The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented his own version of history during his first open speech of his election campaign in view of the presidential elections on 24 June.
Speaking in Smyrna (Izmir), a stronghold of the opposition, Erdogan demonstrated what exactly he had in mind when he made his “call for peace” to Greece. Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, Erdogan referred to the destruction of Smyrna in 1922, accusing the Greeks of being the ones who burned the city!
“The biggest blow given to this beautiful city was by the Greek soldiers, who burned Smyrna as they retreated. Do not pay attention when they say that the Turks did it. The biggest blows have been given by those who consider themselves to be civilized in this geographical area”, were the words of Erdogan, as reported by ANT1 correspondent in Turkey, Maria Zacharaki.
“Our ancestors”, Erdogan said emphatically, “did not want to destroy, burn, always wanted to build, to create, and that was made clear by the development of Smyrna after the war of independence”.