An issue of arson for revenge: Fire of izmir (1922) Bir İntikam Kundakçılığı Meselesi: İzmir Yangını (1922)


Journal of Modern Turkish History, vol.19, no.37, pp.557-589, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 37
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Journal Name: Journal of Modern Turkish History
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.557-589
  • Keywords: Armenians, Germans, Great Fire of İzmir, Great Offensive, Greeks, Turkish National Struggle
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


İzmir has a very important place in the history of the Turkish National Struggle. Social ebullition and massive national reaction during the National Struggle emerged with the occupation of İzmir and finaly the Turkish State entered the process of rebuilding itself with the liberation of İzmir. As it stands, İzmir’s rare to find disaster in the world history in the last phase of the War of Independence has occupied the minds, both, then and now. Turkish view stated that the fire started as a result of arsons by Armenians, on the other hand, the Greeks blamed the Turks. The world public opinion has not remained independent of the current debate who burned İzmir, a city with a wide and very important historical, cultural, economic and social hinterland. Since available testimonies and sources support or reject both views, the debate about the fire starters has not come to an end. With this article, the words of known eyewitnesses will be examined and new testimonies will be revealed in the light of Austrian, Swiss, Czechoslovak, Hungarian newspapers published in German and American newspapers of the period. Apart from that, based on the documents of the German Political Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts) German citizens, a part of the victims perhaps never evaluated until now but already living in Izmir during the fire, will be mentioned.