Photographer's Note

In the Autumn of 1922, over 900,000 Greeks left Turkey (both Thrace and Asia Minor) and moved to Greece. They had been happily coexisting for centuries. The population transfers involved approximately two million people, around 1.5 million Anatolian Greeks and 500,000 Muslims in Greece. The cause of the transfer was the Turkish military's reaction against Christian minorities in the late days of the Ottoman Empire and its subsequent massacres of them: Adana massacre of 1909, Armenian Genocide of 1914–1923, and Greek genocide 1914–1922. By January 31, 1917, the Chancellor of Germany, allied with the Ottomans during World War I, was reporting that:

"The indications are that the Turks plan to eliminate the Greek element as enemies of the state, as they did earlier with the Armenians. The strategy implemented by the Turks is of displacing people to the interior without taking measures for their survival by exposing them to death, hunger, and illness. The abandoned homes are then looted and burnt or destroyed. Whatever was done to the Armenians is being repeated with the Greeks." — Chancellor of Germany in 1917, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century. Even today relations between Greece and Turkey remain frosty, and it is an offence by law in Turkey to even mention the word 'genocide'.

So those who could leave, left Karmilissos, shortened to Lebessos and pronounced in Modern Greek as Livissi (Kayakoy in Turkish). This is the upper church. The lower church was locked at the time of my visit and has a more impressive interior. There wasn't a lot to see inside this church, which had been vandalised decades ago. Fethiye is the nearest large town. Nobody lives in this ghost town today. Turks live in the valley behind me here in small red roofed farmhouses. A sad story from almost a century ago.

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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17199 W: 1065 N: 37882] (171822)
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