images courtesy of Mr Gregory Pos
Nothing is known of the identity of the photographer of this series, and though the Greek heritage of Smyrna/Anatolia is beyond the scope of the project, these are considered revealing enough to highlight the conditions of this mass exodus that has permanently altered the cultural demographics of the region.
The dress of these refugees is effectively the same of Anatolian Turkish villagers, pointing to the degree of cultural assimilation of these communities with each other, and these people are almost certainly rural villagers from the hinterland, possibly Turkish speaking Karamanli.
The people seem to be shepherded by guards who are certainly not Turkish, but Westerners, possibly British troops attached to the ‘inter-allied war commission’, if this evacuation was taking place, as it seems likely during the period of allied occupation of the city (1919-1922).
The transport taking them to a new life has the name written as ‘Maid of Chios’, but not necessarily a Greek registered vessel.
The combination of railways and quayside would point to this location being the Darağaç point in the north end of Punta, and there is a possibility the railways were used to convey this group of refugees.
9th Sept 1922, evacuation of Greek civilians before the fire