- Project Runeberg -  Armenia and the Near East /
26

(1928) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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legal manner with proper safeguards, thereby, inter alia,
securing their economic interests.

The proposal was adopted, in the main, by the Lausanne
Conference, but with the important difference that the Greeks
who had already fled, or been expelled, from Asia Minor and
Eastern Thrace were deprived of all right to the property
they had abandoned; according to “Turkish law,” the Turks
declared, it fell to the State because the owners had abandoned
it without leave (to escape being murdered!). Furthermore
the plan was adopted so late that only a portion of the men in
the “labour battalions” were saved.

The expulsion of the Armenians from Anatolia has also
been attributed to the agreement regarding the exchange of
Greek and Turkish populations, but this is due to a
misunderstanding. The Armenians could not be included, for they
were not Greeks, and besides there was no population with
whom they could be exchanged, and they had no Armenian
country to go to except Russian Armenia.

I discussed, in fact, with the Turks the possibility of being
assigned an area in Asiatic Turkey, where the Armenians—including
both the refugees and those who were still in Anatolia—could
be concentrated. This would prevent future
collisions between the Armenian and Turkish inhabitants.
The Turks listened with their customary polished courtesy to
this proposal and my explanations, which they pronounced
extremely interesting; but it always ended in the same way:
the Armenians were best off where they were in Anatolia,
and there was no danger of any trouble between the Turks
and Armenians, who got on well enough with one another
so long as the Armenians were not egged on by the Europeans.

From Athens to Constantinople.



In the afternoon we left Piræus again in the Semiramis and
steamed round the south of the Attic peninsula over a blue
sea beneath sunny skies. On the outermost point of Cape
Colonna, the ancient Sunion, still shine the lofty marble
pillars of Athene’s splendid temple. This, the most easterly
promontory on the Greek mainland, which was feared by

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