Today marks the beginning of the 90th anniversary of the burning of Smyrna. The fire completely destroyed the Greek and Armenian quarters of the city; the Muslim and Jewish quarters escaped damage. There are different claims about who was responsible for the fire, but there were numerous eyewitness accounts of uniformed Turkish soldiers setting fire to Greek and Armenian homes and businesses.

Approximately 50,000 to 400,000 Greek and Armenian refugees crammed the waterfront escaping from the fire and were forced to remain there under harsh conditions for nearly two weeks. The systematic evacuation of Greeks on the quay started on 24 September with the permission and cooperation of Turkish authorities when the first Greek ships entered the harbor under the supervision of Allied destroyers. Some 150,000 to 200,000 Greeks were evacuated.