Friday, 12 February 2010

Istanbul riots, September 1955: Albanian protection of Greek Orthodox church

Researching the destruction of cultural heritage during the Turkish deep state-directed Istanbul riots(1) of 6th-7th September 1955, I found a Greek report that noted Albanian protection of a Greek Orthodox church.

It's not sufficiently relevant for me to mention it in my thesis, but I think it's a significant footnote in the history of the city and in Greek-Albanian community relations, which could play a(n albeit very) small part in improving the relationship between Greeks and Albanians.

On 14th September 1955, Greek newspaper Makedonia (Μακεδονία) reported that the Church of the Twelve Apostles(2) had been about to burn down, but 'the Turkish Albanians saved it [τόν έσωσαν οι Τουρκαλβανοί]' (cited in Kaloumenos, 1966: 25).
  1. Also known as: ta Septemvriana (τα Σεπτεμβριανά); or Eylül Olayları.
  2. O Naos ton Dodeka Apostolon (ο Ναός τών Δώδεκα Αποστόλων).
Kaloumenos, D. 1966: I stavrosis tou Christianismou: I istoriki alitheia ton gegonoton tis 6-7 Septemvriou 1955 eis tin Konstantinoupolin [the crucifixion of Christianity: The historical truth of the events of 6th-7th September 1955 in Constantinople]. Athina: Χωρίς όνομα [without name - i.e. publisher unknown]. [Καλούμενος, Δ. 1966: Η σταύρωσις του Χριστιανισμού: Η ιστορική αλήθεια των γεγονότων της 6-7 Σεπτεμβρίου 1955 εις την Κωνσταντινούπολιν. Αθήναι: Χωρίς όνομα (χ.ό.).]

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