The story starts in Turkey in 1915 during the First World War at Kouvouklie, a village near Bursa in Asia Minor. My father was only a little boy when he saw his father momentarily before he escaped from the Ottoman Turkey prison in Bursa. His only crime was his Christian faith. He disappeared into the night leaving the family to survive.
The Greek and Turkey governments had agreed to exchange their populations in 1922, uprooting over 1 500 000 Asian Minor Greeks while 500 000 Turkish people were evicted from Greece. The Asian Minor Greeks were told that they were going to their promised land.
However, they ended up in refugee camps in Thessaloniki Greece. These were turbulent and horrendous times. My family were eventually allocated homes and settled in northern Greece.
When the World War II broke my father was conscripted leaving the family to survive. The Italians attacked Greece and they were followed by the Germans, the family suffered many hardships. This story is my family’s battle for survival. My brother migrated to Australia in 1954 and then sponsored the whole family in 1955. My family found at last a home where they could live in peace. This is our Promised Land.