Christians - Cretans -
Pontus Greek Muslims
Turkey, there are two main Greek speaking Muslim ethnic groups: One of
them are the Muslim Greek refugees coming from Crete called Cretans.
The other group lives near Black Sea, Pontus.
The largest group speaking Pontic Greek lives in 5-6 villages in Tonya,
Trabzon and in nearly 50 villages at the valley Yukarı Solaklı
that is south of Of. And also there are at least two villages established
by the emmigrants at Sakarya near Constantinople
(Istanbul). The language they speak is a dialect of archaic Cappadocian Greek
that is probably not spoken in Turkey now. They are Sunni Muslims, but it
is claimed that some of the Pontus Greek Muslims are secret
no satisfactory research made on the Pontus Muslims. They speak Greek
and carry on Greek (Roman) traditions but they refuse to be accepted in
an ethnic group other than the Turks. They call themsevels Turkos
and their language as Romaika. They
conside r the real Greeks as a seperate race and call them as O
Romeos. Many researches agree on that they are converted to Islam
at 1700s. The archaic dialect is still living and spoken fluently by the
young generation. Most women can only speak the Pontus Greek. Their
population is estimated between 200.000-300.000. But in near future,
there's no hope for the language to survive, because of the television and high
rate of immigration.
no population estimation about the Cretans but I guess their number as 500.000.
They live in the villages near Aegean Sea, Mediterenean Sea and Marmara
Sea. These villages had generally occupied by the Greeks living in Mikra
Asia. After 1922, the Orthodox Greeks in Turkey and the
Muslims in Greece were exchanged
by the goverments. There are also many Cretan Greeks living in large
seaside towns as Izmir(Smyrni), Antalya, Ayvalık. The old
generation is still speaking Cretan Greek. Some of them, the old
individuals are monolingual. But the young generation can speak only Turkish.
The language will dissapear after a few generation.
two Greek dialects have no chance to live in Mikra Asia for long. As the Greeks
are considered to be enemies, speaking Greek language attracts no symphaty. The
children are educated in Turkish and nearly every house has a television 24 hour
broadcas ting Turkish.
Source : Internet Photo - Ahu Güler -
Rumelihisar - Spring 1994