Istanbul Pogrom
The Istanbul riots were mob attacks directed primarily at Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

's Greek
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

 on 6–7 September 1955. The riots were orchestrated by the Turkish government under Adnan Menderes
Adnan Menderes
Adnan Menderes was the first democratically elected Turkish Prime Minister between 1950–1960. He was one of the founders of the Democratic Party in 1946, the fourth legal opposition party of Turkey. He was hanged by the military junta after the 1960 coup d'état, along with two other cabinet...

. The events were triggered by the false news that the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, north Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

—the house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

 had been born in 1881—had been bombed the day before. A bomb planted by a Turkish usher at the consulate, who was later arrested and confessed, incited the events. The Turkish press conveying the news in Turkey was silent about the arrest and instead insinuated that Greeks had set off the bomb.

A Turkish mob, most of which had been trucked into the city in advance, assaulted Istanbul’s Greek community for nine hours. Although the mob did not explicitly call for Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 to be killed, over a dozen people died during or after the attacks as a result of beatings and arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

. Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 and Kurds were also harmed.

The riots greatly accelerated emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 of ethnic Greeks  from Turkey, and the Istanbul region in particular. The Greek population of Turkey declined from 119,822 persons in 1927, to about 7,000 in 1978. In Istanbul alone, the Greek population decreased from 65,108 to 49,081 between 1955 and 1960. The 2008 figures released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Turkey)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a government ministry office of the Republic of Turkey, responsible for foreign affairs in Turkey. Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu is current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, appointed on May 1, 2009....

 place the current number of Turkish citizens of Greek descent at 3,000–4,000; however, according to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, the Greek population in Turkey was estimated at 2,500 in 2006.

Some see the attacks as a continuation of a process of Turkification
Turkification is a term used to describe a process of cultural or political change in which something or someone who is not a Turk becomes one, voluntarily or involuntarily...

 that started with the decline of the Ottoman Empire
Decline of the Ottoman Empire
The Decline of the Ottoman Empire is the period that followed after the Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire in which the empire experienced several economic and political setbacks. Directly affecting the Empire at this time was Russian imperialism...

, rather than being a contemporary, bilateral issue. To back this claim they adduce the fact that roughly 40% of the properties attacked belonged to other minorities. Historian Alfred-Maurice de Zayas
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is an American lawyer, writer, historian, a leading expert in the field of human rights, as well as a former high-ranking United Nations official...

 has written that in his view, despite the small number of deaths, the riots met the "intent to destroy in whole or in part" criterion of the Genocide Convention.

The Greeks of Istanbul

Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 (modern Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

) was the capital of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 until 1453, when the city was conquered by Ottoman forces. A large indigenous Greek community continued to live in the multi-ethnic Ottoman capital city. The city’s Greek population, particularly the Phanariotes
Phanariots, Phanariotes, or Phanariote Greeks were members of those prominent Greek families residing in Phanar , the chief Greek quarter of Constantinople, where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is situated.For all their cosmopolitanism and often Western education, the Phanariots were...

, came to play a significant role in the social and economic life of the city and in the political and diplomatic life of the Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic but multi-ethnic, multi-religious Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 in general. This continued even after rebellions against Ottoman rule in Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and the establishment of an independent Greek state in 1829
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

, although during the Greek independence war incidents of massacres against Greek clergymen were seen
Massacres during the Greek Revolution
There were numerous massacres during the Greek War of Independence perpetrated by both the Greek revolutionaries and the Ottoman forces. The war was characterized by a lack of respect for civilian life and prisoners of war on both sides of the conflict...

. A number of ethnic Greeks served in the Ottoman Imperial diplomatic service and were even leading politicians in the 19th and early 20th century.

Following the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)
Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)
The Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, known as the Western Front of the Turkish War of Independence in Turkey and the Asia Minor Campaign or the Asia Minor Catastrophe in Greece, was a series of military events occurring during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May...

, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the population exchange agreement
Population exchange between Greece and Turkey
The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey was based upon religious identity, and involved the Greek Orthodox citizens of Turkey and the Muslim citizens of Greece...

 signed between Greece and Turkey resulted in the uprooting of all Greeks in modern Turkey (and Turks in Greece) from where many of them had lived for centuries. But due to the Greeks' strong emotional attachment to their first capital as well as the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , part of the wider Orthodox Church, is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches within the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 for Greek and worldwide orthodoxy, the Greek population of Istanbul was specifically exempted and allowed to stay in place. Nevertheless, this population began to decline, as evidenced by demographic statistics.

Punitive Turkish nationalist exclusivist measures, such as a 1932 parliamentary law, barred Greek citizens living in Turkey from a series of 30 trades and professions from tailoring and carpentry
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

 to medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 and real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

. The Wealthy Levy
Varlik Vergisi
Varlık Vergisi was a Turkish tax levied on the wealthy citizens of Turkey in 1942, with the stated aim of raising funds for the country's defense in case of an eventual entry into World War II....

 imposed in 1942 also served to reduce the economic potential of Greek businesspeople in Turkey.


The riots were triggered by Greece's appeal in 1954 to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 to demand self-determination for Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. Britain had the ruling mandate over the mostly ethnic Greek island, and wanted the Cyprus dispute
Cyprus dispute
The Cyprus dispute is the result of the ongoing conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus....

 to be resolved without being taken to the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

, where it could be problematically framed as an anti-colonialist struggle. To this end, Britain diplomatically encouraged Turkey to agitate Greece. The British ambassador to Greece also incited, saying in an August 1954 speech that Greco-Turkish ties were superficial, so nothing would be lost if, for example, something were to happen to Atatürk's house in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

. More bluntly, an official of the Foreign Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO is a British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.The head of the FCO is the...

 said that some agitation would be much to Turkey's benefit. In any case, said parliamentarian John Strachey, Turkey had a large ethnic Greek minority in Istanbul as a card to play against Greece if it considered annexing an independent Cyprus to Greece.

Since 1954, a number of nationalist student and irredentist organizations, such as the National Federation of Turkish Students , the National Union of Turkish Students, and Hikmet Bil's (editor of the major newspaper Hürriyet
-External links:* * ** * *...

) "Cyprus is Turkish" Association , had protested against the Greek minority and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

In 1955, a state-supported propaganda campaign involving the Turkish press galvanized public opinion against the Greek minority, targeting Athenogoras, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Phanar, in particular. Leading the pack was Hürriyet, which wrote on 28 August 1955: "If the Greeks dare touch our brethren, then there are plenty of Greeks in Istanbul to retaliate upon." Ömer Sami Coşar from Cumhuriyet
Cumhuriyet is a centre-left Turkish daily newspaper, founded on May 7, 1924 by journalist Yunus Nadi Abalıoğlu. Based in Istanbul, it has been situated since October 17, 2005 in Mecidiyeköy. Cumhuriyet was the last newspaper to leave the old press district Cağaloğlu...

wrote on 30 August:

Neither the Patriarchate nor the Rum minority ever openly supported Turkish national interests when Turkey and Athens clashed over certain issues. In return, the great Turkish nation never raised its voice about this. But do the Phanar Patriarchate and our Rum citizens in Istanbul have special missions assigned by Greece in its plans to annex Cyprus? While Greece was crushing Turks in Western
Thrace and was appropriating their properties by force, our Rum Turkish citizens lived as free as we do, sometimes even more comfortably. We think that these Rums, who choose to remain silent in our struggle with Greece, are clever enough not to fall into
the trap of four or five provocateurs.

Tercüman, Yeni Sabah
Sabah (newspaper)
Sabah is a popular Turkish daily newspaper, with a circulation of around 330,000 as of 2011. Its name means "morning" in the Turkish language originating from Arabic...

, and Gece Postası followed suit. The "Cyprus is Turkish" Association (CTA) stepped up activities in the weeks leading up to the riots, increasing the number of branches from three in August to ten by the time the attacks took place. On September 4, Hikmet Bil ordered students at Taksim Square
Taksim Square
Taksim Square situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network...

, the heart of the city, to burn Greek newspapers. The same day, Kamil Önal of the CTA—and the National Security Service—handed out to students twenty thousands banners emblazoned "Cyprus is Turkish".

The day before the Tripartite London Conference (29 August–7 September 1955) began, Prime Minister Menderes claimed that Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 were planning a massacre of Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

. Seeing the opportunity to extricate Britain, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963....

 advised the Turkish delegates that they should be stern. Foreign minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu
Fatin Rüstü Zorlu
Fatin Rüştü Zorlu was a Turkish diplomat and politician. He was executed by hanging after the coup d'état in 1960 along with two other politicians.-Biography:...

 paid heed to Macmillan and launched a harsh opening salvo, stating that Turkey would reconsider its commitment to the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

 unless Greece reconsidered its position on Cyprus. The Greek delegates, surprised by harshness of the speech, blamed the British.

Deflecting domestic attention to Cyprus was politically convenient for the Menderes government, which was suffering from an ailing economy. Although a minority, the Greek population played a prominent role in the city’s business life, making it a convenient scapegoat
Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals , individuals against groups , groups against individuals , and groups against groups Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any...

 during the economic crisis in the mid-50s which saw Turkey's economy contract (with an 11% GDP/capita decrease in 1954). The DP responded first with inflationary policies, then when that failed, with authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

 and populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

. DP's policies also introduced rural-urban mobility, which exposed some of the rural population to the lifestyles of the urban minorities. The three chief destinations were the largest three cities: Istanbul, Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, and Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

. Between 1945 and 1955, the population of Istanbul increased from 1 million to about 1.6 million. Many of these new residents found themselves in shantytowns , and constituted a prime target for populist policies.

Finally, the conference fell apart on 6 September, the first day the subject of Cyprus would be broached at the conference, when news broke of the bombing of the Turkish consulate (and birth place of Atatürk) in Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki.


The 1961 Yassıada
Yassıada is one of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara. The island, which has an area of 0.05 km², is officially a neighbourhood in the Adalar district of Istanbul, Turkey.x...

 Trial against Menderes and Foreign Minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu
Fatin Rüstü Zorlu
Fatin Rüştü Zorlu was a Turkish diplomat and politician. He was executed by hanging after the coup d'état in 1960 along with two other politicians.-Biography:...

 exposed the proximate planning of the riots. Menderes and Zorlu mobilized the formidable machinery of the ruling Demokrat Parti (DP) and party-controlled trade unions of Istanbul. Interior minister Namık Gedik was also involved. According to Zorlu's lawyer at the Yassiada trial, a mob of 300,000 was marshaled in a radius of 40 miles (64.4 km) around the city for the attacks.

The trial also revealed that the fuse for the consulate bomb was sent from Turkey to Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

 on 3 September. The Yassıada Trial established that a twenty-year-old National Security Service agent named Oktay Engin was given the mission of installing the explosives, two sticks of gelignite, in the consulate's garden. The consul M. Ali Balin allegedly first pressured consulate employee Hasan Uçar, but Engin was brought in when Uçar resisted. Both of them were arrested after the attack.

Engin was born in Komotini
Komotini is a city in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace and of the Rhodope regional unit. It is also the administrative center of the Rhodope-Evros super-prefecture. The city is home to the Democritus University of Thrace, founded in 1973...

  to Faik Engin (a well-known parliamentarian in the late '40s; the first person president Celal Bayar
Celal Bayar
Celâl Bayar was a Turkish politician, statesman and the third President of Turkey. At the time of his death, he was the longest lived former head of state, living over 103 years .-Early years:He was born in 1883 at Umurbey, a village of Gemlik, Bursa as the son of a religious leader and teacher...

 visited on his trip to Greece, says Oktay Engin) and became the first Turkish student to graduate from the Greek gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

. Turkish officials encouraged him to study law, offering him a scholarship, so that he could promote the interests of Turkish citizens in Greece. He thus entered Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the largest Greek university, and the largest university in the Balkans. It was named after the philosopher Aristotle, who was born in Stageira, Chalcidice, about 55 km east of Thessaloniki, in Central Macedonia...

 in 1953, and was then given his mission. Engin said that he had been followed by Greek intelligence agents so closely during his law years that he could name one ("Triondafilos").

In his 2005 book, Speros Vryonis
Speros Vryonis
Speros Vryonis Jr. is an American historian of Greek descent and a specialist in Greek and Byzantine history. He is the author of a number of works on Byzantine/Greek-Turkish relations, including The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh...

 documents the direct role of the Demokrat Parti organization and government-controlled trade unions in amassing the rioters that swept Istanbul. Ten of Istanbul’s 18 branches of the "Cyprus is Turkish" Association were run by DP officials. This organization played a crucial role in inciting anti-Greek activities. Most of the rioters came from western Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

. His case study of Eskişehir
Eskişehir is a city in northwestern Turkey and the capital of the Eskişehir Province. According to the 2009 census, the population of the city is 631,905. The city is located on the banks of the Porsuk River, 792 m above sea level, where it overlooks the fertile Phrygian Valley. In the nearby...

 shows how the party there recruited 400 to 500 workers from local factories, who were carted by train with third class-tickets to Istanbul. These recruits were promised the equivalent of 6 USD, which was never paid. They were accompanied by Eskişehir police, who were charged with coordinating the destruction and looting once the contingent was broken up into groups of 20–30 men, and the leaders of the party branches.

While the DP took the blame for the events, it was recently revealed that the pogrom was in actuality a product of the Turkey's Tactical Mobilization Group; a clandestine special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 unit. Four star general Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu
Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu
Sabri Yimibreşoğlu is a retired Turkish general. He was first Chief of Staff, then Chief of the Turkish Special Forces between 1971–1974 and commanded the special forces activities in Northern Cyprus in the eve and initial stages of the Turkish Operations in July and August 1974, aimed at stopping...

, the right-hand man of General Kemal Yamak who led the Turkish outpost
Counter-Guerrilla is the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, a clandestine stay-behind anti-communist initiative backed by the United States as an expression of the Truman Doctrine. The founding goal of the operation was to erect a guerrilla force capable of countering a possible Soviet invasion...

 of Operation Gladio
Operation Gladio
Operation Gladio is the codename for a clandestine NATO "stay-behind" operation in Italy after World War II. Its purpose was to continue anti-communist actions in the event of a shift to a Communist party led government...

 under the Tactical Mobilization Group , proudly reminisced about his involvement in the pogrom, calling it "a magnificent organization".

Before the 6 September, some of the buildings of the Greeks and other non-muslim minorities are marked with cross signs in order to make the arson easier ,.


Municipal and government trucks were placed in strategic points all around the city to distribute the tools of destruction (shovels, pickaxes, crowbars, ramrods and petrol), while 4,000 taxis were requisitioned from the Drivers Association and Motor Vehicle Workers' Trade Union to transport the perpetrators. In addition, flags had been prepared by the Textile Workers' Union .

A protest rally on the night of September 6, organized by the authorities in Istanbul, on the Cyprus issue and the bombing of Atatürk's home was the cover for amassing the rioters. At 13:00, news reports of the bombing were announced by radio. However, most people at the time did not have radios, so they had to wait until 16:30, when the daily İstanbul Ekspres, which was associated with the DP and the National Security Service (NSS), repeated the news in print.

According to a September 2005 episode of the weekly show Files on the Greek Mega Channel, the accompanying photographs were seen by Salonican photographer Yannis Kyriakidis on September 4 (two days before the actual bombing). The consul's wife had brought the film to the photo studio that belonged to Kyriakidis' father to be printed. The photographs were then photomontage
Photomontage is the process and result of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs. The composite picture was sometimes photographed so that the final image is converted back into a seamless photographic print. A similar method, although one that does not...

d, according to the program.

On the day of the event, the editor, Gökşin Sipahioğlu, called the owner, Mithat Perin, asking for permission for a second run. The weather was bad, so Perin declined thinking the prints would not get sold. The newspaper's main dealer, Fuat Büke, soon called and offered to pay for the run in advance. By the time Perin went to inspect the Tan Press, 180,000 copies had already been printed. Sensing something fishy, Perin tore up the paper and stopped the run. The prototype was still intact however, and the workers secretly resumed printing after Perin left. They had eventually printed 300,000 copies (on paper stocked in advance), of which 296,000 were sold. This was far above the newspaper's average circulation of 30,000–40,000 (by comparison, the best-selling Hürriyet sold 70–80 thousand copies). Perin was arrested the next day. Gökşin Sipahioğlu later alleged the NSS had pressured him to do it, while Perin says Sipahioğlu himself was an agent. Perin's innocence, however, was cast into doubt after intrepid journalist Uğur Mumcu
Ugur Mumcu
Uğur Mumcu was an intrepid Turkish investigative journalist for the leading Kemalist broadsheet, Cumhuriyet. He was assassinated with a bomb placed in his car, outside his home.- Biography :...

 published an excerpt from a 1962 letter between Perin and the undersecretary of the NSS, Fuat Doğu, stating that in his 25 years of journalism, he had acted in full knowledge of the NSS and had not refrained from doing anything.

At 17:00, the pogrom started in Taksim Square, and rippled out during the evening through the old suburb of Beyoğlu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 (Pera), with smashing and looting of Greek commercial property, particularly along Yüksek Kaldırım street. By six o'clock at night, many of the Greek shops on Istanbul's main shopping street
High Street
High Street, or the High Street, is a metonym for the generic name of the primary business street of towns or cities, especially in the United Kingdom. It is usually a focal point for shops and retailers in city centres, and is most often used in reference to retailing...

, İstiklal Avenue
Istiklal Avenue
İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends...

, were ransacked. Many commercial streets were littered with merchandise and fittings torn out of Greek-owned businesses. According to the eyewitness account of a Greek dentist, the mob chanted "Death to the Giaour
Giaour, Gawur or Ghiaour written gâvur in modern Turkish, is an offensive ethnic slur used by Muslims in Turkey and the Balkans to describe all who are non Muslim, with particular reference to Christians like Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Serbs and Assyrians...

s" (non-Turks), "Massacre the Greek traitors", "Down with Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

" and "Onward to Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 and Thessaloniki" as they executed the pogrom. Predictably, the situation came soon out of control and the mobs were shouting "First your property. Then your life".

The riot died down by midnight with the intervention of the Turkish Army
Turkish Army
The Turkish Army or Turkish Land Forces is the main branch of the Turkish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The modern history of the army began with its formation after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire...

 and declaration of martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

. The police, which supported the pogrom by preparing and organizing the operations, was ordered to hold a passive stance and leave the mob to roam the streets of the city freely and commit atrocities against the civilian population. The Turkish militia and police that coordinated the pogrom refrained from protecting the lives and properties of the victims. Their function was instead to preserve adjacent Turkish properties. However, there were a few cases where police officers prevented criminal activity. On the other hand, the fire brigade, whenever it reached a fire, claimed that it was unable to deal with it.

Personal violence

While the pogrom participants were not instructed to kill their targets, sections of the mob went much further than scaring or intimidating local Greeks. Between 13 and 16 Greeks and one Armenian (including two clerics
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

) died as a result of the pogrom. However, many deaths were never recorded due to the general chaos and the total death toll is estimated to be at least 30 according to some sources.

32 Greeks were severely wounded. Men and women were rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

d, and according to the account of the Turkish writer Aziz Nesin
Aziz Nesin
Aziz Nesin was a famous Turkish writer and humorist of Crimean Tatar origin and author of more than 100 books.-Pseudonyms:...

, men, mainly priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

s, were subjected to forced circumcision
Forced circumcision
Forced circumcision most commonly refers to the circumcision of a male who has not given his consent. In a biblical context the term is used especially in relation to Paul the Apostle and his polemics against the forced circumcision of gentile Christians...

 by members of the mob and an Armenian rite Christian priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 died after the procedure. Nesin wrote:

Material damage and cost

The material damage was considerable, with damage to 5317 properties, almost all Greek-owned. Among these were 4214 homes, 1004 businesses, 73 churches, 2 monasteries, 1 synagogue, and 26 schools. Over 4,000 Greek-owned businesses, 110 hotels, 27 pharmacies, 23 schools, 21 factories, 73 Greek (and other Christian) churches and over a thousand Greek-owned homes were badly damaged or destroyed. The American consulate estimates that 59% of the businesses were Greek-owned, 17% were Armenian-owned, 12% were Jewish-owned, 10% were Muslim-owned; while 80% of the homes were Greek-owned, 9% were Armenian-owned, 3% were Jewish-owned, and 5% were Muslim-owned.

Estimates of the economic cost of the damage vary from Turkish government's estimate of 69.5 million Turkish lira
Turkish lira
The Turkish lira is the currency of Turkey and the de facto independent state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The lira is subdivided into 100 kuruş...

 (equivalent to 24.8 million US$), the British diplomat estimates of 100 million GBP (about 200 million US$), the World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches
The World Council of Churches is a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service. It is a Christian ecumenical organization that is based in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland...

’ estimate of 150 million USD, and the Greek government's estimate of 500 million USD.

Church property

In addition to commercial targets, the mob clearly targeted property owned or administered by the Greek Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

. 73 churches and 23 schools were vandalized, burned or destroyed, as were 8 asperses and 3 monasteries. This represented about 90 percent of the church property portfolio in the city. The ancient Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 church of Panagia
Panagia , also transliterated Panayia or Panaghia, is one of the titles of Mary, the mother of Jesus, used especially in Orthodox Christianity....

 in Veligradiou was vandalised and burned down. The church at Yedikule was badly vandalised, as was the church of St. Constantine of Psammathos. At Zoodochos Pege church
Church of St. Mary of the Spring (Istanbul)
The Monastery of the Mother of God at the Spring or simply Zoödochos Pege , is an Eastern Orthodox sanctuary in Istanbul...

 in Balıklı
Balıklı, Istanbul
Balıklı is a neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. It belongs to the Zeytinburnu municipality , and is part of the Kazlıçeşme Mahalle....

, the tombs of a number of ecumenical patriarchs
Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome – ranking as primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox communion, which is seen by followers as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church....

 were smashed open and desecrated. The abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

 of the monastery, Bishop Gerasimos of Pamphilos, was severely beaten during the pogrom and died from his wounds some days later in Balıklı Hospital. In one church arson attack, Father Chrysanthos Mandas was burned alive. The Metropolitan
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

 of Liloupolis, Gennadios, was badly beaten and went mad. Elsewhere in the city, Greek cemeteries came under attack and were desecrated. Some reports also testified that relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

s of saints were burned or thrown to dogs.


An eyewitness account was provided by journalist Noel Barber
Noel Barber
Noel Barber was a British novelist and journalist. Many of his novels, considered exotic, are about his experiences as leading foreign correspondent for the Daily Mail. He had two brothers, Kenneth, a banker and Anthony Barber, Baron Barber.Most notably he reported from Morocco, where he was...

 of the London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

on 14 September 1955:
On the occasion of the pogrom's 50th anniversary, a seventy-year-old Mehmet Ali Zeren said, "I was in the street that day and I remember very clearly...In a jewelry store, one guy had a hammer and he was breaking pearls one by one."

One famous eyewitness was James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 novelist Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming
Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer.Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, one of the biggest-selling series of fictional books of...

, who as an MI6 agent was present under the cover of the International Police Conference on 5 September (which he ditched in favor of covering the riots for The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

). Fleming's account was published on 11 September bearing the title "The Great Riot of Istanbul". It has been said that Fleming may have been tipped off by Nâzim Kalkavan, who appears in 1957's From Russia with Love as "Darko Kerim"; the Istanbul station chief
Station Chief
Station Chief is a term for certain officials who are appointed as chief of a 'station', i.e. a stationary post, of various natures.-Colonial:...

 of the MI6. According to Fleming's biographer, John Pearson, Kalkavan was rather like Kerim bey.

For some Turkish eyewitness accounts, read Ayşe Hür's article in Taraf.


There are accounts of protection offered to the minorities by their fellow citizens that were successful in fending off the mob. The most organized team rallied behind air force captain Reşat Mater. Mater happened to be off duty and visiting his home in Cevizlik's Muhasebeciler Street, which is right next to the rally point, İstanbul Caddesi. Mater first hid some of his neighbors in his house, then he took to the street with his gun and his uniform. The boys in the neighborhood joined him, bringing domestic implements as substitute weapons. The mob passed by after seeing the barricade.

Mater later rose all the way to Commander of the Air Force, making him third in the military line of command. His son Tayfun, who witnessed the pogrom, maintains ties with those who survived and fled to Greece.

Secondary action

While the pogrom was predominantly an Istanbul affair, there were some outrages in other Turkish cities. On the morning of 7 September 1955 In İzmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey...

), a mob overran the İzmir National Park, where an international exhibition was taking place, and burned the Greek pavilion. Moving next to the Church of Saint Fotini, built two years earlier to serve the needs of the NATO Regional Headquarters' Greek officers, the mob destroyed it completely. The homes of the few Greek families and officers were then looted.


Considerable contemporary documentation showing the extent of the destruction is provided by the photographs taken by Demetrios Kaloumenos, then official photographer of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Setting off just hours after the pogrom began, Kaloumenos set out with his camera to capture the damage and smuggled the film to Greece. Famous Turkish photojournalist of Armenian descent Ara Guler
Ara Güler
Ara Güler is a Turkish photojournalist of Armenian descent, nicknamed "the Eye of Istanbul" or "the Photographer of Istanbul".- Early life :...

 also took many photographs during the pogrom .


On 7 September, the Menderes government closed the "Cyprus is Turkish" Association (CTA) and arrested its executives. A CTA detainee, and spy, named Kamil Önal had one of his CTA associates burn an intelligence report originating from the National Security Service (NSS) that was at the CTA office. In addition, a member from the Kızıltoprak branch, Serafim Sağlamel, was found to be carrying an address list of non-Muslim citizens. 34 trade unions were dissolved. The Minister of Internal Affairs resigned on September 10. On September 12, the government blamed Turkish Communists for the pogrom, arresting 45 "card-carrying communists" (including Aziz Nesin
Aziz Nesin
Aziz Nesin was a famous Turkish writer and humorist of Crimean Tatar origin and author of more than 100 books.-Pseudonyms:...

, Kemal Tahir
Kemal Tahir
Kemal Tahir was a prominent Turkish novelist and intellectual. Tahir spent 13 years of his life imprisoned due to political reasons and wrote some of his most important novels during this time...

, and İlhan Berktay). This type of "false flag
False flag
False flag operations are covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than one's own...

" anti-Communist propaganda was a staple of the Counter-Guerrilla
Counter-Guerrilla is the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, a clandestine stay-behind anti-communist initiative backed by the United States as an expression of the Truman Doctrine. The founding goal of the operation was to erect a guerrilla force capable of countering a possible Soviet invasion...

. When opposition leader İsmet İnönü
Ismet Inönü
Mustafa İsmet İnönü was a Turkish Army General, Prime Minister and the second President of Turkey. In 1938, the Republican People's Party gave him the title of "Milli Şef" .-Family and early life:...

 delivered a speech criticizing the government for rounding up innocent people instead of the actual perpetrators, the communists were released in December 1955. An angry Menderes said that İnönü would not be forgiven for his speech, pardoning the communists.

Oktay Engin and consulate employee Hasan Uçar were arrested on 18 September. Engin was first charged with executing the attack, but he presented an alibi so the charge was dropped to incitement. He was detained for nine months. Three months later, the NSS exfiltrated him before the Greek courts sentenced him to 3.5 years. In addition, Turkey refused Greece's extradition request.

87 CTA leaders were released in December 1955, while 17 were taken to court on 12 February 1956. The indictment initially blamed the CTA only for inciting some students to burn Greek newspapers in Taksim Square. In response to police chief Kemal Aygün's question about the Cominform
Founded in 1947, Cominform is the common name for what was officially referred to as the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties...

's role in the affair, Şevki Mutlugil of the NSS cooked up a report, which concluded that the Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 and Cominform had conspired to sabotage NATO. As proof, the prosecution submitted some brochures from the Communist Party of Turkey and a pair of letters from Nâzım Hikmet which called on the workers of Cyprus to stand against imperialism. To bolster the claims, the indictment claimed that NSS agent Kamil Önal had contacted the Comintern while on duty in Lebanon and defected, effectively exonerating the NSS.

The remaining prisoners were released on 12 January 1957 for lack of evidence, by order of the Istanbul First Penal Court .

The chargé d’affaires at the British Embassy in Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Michael Stewart, directly implicated Menderes’ Demokrat Parti in the execution of the attack. “There is fairly reliable evidence that local Demokrat Parti representatives were among the leaders of the rioting in various parts of Istanbul, notably in the Marmara islands
Princes' Islands
The Princes' Islands , are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. The islands also constitute the Adalar district of Istanbul Province...

, and it has been argued that only the Demokrat Parti had the political organisation in the country capable of demonstrations on the scale that occurred,” he reported, refusing to assign blame to the party as a whole or Menderes personally, however. The Foreign Office pointedly underscored the fact that British citizens were also victims of the attack.

Although British ambassador to Ankara, Bowker, advised British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963....

 that the United Kingdom should “court a sharp rebuff by admonishing Turkey”, only a note of distinctly mild disapproval was dispatched to Menderes. The context of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 led Britain and the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to absolve the Menderes government of the direct political blame that it was due. The efforts of Greece to internationalize the human rights violations through international organizations such as the UN and NATO found little sympathy. British NATO representative Cheetham deemed it “undesirable” to probe the pogrom. U.S. representative Edwin Martin thought the effect on the alliance was exaggerated, and the French
Government of France
The government of the French Republic is a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic"...

, Belgians
Belgians are people originating from the Kingdom of Belgium, a federal state in Western Europe.-Etymology:Belgians are a relatively "new" people...

 and Norwegians
Norwegians constitute both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in United States, Canada and Brazil.-History:Towards the end of the 3rd...

 urged the Greeks to “let bygones be bygones”. Indeed, the North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council is the most senior political governing body of NATO established by Article 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The NAC can be held at the Permanent Representative Level , or can be composed of member states' Ministers of State, Defense, or Heads of Government. The NAC has the...

 issued a statement that the Turkish government had done everything that could be expected.

By popular vote, the Cyprus issue was dropped from the U.N. agenda on 23 September 1955. Britain had successfully avoided a potential diplomatic embarrassment.


The compensation package allocated by the Turkish Assembly was only 60 million Turkish liras. While 12.7 million Turkish liras were given to churches for compensation out of 39 million Turkish liras claimed damages, the rest of the 60 million Turkish liras was distributed among applicants.

Tensions continued, and in 1958–1959, Turkish nationalist students embarked on a campaign encouraging a boycott against all Greek businesses. The task was completed eight years later in 1964 when the Ankara government reneged on the 1930 Greco-Turkish Ankara Convention, which established the right of Greek établis (Greeks who were born and lived in Istanbul but held Greek citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

) to live and work in Turkey. As a result of tensions over the Cyprus issue,
Turkey prohibited all commercial dealings by Greeks holding a Greek passport resulting in the deportation from Turkey of around 40,000 ethnic Greeks. They were allowed to take with
them only 20 kg of their belongings and cash of 22 dollars. Moreover, the property they left was confiscated by the Turkish state ten years later. As a result of these policies, the Greek community of Istanbul shrank from 80,000 (or 100,000 by some accounts) persons in 1955 to only 48,000 in 1965. Today, the Greek community numbers about 2,500, mostly older, Greeks.

After the military coup of 1960, Menderes and Zorlu were charged at the Yassiada Trial in 1960–61 with violating the constitution. The trial also made reference to the pogrom, for which they were blamed. The accused were denied fundamental rights regarding their defence, and they were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...


The military prosecutor at the time, vice admiral Fahri Çoker, kept documents and photographs of the event in order to educate posterity. He entrusted them to the Turkish Historical Society
Turkish Historical Society
The Turkish Historical Society also known as Turkish Historical Association or Turkish History Foundation is a research society studying the history of Turkey and the Turkish people, founded in 1931 by the initiative of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with headquarters in Ankara, Turkey.-Presidents:The...

, stipulating that they be exhibited 25 years after his death. When the date passed and the documents were exhibited in 2005, a group of ultranationalist Ülküculer
Grey Wolves
The Idealist Youth , commonly known as Grey Wolves , is an ultra-nationalist neo-fascist youth organization. It is accused of terrorism. According to Turkish authorities, the organization carried out 694 murders between 1974–1980.-Name:...

raided and defaced the exhibit by hurling eggs at the photographs and trampling over them.

The editor of the Istanbul Ekspres, Gökşin Sipahioğlu, went on to found Sipa Press; an international photo agency based in France. The owner, Mithat Perin, already a DP member, became a parliamentarian.

Oktay Engin continued his studies at Istanbul University
Istanbul University
Istanbul University is a Turkish university located in Istanbul. The main campus is adjacent to Beyazıt Square.- Synopsis :A madrasa, a religious school, was established sometime in the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. An institution of higher education named the...

's Faculty of Law. His school in Thessaloniki refused to share his transcript, but with only a certificate showing he had completed the first year, the university senate allowed Engin to continue from the second. After graduation, he started an internship in Cyprus. However, he was summoned by Orhan Öztırak, the minister of internal affairs
Ministry of Interior (Turkey)
The Ministry of Interior is a government ministry office of the Republic of Turkey, responsible for interior security affairs in Turkey.Currently it is headed by İdris Naim Şahin.- External links :...

, to monitor Greek radio stations. Next he placed first in a government exam that led to his to becoming the governor (kaymakam
Qaim Maqam or Qaimaqam or Kaymakam is the title used for the governor of a provincial district in the Republic of Turkey, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and in Lebanon; additionally, it was a title used for roughly the same official position in the Ottoman...

) of the most important district, Çankaya
Çankaya is the central metropolitan district of the city of Ankara, the capital of Turkey, and an administrative district of Ankara Province. According to the 2000 census, the population of the urban center is 797,109 which swells up to 2 million or more people during the day. The district covers...

. One year later, the chief of the police force, Hayrettin Nakipoğlu, invited him to be the chair of the Political Affairs Branch . Under normal conditions, reaching such a position would require 15–20 years of work, starting from his position as a district governor. He remained in the police force thereafter, working his way up to the chief of the security department, and the deputy chief of the entire police force. Finally, in 1991 he was promoted to the governorship of Nevşehir Province
Nevsehir Province
Nevşehir Province is a province in central Turkey with its capital in Nevşehir. It adjacent provinces are Kırşehir to the northwest, Aksaray to the southwest, Niğde to the south, Kayseri to the southeast, and Yozgat to the northeast. Nevşehir includes the area called Cappadocia - a very popular...

. Engin rejects all allegations of culpability—indeed, of even being a spy or an acquaintance of General Yirmibeşoğlu.

In August 1995, the US Senate passed a special resolution marking the September 1955 pogrom, calling on the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 to proclaim 6 September as a Day of Memory for the victims of the pogrom.

Further reading

  • Güllapoğlu, Fatih. Tanksız Topsuz Harekât: Psikolojik Harekat (The Tankless, Cannonless Operation), Tekin Yayinevi, 1991. ISBN 9754780870. The "magnificent organization" quotes originates here, pg. 104.
  • Güllapoğlu, Fatih. “Türk Gladio'su İçin Bazı İpuçları”, Tempo Dergisi, pg.24, 9–15 June 1991.
  • Güven, Dilek. Cumhuriyet Dönemi Azınlık Politikaları ve Stratejileri Bağlamında 6-7 Eylül Olayları, İletişim, 2006. ISBN 9750504364. Based on author's doctoral dissertation, Nationalismus, Sozialer Wandel und Minderheiten : Die Ausschreitungen gegen die Nichtmuslime der Turkei from Ruhr University Bochum.

External links

Turkey°N date=July 2009°W
  • CNNTURK Istanbul Pogrom Picture Gallery Another gallery of pictures taken during pogrom in 1955. The gallery is titled as "Day of Shame for Turkey" by Turkish newschannel CNNTURK.
  • A movie about the events of Istanbul Pogrom called Pains of Autumn
    Pains of Autumn
    Pains of Autumn is a 2009 Turkish drama film, directed by Tomris Giritlioğlu, based on the novel by Yilmaz Karakoyunlu. The film, which went on nationwide general release across Turkey on , was one of the highest-grossing Turkish films of 2009....

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