Imvros island

It is perfectly proved that for 2500 years the history of Imvros is strongly connected with the Greek one. In 494 BC Miltiades disembarked in Imvros and inhabited it with Athenians. There was also an alliance between Imvros and Athens at the time of the Peloponisian war (431-404 BC).

Although there have been Christian communities in the island since the second century, it was fully christianized at the times of Constantine the Great. During the Byzantine period it gained much importance and met essential growth because of the closeness with the capital of the Empire. Its military importance, however, meant that enemies had their eyes on it and it was a constant target for the pirates, like in 767 when Slavs plundered the island taking 2500 people as prisoners.

After the fall of Byzantium, Imvros became part of the Ottoman Empire. The island was liberated by Greek Navy, in 1912. After the desaster of Minor Asia, in 1922, Greece and Turkey signed the Treaty of Lausanne which defined the compulsory population exchange between Turkey and Greece. The Greeks of Constantinople, Imvros and Tenedos, and the muslims of Western Thrace were the only populations to be excluded from the exchange.

While the muslim population in Thrace flourishes, the greek populations in Turkey faced a brutal attitude of the turkish state and now in Imvros have remained only 100 old persons. In 1920 the islands of Imvros and Tenedos had a population of approximately 10,000 Greeks and only some dozens Turks.

Turkey under the disinterest of UN, confiscated greek residences, closed all greek schools and churches, confiscated thousands of acres of land used in agriculture, transferred the long-term convicts in the island and managed to bring decay to the way of life of the Greek inhabitants.

Inmates of the open prison committed numerous crimes: in 1973, Stelios Kavalieros was slaughtered and the whole island was terrorized; in 1975, inmates raped and murdered Ms. Styliani Zouni in the village of St. Theodoroi; in 1980 they murdered Efstratios Stylianides and Nikos Ladas. On November 1990, Zaf. Delikonstantes was slaughtered. No murderer was ever punished.