Former Tenedos residents reminisce half a century after leaving

Former Tenedos residents reminisce half a century after leaving

Vasiliki Karveli (from l), Paraskevi Marangou and Georgia Liberiou are members of the Greek community of Bischwiller in northeastern France to which dozens of Greeks who were born and lived on Tenedos migrated until there was no more life for them on the island. Along with Imvros, Tenedos, under the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, was to enjoy autonomy in Turkey, with its own police and local administration. However, these terms were not respected and Greek property was confiscated, churches desecrated and the Greek school closed. The women tell Kathimerini they go to Tenedos for a holiday now and then, but there is little to connect them with the island anymore. “When we went back the first time, there were more Turks but we still had some of our own people there, we didn’t feel like strangers – then, when they left too, it was difficult, you went and you didn’t know anyone,” says Karveli. Marangou returned for the first time in 2015, 47 years after she left, but it had changed so much she couldn’t find her childhood home. For Liberiou, this week marks 51 years in Bischwiller. She once thought of returning to Tenedos, or at least Greece. Not anymore. “Home is France now,” she said.

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