Menemen massacre

Menemen massacre

The "Menemen massacre" occurred on June 16-17, 1919, during the Greek occupation of the town of Menemen, in western Turkey, shortly after Greek forces had landed and occupied the nearby city of Smyrna. The Ottoman prefect of Menemen, Kemal Bey, and the six gendarmes accompanying him were assassinated by Greek soldiers in the evening of the first day. These deaths became the opening act for further killings carried out on the civilian population of Menemen the following day by a Cretan brigade aided by a number of accomplices from the local Greek minority. The event was termed as a "massacre" by an inter-allied commission composed of four generals representing the Allied Powers.

The number of casualties among the civilian Turkish population of the town during the single day of June 17 vary between two hundred, according to the October 1919 report drawn up by the Inter-Allied Commission; to one thousand, according to a delegation that arrived the next day (June 18, 1919). Captain Charns, the head of that delegation, contrasted the number of Turkish victims against the non-existence of any Greek wounded, either civilian or military. The October report, prepared by the British officers and medical delegates from the British and Italian consulates in Smyrna, rejected the 1000 casualties figure as an exaggeration, finding that at least 100 had died, and mentioning a French officer's investigation the day after the massacre reporting that 200 Turks had been killed, and 200 injured.

Historian Justin McCarthy, rejecting the findings of the Inter-Allied Commission, claimed the massacre was preplanned, indicated by the fact that before the attacks all Greek houses in the city had been marked with white crosses and were not affected by the pillage and destruction.

British Admiral Calthorpe, commenting to London on the fact that some Turks of Menemen had managed to survive, stated:

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