Greece Crisis Propelling Some Ethnic Greeks Back to Their Homeland on a Turkish Island


Featured image is found at Wikimedia Commons, by user Bilderbrei (CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported).

News portal Greek Reporter and Anastassios Adamopoulos recently republished a story that first appeared at Turkish Hurriet Daily News online, focusing on a trend that has seen many Greek families escape the worsening economic crisis in Greece by returning to their homeland on the Turkish island of Gökçeada in Çanakkale Province, known in Greek as Imbros.

In the report, local Mayor Ünal Çetin congratulates Greeks for helping to boost the island's local economy, with several repatriated families starting up small boutique hotels to make a living. Meanwhile, Turkish and Greek social media users have been coming together under the hashtags #Imvros and #Gokceada to celebrate the island's beauty.

Many Greek families, mostly descendants of ethnic Greeks born and raised on the island from antiquity until the mid-point of the 20th century, still spend their summers in Imbros. These families subsequently emigrated to Greece due to a Turkish state-sponsored campaign of discrimination. The fact that they are moving back despite less-than-perfect relations between Ankara and Athens says much about the scale of the catastrophe that has befallen Greece, as well as the strength of their bond with the island.

Moreover, while bad economic news continues to seep out of the country they left behind, the theme of their return to Gökçeada is one of gradual regeneration and homecoming:

[Private Gökçeada Greek Primary] School reopened after 49 years. Two students only #imvros #shcool #students

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