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Dr. Niko Andrikos

Interview by Mehmet Şerif Sağıroğlu


In 1914, the world history began to witness a war never seen before. “World War I”. People living in the Ottoman Empire and its territories also had their share of this brutal war. When the World War I ended, nothing was the same.

With the Treaty of Lausanne signed on January 30, 1923, other than the Istanbul Orthodox and Western Thrace Muslims, the Orthodox Christians living in the Anatolia and Thrace and the Muslims living in Greece became actors of the biggest population exchange, i.e. 'mübadele'[1], in the world history, that continued until 1930s.

These people who left their countries were not allowed visiting their homeland until 90s. Today, we frequently see the second and third generation exchanges, Greeks in Turkey and Turks in Greece.

The food culture, the music culture, the folklore and the language characteristics of the big Ottoman empire, spread through centuries, were influenced by the consequences of this big immigration.

We would like to introduce you a music, which was performed by the non Muslims who used to live in Anatolia in that period and immigrated to Greece with the exchange. The music called "Rebetiko", sometimes "Rembetiko" which comes to your ear almost everywhere in Greece nowadays and we often see in Turkey recently.

Born in the Lesbos Island right across Ayvalık, Dr. Niko Andrikos grew up watching TRT4[2]. We asked him about Rebetiko, and the birthplace and immigration of this music.


[1] Mübadil: Exchangee, exchanged, brought in place of someone.

[2] TRT4: The state television channel of the Republic of Turkey which mostly broadcasts Turkish music.