Muslim Emigration
By the middle of the troubled 1890s several Muslims had begun to abandon their villages in the hinterland and move to the towns, in fear of further revolutionary activity by the Christians. The exodus increased in the course of the 1897-98 rebellion, as Christians set about systematically laying waste to Muslim properties in the countryside so as to prevent the owners from returning.

The granting of autonomy and the installation of the new regime reduced the Muslim population to despair. Despite guarantees of safety given by the Europeans and the administration, several Muslims refused to return to their villages. The only solution open to those unable to meet the cost of settling in the towns, where they felt safer, was to migrate to other areas in the Ottoman Empire. Over the ensuing years, above all in the period from 1898 to 1899, the exodus assumed major proportions. It is estimated that approximately 40 000 Muslims abandoned Crete at this time to face the rarely trouble-free process of settling in Asia Minor, particular in the area around Smyrna, in Constantinople, Syria, Benghazi and elsewhere.



1898  |  1899  |  1900  |  1902  |  1905  |  1906  |  1908  |  1909  |  1910  |  1911  |  1912  |  1913
Artist's impression of Cretan Muslims moving from the villages around Kandanos, with a security escort of British sailors in the allied fleet (Illustrated London news)
Hussein Baba Psihopedakis, cadi (Muslim judge) in Heraklion (Heraklion)
The funeral of a Turkish official in Chania (R. Behaeddin, No 97, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
Part of a Dervish ritual (No 1747, Historical Museum of Crete, S.C.H.S, Heraklion)
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