Sunday, September 6, 2015

60th Anniversary of the Turkish Pogrom against Greeks in Istanbul

September 6 and 7, 1955 witnessed a tragic pogrom, one which set the foundation for the distrust that exists until today between Turkey and Greece. (Add to that issues surrounding Cyprus, and...)

Unfortunately, the article, which is written in Turkey and published by a newspaper that is under "surveillance|" by the authorities during a tense period in Turkish politics, leaves out the untold damage that the pogrom caused. Before the pogrom, the Greek population was 200,000 in Istanbul. Afterwards, it immediately fell to 150,000 - thousands of refugees fleeing to Athens. The Greek population continued to decline until now there are scarcely more than 2,500 permanent "minority Greek" residents in Istanbul. Damage to buildings ran to over 1,500 buildings either burned, or demolished or bombed. Legal issues are still outstanding over some properties. But, none of this will appear in a Turkish newspaper today. (It did a number of years ago, in this newspaper, when there was an increasing awareness of the place of "minorities" in Turkey.)

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