The Grecophone Cretan Muslims of Syria Jan 8, 2011 16:16:54 GMT -5
Post by Emperor AAdmin on Jan 8, 2011 16:16:54 GMT -5
Cretan Turks (Turkish: 'Girit Türkleri', Greek: Τουρκοκρητικοί) or Cretan Muslims (Turkish: 'Girit Müslümanları') cover Muslims who arrived in Turkey after or slightly before the start of the Greek rule in Crete in 1908 and especially in the framework of the 1923 agreement for the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations and have settled on the coastline stretching from the Çanakkale to İskenderun. Today, only elderly women may be found to be fluent in Cretan Greek and only estimates can be made regarding their number. They often name the language as Cretan (Kritika (Κρητικά) or Giritçe) instead of Greek. The Cretan Turks are Sunni (Hanafi) with a highly influential Bektashi minority that helped shape the folk Islam and religious tolerance of the entire community. Significant numbers of Cretan Muslims also settled in Libya especially in the east side cities like Soussa and Benghazi, where they are distinguishable by their Greek surnames. Many of the older members of this community still speak Cretan Greek in their homes.
Al Hamidiyah (Arabic: الحميدية) is a town on the coastal Syrian line about 3km from the Lebanese border. The town was founded in a very short time on direct orders from the Turkish Sultan ‘Abdu’l-Hamid II circa 1897, to serve as refuge for the Muslim Cretans, be they Muslim Greeks or Cretan Turks, who were forced to leave Crete when the island stop being a part of the Ottoman Empire. The town is home to about 8.000 people, with the majority still speaking Cretan Greek in their daily lives.