Riots of September 6-7, 1955

One of the critical events regarding the minority issue in the history of the Republic has been the September 6-7 events. This incident broke out during the Democratic Party period and it is seen as one of the events that prepared the basid for themilitary coup and made DP rule lose legitimacy.



Considering its historical background, it can be said that the triggering of the 6-7 September events was witnessed with the Cyprus issue. It is known that the London Conference was held in August 1955 regarding the Cyprus issue. The Greeks demanded that the Greeks living in Cyprus must have determined the destiny of the island. The protest events in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara later caused the end of the Conference.



On September 6, 1955, at 13:00, the Turkish state radio announced that a bomb attack took place in the house in Thessaloniki, where Atatürk was born, and this news was spread with two different afternoon copies of the Istanbul Ekspres newspaper. In the afternoon of the same day, a public demonstration was held in Taksim Square by various student associations, unions and the Turkish Cypriot Association. After this demonstration, groups started grinding the windows of non-Muslim citizens’ shops. In a short time, houses, shops and schools in neighborhoods such as Beyoğlu, Şişli and Nişantaşı, known as non-Muslim settlements and business districts started to be looted. It is stated that approximately one hundred thousand people participated in these attacks.




Groups looting non-Muslim homes and shops carried Turkish flags and photographs of Atatürk and Celal Bayar. It is also known that the mobilization of the perpetrators and their equipment within the city was guaranteed by a transport network consisting of private cars, commercial taxis and trucks, ferries and even military vehicles.





Critical developments took place on the day of the events. While the government was dealing with economic problems and opposition forces, foreign policy was quite problematic due to the Cyprus problem. It is known that the preparations for the events started a few days ago and people were brought to Istanbul. An important detail regarding the 6-7 events is related to the attitude of the police. When the looting of non-Muslims started, the police forces remained insensitive to the events.



The 6-7 September Events were the beginning of difficult days for the Menderes administration. This event also played an important role in the realization of the coup of May 27, 1960.





Sep 6-7 (Photo Credit Birgun Daily)







H. Topuz, 2000, “‘6/7 Eylül Olayları ve Aknoz Paşa’nın Yasakları’”, Toplumsal Tarih.

Ş. Demir, “Adnan Menderes Ve 6/7 Eylül Olayları”, (3.09.2020)

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