With the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, two upcoming presentations shed much-needed light on the burning of Smyrna and the ethnic cleansing of its Greek community, which had lived there since ancient times, by the Turkish military in September 1922. Both presentations will be offered by Dr. Yiorgo Topalidis, Director of the Ottoman Greeks of America Project.

At 5PM on Saturday, November 5 in Martel Hall in Houston, the Annunciation Greek Language and Cultural School and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral Ladies Philoptochos Society, with the support of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Houston, will present “Greek Asia Minor: Centennial Commemoration of the Great Catastrophe.” The event is free and open to the community.

Then on November 10 at Holy Trinity Matheos Hall in Tampa Bay, the Archons of Tampa Bay and Holy Trinity Lecture Series will present “Smyrna 1922: Memory and Erasure of a Greek Speaking Orthodox Christian Community,” once again featuring Dr. Topalidis. At this event also, admission is free. A reception will follow, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Archons.

Archon Alexandros K. Kyrou, Ph.D. has stated that “The Great Catastrophe of Smyrna should be recalled at this centennial moment of reflection both as a singular, unprecedented humanitarian disaster and as part of a larger crime against humanity—a genocide against Christians.” It is crucial that all Greek Orthodox Christians, and all people of good will, be thoroughly aware of these historical crimes, so that the necessary steps can be taken to avoid their being repeated.

Accordingly, we urgently exhort all those Archons, as well as their friends and families, who are in the Tampa Bay and Houston areas to attend these all-important presentations.