Olives Groves in the Aegean

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Olives Groves in the Aegean


Olive Culture as a vital Link between the Greeks and the Turks | Duration: 52’ – Ratio: 16/9 – Format : Full HD – Available versions: English, French

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The Olive Route takes us this time across the high Aegean seas to Lesvos, in the Eastern Mediterranean. This Greek island with its beautiful houses and colourful streets will serve as the backdrop to the Greek part of our story. From there we cross to the shores of Anatolia to the region of Ayvalik, one of the picturesque centres of today’s Turkish olive growing areas. Through the prism of olive trees, we shall take a close look at the notions of land, territory and historical roots in this region with a tumultuous past.

In 1923 when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk rebuilt modern Turkey on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, the Treaty of Lausanne ordered that all Muslims of Turkish decent who were living in Greece be exchanged with any Greek Christians living in Asia Minor. This population exchange of nearly two million people has left deep traces, many of which are still perceptible today. Fortunately one thing soothed the resulting pain and resentment: both Greeks and Turks had been growing olive trees since the olden days, providing a main source of survival and wealth. They lost their homes, but found new olive groves offering the livelihoods they needed.

We relive this period through the eyes of two modern families: the Kiniklis on the Greek side and the Kursats on the Turkish one. Both families have suffered in different ways since the loss of their home in the 20’s… And we will have a look at what it means for them today, when olive trees seem to remain loyal to men and their earth, regardless of their religion, of their wealth or of the flag that flies above them.

Additional information

Weight80 g
Dimensions10 × 130 × 185 mm

52 mins