The Turkish Pogrom of 1955 and the Elimination of the Greek Minority of Istanbul

The Turkish Pogrom of 1955 and the Elimination of the Greek Minority of Istanbul

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The Reconstitution of Turkish Pogrom

The chronology of the pogrom falls in a hard period, when the Cyprus issue had caused difficulties in the political relations of Greece, Turkey and England. It is considered that Hikmet Bill the owner of the Turkish journal Hurriyet and Ahmet Emin Yalmas the owner of Vatan received a large amount of money in order to create the political atmosphere of the pogrom from British sources. By July 1955, the Turkish press and some organizations such as The‘Cyprus is Turkish’, the National Federation of Turkish Students and the National Union of Turkish Students organized mass demonstrations against the Greek minority of Istanbul and the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Vryonis 2005). Nowadays, most Greeks and Turks are unaware of the fact that on the night of September 6, until the early hours of September 7, 1955 the Adnan Menderes’ government and the Turkish Intelligence Service carried out the most destructive pogrom in Europe since the well-known Krystallnacht on the eve of the Second World War. In addition, they do not know that this pogrom damaged, and in many cases destroyed several houses, businesses, churches and institutions and that this had as a result, the elimination of the Greek minority, the oldest historical community of Turkey (Vryonis 2005).
On the afternoon of September 6th 1955, a radio station in Ankara reported that a bomb exploded under mysterious circumstances in the courtyard of Kemal Atatürk’s house in Thessaloniki, causing minor damages. The reports did not produce any reaction at first. However, a few hours later the Turkish journal Istanbul Express circulated an extra edition. According to the newspaper, the birthplace of Kemal Atatürk in Thessaloniki had been bombed. ...


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...were wilful violation of their religion (Vryonis 2005). In spite of this, the Greek minority of Istanbul was still possessed by an intense sense of insecurity, which has as a result, the flee of hundreds of families from their birthplaces to Greece, threatening to diminish the community as a whole.
Additionally, apart from the Greek minority the Pogrom of 6-7 September delivered a severe blow to Turkish economy. Street markets in Istanbul, which were under the control of Greek merchants, covering the basic needs of the citizens of the most populous city of Turkey. Therefore, the partial destruction brought about the impoverishment to the greater part of the Turkish population, leading to significant shortages of basic goods and a rapid rise in prices. The painful condition of Turkish economy would play a significant role in the issue of payment of compensation.

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The Turkish Pogrom of 1955 and the Elimination of the Greek Minority of Istanbul

- The Reconstitution of Turkish Pogrom The chronology of the pogrom falls in a hard period, when the Cyprus issue had caused difficulties in the political relations of Greece, Turkey and England. It is considered that Hikmet Bill the owner of the Turkish journal Hurriyet and Ahmet Emin Yalmas the owner of Vatan received a large amount of money in order to create the political atmosphere of the pogrom from British sources. By July 1955, the Turkish press and some organizations such as The‘Cyprus is Turkish’, the National Federation of Turkish Students and the National Union of Turkish Students organized mass demonstrations against the Greek minority of Istanbul and the Ecumenical Patriarch...   [tags: Turkish History, Government, Politics]

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