Chronology of Major Events

The chronology of major events covers the period from the arrival of the Turkic people in Asia Minor during the 10th and 12th Century, to the events leading to the Genocide of the Pontian Greeks.

10th -12th Centuryottoman-turks-10th-century Ottoman Turks migrate from central Asia to Asia Minor

1204crusaders-constantinople-1204 Fourth Crusade; Crusaders capture Constantinople and sack Constantinople; Greek Empire of Trebizond established in the region of Pontus on the Black Sea

1299ottoman-state-formation-1299 Formation of Ottoman State

1453fall-of-constantinople-1453 Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Empire; End of the Byzantine Empire

1458-1460turks-occupy-greece-1458 Turks occupy mainland Greece

1461 (August 15)empire-of-trebizon-fall-1461 Empire of Trebizond fall to the Ottoman Turks: forced conversions of Christians begin

17th & 18th Centuriesforced-conversion-to-islam-17th-century 250,000 Pontian Greeks forced to convert to Islam; Thousands of Pontian Greeks depart for Russia, Constantinople and Danubian Principalities to avoid persecution

1821-1828greek-war-to-independence-1821 Greek war of independence

1832 (August 30)greece-independance-1832 Greece becomes an independent state

1877-1878russian-turkish-war-1877 Russo-Turkish War; after a series of defeats at the hands of Russia, the Ottoman Empire is crippled; Russia becomes dominant power in the Balkans and Black Sea


Ottoman reprisals in response to Russian victories cause 250,000 Greeks to leave Pontus and settle in the Russian-held Caucasus Mountains

1894-1896armenian-massacre-1894 Hamidian Massacres of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire

1908young-turk-revolution-1908 Young Turks revolt; rise to power of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) Party, which resorts Parliament and the Constitution of 1877 and promises reforms including equality among all ethnic groups

1912-1913balkan-wars-1912 First and Second Balkan Wars; Ottoman Empire loses significant territories in Europe

1913ottoman-military-dictatorship-1913 Coup within the CUP; a triumvirate (three pashas) seizes control of the government and establishes a military dictatorship that rules the Ottoman Empire until the end of WWI Ottoman Empire Masterminds and implements the Genocide against the Christian minorities with a goal of establishing a Turkish, Islamic, nationalistic empire as “the only solution for their salvation”


Deportations of Greeks in Eastern Thrace and Western Asia Minor


World War I; conscription of Christians to the Ottoman army in 1914; Many Pontian Greek men flee to the mountains to avoid military service and “labor battalions”; They form guerilla groups to protect themselves, their persecuted relatives, and co-nationals; First phase of the Anatolian Pontian Greek Genocide


Pontian Greek fighters resist deportations, Turkish persecutions and massacres


Armenian Genocide begins; over one million Armenians eventually perish


Greek inhabitants of the Pontian Greek towns of Matsouka and Tripolis deported to the interior of Anatolia


Allies defeat the Ottoman Empire; World War I ends; Armistice of Mudros; Allies occupy Constantinople; Ottoman Empire partitioned

1919 ( May 15 )greek-army-lands-in-smyrna-1919

Greek Army lands in Smyrna, at the suggestion of the Allies, to prevent control of Asia Minor by Italy and to protect the Greek population of the surrounding area from Turkish persecutions and atrocities; this was also part of a longstanding dream of the Greeks, called: “Megali Idea” - the recapture of old Greek homelands –


Nationalist movement of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk); second phase of Pontian Greek genocide; Pontian Greeks attempt to establish independent state as th only solution to their salvation

1920 ( August 10 )treaty-of-serves-1920

Treaty of Sevres between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire liquidates the Ottoman Empire; Treaty was not ratified by the Grand National Assembly or Kemal Ataturk during the Turkish War of Independence

1922 ( August-September )smyrna-defeat-1922

Turkish Army defeats the Greek expeditionary army and destroys Smyrna; hundreds of thousands of Greeks flee or are expelled by the advancing Turkish forces


Treaty of Lausanne; Turkey and Greece agree on compulsory Exchange of populations; Turkey regains control of all territories in Asia Minor;


Last survivors of Pontian Greek Genocide leave Turkey. Remaining Asia Minor Greeks are exchanged with Muslim population of Greece; Thousands of Greeks die of starvation and disease while in transit to Greece; This also results in thousands of orphaned Greek children