What was the attitude of most Greeks toward the Pontian refugees after the Genocide?

Were most Greeks very welcoming to the Pontian refugees? Was there discrimination or even violence against Pontians? Did Balkan Greeks see Pontians as "Middle Easterners" and look down on them? How did those Pontian jokes about how "dumb" the Pontians are originate? How much have Pontians integrated into mainstream Greek society?

I'm a second/third generation Greek-American who is descended from Pontian refugees who speaks almost no Greek and has no connection with his distant family(long story), so I have nobody to talk to about this. I'm just trying to reconnect with my roots and explore their history. Ευχαριστώ πολύ.


This question doesn't mean that I feel any kind of bitterness toward Greece or Balkan Greeks for the treatment of Greek Pontian refugees. On the contrary, my ancestors were treated well, for the most part. They ended up settling in northern Greece where they mostly associated with other Pontians. I heard some horror stories from a Pontian I knew about his grandfather getting assaulted by some Greeks for being a "Turk", but this was an isolated incident.

7 Answers

  • Zoi
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Very...touching question.

    The truth is that our people met a great discrimination at the beginning. They were being called Turks indeed, 'Turkosporoi' (Turkish sperms).

    Especially the Karamanites were continuously and constantly humiliated for not speaking Greek.

    I have plenty of 'small' scale incidents (not major insults) from the time of my grandfather and my father.

    Our people weren't well accepted by the locals! They were treated as second class workers in many cases.

    Reasons for the discrimination at the beginning:

    Locals suffered a lot for the war in Asia Minor. They had a very hard time paying for the war and their men were absent for a long time, they were against the Asia Minor war and they voted for it!

    So, the refugees were held responsible for the economic break down of the country and when they came, the situation became a thousand time worse, in a country that had already bankrupted! The refugees that arrived were about the 1/3 of the TOTAL Greek population. This will help you imagine for what a distruction we talk about!

    It's not the 500.000 Turkish refugees that Blunt is talking about (and this is the only reason I don't thumb her up, Pontian Greeks were 1.500.000 in a much much smaller country).


    After WW2 and especially after the War against the Italians in Albania (1940), Pontians fought together with all the rest Greeks, then suffered with all the rest Greeks from hunger etc.


    Today no one even thinks of discriminating against a Pontian, they are totally integrated into Greek society.

    Besides there are so many emigrants from other countries and the Greeks from Russia and Georgia to discriminate against :DDDDD.

    Now there are others to be the 'bad' ones.




    I know about the Ottoman Empire and I know this book. I'm talking about what happened in a national level. Megali Idea was wrong but it was a necessery 'stage' for the Greek maturity.

    Wanna a small piece of Christian Deportations because of a Turkish FEAR?


    It was a fear of the Turkish state, we're talking about million of lives though, unarmed civilians.

    Too much fear of 'foreigners' in Turkey, but who are those foreigners finally, are they the Christians and why? Honestly now.

  • Pontians have amazing humor and self esteem no matter what they've been through, so the Pontiac jokes don't even mind them.In fact many of that jokes(the original ones,in the Pontiac dialect) are made by...Pontiacs!!They are tough people, and always fight for a decent life, with a great bond between them and Greek culture,religion,etc.They are Greek to the bone, and don't belong to anything "sub".Maybe you use that term pretty damn often like subManhattan, subLAWestSide, subMississipi ...(seriously?)

    Any injustice the rest Greeks had shown to the Pontiacs, was the same injustice they've shown to the Mikrasiates when they first came from Asia Minor, for instance. It happened 'cause they were suspicious to anyone that comes from a land far away-they only had heard of- to the small suffocating Greece were everybody 'knew' each other,their problems,their behaviors.

    The rich Mikrasiates and the different Pontiacs were an easy target.

    A scapegoat.

    You don't know much about Greek history and it's people.But Y!A isn't the place to learn about chapters upon chapters of History with capital "H".

    I suggest you, to contact a Pontiac organization (there are plenty)





    Source(s): cheer up people!! :D AEIMNHSTH GERASSIMIDOU!!! TSAKWNA THELW NA GYALISW THN KARAFLA SOU!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St3EpwWyfUY&feature... OMG! look what i found! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdm62QjeMZY&feature... a movie about Pontiacs, Australian production.i'll search around to see if i can find it in a torrent.Seems interesting.
  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/axutm

    Turkey should recognize the Armenian,Greek,Assyrian and Cypriot genocides NOW!The victims will sleep in peace when Turkey recognises and formally apologizes for their actions.The victims families,brothers don't want money,they want justice and redemption. Turkey should also apologize for its pogroms and give the real owners their land,homes and workplaces back. Turkey should also end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.There isn't one day that we Cypriots are reminded of the occupation and the pain caused by Turkey. There's lots of things Turkey should do to be considered as a civilized nation. ps:Baris dont let them get to you.I am sure there are lots of people like me that know you are a good,truthful and honest person.

  • 1 decade ago

    Being a descentant of Asia Minor and having my grandfather coming back from Smyrne as an orphan (they killed his family) , I never saw any discrimination against them.

    They were welcomed, and Asia Minor refugees are very respected.

    About Pontians, the things are a little bit more complicated.

    I don't think its about "coming from Pontus" but Pontians were the joke target-groups.I don't know if you have ever heard it but its like the blonde-jokes.

    You'll get to know how many Pontians have integrated in Greek society by their sournames.Its really classical that its ending in -idis.

    Its really good of you that you want to explore your roots. :)

    ps. Do you think my grandpa was just the exception?

    @ I don't know how the supossed-Ottoman "Refugees" are related to the question.I though that the question is about the attitude from Greeks to pontian Greeks after they came back to Greece.

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  • Lynnie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    My grandad was a converted rum from ordu (Kotiora )and a proudfull member of TSK, as i have one vein. They and me like to hang your likeness Jealous inferior always here trollish wanna beings.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    your not trying to re connect with ur heritage ur trying to find an argument...if the pontians where looked down on would u think they would not be welcomed to greece even as refugees ,,and dotn forget pontians where nott he only refugees... and about athens many pontians and smyrians settled in athens when they became refugess.even the national gaurd has a pontian evzones dress which is a very high honur as a greek.. i mean there is no dress code of a euobean evzone..and they are greek....just rember this the pontians where alwasy considered as heros..as they where last true greeks to with hold the roman empire.

    Source(s): well i dont know who gave a thumbs down but hey its ok,,, @ blunt....for the last time blunt... you are only taking the issue one way again..u only see the demise of the ottamn empire..and its aftermath..what about its glory and all the greeks they killed in ANATOLIA (ohh i forgot u consider them as romans) ... there where no accounts on those days where there? i mean who gives a f...y ...f..k..if 5 MILLION GREEKS DIED TO OBTAIN THE OTTAMN EMPIRE..they dotn count do they ? u see blutn with u its all one way ..and u are SYCOPHANT FOR PAST GLORY OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.. your people in deed after they go converted by force as janisarinas...and this author ...he was not there to witness what happedn he is only conveying partial stats from lose accounts of battles that saw losses in otttaman occupied greek towns.. they where not all ottaman converts u know...please blunt.....there are alwasy 2 side to an argument ..u cant be the only victim here..
  • 1 decade ago

    Daring all the thumbs downs, I have to say that I heard mainland Greeks called them Turk to insult them.

    Logically, I know that it was all because of nationalist wars and also I know that as many Turks and/or Muslims were expelled from Greece and Balkans in the same period.

    Still, I can't help but feel the pain of the people of both sides, driven away from their homelands.

    Edit: Zoi, I recommend this reading to you:


    It is strange. I feel sorry for people that had to leave my homeland. I see them as my people. But I don't see the same from some of you guys. Wasn't the millions of Turkish and Muslim refugees people? What makes your plight more tragic than their/our plight?

    Can't we agree on feeling sorry for all human suffering?

    "McCarthy has unearthed a horrifying and extremely important fact: that in the course of the century between the Greek war of independence and World War I, the Ottoman Empire suffered five and a half million dead and five million refugees. He deems this Europe's largest lost of life and emigration since the Thirty Years' War. Christian suffering in this time and place is well-known; McCarthy shows the other side, that "Muslim communities in an area as large as all of western Europe had been diminished or destroyed." His study minutely reviews the regions and wars, pulling information from foreign and Ottoman sources to produce a compelling account.

    Beyond the tragedy involved, this pattern of death and exile has a profound historical importance. To take just three matters that the author raises: It puts into perspective the deportation of Armenians in 1915 and turns this from an act of hatred into one motivated by fear (had the Armenians, with Russian support, rebelled, Ottoman Muslims could have expected to be slaughtered). Also, this legacy explains the modest and circumspect foreign policy pursued by Atatürk; "as a land of recent refugee in-migration and massive mortality," his country was ready not to assert itself but to reform itself. Lastly, the massive immigrations to Anatolia mean that modern Turkey is (like France) a land of migrants; McCarthy estimates that one-fifth of the population descends from nineteenth-century refugees. This helps understand the country's acute sensitivity to current problems in Bosnia and Azerbaijan."

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