[LMB] mostly OT: Turkey (and a very Milesian bit of Turkish history)

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Mon Sep 12 03:01:41 BST 2011

On Sep 11, 2011, at 2:07 PM, Tel wrote:
> There's an interesting story involving the giant post-WWI mess between
> Greece and Turkey (not the finest moment for either), involving one of
> the Great Short Guys of History, Asa Jennings, who was a YMCA
> secretary from Utica left to mind the shop in Smyrna/Izmir right
> before the Turks showed up and the city burned down. Not very
> physically imposing - 5'3"ish, somewhat hunchbacked, with
> tuberculosis.

I can't remember if there were somewhat affordable drugs to alleviate or cure TB at that time. My maternal GM died of it. When I related this to our pediatrician, she said most (women at least) who died were hypothyroid, which trait runs in the women in her line. I believe thalidomide is being used to combat TB at this time, and it is also used as chemo for some cancers--Susan Profit had problems getting her insurance to cover it.

> Vast numbers of Greek/Christian refugees were trapped in
> the city with a nasty fate awaiting them. Jennings was pretty upset
> with this and somehow wangled an audience with Ataturk by being
> extremely persistent and extracted from him permission to evacuate the
> (non-fighting-age-male) refugees.

Ah, the gnats, and how much they can do!

> He eventually ended up
> commanding over fifty ships, which they only let him have if he went
> with them and promised to pay for them if he broke any

Uh, yeah. Did he break any?

> over a year or so rescued a truly vast number of people from historic Greek
> settlements along Turkey's shoreline. He may well have (mostly, there
> were still a whole lot of dead) prevented something on the scale of
> the Armenian genocide from happening.

Drop by drop can turn a mill...

> After the war, the Greeks appointed him as their representative to
> resolve POW issues. So did the Turks. This made his job a bit easier
> than most negotiators.

What became of him, do you know?

A. Marina Fournier
SaffronRose at me.com
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) US President (1933-1945)
Second Inaugural Address (20 Jan 1937)

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