As the great fire tears London apart, this brand new epic drama details the heart-wrenching stories of a city and its people in crisis.
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Great Fire - Great fire of Smyrna - Netflix
The Great fire of Smyrna or the Catastrophe of Smyrna (Greek: Καταστροφή της Σμύρνης, “Smyrna Catastrophe”; Turkish: 1922 İzmir Yangını, “1922 Izmir Fire”; Armenian: Զմիւռնիոյ Մեծ Հրդեհ, Zmyuṙno Mets Hrdeh) destroyed much of the port city of Smyrna (modern İzmir, Turkey) in September 1922. Eyewitness reports state that the fire began on 13 September 1922 and lasted until it was largely extinguished on 22 September. It occurred four days after the Turkish forces regained control of the city on 9 September 1922, effectively ending the Greco-Turkish War in the field, more than three years after the Greek army had landed troops at Smyrna on 15 May 1919. Estimated Greek and Armenian deaths resulting from the fire range from 10,000 to 100,000. Approximately 50,000 to 400,000 Greek and Armenian refugees crammed the waterfront to escape from the fire. They were forced to remain there under harsh conditions for nearly two weeks. Turkish troops and irregulars had started committing massacres and atrocities against the Greek and Armenian population in the city before the outbreak of the fire. Many women were raped. Tens of thousands of Greek and Armenian men (estimates vary between 25,000 and at least 100,000) were subsequently deported into the interior of Anatolia, where many of them died in harsh conditions. The subsequent fire completely destroyed the Greek and Armenian quarters of the city; the Muslim and Jewish quarters escaped damage. There are different accounts and eyewitness reports about who was responsible for the fire; a number of sources and scholars attribute it to Turkish soldiers setting fire to Greek and Armenian homes and businesses. Traditional Turkish sources hold that the Greeks and Armenians started the fire to tarnish the Turks' reputation. Testimonies from Western eyewitnesses were printed in many Western newspapers.
The Great Fire - Contemporary newspapers and witnesses - Netflix
Bilge Umar, an individual witness, art historian and long-time inhabitant of Smyrna, suggested that both Turkish and the Armenian sides were guilty for the fire: “Turks and Armenians are equally to blame for this tragedy. All the sources show that the Greeks did not start the fire as they left the city. The fire was started by fanatical Armenians. The Turks did not try to stop the fire.”
A French journalist who had covered the Turkish War of Independence arrived in Smyrna shortly after the flames had died down. He wrote:
The first defeat of the nationalists had been this enormous fire. Within forty-eight hours, it had destroyed the only hope of immediate economic recovery. For this reason, when I heard people accusing the winners themselves of having provoked it to get rid of the Greeks and Armenians who still lived in the city, I could only shrug off the absurdity of such talk. One had to know the Turkish leaders very little indeed to attribute to them so generously a taste for unnecessary suicide.
The Great Fire - References - Netflix