This article attempts to investigate the factors and influences underlying thewidespread Greek assumption that the “heretical” Kizilbash or Alevi sect ofTurkish Muslims consists of “native Greeks” who are practising “Crypto-Christians”. After an overview of the various cultural currents which havehistorically contributed to the Kizilbash phenomenon, it is pointed out thatalthough Western 19th century orientalists often referred to “Christian” or“pagan” elements in Kizilbash culture, these were usually not associated withsupposed “Greek” antecedents, but with Armenian or Indo-Iranian influences. It is also maintained that Greek elites up to the time of the First World Wareither ignored the existence of Kizilbash sects, or replicated Ottomanattitudes condemning them as shameful “savages” or Persian “minions”.However, the need to establish “ethnological” arguments in order to justifyGreek expansion in Asia Minor, combined with the influx of European racisttheories, and perhaps a deeper wish to rationalize long-standing but conflictingstereotypes on the innate attributes of the Turkish “race”, led to asudden flow of relevant writings during the years 1918-1922, chiefly exemplifiedby the work of K. Lameras and G. Skalieris. While Sunni Turks wereceaselessly denigrated in these publications, Alevis were more or less hailed as“enslaved brothers”, a view that was sometimes coupled with a nominalsupport for an “Oriental Federation” of Balkan and Anatolian peoples. Yetthese authorities had only a tenuous acquaintance with Anatolian realities,preferring to base their theories on doctored quotations of aging French manualsand fanciful historical associations (e.g. the view that Turkish “Kizilbash”is a translation of the Homeric place-name Erythinoi, or the Kurdishtribe of Koçkiri direct descendants of medieval Paulician “Hellenism”). Theirheritage still lives on in Greek nationalist writings and encyclopedia articles,dutifully copying their predecessors ever since the 1920s; even contemporaryacademic scholarship is not, perhaps, completely above their influence. Thiskind of “linear” historicism, which has also manifestly underlain Turkishnationalist perceptions of Alevism as an Oghuz “survival”, may be dispelledby more integrative approaches to social research.