The surprise at the top
We make it to the top and suddenly see the remains of a Greek-Turkish town abandoned in 1923. It’s creepy to be here ~ it feels like the arson that followed the departure of the population happened yesterday.What surprises me, though, you can see if you squint at the buildings…
There is one a bit on the left which is in use again! It’s the Orthodox church, renovated by Unesco to be a symbol of peace and international reconciliation.
The town used to be called Kayakoy or Karmalyssos (in Greek) and Levissi (in Turkish). You’ll recall that about one million Greeks living in Turkey and 500,000 Turks living in Greece in 1923 were forced to rejoin their “countries of origin” under the treaty of Paris. These people had lived on what was then deemed to be foreign soil for them, for centuries, sometimes up to 1,000 years.
This town was abandoned overnight.