This week we observed the anniversary of one of the most painful days on this land we live in. The truth was not presented correctly to the public by the established ideology and official narrative, but on 6-7 September 1955, Istanbul’s Christian and Jewish citizens were targeted in a racist upheaval. The people and their properties were attacked, provoked by a false narrative that mobilised masses which unquestioningly attacked with racist fervour.
More than Christian and Jewish 4,000 homes and 5,000 places of business were looted and burned down in Istanbul. Hundreds of women were raped, and at least 37 people were killed. One synagogue, 26 schools, and 73 churches were burned down. Priest Hrisantos Mantas was burned to death inside of a church.
The events of 6-7 September were not a first, nor would they be the last.
The Committee of Union and Progress, the de-facto transitional power between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, and its secret service the Teşkilat-i Mahsusa (“The Special Organisation”) had implemented a brutal policy of Turkification in the genocide of 1915, and what happened on those two nights were a continuation.
The show trial to appease Europeans in the wake of the Armenian Genocide spoke of the Teşkilat as follows:
“Some of its members sent to the countryside have committed the malicious acts of looting, burning of homes and bodies, massacres, rapes and torture, with obedience to their chiefs, obedience by public officers to aid the CUP, and the help and guidance of a small number of individuals who collaborated out of naivety and ignorance.”
These were official words of a prosecutor in an indictment. While the case fundamentally was not helpful, it did make the judiciary openly declare who the Teşkilat was made of and what kind of crimes its members were ordered to commit.
This tradition was never retired, but rather replaced by the Special War Department, the very organisation behind 6-7 September.
“September 6-7 was also a job by the Special War Department, and it was a glorious organisation. It did achieve its goals,” said Kemal Yamak, the chief at the helm of the department at the time, to a reporter.
It is not possible to correctly analyse any issues in Turkey without first understanding the official founding ideology of the Republic of Turkey, created within the framework of the CUP’s Turkification policy.
This must be well understood: The 1915 Armenian Genocide, the 6-7 September Events, the 2007 murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the massacres in Kurdistan, the 2006 murder of Roman Catholic priest Andrea Santoro in the ultra-nationalist northern city of Trabzon, and many others, were committed with the same mentality. They may use different hired guns, but the ideology behind is the same Turko-Islamic synthesis and the racist and militarist regime.