Great Fire of Smyrna

The Great Fire of Smyrna or the Catastrophe of Smyrna (Greek: Καταστροφή της Σμύρνης, "Smyrna Catastrophe", Turkish: 1922 İzmir Yangını, "1922 Izmir Fire", Armenian: Զմյուռնիոյ մեծ հրդեհ) was a fire that destroyed much of the port city of Izmir (then generally referred to by its ancient name of Smyrna in English) in September 1922. Eyewitness reports state that the fire began on 13 September 1922 and lasted until it was largely extinguished on 22 September. It occurred four days after the Turkish forces regained control of the city on 9 September 1922, effectively ending the Greco-Turkish War in the field, more than three years after the Greek army had landed troops at Smyrna on 15 May 1919. Estimated Greek and Armenians deaths resulting from the fire and massacres range from 10,000 to 100,000

Approximately 50,000 to 400,000 Greek and Armenian refugees crammed the waterfront escaping from the fire and were forced to remain there under harsh conditions for nearly two weeks. The systematic evacuation of Greeks on the quay started on 24 September with the permission and cooperation of Turkish authorities when the first Greek ships entered the harbor under the supervision of Allied destroyers. Some 150,000 to 200,000 Greeks were evacuated.

The fire completely destroyed the Greek and Armenian quarters of the city; the Muslim and Jewish quarters escaped damage. There are different claims about who was responsible for the fire, however there were numerous eyewitness accounts of uniformed Turkish soldiers setting fire to Greek and Armenian homes and businesses.

Read more about Great Fire Of SmyrnaHistoriography, Casualties and Refugees, Aftermath, Great Fire of Smyrna in Literature

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