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information courtesy of George Vassiadis, 2007

The following are the seven books by Nikos Kararas [Nikoy Kapapa] (titles have been translated from Greek into English). Copies of the first and second are held by the British Museum Library in London. They are detailed analysis of these neighbourhood’s social and economic nature concentrating on the Greek and Levantine communities. In order of publication:

Bournovas [Bornova - O Mπoypnobaσ]: historical notes and reminiscences (Athens, 1955) - sample
Bournovas Villages: Chatzelari, Narlekoi, Bournarbasi, Koukloutzas, Naldoukeni (Athens, 1958) - sample
Boutzas: the flower-filled village of Smyrna, its history and life (Athens, 1962) - sample
Sevdikioi [Seydiköy]: the “leventiko” village of Smyrna, its history and life (Athens, 1964) - sample
Nymphaio (Nyphio) [Kemalpaşa]: a village with Byzantine origins on the outskirts of Smyrna (Athens, 1968)
Kordelio [Karşıyaka]: the pride of Smyrna, history and popular culture (Athens, 1971) - sample
Konstantinos Oikonomos o ex Oikonomon and Smyrna [biography of a well-known scholar and cleric, Konstantinos Oikonomos] (Athens, 1971)

From information scattered throughout Bournovas: historical notes and reminiscences, it has been possible to piece together a brief biographical sketch of Nikos Kararas. He was born in the Tsai district of Bournovas in December 1891, to Georgios Kararas (1859-1929) and Kona Margitsa Kararas (1855-1940). His father owned land in the Kambos and Vouno districts of Bournovas, and his mother was a lace merchant. He had a sister, Anna Kararas, who married Nikos D. Lambaditis, another native of Bournovas. Nikos Kararas married Eirene Tsangridis, the daughter of Nikolaos Tsangridis and Charitini Bereketis. Both of her parents belonged to prominent Smyrna families. Kararas’ historical interests were fostered by his friendship with Nikos Chatzi Kostis, descendant of one of the oldest Greek families in Smyrna, who provided him with a great deal of historical and genealogical information.

Kararas and his parents must have left Smyrna in 1922 or 1923 as part of the exchange of populations. All of Kararas’ books were published in Athens, the last two appearing in 1971, which suggests that he was still living at that date. He presumably died in Athens and may be buried in the cemetery at Nea Smyrni, the Athenian suburb founded by refugees from Smyrna.

The final two paragraphs of Bournovas: historical notes and memoirs, which was printed in May 1955, only a few months before the anti-Greek riots in Istanbul and Izmir, are worth quoting:

“After the Catastrophe, when the first wave of the storm had passed, Giorgos Tzavelopoulos, the former owner of a great landed estate, returned and settled in Bournovas with his wife Valeia and their children Aimilios and Popi. So did Angeliki and Sophia, the two adult daughters of G. Viketos, another rich landowner, as well as Eleni Pappou (Valtatzis). They could not live elsewhere. They returned, like foreigners, to the land where they were born, to live there in poverty with sadness as their only companion, in place of their lost happiness.

Now that time has dispersed and dissolved all the passions, we can see the great Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922 as a fateful episode on the endless road of human history. We can also conclude that the mistakes of Greek and Turkish politicians which led to the Catastrophe caused the two races to look deeper inside themselves and realise that their centuries of coexistence had united them with immeasurable bonds of kinship and that their fate is to live together like brothers. Then, perhaps, Bournovas can be similar to how it was in the past, or even better…”

 Note: Mr Alex Baltazzi has kindly penned an article in 2007 for this forum, using the Kararas book on Cordelio as a reference point, viewable here: and a similar work based on Kararas’s book on Boudja, viewable here:

The refugee association which takes an active interest in the Hellenic heritage of Smyrna is the Association of Smyrneans, whose ‘separate publications’ lists 4 of his books (not the one dealing with Bornova).