Turks desecrate Greek Orthodox cemetery in Imvros island
“Unknown” perpetrators vandalized 78 Greek-Orthodox graves in the cemetery on the Turkish Island of Imvros. It is the first time in 20 years that such an unprecedented damage and to this extend occurs in the area.The vandalism occurred Friday, October 29, the day Turkey celebrates the anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic in 1923.
Shocked members of the Association of Imvros in Athens expressed anger and resentment in a statement and asked the Turkish government to proceed with the arrest and exemplary punishment of the perpetrators.
As the island had less 8,900 inhabitants it would be more than easy to find out who did such damage… Vandalism of graves has always been used a mean of psychologically terrorizing the minorities and create insecurity.
There are still some 250 Greeks living in Imvros (Turkish: Gökçeada), most of whom are elderly people. Large numbers of Greeks emigrated after the assaults of Turks against the Greek-Orthodox minority in the 1955’s and early 1960’s.
Originally the population of Imvros was ethnically Greek, with Greeks making up approximately 97.5 percent of the islands population in 1927. In 1920, the Treaty of Sevres granded the island to Greece. Three years later the Treaty of Lausanne made the island part of Turkey.
Imvros is the homeland of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew