Kileler incident

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The Kileler incident occurred in Thessaly, Kingdom of Greece on March 6, 1910, when during clashes between the local militia and farmers that were protesting against the extended privileges of landowners and the limitation of their own rights more than four protesters were killed and many of them were wounded.

Background[edit]

Rural areas in Thessaly as in other parts of the Ottoman Empire were regulated through the Chiflik system. While the chiflik owners held a semi-feudal status and received a part of the agricultural output they were obliged to provide housing for their farmers and weren't allowed to apply forced labour.[1] As the living and working conditions of the farmers worsened, protests became more frequent especially after the assassination of figures like activist Marinos Antypas. The promises of Eleftherios Venizelos during his 1910 electoral campaign concerning agricultural reform further aggravated the farmers. In March 1910 the farmers organized a mass protest in Larissa and villagers from many areas of the prefecture travelled to city.

The Kileler incident began when several hundred farmers tried to travel by train to Larissa without buying tickets. When their request was rejected the farmers backed down but a confrontation occurred between them and the station supervisor, who asked for the intervention of the local militia that attacked the farmers killing two of them and wounding many others. When the train reached the station of Tsoular (modern Melia) it didn't stop to pick up farmers, of whom two were shot dead by the militia located inside the train. As news of the killings spread in Larissa clashes between the militia and the protesters became frequent.

Aftermath[edit]

Many of the farmers were tried for the events of the protests, but none were sentenced. Eventually the need of the central government to use farmers as recruits and after 1922 the settlement of refugees from Asia Minor in Greece led to the implementation of a 1917 law regarding land redestribution.[2]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Reinders, Reinder. Pharos: Journal of the Netherlands Institute at Athens: Volume VXI (2008. Uitgeverij Van Gorcum. p. 88. ISBN 9780013802242. 
  2. ^ Lazaridis, Gabriella (2008-09-24). Women's work and lives in rural Greece: appearances and realities. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 13. ISBN 9780754612124. Retrieved 5 March 2012.