I also remember seeing some female Greek tourists clinging to the walls of some houses in Çeşme, where we would go in the summer. Seeing those Greek women crying, my mother would also burst into cries. For many years, I have been unable to give any meaning to those tears. Our non-Muslims had melted into thin air, leaving behind their houses, streets, churches, fountains and other “remnants,” they have always continued to be part of our lives like some sinister ghost that we cannot ward off. Despite our history textbooks that carefully avoid any mention of them and despite their names erased meticulously from every place, it seemed, they have left some sort of tiny “reminders” across the country.
After many years, I started to ponder the country’s matters and issues, and I came to realize that the problem was a “social earthquake” that was far bigger than I as a kid could perceive. If the pre-1915 demographic percentages still applied to today’s Turkey, there would be 18 million non-Muslims living in the country. Just try to visualize 18 million non-Muslims, consisting mainly of Greeks, Armenians and Jews, living in Turkey. What sort of Turkey would it be?
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