I wonder if there are any distant Cretan relatives out there.
My name is Ali and I am a native of Mugla in Southwestern Turkey. My father and my grandfather were born here. But my great-grandfather, also Ali, was a native of Yerapetra, Crete, and emigrated during the troubles of 1896/97. He was accompanied by his wife, Pembe, whose father, I know, was very rich, and my grandfather had married her through a processus which today would have been called kidnapping. Another companion (a friend and a relative also from Yerapetra) was named Karapartal. 'Kara' means 'Black' in Turkish, and 'Partal' (or Partalos) may relate to a Macedonian dance or may even have Catalan traces. My great-grandfather's name was Molla Hasanaki and he had built a still-standing fountain in Ierapetra. (It was common for Cretan Turks to have the Turkish name followed by a Greek-sounding suffix). Before his emigration, Ali had also spent some time in the castle of Ierapetra which then was used as a prison.
History records that, with the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1645, many Cretans converted to Islam and there has also been numerous intermarriages. Although the number of Turks who had settled in the island were slight (apart from officials), Turkification of a large segment of the population ensued. (Some have reverted back to Christianity in the 19th century and were re-Hellenized...those Cretans!:)
Therefore I am very curious to look out for any distant relatives who may identify with Yerapetra, or the Karapartals, or Molla Hasanaki, and who may have remained on the other side of the waves of nationalism that every now and then sweep through the world.