The September Pogrom in Istanbul, 1955

September 6, 1955: A Pogrom began in Istanbul that is aimed at the city’s Greek minority.  Unfortunately, the Jewish and Armenian communities became targets of the mobs as well. The attacks were well planned in advance. The triggering event was the false news that the house in Thessaloniki, Greece, where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey, was born in 1881, had been bombed the day before.  According to some reports, Ataturk was descended from Spanish Jews who had come to the Ottoman Empire seeking refuge from the Inquisition.  These claims were made by many of Ataturk’s Islamist opponents due to the sizeable minority of Jews in Thessaloniki during the Ottoman period.  Their suggestions were that he may have had Dönme ancestors (Jews who converted to Islam during the Ottoman period.)

The cover shown here is a First Day of Issue cover for a stamp honoring Ataturk printed by Pakistan Post on November 10, 1963.



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