Pontic History Timeline 1774-1923

1774 - A treaty of peace is signed at Kutsuk Kainartzi (Grk: Κιουτζούκ Καϊναρτζή) in Moldovlachia between Russia and the Ottoman Empire to end a war which lasts 6 years and which results in Turkey's defeat. One of the articles of the treaty gives Russia the right to protect the Christian citizens of the Sultan. In the 3rd article Crimea declares its independence. Another article places full responsibility on the Ottoman ruler not to interfere with the religious practices of his citizens, to allow the erection of new Christian churches, as well as the restoration of older ones. 

1789 - Odessa is founded; amongst 3150 of its first residents, 2500 are Greeks of Pontus.

1806 - Laz pirates conduct an invasion of Oinoi (Trk: Unye) which results in the town being evacuated by its residents under the guidance of Bishop Meletios. They flee to Sinope.

1814 - The Filiki Eteria (Friendly Society) is founded in Odessa.

1819 - Savvas Triantafyllidis of the Friendly Society recruits Sylvester Lazaridis to the intelligence of the F.S. Lazaridis is a Deacon from Pontus and later becomes the Metropolitan of Chaldia. Sylvester in turn recruits Metropolitan Sophroneos, Jacob Grigorantis and others into the Society. In the same year the highly influential Ilias Kandilis /Kandiloglou is recruited but dies. He passes 5000 Roubles from his will to Alexander Ypsilantis for the purposes of running the F.S.

1820 (April) - Alexander Ypsilantis becomes chief in charge of the F.S.

1821 - With the help of many Pontic Greeks, the Holy Company (Grk: Ιερός Λόχος) military unit is formed..

1821 (end of March) - A general assembly of Turkish notables and officers takes place to institute measures to discipline the non-believers.

1830 - The steel miner Jacob Grigorantis is assassinated.

1838 - A fire in the town of Oinoi destroys 1500 Greek homes.

1839 (October 22) - Sultan Abdul Mejid announces measures to reform the administration of the Ottoman Empire. Amongst these measures, he limits the authority of the derebeys (Turkish feudal lords) and fixes a set of measures to benefit the rayiades (slaves).

1853 (November) - Turkey pushes her way into the Caucasus with a 60,000 strong force under the leadership of Abdi Pasha. The Turks advance North between Batum and Erzerum but are checked by the Russians (Crimean War).

(November 30) - The Tsar's fleet under the leadership of Admiral Nahimov locks into a sea-battle with the Turkish fleet. The Turkish fleet is destroys and retreats to the north of Sinope

1854 (January) - The British and French fleets arrive at the Black Sea; the Russian fleet retreats to Sebastopol. Many Pontic Greeks do battle in the Crimean War on the side of the Russians. eg Akim Akimov (Ioakeim Ioakeimidis), who handed 3 of his vessels into the hands of the Russians.

1855 (November 27) - The Russians seize Kars and push towards Erzerum.

1856 (March 31) - A treaty is signed bringing the Crimean War to an end and imposes neutrality on the waters of the Black Sea. The dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire is averted, however the Ottoman Empire is forced to respect the religious freedoms of its Christians as well as their customs and culture.. At the same time the Hatti-Humayun is announced, and becomes the official empirical decree which recognises the equality of all the sultan's subjects. The decree is ratified by all the members that were present at the peace conference (31 March 1856, Paris). The Russians withdraw from Kars.

1857 (March) - The cryptochristians (klostoi) of Kromni, Santa, Koasi and other regions, openly declare their Christian faith. The cryptochristians practiced Christianity only in private, due to the intolerance to Christianity in the Ottoman Empire.

1862 - The canonical legislation (Canon Law) of the Patriarchate is announced, and is drawn up between 1856-60. Canon Laws were drafted in order to regulate the orthodox citizens of the empire both ecclesiastically and ethically. The canon laws were ratified at a conference at the Patriarchate in Constantinople as well as by the Turkish officialdom. The canonic laws lasted until 1920 as fundamental laws of Turkey.

1869 - A fire almost completely destroys Amisos (Samsun).

1877 (April) - One hundred thousand Russian soldiers advance through the Caucasus and arrive at Kars. They are defeated and withdraw. They counter-attack and soon seize the territories they originally lost.

1878 (January 20) - A treaty is signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire to end the war. Russia keeps control of Kars but withdraws from Erzerum.

1878 to 1884 - Pontic Greek refugees establish themselves in 72 villages in the Kars/Sarikamis region. Another 2500 flee to the Ardahan region, 15,000 to the outskirts of Batum and 10,000 to the Vladikavkaz region.

1880 - Canon laws are released for the Orthodox communities of Trapezunta.

1889 - The Neo Turk committee under the title Union and Progress is formed.

1908 (July) - The Neo Turks' constitution is adopted.


1908 (August 19) - Large crowds gather at Trebizond to show their support for the new constitution.

1912 (May 19) - Appeals begin within the Turkish press for the massacre of Greeks.

1914 (May 19) - The Greek Patriarchate closes all schools and churches in Asia Minor including Pontus as a mark of respect to those massacred.
(July) - All Pontic Greeks aged between 21-45 are mobilized, rounded up and displaced (Amele Taburu/death marches).

1915 (April) - A general massacre of Armenians.

1916 (April 3) - The Turkish vali of Trebizond abandons the town.
(April 5) - The Russians enter Trebizond. A temporary administration within the town is set up under the leadership of K Theofylaktos.

1916 (June) - It is decided that all Greeks living along the shoreline of the Black Sea be evacuated.
(November 10) - All the Greeks of Tripoli are displaced to the interior of Turkey.
(December) - 80 notable Greeks of Amisos (Samsun) are displaced to the interior.
The 2000 Greeks of Upper Amisos are displaced.
88 villages in the Giresun region are evacuated (3000 elderly women and children are sent on white marches).
The Greeks of Ordu are also displaced.

1917 (Jan 1 ) - 210 Greeks of Lower Amisos are displaced.
100 villages of the region are burnt.
(October) - In Ekaterinodar, the Central National Committee of Pontus Greeks in Southern Russia is formed.

1918 (February) - Turkish troups seize Trebizond.
The 1st Pan-Pontian Conference takes place in Marseilles.
(July) - At a conference in Batum where representatives of Southern Russia are present, an independent Pontus is declared.
(November) - The Armistice of Mudros is signed.
A conference in Paris sends a message to the allied nations asking for the independence of Pontus
(December) - The Pontic Greeks of USA send a letter to president Woodrow Wilson.

1919 (March) - Bishop Chrysanthos of Trebizond presents the case for the Pontic Greeks at the Paris Peace Conference.
Eleftherios Venizelos prefers the formation of a joint Pontic-Armenian federation.
(May 19) - Mustafa Kemal arrives at Amisos (Samusn).
(June 23) - Pontic Greeks assemble at Batum where the general council of Pontic Greeks elects B. Ioannidis as its president.
The first talks with the Armenians begin.
(December) - The division of Pontus is agreed on.

1920 (Jan 10-16) - Bishop Chrysanthos of Trebzond holds a conference with the leadership of Armenia in Erivan.
(Feb) - Chrysanthos goes to Europe. He attends the Peace Conference in London with K. Constantiniids and submits a new memorandum (Mar 10) for the Pontus question.
(April) - El. Venizelos announces the agreement between the Pontic Greeks and the Armenians to the Greek parliament.
(October) - Arrests of Greeks in Amisos.
(November 14) - Elections in Greece. Venizelos loses.

1921 (Jan) - 83 merchants, clerks, teachers of the region of Bafra/Amisos are arrested and sent to the tribunals of independence in Amaseia.
(June 3) - Another 420 Greeks of Amisos are arrested.
(June 7) - Another 1085 Greeks of Amisios are sent into the interior of Turkey, 400
of whom are slaughtered in the valley of Seitan Deresi.
(June 15) - Another 365 Greeks of Amisos are displaced to Tokat along with 100 Greeks of Oinoi (Trk: Unye) and 600 Greeks of Kerasunta (Trk: Giresun).
(Sep 15) - Another 490 Greeks of Amisos are displaced.
(Sep 17) - Another 206 Greeks of Amisos are displaced.
(September) - Many Greeks are sentenced to death at the tribunals of independence (Istiklal Machamesi) in Amaseia, and are executed.

1922 (Aug) - The Greek front is routed by Turkish forces in Asia Minor.
(October 11) - Greeks of Turkey agree to an armistice at Mudanya.
(Sep) - The arrival of Liva Pasha in the Pafra/Amisos region with a sizeable army
(Oct) - The freedom fighters are offered an amnesty.

1923 (Jan 30) - Signing of the treaty regarding the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey.
(July 23) - Signing of the Treaty of Lausanne between Greece and Turkey.



Related Articles

Pontus: An Overview

Mithridates I Ctistes