September 11, 1922

11 September 1922: Following the collapse of the Asia Minor front and the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Greeks fleeing the Turkish forces led by Kemal Ataturk, a 'revolutionary committee' of disenchanted army officers under general Nikolaos Plastiras launched a military revolt on the islands of Chios and Lesvos against the royalist government in Athens and the heads of the armed forces, whom they blamed for the Asia Minor Catastrophe. The rebels called for the resignation of King Constantine, the dissolution of parliament and the formation of a new government which

would hold the perpetrators of the ill-fated military campaign in Asia Minor accountable for the national catastrophe that entailed the permahent loss of the ancient and prosperous 'Ionian' Greek communities on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. By September 15, when 12,000 Asia Minor war veterans escorted Plastiras (C) in his triumphal arrival in Athens, all his demands had been met. On October 12, the military government set up a special court martial in parliament for a swift trial of eight politicians and officers on charges of high treason. The trial took place in the second half of November, culminating in the conviction and execution of six of the accused and a life sentence for the other two. On 16 December 1923, Plastiras' government stepped down for the country to revert to civilian rule.

Dimitris Yannopoulos

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(Posting date 6 October 2006 )

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