Turkish opposition marks 67th anniversary of Istanbul pogrom

Turkey’s opposition HDP and DEVA Party have commemorated the victims of the 1955 Istanbul pogrom, vowing not to allow such an incident to happen again. The pogrom was organized by mobs directed at Istanbul’s non-Muslim residents, primarily its Greek minority, on Sept. 6-7, 1955.

The pogrom targeted Istanbul's Greek, Armenian, and Jewish minorities.

Duvar English

Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) have each released a statement on the anniversary of the September 6-7, 1955 Istanbul pogrom, vowing not to allow such incidents to occur again.

The co-chairs of the HDP’s Peoples and Beliefs Commission, Tülay Hatimoğulları and Turgut Öker, recalled that the Turkish has not yet officially recognized, apologized for, or made reparations for the program. 

“We commemorate our citizens massacred at the 6-7 September Pogrom with respect and sadness. We will continue our struggle with determination for similar pains not to occur again,” they said in their statement.  

They said that unless the state “faces this shame, brings out the perpetrators, determines the loss of life and property, and provides material and immaterial compensation to those victimized or their families,” the principle of “equal citizenship” cannot hold. 

DEVA Party leader Ali Babacan also marked the anniversary of the pogrom, tweeting: “I commemorate with respect those who lost their lives in the incidents that occurred on Sept. 6-7, 1955, whose houses and stores got damaged, who were forced to leave their country. We have never forgotten this pain. We will not allow for it to be repeated.”

The pogrom targeted Istanbul's Greek, Armenian, and Jewish minorities, where mobs ransacked businesses, homes and places of worship belonging to these communities. Thousands of buildings were damaged, hundreds of women were raped and between 15 and 30 people were killed, according to different estimates.

The pogrom was instrumental in driving much of the city's minority population out of Istanbul and Turkey.