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The Greek Minority and its foundations in Istanbul, Gokceada (Imvros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos)

After the 1923 Lausanne Treaty and the mandatory population exchange provided for therein (see Black Sea Greeks), more than 130,000 ethnic Greeks remained in Istanbul as well as on Gökçeada (Imvros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) islands. Nevertheless, this socially, financially and culturally vigorous Greek population sustained systematic persecutions from the Turkish administration which resulted in its gradual yet dramatic decrease in population and its eventual emigration. The events of “Septemvriana” in September 1955 (1) and the deportations in 1964 (2) grossly violated the 1923 Lausanne Treaty obligations Turkey ought to honour. Today, less than 3,500 ethnic Greek residents remain in Turkey.

1. In September 1955, in Istanbul, an orchestrated mob turned against the ethnic Greek community and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in a riot, which destroyed 1.004 houses, 5.000 SMEs, two cemeteries, 73 churches, 23 schools and 5 recreation centers. By the 1960s, the number of ethnic Greeks who were forced to leave Turkey is estimated at around 9,000 people.

2. In March 1964, Turkey denounced the 1930 Greek-Turkish Ankara Convention. Within two years, more than 12,000 Greek citizens living in Turkey were deported from the country and deprived of all access to their movable and immovable property. As a consequence, a further 40,000 Turkish citizens of Greek origin (relatives of the above-mentioned deported Greeks) fled the country; these ethnic Greeks (Greek Minority in Turkey) were excluded from the mandatory population exchange of 1923 and laid without the realm of the 1930 Greek-Turkish Ankara Convention.

Last Updated Thursday, 01 December 2016