Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Garo Paylan has submitted a motion to parliament demanding that an investigation be launched into the September 6-7, 1955 Istanbul pogrom on the anniversary of the event.
Paylan said in his motion that 73 churches, eight holy springs, two monasteries, and 5,538 houses and workplaces (of which 3,584 belonged to Greeks), were destroyed during the 1955 events which targeted Istanbul's Greek, Armenian, and Jewish minorities.
“According to the official data, 60 women were raped and many people were killed. Different researches showed that the actual data [on deaths and destruction] are in fact higher than the official data,” said Paylan.
The HDP lawmaker said that not only did the people who initiated the pogram get away with impunity, but they even got promoted in the government ranks.
“Although 66 years have passed since this great crime that happened in our country, Turkish parliament has not yet taken any step to bring the perpetrators into light,” Paylan said, urging a parliamentary investigation as per the Constitution, which he said would serve justice -- even "late."
“To ensure equal citizenship, to build a future that is far away from hate and discrimination, and to maintain a social peace, this shame that occurred against this country's ancient people needs to be faced with,” the motion read.
The Istanbul pogrom was organized by mobs directed at Istanbul’s non-Muslim residents, primarily its Greek minority, on Sept. 6-7, 1955. The pogrom left more than a dozen people dead and attackers looted a large number of non-Muslim homes, which further led to an exodus by a huge number of Turkey’s remaining Greek population.