# Çameria and the Çamerian cause:

During the Conference of Ambassadors in London in 1913, the southern part of Albania was cut off and annexed to the Greek state despite the fact that the majority of theinhabitants were Albanians, both of orthodox and muslim faith. 

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While the orthodox Albanians were targets of hellenization, muslim Albanians were either exterminated or expelled from their ancestral land by the Greek government.

Muslim Çams were counted as a religious minority, and some of them were transferred to Turkey, during the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, while their property was alienated by the Greek government as part of the relevant agreement between Greece and Turkey. Orthodox Çam Albanians were counted as Greeks, and their language and Albanian heritage were under a brutal pressure of a state sponsored assimilation process.
The region was then settled by Greek refugees from Asia Minor changing the original demographics of Çameria/Epirus forever.

After WW2 the Çamerians were accused of collaborating with the Axis powers and became the victims of the first ethnic cleansing in Europe after Second World War and the Çam tragedy is, once the details of it are revealed to the world, one of the most painful tragedies of the European continent.
But the Çam issue is still unsolved. Many Chams of whom fleed to Albania are currently trying to pursue legal ways to claim compensation for the properties seized by Greece. But its difficult as the Greek state don’t even recognize Çams or Çameria being a historical reality. For Greece the issue “does not exist”.
The older generation that survived the ethnic cleansing and who settled in Albania but has ”Çamëria” written on their passports as ‘Place of birth’ are sometimes not allowed to enter Greece because of that.

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