Greek-Turkish idylls in Greek literature after the Asia Minor Disaster: desire, love, even weddings


  • Angela Kastrinaki University of Crete



In this article, I focus on how Greek-Turkish love relationships develop in the field of Greek literature, from the Asia Minor Disaster to the present day. Initially, the complete discrediting of the other, the Turkish man, is dominant. He is presented as lustful and beastly, while the Turkish woman is presented as good because she is willing to change her identity (Sokr. Prokopiou, Pandelis Kapsis). Soon, already in the 1930’s, we have a disruption of clean lines (G. Ionicos), then an equality in barbarism, a mutual mixing of hatred and lust in war (G. Theotokas), and a little later an equality of tenderness, but in relationships that remained evasive (Lambis Volanakis, Vassos Arendas).

A first marriage takes place, with terrible regrets, in a text written during the Nazi Occupation, but referring to the years just before the Catastrophe (Tatiana Stavrou). Forty years after the Catastrophe, in the sexually liberated 60’s, a sexual encounter is presented in detail, but it is not accompanied by deep love on the part of the Greek man, while the Turkish woman, who is much more interested in the relationship, is again willing to partly change identity (Dido Sotiriou). Marriage also occurs forty years after the Catastrophe, but the young man turns out to be of mixed identity, from a Christian mother, and the union is made in favour of the Greek element, since the young man agrees to be baptized (Elias Venezis).

In the 21st century we are led (mainly through best-selling literature, but not only) to mutually passionate love relationships and to eternal loves, which, if in the generation of the events of the Catastrophe cannot be realized, reach a happy ending in the third generation (Kat. Zarokosta, K. Akrivos et al.). Sometimes, the descendants discover that common Greek-Turkish blood flows in their veins, so the relationship necessarily turns into a fraternal/family one. In the centenary of the Catastrophe there is a formula –through the diffusion of the heroes in the big world– so that even those who experienced the tragic events can finally live their love together (Maria Eliou). This is how Greek-Turkish friendship seems to be solemnly ratified, following certainly the triumph of political correctness in a literature of good intentions.

Author Biography

Angela Kastrinaki, University of Crete

Τομέας Βυζαντινής και Νεοελληνικής Φιλολογίας
Τμήμα Φιλολογίας, Πανεπιστήμιο Κρήτης



How to Cite

Kastrinaki, A. (2024). Greek-Turkish idylls in Greek literature after the Asia Minor Disaster: desire, love, even weddings. Ariadne, 29, 180–196.