A large mission of 700 people from Tuzla in Turkey, whose ancestors had to leave the northern Greek regions of Kilkis, Thessaloniki, Kavala and Dramas under the population exchange in 1923 between Greece and Turkey in the context of the Treaty of Lausanne, arrived at the northeastern seaport of Kavala on Monday, on a pilgrimage voyage.
The Turkish mission, including people who were small children during the population exchange, headed Tuzla Mayor Sadi Yazici accompanied by Turkish Deputy European Affairs Minister Alaattin Buyukkaya, Turkish parliament MPs, local city council members and a large number of journalists and television crews.
Ninety years after one of the biggest population movements in the 20th century, people from Tuzla visited the homeland of their ancestors making the trip back on board a chartered cruise ship.
The mission was welcomed at the seaport of Kavala by the local authorities with Kavala Mayor Kostis Simitsis noting the warm welcome the people of Tuzla had offered to a Greek mission that visited the town last April.
The Turkish deputy minister underlined the need to fix major political mistakes of the past, noting that old wounds must heal and have real reconciliation.