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Al Hamidiyah (or al-Hamidiyya) (Arabic: الحميدية) is a Cretan Turks town on the Syrian coast, about 3 km from the Lebanese border. It is the only settlement in Syria that is wholly Greek. The town was founded in a very short time on the direct orders of the Ottoman Sultan ‘Abdu’l-Hamid II around 1897, to serve as a refuge for the Muslim Cretans, often referred to as Cretan Turks but actually Greek Muslims of Ottoman Greek convert origin. They had been forced to leave Crete when the island was captured by the Kingdom of Greece from the Ottoman Empire during the 1897-98 Greco-Turkish War, and resettled by Sultan 'Abdu'l-Hamid II here and other coastal areas of the Levant and as far as Libya. The majority still speak Cretan Greek in their daily lives. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, al-Hamidiyah had a population of 7,404 in the 2004 census.
Syrian Civil War
The town is under the Syrian Government control as of 2014.
- ^ General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Tartus Governorate. (Arabic)