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The anniversary of the Istanbul pogroms

08 / 09 / 2022

On September 6-7,1955, another repression of ethnic minorities took place in Turkey, which went down in history under the name of “Istanbul pogroms”. The main target of the pogroms was the local Greek population, but the occasion was also used to oppress the local Armenian and Jewish communities. Mass pogroms were accompanied by looting and destruction of Armenian, Greek and Jewish neighborhoods. 

 It should be noted that the pogroms were directed by the Turkish authorities and were accompanied by their full support. Despite the name, the geography of the pogroms was not limited to Istanbul.There were harassments against the civilian population in the city of Izmir too, where the NATO troops were stationed. NATO troops, however, chose not to intervene, and the international community did not find it appropriate to pursue the protection of the rights of the minorities and to give the perpetrators a deserved punishment. For example, the British representative of NATO considered the investigation of the pogroms “undesirable”, and the US representative stated that for the alliance the impact of the incident was exaggerated. Furthermore, according to the “Radical” newspaper, the pogroms were organized by the Department of Special Operations (Özel Harp Dairesi), a mechanism created by NATO to prevent the communist threat. 


Today’s situation in Iraq and Syria proves that the Turkish method of solving “problems” has not changed, and that violence on ethnic grounds is an integral part of its internal and external policy. This lesson of the past also comes to remind us that under no circumstances will any international organization jeopardize its regional influence and interests for the sake of security and rights of another nation. This also applies to Artsakh and the threats faced by the people of Artsakh, in the context of the de-facto government of the Republic of Armenia, which refuses to protect their rights,despite the obligation stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, and puts the entire responsibility for the realization of the rights of Artsakh Armenians on the Russian side. 

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