Turkish Destruction of Greek Community of Istanbul 1955

The Mechanism of Catastrophe - Turkish Pogrom of September 6-7, 1955, Destruction of Greek Community of Istanbul

By Speros Vryonis, Jr.

Published in 2005 by Greekworks.com – New York


This book mentions 785 different people of Greek descent – too many to include in this blog posting – but you can view them on the HellenicGenealogyGeek.com website page for this book “The Mechanism of Catastrophe”.

You can view the following on the page below:

Table of Contents

Synopsis from the dust jacket


As usual, I hope some of you can find this information useful. Good luck with your Greek family genealogy research. Don’t forget you can work with your local librarian to get a copy of this book through inter-library loan, purchase a brand new copy through the publisher’s website at Greekworks.com, or purchase a used copy through a place like http://abebooks.com

Georgia Keilman nee Stryker (Stratigakos)




List of Illustrations – 90 photographs

Prefatory Dedication, Acknowledgments

Prologue – A Personal Chronicle

Introduction – The Greeks of Istanbul on the Eve of September 6, 1955

Background and Institutions of the Pogrom

The Pogrom

Moral and Material Damages, and the Economics and Politics of Compensation

From Papagos to Karamanles (the Economics and Politics of Compensation continued)

The Attack on the Greek Orthodox Church

Crime and Punishment, and the Trial of the Menderes Government


Appendixes, Bibliography, Index



“On the night of September 6-7, 1955, the Greek community of Istanbul was violently struck throughout the expanse of Turkey’s most important metropolis. Within hours, businesses, homes, and even the churches of the Greeks were in ruins, with the British press calculating the damage of £100 million. It was the beginning of the end for the ethnic descendants of the city’s founders, who had settled this eastern tip of Europe two and a half millennia earlier.

This vicious and unprovoked attack quickly became entangled in the Cold War politics of the time, and the truth of it was just as quickly suppressed. Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of the mass destruction, Speros Vryonis has painstakingly reconstructed the events of that night in his magisterial work, The Mechanism of Catastrophe: The Turkish Pogrom of September 6-7, 1955, and the Destruction of the Greek Community of Istanbul.

This monumental study of a decisive moment in modern Turkish and Greek history is the first work of its depth ad range to be published on this critical subject in any language. It has been lauded even before publication as “a magnum opus,” “original and significant,” and a “brilliant book.” Surely, it will soon take its place as the definitive study of the violence it so meticulously describes and examines.

The volume includes an extensive section with remarkable photographs of the attacks by Demetrios Kaloumenos. This extraordinary visual documentation lends additional weights to the archival testimony presented y Speros Vryonis, and to his historical analysis of the pogrom, its aftermath, and its broader consequences.”


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