A resolution marking the anniversary of the anti-Greek pogrom in Turkey, on September 6, 1955. (Introduced in Senate):
SRES 160 IS
S. RES. 160
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
August 7 (legislative day, JULY 10), 1995
Mr. D'AMATO submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
A resolution marking the anniversary of the anti-Greek pogrom in Turkey, on September 6, 1955.
Whereas, in September 1955, there existed a Greek minority population of 100,000 in Istanbul, Turkey;
Whereas, on the night of September 6-7, 1955, a pogrom against the Greek community began in Istanbul;
Whereas anti-Greek rioters attacked, pillaged, gutted and destroyed more than 2,000 Greek homes, 4,200 Greek shops and stores, 73 Greek Orthodox churches, 52 Greek schools, eight Greek cemeteries, all three major Greek newspaper plants, and dozens of Greek factories, hotels, restaurants, and warehouses in Istanbul;
Whereas 15 Greeks were killed in the pogrom or died subsequently, and 32 were seriously injured;
Whereas as many as 200 women were raped by rioters;
Whereas the United States Consul General in Istanbul reported that police stood idly by or cheered on the rioting mobs;
Whereas the State Department received confirmation of `elaborate advanced planning for widespread destruction of the property of the indigenous Greek community,' involving careful preparations by many individuals;
Whereas American journalist Frederick Sondern, Jr., writing at the time for Readers Digest, described the events of that night as `. . . one of the wildest eruptions of mob fury and hysteria in modern times . . .';
Whereas homes of Greek officers stationed at NATO headquarters in the Turkish city of Izmir were also attacked and destroyed;
Whereas rioters attacked and burned down the Greek Consulate in Izmir and the Greek Pavilion at the Izmir International festival;
Whereas Turkish authorities failed at the time to convict a single rioter, out of thousands, for any crime committed during the pogrom;
Whereas five years later, after a military coup in Turkey, the former Prime Minister and acting Foreign Minister at the time of the pogrom were charged with, and convicted of, numerous criminal actions, including the instigation of the anti-Greek riots;
Whereas the pogrom marked the beginning of the end of the Greek community's presence in Istanbul, numbering about 2,000 in 1995; and
Whereas September 6, 1995 will mark the 40th Anniversary of the pogrom: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that the President should--
(1) take all appropriate steps to observe and commemorate the loss of life and property, and the numerous injuries and offenses, which took place during the pogrom by proclaiming September 6, 1995 as a day of remembrance for the victims of these attacks; and
(2) urge all Americans to honor the victims of the pogrom in the appropriate manner.
A survey of the damage inflicted on public establishments of the Greek Community of Istanbul during the rioting on the night of September 6-7 shows that the destruction caused has been extremely widespread. In fact, only a very small percentage of community property appears to have escaped molestation. Although there are as yet no figures available assessing the damage sustained, the number of establishments attacked and the nature of the destruction caused in the course of the night under reference convey a clear picture of the scope of the devastation. In most cases the assault on these establishments involved a thorough wrecking of installations, furniture, equipment, desecration of holy shrines and relics, and looting. In certain instances serious damage was inflicted on the buildings themselves by fire.
Information received from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate shows that of the 95 houses of worship listed on the books of the Archbishopric of Istanbul 61 were either completely or partially damaged. Eight of them became the victims of flames. The religious edifices thus affected are identified as follows:
1. Aghia Triada, Taksim--Wrecked, pillaged and destroyed by fire.
2. St. Constantin, Kalyoncu Kulluk--Wrecked, pillaged and destroyed by fire.
3. Motamorphosia, Cemetery of Sisli--Wrecked and pillaged.
4. Sotiros Christou, Galata--Wrecked and pillaged.
5. Saint Nicolas, Galata--Wrecked and pillaged.
6. Saint Jean, Galata--Wrecked and pillaged.
7. Saint Dimitri, Kurtulus--Wrecked and pillaged.
8. Saint Athanase, Kurtulus--Wrecked and pillaged.
9. Saint Elephtere, Kurtulus--Wrecked and pillaged.
[Page: S11792] GPO's PDF
10. Ivanghelistrias, Kurtulus--Wrecked and pillaged.
11. Ghenethlion tis Theotocou, Besiktas--Wrecked and pillaged.
12. Saint Phocas, Ortako˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
13. Saint Dimitri, Kurucesme--Wrecked and pillaged.
14. Ton Taxiarchon, together with residence of Bishop, Arnavutko˙AE4y--Wrecked and destroyed by fire.
15. Saint Haralambos, Bebek--Wrecked and pillaged.
16. Evanghelismos tis Theotokou, Boyaciko˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
17. Taxiarchon, Istinye--Wrecked and pillaged.
18. Saint Nicolas, Yeniko˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
19. Saint Paraskevi, Tarabya and residence of Bishop--Wrecked and destroyed by fire.
20. Saint Paraskevi, Bu˙AE4yu˙AE4kdere--Wrecked and pillaged.
21. Saint Jean, Yeni Mahalle--Wrecked and pillaged.
22. Saint Constantin, Pasabagc˙AE9o--Wrecked and pillaged.
23. Genethlion tis Theotocou, Kandilli--Wrecked and pillaged.
24. Saint George, C˙AE9angelko˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
25. Prophe Ilia, U˙AE4aku˙AE4dar--Wrecked and pillaged.
26. Agia Triada, with residence of Bishop--Kadiko˙AE4y--Wrecked, pillaged and destroyed by fire.
27. Saint Georges, Kadiko˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
28. St. Jean Chrysostome, Kadiko˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
29. Saint Ignace, Kadiko˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
30. Saint Dimitri, Bu˙AE4yu˙AE4kada--Wrecked and pillaged.
31. Dormition of the Virgin, Bu˙AE4yu˙AE4kada--Wrecked and pillaged.
32. Metamorphosis tou Christou, Bu˙AE4yu˙AE4kada--Wrecked and pillaged.
33. Saint Georges, monastery, Heybeliada--Wrecked and pillaged.
34. Saint Spiridon, monastery, Heybeliada--Wrecked and pillaged.
35. Zoodochos Pighi, Balikli--Wrecked and destroyed by fire.
36. Genethlion tis Theotocou, Beligradiou, Yedikule--Wrecked and pillaged.
37. Saint Constantin, Samatya--Wrecked and pillaged.
38. Saint Paraskevi, Samatya--Wrecked and pillaged.
39. Saint Georges, Samatya--Wrecked and pillaged.
40. Saint Minas, Samatya--Wrecked and pillaged.
41. Dormition of the Vergin, Exi Harmara--Wrecked and pillaged.
42. Saint Theodore, Langa--Wrecked and pillaged.
43. Saint Elpida, Kumigapi--Wrecked and pillaged.
44. Saint Kiriaki, Kumigapi--Wrecked and pillaged.
45. Saint Nicolas, Topkapu--Wrecked and pillaged.
46. Saint Georges, Edirnekapu--Wrecked and pillaged.
47. Dormition of the Virgin, Edirnekapu--Wrecked and pillaged.
48. Another Dormition of the Virgin, Edirnekapu--Wrecked and pillaged.
49. Taxiarchon, Balat--Wrecked and pillaged.
50. Panaghia tis Soudas, Egrikapu--Wrecked and pillaged.
51. Dormition of the Virgin, Blacherne, Ayvansqray--Wrecked and pillaged.
52. Saint Dimitri, Xiloportis--Damaged.
53. Dormition of the Virgin, Valinu--Damaged.
54. Saint Jean Prodrome, Valinu, monastery--Wrecked.
55. Saint Georges Potira--Wrecked.
56. Vierge Houchliotisoa, Phanar--Wrecked and pillaged.
57. Saint Nicolas, Cibali--Wrecked and pillaged.
58. Saint Haralambos, Chapel, Cibali--Wrecked and pillaged.
59. Dormition of the Virgin, Vefa--Wrecked and pillaged.
60. Saint Paraskevi, Hasko˙AE4y--Wrecked and pillaged.
61. Aghici Therapon--Damaged.
In addition to the above religious establishments the following properties belonging to the Monastery of St. Sinai, said to contain irreplaceable objects of art of Byzantine origin and religious relics of great value, apparently, also suffered serious destruction and pillage:
1. Monastery of St. Georges ti Krimnou, Heybeli Ada.
2. Monastery of St. Georges, Fener.
3. Monastery of St. Georges, Tenikoy.
Reports show that the dependencies of the religious edifices hit were also not spared and that very serious damage was inflicted on presbyteries and well-appointed community meeting quarters, libraries, dispensaries attached to these establishments.
Among the Greek churches heavily attacked also figures the church of the Greek Catholic Uniate at Hamal Basi, Bayoglu. Report has it that the presbytery of the said church and the congregational school attached thereto were also severely damaged. As a matter of fact three other Catholic churches having no connection whatever with the Greek community, are reported to have also suffered serious damage during the rioting.
Reports on hand indicate that the rioting crowd hit with particular frenzy at two important Greek Orthodox community centers; the central cemetery at Sisli and the cemetery of the Patriarchs at Balikil. The former sustained particularly extensive destruction. Crosses and statues were knocked down, sepulchers and vaults opened and the remains of the dead removed and dispersed. At Balikli, the sarcophaguses of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchs were desecrated.
As for the Greek Orthodox clergy itself, considering the scale and severity of the acts of violence recorded, it appears that only a relatively few were exposed to the fury of rioters. According to information given by the Patriarchate only one aged Orthodox priest, monk Chrysanthos of Balikli, is believed to have been killed during the rioting. Since his body has not been recovered he is listed as missing. It is supposed that he perished during the burning of his church. The principal dignitaries of the Orthodox church who were maltreated during the disturbances and made to suffer indignities are reported to be the following:
The Metropolitan of New Cesarea, Weaudor.
The Metropolitan of Troy, Bogacikey.
The Metropolitan of Derkos, Therapia.
The Metropolitan of Chalchida, Kadikoy.
Bishop Panphilion, Balikli.
Bishop Ilioupolios, Arnarutkoy.
The Archdeacon of the Patriarchate, Yenikoy.
Extensive damage also seems to have been suffered by the educational establishments of the Greek community. At least 36 of the 48 schools of the community are reported to have been more or less seriously damaged. The principal victims are the Zappeion Girls' College at Taksim and the Megali Scholi Boys' College of Phanar, both princes of the community, the Theological School at Heybeli, and the high schools at Haskoy, Edirne Kapu, Bakirkoy, Gelata, Taksim and Arnavutkoy. The elaborate dispensary of the Takrim High School and several public soup kitchens operated in conjunction with these educational institutions were also demolished.
A list of the schools hit by the rioters is given below:
1. The Greek Catholic School at Hamal Basi.
2. The Zappeion Girls' College, Taksim.
3. The Megali Scholi Boys College, Phanar.
4. The School of Haskoy.
5. The School of Evanghelistria.
6. The School of Gelata.
7. The School of Ortakoy.
8. The School of St. Constaintin, Beyoglu.
9. The School of Bakirkoy.
10. The School of Boyacikoy.
11. The School of Kurtulus.
12. The School of Yenikoy.
13. The School of Ferikoy.
14. The Theological School of Heybeli Ada.
15. The School at Nane Street.
16. The School of Aynali Cesme.
17. The School of Arnavutkoy.
18. The School of Aghia Triada, Taksim.
19. The School of Bebsk.
20. The School of Besiktas.
21. The School of Kandilli.
22. The School of Cengelkby.
23. The School of Kuzgunouk.
24. The School of Uskudar (Teni Mahole).
25. The School of Xakikoy (Yeldegirmen).
26. The School of Cafer Aga.
27. The School of Balat.
28. The School of Lonca.
29. The School of Edirne Kapu.
30. The School of Samatya.
31. The School of Longa.
32. The School of Buyakdere.
33. The School of Tarabya.
34. The School of Buyuk Ada.
35. The School of Ioakimeion Parthenagogheion.
36. The School of Kentrikon Parthenagogheion.
Efforts are now being made to immediately repair some of the damage to make possible opening of these schools by the end of this month. To that effect a preliminary aid of TL 110,000 has been allocated to the Community by the Turkish authorities. Special appropriations are also expected for the repair of damaged religious institutions and cemeteries since, neither the community itself nor the Patriarchate is in a position to provide adequate funds for the purpose. As the allocation of such funds will require legislative action, an emergency relief of TL 200,000 is announced for urgent repair work.
Though not specifically community property, it might be appropriate to consider in the present report also the damage sustained by the Greek language press of Istanbul. All three principal dailies, the APOYEVMATINI, the TACHYDROMOS and the EMBROS suffered heavy losses. The first two had both their offices and printing establishments completely wrecked. In the case of the EMBROS only its offices were destroyed since it had no printing press of its own. The APOYEVMATINI (circulation 10,000), the most heavily hit, managed to resume publication two weeks after the rioting. Its losses alone are estimated at half a million lirae. The TACHYDROMOS (circulation 5,000) has as yet not been able to recuperate from the blow but is scheduled to appear in the near future. The EMBROS (circulation 7,000) reappeared a few days after the disturbances. The weekly OKROIDS (circulation 5,000) managed to continue publication without interruption though its offices were also heavily wrecked. Like the EMBROS it has no printing press of its own.
As pointed out in the opening paragraphs of this report a monetary assessment of the damage caused to Greek Community property in the course of the September 6 riot has as yet not been attempted. Very general estimates on the part of community and church leaders would indicate that it goes into millions of Turkish liras. The Department will be informed as soon as a substantive estimate is available.
For the Counsul General.
Documented Deaths in 1955 Riots
Name Place Manner of death/source 1
[Priest] Chrysanthos Mantas Baloukli Doused with gasoline and burned to death
[Bishop] Gerasimos of Pamphilus Baloukli [b]Tortured, beaten, comotose died.
[Bishop] Gennadios Arabatzoglou. 80 Yeniko˙AE4y Beaten, died of injuries.
[Priest] Name unknown Edirenkapi Diseappeared
[Priest] Name unknown Chalke Found dead
[Church caretaker] Erpapazoglou Pasa Bahc˙AE9i Was killed inside church which was dynamited.
[Caretaker] Name unknown Anadoluhisar Was killed at shrine there: Cumhuriyet, 7.IX.55.
Abraham Anavas 65 `Moton' Store Was killed in store: Cumhuriyet, 8.IX.55.
Olga Kimiades 77 Beaten, died of heart attack:Huriyet, 8.IX.55.
Thanassis Misiroglou Hatzopoulos Passage Was killed at his store: Cumhuriyet, 8.IX.55.