors, also having all the means to do so LoL

Can you also tell us why the East Roman Byzantine Empire lasted about 3 times as much as the Ottomans while led Europe instead of only the Balkans that Ottomans led before they vanish?

By vanish it is referred for you to know that although Turks were nucleus to the Turkic mongoloid Ottoman Empire, they don’t represent it been Muslim Eurasian, similar to Greeks been nucleus to the Byzantine Empire of Greek-Roman culture. but didn’t represent it either.

Now if you wish to get exited, speak of Ataturk as if it wasn’t for him, probably Turkey wouldn’t exist today.

Weren’t proto-Turkic people closer to Chinese people before they interacted with Persians? The Homogeneous Turkic people don’t look like Mongols but Hans.


No, proto-Turk was closer to Mongol.

Proto-Turk and Mongol both derive from Amur_N sources. Turks later received Western Eurasian ancestry via their hybrid Saka/Scythian heritage, while Mongols received that at far lower amounts indirectly by absorbing Eastern Turks.

Han Chinese are mostly Yellow River farmers.



Why did Trebizond fall later than Constantinople?


Strategically to conquer Trebizond would not make the conquest of Constantinople any easier but to conquer Constantinople would make the conquest of Trebizond a piece of cake as no help could reach Trebizond thru the Turkish controlled straits from the real maritime powers that count …the Venetians .

Ever the strategist Mehmet II did not waste any treasure or lives for Trebizond and the fruit fell on his lap without much effort …though it was still not effortless

Which empire was known for being more brutal, the Mongols or the Ottomans? Can you provide some examples of their brutality?

Mongols and especially under Genghis Khan. Example: every country he invaded he murdered everyone including children. His army must have murdered over 1000000 people.

Is it true that the Ottoman Empire has previously invaded Greece and took down almost all of their ancient structures and buildings?


This is 100% false.If anything, it was the Greeks that demolished all remnants of the Turkish rule to include places of worship and housing, cemeteries etc.

When the Turks conquered Istanbul they did not destroy churches, cemeteries or other elements of the Byzantine/Greek people. Many are still there to see. The Turks also did not destroy the churches plus instead of killing him allowed the Patriarch to stay. Patriarch is there to this day and churches still serve the Christian faithful. How many mosques from the Turkish period function in Athens today? NONE !!!!!

Did the ancient Greeks and modern day Turks have any interactions before World War I? Were they aware of each other’s existence during that time period?


Yes, the ancient Greeks and the ancestors of modern-day Turks had interactions before World War I. It’s important to note that the term “Turks” as it is used today refers to the people who inhabit modern-day Turkey and are descended from a variety of ethnic groups, including the ancient Anatolians, the Seljuks, and the Ottoman Turks. Here are some key points regarding the interactions between ancient Greeks and the ancestors of modern-day Turks:

  1. Ancient Anatolia: Ancient Anatolia, the region that corresponds to present-day Turkey, was home to various civilizations, including the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, and others. These civilizations had interactions and conflicts with the ancient Greeks. For example, the Greeks had contact and conflicts with the Hittites during the Late Bronze Age.
  2. Persian Empire: In the 5th century BCE, the Persian Empire, which included parts of modern-day Turkey, clashed with the ancient Greeks in a series of wars known as the Greco-Persian Wars. The most famous conflict was the Battle of Thermopylae and the subsequent Battle of Salamis. These encounters involved both Greeks and the Persian rulers, who were not ethnically Turkish but rather of Iranian descent.
  3. Hellenistic Period: After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE, Greek culture and influence spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean, including Anatolia. The Hellenistic period saw the establishment of Greek-speaking kingdoms, such as the Seleucid Empire and the Ptolemaic Kingdom. These Greek-influenced states interacted with the local Anatolian populations.
  4. Roman and Byzantine Periods: Anatolia became part of the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire, which was the continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire. During this time, there were interactions between the Greek-speaking Byzantines and the local Anatolian populations, including the ancestors of modern-day Turks.
  5. Seljuk Turks and the Ottoman Empire: The Seljuk Turks, a Turkic-speaking group, migrated into Anatolia in the 11th century. They established the Sultanate of Rum and came into conflict with the Byzantine Empire. Eventually, they conquered Constantinople in 1453, establishing the Ottoman Empire, which lasted until the end of World War I. The Ottoman Empire had extensive interactions and conflicts with various European powers, including Greece, during its existence.

Regarding awareness of each other’s existence during this time period, it varied depending on the specific era and geographical location. The ancient Greeks were certainly aware of the existence of the various civilizations and peoples inhabiting Anatolia, including the Phrygians, Lydians, and Persians. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, there was more direct interaction and awareness between the Greeks and the local Anatolian populations, which included ancestors of modern-day Turks. However, it’s important to note that the ethnic and cultural composition of Anatolia has evolved over time, and the modern concept of “Turks” as a distinct ethnic group emerged later in history with the rise of the Seljuk Turks and the Ottoman Empire


The life of a Janissary sounds pretty brutal, starting with being kidnapped and taken away from their families. How did the Ottoman Empire inspire loyalty in them after they started life that way?


The Ottoman Empire was able to inspire loyalty in Janissaries through a combination of religious, cultural, and social factors.

Firstly, the Janissaries were indoctrinated into the Islamic faith, which was the dominant religion of the Ottoman Empire. They were taught that serving the empire and the sultan was a form of serving Allah, and that their loyalty to the empire was a religious duty. This instilled a strong sense of devotion and duty to the empire in the Janissaries.

Secondly, the Janissaries were given a strong sense of identity and belonging within the empire. They were trained in the Ottoman military and cultural traditions, and were given a new name and identity upon joining the Janissary corps. This helped to create a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood among the Janissaries, and made them feel like a part of something bigger than themselves.

Thirdly, the Janissaries were given privileges and opportunities that were not available to other citizens of the empire. They were given a high level of education and training, and were able to rise through the ranks of the military and government. This gave them a sense of pride and status within the empire, and made them feel valued and respected.

Finally, the Ottoman Empire also used a system of rewards and punishments to maintain the loyalty of the Janissaries. Those who served the empire faithfully were rewarded with promotions, land, and other benefits, while those who rebelled or showed disloyalty were punished severely. This created a sense of fear and loyalty among the Janissaries, as they knew that their loyalty would be rewarded and disloyalty would be punished.

Overall, the combination of religious, cultural, social, and material factors helped to inspire loyalty in the Janissaries and maintain their allegiance to the Ottoman Empire.
“Curious about how the Ottoman Empire maintained loyalty among its Janissary soldiers, despite their brutal beginnings? Click the link in the bio to uncover the secret behind their unwavering dedication.”

Between the fall of Rome and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 CE, did any centralized government exist in Western Europe, or was all political and military power in the hands of the holders of the various primitive strongpoints and the Church?


As of 700 A.D. the largest single political entity was the Frankish kingdom, with the Visigoths in Spain a close second.

Why do some ancient civilizations, such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, receive more attention in history compared to others, like China?


The emphasis on certain ancient civilizations, such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome,

in historical narratives is often rooted in Western-centric viewpoints that prioritize the development of Western culture. These civilizations are frequently studied for their profound impacts on philosophy, governance, and the arts,

influencing subsequent Western societies. Moreover, the availability of extensive written records and well-preserved archaeological artifacts in these regions has facilitated a more detailed reconstruction of their histories.

The enduring legacy of these civilizations also contributes to their continued prominence in academic and popular discourse.

However, this focus can inadvertently downplay the significance of other ancient civilizations, like China, which boasts a rich and extensive history. China’s contributions to science,

technology, philosophy, and governance were equally impactful, if not more so, in shaping global history. The prominence of certain civilizations often reflects historical biases and the accessibility of historical evidence rather than an accurate representation of the contributions

of different cultures and regions. Recognizing and exploring the histories of diverse ancient civilizations is essential for a more inclusive and nuanced understanding of our shared human past.

Have any European countries formed alliances with the Ottoman Empire during times of war? If so, which ones and for what reasons?


Throughout history, various European countries formed alliances with the Ottoman Empire in different periods. During the 16th and 17th centuries, some European powers sought alliances with the Ottomans against common adversaries. For instance, France formed alliances with the Ottoman Empire against the Habsburgs, particularly during the Habsburg-Valois Wars and the Thirty Years’ War.

These alliances were often motivated by geopolitical considerations and a desire to counterbalance the power of the Habsburg monarchy, which controlled significant parts of Europe. However, these alliances were typically temporary and situational, reflecting the complex and shifting dynamics of European politics during that time.

Some notable instances of European countries forming alliances with the Ottoman Empire include:

  1. Franco-Ottoman Alliance (1536-1798): France and the Ottoman Empire formed an alliance against the Habsburgs, which lasted for centuries. This alliance included military cooperation and diplomatic support.
  2. Anglo-Ottoman Alliance (1583-1799): England (later Great Britain) sought diplomatic and economic cooperation with the Ottoman Empire, especially against common rivals such as Spain.
  3. Polish-Ottoman Alliance (15th-17th centuries): Poland and the Ottoman Empire had periods of cooperation, particularly against the Habsburgs and during conflicts in Eastern Europe.

These alliances were often pragmatic and aimed at securing strategic advantages or countering shared adversaries, reflecting the intricate balance of power politics in Europe and the Middle East during those times.

Is there evidence that ancient Greeks claimed descent from Alexander the Great?


Yes, there is evidence. Ancient Greek Macedonians were descendants of the Argeads (Argead Dynasty) from the Greek city of Argos. The Argead Dynasty was an Ancient Greek Dynasty that ruled over the Kingdom of Macedon.(Argead Dynasty-World History Encyclopedia). Alexander the Great came from the Argead Dynasty. He was Greek and spoke the Greek Language (a Greek Doric Dialect).Alexander the Great himself declared that he was Greek. Alexander the Great was a Greek King of the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon.

When did Ancient Greece cease to exist and how long ago was that? What is the historical significance of this event?


Around 2,170 years ago, Greece, once a thriving civilization, succumbed to the rule of the Roman Republic after their defeat in the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC. This marked the end of the distinctive and independent Greek city-states that had flourished for more than 500 years since the Archaic Period. Despite this political shift, Greek culture, language, philosophy, science, art, and architecture continued to have a profound impact on Ancient Rome. However, it wasn’t until the early 19th century AD that Greece regained its political autonomy after over 2,000 years of being under foreign rule, marked by the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, the fall of Ancient Greece in 146 BC brought an end to a significant era in history.

How did the Ottomans, when they were a small principality in Anatolia, defeat the nations produced the best warrior units in history, namely the Greeks, Macedonians, Eastern Romans, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians and the Holy Roman empire?


Now it was not the ancient Greeks or Romans, neither the Persians at their height. The Byzantine Empire was a shadow of itself after Venice rented the 4th crusade to plunder Konstantinopel.

It was more of a feature that the Ottomans were able to continue into Europe all the way to Vienna.

Why is the Ottoman Empire called the Sultanate of rum even though there were no Romans in Anatolia?


The term “Sultanate of Rum” refers to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate, which emerged after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The term “Rum” is derived from the Arabic word for the Romans, as the Seljuks saw themselves as successors to the Roman Empire. Although there were no Romans in Anatolia at that time, the name reflects the historical connection and the Seljuks’ perception of inheriting the Byzantine legacy in the region

Why did the Ottoman sultans choose foreign wives (most of the time Christians)?


Fear of loss of the throne as a dynasty. Show me 10 dynasties that ruled for 600 or more years from the planet earth. Ottomans may not succeed in many areas, yet on this issue they were pretty good. Taking a Turkish bride meant taking a valuable family’s daughter which meant they might try to get their brothers, uncles to the top when there be intrigue and crisis which might led to a separation in the empire, turning it into plural smaller empires that will dictate the downfall of it. They also did not enjoy taking non Muslim brides from European hierarchy for the same reason. Yet there was a workaround in the Islamic rule (sharia), if you take female slaves you could have children from them and you could get as many slave women (cariye/cariyah) as you can. Thus harem (haram/sacred household of a Muslim male) was there full of enslaved European (non Muslim since it wa a must due to sharia) females, the sultans could have had children from them, could also have given their freedom if they wanted and then could have married them (all I said happened from time to time). So they were not “wives” but “female slaves”, but a few of them were actually given freedom and married afterwards turning them into Muslims and therefore official wives.

Is it true that the Ottoman Empire has previously invaded Greece and took down almost all of their ancient structures and buildings?


No, my friend, it is not true that the Ottoman Empire invaded Greece and destroyed almost all of their ancient structures and buildings. In fact, the Ottomans respected and preserved many of Greece’s architectural wonders. They recognized the cultural significance of these structures and took measures to protect them. For example, the Parthenon, one of Greece’s most iconic landmarks, was transformed into a mosque, but its architectural integrity was largely preserved. The Ottomans even made efforts to repair and restore damaged ancient buildings. So, rest assured, Greece’s ancient structures were not taken down by the Ottoman Empire.

How did the Ottomans, when they were a small principality in Anatolia, defeat the nations produced the best warrior units in history, namely the Greeks, Macedonians, Eastern Romans, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians and the Holy Roman empire?


A successful military power depends on several factors

  1. Sound strategies from the top. The leadership has to avoid struggles in which it is grossly overmatched and see victories that build its aims. The Ottomans conquered the Balkan areas first and gained an accession of strength thereby that enabled them to. defeat stronger Asiatic neighbours.
  2. the Alignment of the nobility and soldiers with the Sultan’s strategies. Thus Ottoman commanders carried out what the part demanded of them required. Civil wars were completed quickly and brutally.
  3. Troops were well paid in loot and religious blessings. They were aso rewarded with land grants. Being an Ottoman soldier was profitabe
  4. Having the latest technology . The Ottomans invested in expertise, especially in artillery, musketry and siege methods. They hired the best brains and skills. They copied artillery wagon forts from the Hungarians and used them as bases on the battlefield that Asiatic opponents could not take with their cavalry armies,
  5. Their use of screens of light cavalry ensured they could forage in a wide area.
  6. Tactics that exploited enemy weaknesses. One on one Serbian Hungarian and Polish armored knights could defeat Ottoman sipshi cavalry. However the Ottomans would turn away and use feigned flight to exhaust the knights, then turn around to surround them. In the end, though their tactics let them down. Western nations developed the battalion, a fire and maneuver unit that could shoot faster than Ottoman musketeers, move more quickly than the Ottoman units and crucially defeat Ottoman cavalry frontally. The Ottoman military system was rooted in their social organization and the internal resistance to change meant that the arms industry , weaponry and tactics fell behind.
  7. Why do Greeks hate Turkish people and do not want to be friends?
  8. Greeks, in their majority, have no reason to hate Turkish people and they don’t hate them. Greeks hate the Turkish government’s claims over Greek territorial areas, particularly as regards the continental shelf of islands found near the Turkish coastal region. The Turkish government threatens to invade Greek islands close to its coasts if Greece does not remove its defense forces from them. This is all part of Turkey’s vision to exploit hydrocarbon deposits that allegedly exist under the continental shelf of the Greek islands.
  9. Is it because Greek nationalists dream about greater Greece or Byzantine Empire and continuously attack Turkey, Albania, and Macedonia without logic here on Quora?
  10. It seems so, also they especially hate Turks and Muslims which has no parallels in Turkiye or by Turkish people. I am sure those Greeks never had to deal with any Turk in real life, never seen how similar Turks are to Greeks mostly besides religion (mostly) and language. And there are a few friendly Greeks to Turks on Quora, who generally tell me they know a few Turks in real life. I never heard in Turkiye that Turks (single or plural) ever wanted to get rid of the Greek state or Greek population in the whole or any part of Greece. Yet Greek nationalists all the time talk of genociding Turks and exterminating Anatolia off Turks.

Why did the later-age Ottoman Empire constantly lose their wars in the Balkan and Greece? Where the Greeks and Balkan people get their weaponry and war funds?


Ottoman territory in Europe was like a piece of meat sandwiched between two pieces of bread, the military defeat of the Ottoman army was inevitable.

From the 18th to 19th century the Ottomans were punched in the face repeatedly by the Russians with about 80% of the Ottomans losing in war, one of the only reasons the Ottomans did not collapse in the 19th century was because ” Crimean War” a war that was won only because the ottomans had best allies is Britain and France , That delayed the moment when the Ottomans and Muslims were kicked out of Eastern Europe by a few decades If it weren’t for the British and French, the Russian Tsar and allied Orthodox would have captured Istanbul at the end of the 19th century ,

Slash wound in the territory that the Russians gave to the Ottomans will never heal, the small countries that were colonized by the Ottomans after being liberated by Russia will continue to cut those slash

Most of the Balkan League forces were equipped with weapons and military training from the Russian empire , but The Greek have infantry train and navy alone is purchased and equipped with warships made in France

Victory would be a piece of cake quite easy to eat for the Balkan League But because Bulgaria is dissatisfied with the little cake they can eat, there will be Balkan war part 2

Why did Turks disappear from Greece after 1821?


With the start of the Greek uprising in 1821, the Greeks initiated genocide against the Turks. Supported by the backing of England, France, and Russia, the Greeks committed numerous genocides against the Turks and Jews. This is why there are no Turks now, especially in the Peloponnese, which used to be Turkish territories.

Are most Turks of Greek descent? Are Turks and Greeks similar in appearance?


Yes… a handful of Turks came to Anatolia conquered a Greek population many times its size, took everything from them like candy from a baby..

Then these Greeks conquered by Turks, previously conquered Persians, Romans and everyone else that came through decided it sucked to always be taken over. They decided once and for all to abandon the weak, loser Greek identity and take Turkish names, only speak Turkish and we original Turks used them to take over the rest of their Greeks brethren and the Balkans, then almost all of Europe had Vienna fallen, all of the Middle East, North Africa building one of the greatest Empires in world history…

..and everyone is happy, these Greeks are no longer losers but became instant winners into world leaders and Turks made a permanent, undeniable imprint on the world. Win win… today these Greek opined Turks are ready to invade Greece at any time… how dies ir feel to be Greek now? Such weak, salable people that a small nomadic people from a remote steppe can waltz along whistling a catchy tune to swipe away your millennia of development, erase your identity then use your own people to conquer the rest of you… it like an alien invasion movie 👽!!! How weak a pathetic group can you be to allow this to happen much less rant this self demeaning question constantly all over Quora in a stupid sense of hollow superiority… makes Greeks so say and think questions like this sound like such stupid people…

What does Turkey have in common with Greece? Why did they become enemies?


The relationship between Turks and Greeks go a long way back, all the way to the 11th century to be exact. You might also say that Greeks had interacted with Turks even before 11th century but in the context of relationship between Turkey and Greece these are irrelevant.

The first time Greeks and Turks really get to know each other was in the first half of the 11th century when Seljuk Empire emerged as the prominent power in the Turkic world after defeating the Ghaznavids at Battle of Dandanakan and established themselves in modern day Iran thus bordered the then prominent Greek state, The Eastern Roman Empire (aka the Byzantine).

In time thanks to skirmishes and plunders committed by both sides tension grew until it reaches the tipping point and boiled over. Battle of Manzikert and its consequences were disastrous for the Greeks and resulted in Empire’s loss of Asia Minor to Seljuks and although a substantial part of Anatolia was restored to Byzantine control during and after the Crusades they were unsuccessful at dislodging the Turks from Anatolia completely.

Fast forward to 13th after the Seljuks fell and the Anatolian branch of the family was defeated by Mongols of the many beyliks established Ottomans managed to stand out and began their conquest of Balkans after clearing last Byzantine outposts in Anatolia. Eventually ending their empire in 1453 with the conquest of Constantinople.

By the late 15th century nearly all of modern day Greece was ruled by Ottomans and this continued to be so until the Greek Revolution began in year 1821. Under centuries long Ottoman rule the Greeks became an essantial part of the Ottoman bureaucracy as they were employed commonly as Dragomans (Court Translators) and less commonly in other positions. They were also prominently merchants and helped link the trade between West and East. They had their own special community inside the Ottoman governing system also known as the Millet System. They were called the Rûm Millet and were given privileges certain other minorities did not enjoy, such as having their own independent church. However we must also not underestimate the fact that a non-muslim could never be equal to a muslim in the Ottoman society which occasionally triggered revolts and dissatisfaction with the government.

(A Greek Dragoman serving at the Imperial Court.)

There wasn’t much bloodshed between Turks and Greeks back then and intermarriages were quite common as even today many Turks especially those who are from Western Anatolia or had their families migrate from Balkans can claim a few Greek ancestors.

The rather modern hatred between the two states however doesn’t have much base from history and can be explained by rather modern political struggles as populist leaders in both countries use feeling of nationalism to rally people. The main reason of tension between these two nowadays stem from the Dodecanese issue and Greeks wishing to increase their territorial waters from 6 nautical miles to 12 nautical miles which would block all the ships passing from Aegean Sea to be forced to pass through Greek territorial waters which in turn would severe Turkey’s ability to transport its warships from the Aegean.

Average Greek and Turkish citizens however do not hate each other and in fact have many things in common. Both cultures are similar with foods virtually same in all but name being considered a part of their culture. Except their religions there isn’t any major difference between the culture of Turks and Greeks. The populace of the two nations also look very much alike as a result of hundreds of years interaction with each other.

At the end it would be right to say that Turks and Greeks share a very similar culture and although government of both countries are in a mutual state of disagreement the people of both states do not share this demeanor and are rather welcoming of each other.

Demographic history of Greece




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Agriculture came to Europe from Asia via the Balkans, which were one of the first areas in Europe to experience the neolithic transformation. As early as 5000 BC the area’s Mesolithic population had been transformed into a peasant society of 250,000 people, which in turn grew to 2,000,000 people by the Bronze Age. By then the art of writing had been imported to Greece.

Linear B was used to record accounts, and evident from this was the level of sophistication which most certainly reflected in the population distribution. If 2,000,000 people lived in the Balkans in 1250 BC, 1,000,000 people lived in Greece.

By the time the Dark Ages were underway in Greece in the 7th century BC, so was the population which exploded and carried more than half of its share of the Balkan total and over 2,000,000 people in absolute numbers. By the 5th century, the Greek archipelago contained 3,000,000 people out of 5,000,000 people in the Balkans. Alexander’s campaigns opened the whole Orient to Greek settlements, an outlet for the overpopulation back home. As a result, Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor) received the bulk of the Greek expansion. By 200 AD, and after the fruits of Roman peace had settled in, 6,000,000 people in Asia Minor viewed themselves as Greeks of the Roman world, and another 1,000,000 Armenians oscillated between Roman and Persian authority.

For the next 15 centuries Anatolia (Asia Minor) would carry the bulk of the Greek population.

After the reign of Emperor Heraclius and the loss of all of its overseas territories, Byzantine territories were limited to the Balkans and Anatolia, both largely Greek-populated areas. When Byzantium began to recover after a series of conflicts in the 8th century and its territories stabilized, its population began to recover. By the end of the 8th century there were 7,000,000 Byzantines, a figure that climbed to 12,000,000 Byzantine Greeks by 1025. The numbers began falling steadily to 9,000,000 Byzantines at 1204 and even lower to 5,000,000 Byzantine Greeks at 1281 with the arrival of the Turks, whose population in Anatolia numbered about 1,000,000 at the time or about 15% of the total Anatolian populace.

In 1830, with Greek independence from the Turks, the Greek population was about 5,000,000 (almost one fifth in independent Greece and many in Southern Russia and Ukraine, under the Russian empire, but with the majority still under Ottoman rule).

In 1911, just before the Balkan Wars and the Greek Genocide, the Greek population numbered about 8,500,000 (2,701,000 in independent Greece, more than 2,000,000 in the European part of the Ottoman empire and another 3,000,000 in the Asiatic side, with many hundreds of thousands across the Southern Russian empire, Southern Italy, Egypt, Romania, specifically along the Danube, and the Caucasus)

In 1922, after defeat by Turkey and the population exchange which saw 1,250,000 Greeks move across the Aegean (100,000 had departed Eastern Thrace in the decade prior to 1914) the total Greek population was approximately 7,000,000. 400,000 remained in Istanbul. 1,200,000-1,600,000 had been killed during WWI and the Greco-Turkish War of 1922-1923. Most were victims of the Greek genocide of (1913-1923).

Henceforth, the Greek population began to rise steadily in numbers to an all-time high for the peninsula and archipelago of 12,000,000 Greek people in Greece and Cyprus by 2007.

Published by

Aaron O’Neill,

Dec 8, 2022

Prior to 1829, the area of modern day Greece was largely under the control of the Ottoman Empire. In 1821, the Greeks declared their independence from the Ottomans, and achieved it within 8 years through the Greek War of Independence. The Independent Kingdom of Greece was established in 1829 and made up the southern half of present-day, mainland Greece, along with some Mediterranean islands. Over the next century, Greece’s borders would expand and readjust drastically, through a number of conflicts and diplomatic agreements; therefore the population of Greece within those political borders** was much lower than the population in what would be today’s borders. As there were large communities of ethnic Greeks living in neighboring countries during this time, particularly in Turkey, and the data presented here does not show the full extent of the First World War, Spanish Flu Pandemic and Greko-Turkish War on these Greek populations. While it is difficult to separate the fatalities from each of these events, it is estimated that between 500,000 and 900,000 ethnic Greeks died at the hands of the Ottomans between the years 1914 and 1923, and approximately 150,000 died due to the 1918 flu pandemic. These years also saw the exchange of up to one million Orthodox Christians from Turkey to Greece, and several hundred thousand Muslims from Greece to Turkey; this exchange is one reason why Greece’s total population did not change drastically, despite the genocide, displacement and demographic upheaval of the 1910s and 1920s.



The Turkification of Anatolia began under the rule of the Seljuk Empire in the late 11th century, continued under the Ottoman Empire between the late 13th and early 20th centuries, and continues today under the Republic of Türkiye. However, various non-Turkic languages continue to be spoken by minorities in Anatolia, including KurdishNeo-AramaicArmenianNorth Caucasian languagesLazGeorgian, and Greek.

Recent comments:



Constantinople was Roman, not Greek, it was built and owned by an empire with multiple ethnicities and religions. Greeks were the majority of the city. Greeks stayed in Konstantiniyye after its conquest. Majority of them left after the creation of modern Hellas as a state. The last of them left in 1950’s onwards, with only a small group of 20K still left in Istanbul. Constantinople was dear to Romans, Konstantinoupoli is dear to Greeks, Konstantiniyye is dear to Turks, Istanbul is what we have got now. Only half of the city is Turkish right now, the rest are Kurdish, Arabic and others. The majority religion is not Turkish but Arabic. And the country that owns or occupies it carries a version of the flag of the city as a country flag. I hope you have the wisdom to get the message here.