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
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This unconfirmed article sparked off nonviolent demonstrations in the biggest Turkey’s cities against the Greek minority and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In the investigation that followed it was clarified that the guard and a Turkish student of the University of Thesaloniki, which called Oktai Egin, placed the explosives there, which had brought from Turkey few days ago (Sondern 1956). The street demonstration was organized by various nationalist student organizations, and Hikmet Bil’s association Cyprus is Turkish (Kibris Türktür Cemiyeti). Hikmet Bil was a journalist in Hurriyet well known for his anti Hellenic articles, and the head of the political organization Cyprus is Turkish. Out of the blue a passionate crowd appeared to cross the main streets of Istanbul, while distributing posters depicting Cyprus in the Turkish flag, statues and portraits of Kemal Atatürk and Celar Bayar, Turkey’s third President and shouting abusive slogans against the Greeks and in favour of Turkish claims over Cyprus. Furthermore, city residents urged to hold Turkish flags outside their houses and shops in order to keep them from being damaged by accident. (Guven 2006). “Soon, the demonstration in Istanbul was transformed into widespread riots against the property of the Greek element in the city” (Alexandris 1992, p257).
More than 100,000 protesters participated in the Anti-Greek incidents, in Istanbul. The Turkish rule brought thousands of Turks from Anatolia and Thrace to

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