Greek Atrocities in Bilecik and Surrounding Region
Keywords: Bilecik, Ottoman Empire, Greek
Greece, which gained its independence from the Ottoman State in 1830, had some requests that were not satisfied, especially towards Anatolia. Therefore, the Greeks considered it a national duty to bring these wishes to the agenda in the weakest times of the Ottoman State, and to protect this moment of weakness of the empire. The reason for these policies is that they have a historical ideal such as establishing the great Greece, one leg in Asia and one leg in Europe. According to this ideal known as Mégalo Idea, the borders of Greece stretched from the middle of Anatolia in the east to the northern parts of the Black Sea, including the Crimea, and the Carpathian mountains to the Danube river. The western and southern borders were crossing the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. World War I was a good opportunity for Greece, who knew how to take advantage of every political crisis, in order to realize the stated historical ideal. Already, during the days of the war, the needs of the Allied powers increased to the Greek army. Indeed, British Foreign Minister Lord E. Edward Gray made a proposal to the Greek rulers on January 11, 1915. In his proposal, the British Minister vowed that a substantial portion of the Anatolian coast could be donated to Greece, provided that he helped Serbia. On April 12, Britain reported on behalf of its allies that "they are ready to guarantee the land within the province of Aydın, which was promised in January as the price to join the war against Turks in Greece".