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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Refers to Tragic September 1955 Events in Istanbul in Address to Pilgrims

ISTANBUL 7/9/2005 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, addressing a group of pilgrims from Greece and Cyprus at Saint George Cathedral on Tuesday, commented on the tragic events taking place in Istanbul in September 1955.

"Like tonight exactly fifty years ago, I was a first year student at Halki at the time, the attack took place against our Churches, our homes, our shops. An unjustified and unprovoked attack," he said.

"With the issue of Cyprus as an excuse, we had this beginning of the shrinking and uprooting of the Greek community in Istanbul. We were about 100,000 at the time, while today we are 3,000. This shrinking began as from the events in September 1955, like tonight," he added.

Vartholomeos further said that modern-day Turkey recognizes this great injustice, which was not only done to the Greeks and to the other minorities, but also to Turkey itself, adding that "today, there is no sensible Turk who does not condemn these events."

Photo Exhibit Dedicated to Events of Sept. 1955 Disrupted by a Group of Turkish Nationalists

A group of Turkish nationalists on Tuesday disrupted the opening of a photo exhibit dedicated to the memory of those who were killed during the massacre of September 6 and 7, 1955 in Istanbul.

A group of four or five individuals stormed the exhibit and began destroying photographs until they were arrested by police.

The exhibit is continuing but with a heavy police presence guarding the building.

Before being taken away by police, the group dropped a hand-written note condemning anyone who offends the Turkish nationality.

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