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Turkey, Gavur – Hidden from many is a small town in Turkey of peaceful survivors of Gavur. Defying all odds these humble groups of villagers have survived the holocaust of WWI and continue to rebuild their lives under ongoing persecution and threat.
The town’s name alone makes the point. Gavur is an offensive ethnic slur used by Muslims in Turkey and the Balkans to describe infidels, with particular reference to Christians like Chaldeans, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Serbs and Assyrians. The term is considered highly offensive and meant to say somebody is inferior, an immoral creature, less than human.
In Turkish history gavur is so deeply rooted in society as an insult. The Ottoman leaders in the First World War were motivating their soldiers by convincing them they were fighting a war against infidels.
Between 1919 and 1923, large number of Christians that lived in Anatolia and surrounding regions were made as scapegoats and targeted for annihilation.