By Andrew Andersen


Part II




The First World War brought death and sufferings to millions Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire.


In 1915, facing Russian invasion of Eastern Anatolia, the Turkish government performed ethnic cleansing of hundreds thousands Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. As a result of that policy, the province of Trebizond, its administrative borders basically repeating the borders of the Empire of Trebizond of 1462, lost most of its native population. Some of the Pontic Greeks survived the cleansing of 1915 by hiding in the mountains or finding protection from rapidly advancing Russian Imperial troops.


The collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917 followed by the withdrawal of Russian army, its replacement with scanty Georgian militia and Turkish re-conquest, caused the second wave of massacres and deportations, as well as the exodus of many remaining Greeks to Georgia and the Caucasus.


Crown Prince Eugen II

(1886 - 1952)

The  end of World War I and the defeat of Ottoman Turkey revived the hopes of both Pontic diaspora, refugees and the remnants of Greek population still hiding in the Pontus mountains for the restoration of a Hellenic state in the province of Trebizond.


Crown Prince Eugen II tried to lobby for the creation of a Hellenic monarchy, while the religious leaders Chrissanthos, Bishop of Trebizond and Germanos, Bishop of Castoria together with Professor Thoides were lobbying for the creation of the Republic of Pontus.


                              Map of the Republic of Pontus by Dr. K. Constantinidis


The Allied powers however, were reluctant to support the idea of a purely Hellenic state in the province of Trebizond. The most favored idea was the creation of an Armenian-Hellenic federation that would comprise Russian and Turkish Armenia as well as the province of Trebizond or at least parts of it. In accordance with the Treaty of Sevres signed on August 10 1920, most of the province with the cities of Trebizond and Qerasunt, were assigned to Armenia, while the easternmost districts of Hopa, Atina and Riza (with Laz majority) were to be taken over by Georgia.


The Nationalist revolution in Turkey under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk, military and political collapse of Armenia and Georgia (1921) and the defeat of Greece in Greek-Turkish War (1919-1922) destroyed all the hopes of Pontic Greeks for their own statehood or autonomy.


Shortly after the end of Greek-Turkish War, Greece repatriated about 250 000 Greeks from Trebizond area (including the survivors from the Pontus mountains and those released from Turkish concentration camps), as well as some 50 000 Pontic Greeks from Georgia and Russian Kuban area. Most of these repatriates settled in Southern (Greek) Macedonia and Western Trace from where 360 000 Turks were moved to Turkey. Greece also took about 125 000 Trebizond Armenians most of whom emigrated further to the USA and France.





Click on the map for bigger image


The last wave of re-patriation of Pontic Greeks to Greece happened between 1988 and 1994 when as a result of political and economic collapse of the USSR, hundreds thousands of them left Georgia, Armenia, Karabakh and Southern Russia


Princess Alexia of Trebizond

As of today, the legacy of the Empire of Trebizond is kept by the family of Laskari-Comnenus.


The family members now residing in the USA and Spain, are direct descendants of the Imperial rulers of Trebizond.


Click on the crown for more information


Crown Prince Juan Arcadio