1. Background – Vocational Activities
Theodorakis Arzoglou was born in Bafra between 1858 and 1860, but his parents were immigrants from Androniki. According to a source, he probably studied in Switzerland, although the object of his studies is unknown.1 He was involved in tobacco trade in Samsun and became one of the most important tobacco merchants of the city. He was also involved in common affairs.
2. Political Activities and Career
In 1891, Arzoglou was possibly the president of the Society ‘Proodos’ of Samsun. In 1905, he was a member of the council of the Diocese of Amaseia and member of the dimogerontia (δημογεροντία).2 Then he became mayor of Samsun and deputy of Samsun in 1914-18.3 During his career as a deputy, he mainly dealt with issues concerning the Orthodox populations of the Pontus and, particularly, the transfer of populations that took place in 1917. He also signed, along with the rest of the former deputies of Greek descent, in 1919, two memoranda on the situation and the requests of the Greeks of Turkey, which were submitted to the delegations of the Allied Powers (Entente) and the Americans.4
Arzoglou was sentenced to death in absentia by the Kemalists, but managed to escape originally to Constantinople (Istanbul) and subsequently to the west. He married the daughter of a wealthy Greek in Marseilles who originated from Trebizond. Then he moved to Thessaloniki, where he became a ‘landowner’.5 In 1929, when Eleutherios Venizelos was prime minister, he was elected senator. It is believed that he died in Thessaloniki, although the date of his death remains unknown.
Theodorakis Arzoglou is by no means the typical example of an immigrant. However, his activitiy was typical of Samsun at the time and very much important for his subsequent development.
1. Τσαλίκογλου, Ε., Οι εν διασπορά Καππαδόκες: Βίος και δραστηριότητες αυτών (Athens 1954) p. 188.
2. Εθνικά Φιλανθρωπικά Καταστήματα εν Κωνσταντινουπόλει. Ημερολόγιον του Έτους 1905 (Constantinople 1904) p. 190.
3. Τσαλίκογλου, Ε., Οι εν διασπορά Καππαδόκες: Βίος και δραστηριότητες αυτών (Athens 1954) p. 188. About his career as a deputy, see also: Αλεξανδρής, Α, «Οι Έλληνες στην υπηρεσία της Οθωμανικής αυτοκρατορίας», Δελτίον Ιστορικής και Εθνολογικής Εταιρείας Ελλάδος 23 (1980), p. 397; Μπούρα, Κ., «Οι βουλευτικές εκλογές στην οθωμανική αυτοκρατορία: Οι Έλληνες βουλευτές 1908-1918», Δελτίο Κέντρο Μικρασιατικών Σπουδών 4 (1983) p. 85; Εμμανουηλίδης, Ε., Τα τελευταία έτη της οθωμανικής αυτοκρατορίας (Athens 1924) pp. 293, 323.
4. Εμμανουηλίδης, Ε., Τα τελευταία έτη της οθωμανικής αυτοκρατορίας (Athens 1924) pp. 393-401, 407-416.
5. Τσαλίκογλου, Ε., Οι εν διασπορά Καππαδόκες: Βίος και δραστηριότητες αυτών (Athens 1954) p. 189.