History of Europe

Poor Kastelorizo:Venizelos &how he didn't join Greece in 1912

In 1911 the Italy-Ottoman Empire war broke out. In the spring of 1912 the Italians began to occupy the Greek Dodecanese. The Italians reached Kastellorizo ​​on April 29, 1912 but did not occupy it because they considered it too far from the other islands and could not hold it, despite the request of the inhabitants who considered the Italians as liberators.

On November 13, 1912, with the First Balkan War in progress, the island's elders sent a memorandum to the then prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos requesting the union of the island with mother Greece. Venizelos was afraid and refused. Nevertheless, Ion Dragoumis, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time, with the consent of the minister Lambros Koromilas and without the knowledge of Venizelos, agreed with the Cretan commander Daskalakis who landed with 30 men on the island at the end of February 1913, raising the Greek flag.

The island had become Greek. However, Venizelos, fearing international complications, reacted strongly, and after putting Dragoumis on holiday and ordered the Greek contingent to leave the island immediately. Venizelos refused to send any help, and asked the representatives of the island who managed to see him in Athens,to immediately return to their island, resettle the authorities and raise the Turkish flag... Kastellorizo ​​was once again left alone and undefended. Under these conditions, it was attacked by Turks who killed, burned and looted the island.

After that, a Greek naval squadron rushed to the island, but soon left... However, a Greek commander was installed on the island, but without the island declaring its union with Greece. So everything was fine. Particular problems were caused by the commander Odysseas Orologas who was imprisoned by the inhabitants of the island. In the meantime, World War I had broken out.

In 1915, the Zaimis government at the time sent the "Elli" with a landing party to the island, but when the ship arrived, on December 15, it saw the French flag flying. In 1921, the French "allies" handed over the island to the Italians who incorporated it into their administration of the Dodecanese!