Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  1955 Anti-Greek Riots in Istanbul  
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I often encounter references to the 1955 riots against Greek-Turks living in Istanbul, as evidence of how barbaric modern Turkey can be. But were these government-sponsored, or were they just... riots? Let's see what TIME Magazine reported.



An explosion shattered windows in the Turkish consulate in Salonika, Greece's second largest city, and broke a single pane of glass at the modest house near by where the late great Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, had been born to a minor official of the Ottoman Empire. As reports of the incident sped across the Aegean Sea, they became wildly embellished in the Istanbul headlines. Soon thousands of angry Turks were surging through the streets, bent on destroying stores run by Istanbul's Greek-speaking minority. The rioters shattered shop windows, tore down steel shutters, littered the pavement with heaps of merchandise, and beat up policemen who tried to restrain them. Shouting "Cyprus is Turkish," rioters set fire to buildings and Greek Orthodox churches, while others seized a Cadillac belonging to Greek Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras (a gift from Cinemogul Spyros Skouras) and shoved it into the Golden Horn's muddy waters.

In the Turkish capital of Ankara, police dispersed with tear gas a mob marching on the Greek embassy. In Izmir (the ancient Smyrna), Turkey's third largest city and NATO's southeastern headquarters, homes of Greek NATO officers were pillaged, and the Greek consulate was razed. Turkey's Prime Minister Adnan Menderes declared martial law in the three cities. The army moved in with tanks, imposed a curfew and, by dawn, had locked up more than 2,000 rioters. Throughout Turkey more than 4,000 stores and 78 churches lay gutted.

From "Spreading Flames," Sep. 19, 1955

Sounds Like a Riot! 

What's a riot? Riots are caused by crazed mobs unable to be constrained by reason. Riots are not a phenomenon restricted to the nation of Turkey.

It's terrible that hateful, propagandistic forces have latched on to this episode, deceptively presenting it as an example of how naturally savage the Turks have a predisposition for being. Some police were beaten in an attempt to restrain the rioters. Probably matters got so out of hand, the police force refrained from engaging the rioters, which doesn't say much about the police force, if true. (As with the riots resultng from Rodney King's beating in the United States, where the Los Angeles police force was roundly criticized for failing to do their utmost to stop the rioters.)

Yet this failure to stop the rioters became read as though the government was behind the riot.

TIME is not known for sympathetic coverage of matters Turkish. (From Cyprus-related articles I've read, generally, the Turks edge out as the aggressors; I didn't come across references to Greek massacres of Turkish civilians.) The magazine posted a follow-up a couple of weeks later, where there is an implication the government might have played a hand.


Oct. 3, 1955 Act II, Scene I. Tempers simmered on all sides—in Turkey, in Greece and on Cyprus. A small bomb exploded in the Turkish consulate in Salonika and triggered wholesale riots against Greek minorities in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara (TIME, Sept. 19). At first, under martial law and strict censorship, much of the story of the riots' nature was suppressed by the government of Turkish Premier Adnan Menderes, who has a supposedly democratic regime but cracks down on free speech and free press with totalitarian ease. But by last week, from piecemeal reports, diplomatic dispatches and the tales of travelers from Turkey, the outside world began to learn how wanton, yet organized, the riots were.

Damage amounting to perhaps $300 million was wreaked on the stores, homes and possessions of Greeks in Turkey; scores of Greek Orthodox churches in the country were fired or defaced; some 300 persons were injured. It became evident that the Turkish government had not wanted to halt the violence or—worse from a standpoint of stability in a NATO country—had been unable to stem it. "I must admit," said Menderes, "that we were exposed to a national catastrophe, the object of a real attack by surprise." Western diplomats were also slow to realize how deep and serious was the revulsion in Greece. The Greek government went so far as to charge that the bombing that touched off the affair was engineered by the Turks themselves, arrested the Turkish watchman of the Salonika consulate as the alleged fuse lighter.

Unfinished Tragedy, Oct. 3, 1955






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...Is to expose the mythological “Armenian genocide,” from the years 1915-16. A wartime tragedy involving the losses of so many has been turned into a politicized story of “exclusive victimhood,” and because of the prevailing prejudice against Turks, along with Turkish indifference, those in the world, particularly in the West, have been quick to accept these terribly defamatory claims involving the worst crime against humanity. Few stop to investigate below the surface that those regarded as the innocent victims, the Armenians, while seeking to establish an independent state, have been the ones to commit systematic ethnic cleansing against those who did not fit into their racial/religious ideal: Muslims, Jews, and even fellow Armenians who had converted to Islam. Criminals as Dro, Antranik, Keri, Armen Garo and Soghoman Tehlirian (the assassin of Talat Pasha, one of the three Young Turk leaders, along with Enver and Jemal) contributed toward the deaths (via massacres, atrocities, and forced deportation) of countless innocents, numbering over half a million. What determines genocide is not the number of casualties or the cruelty of the persecutions, but the intent to destroy a group, the members of which  are guilty of nothing beyond being members of that group. The Armenians suffered their fate of resettlement not for their ethnicity, having co-existed and prospered in the Ottoman Empire for centuries, but because they rebelled against their dying Ottoman nation during WWI (World War I); a rebellion that even their leaders of the period, such as Boghos Nubar and Hovhannes Katchaznouni, have admitted. Yet the hypocritical world rarely bothers to look beneath the surface, not only because of anti-Turkish prejudice, but because of Armenian wealth and intimidation tactics. As a result, these libelous lies, sometimes belonging in the category of “genocide studies,” have become part of the school curricula of many regions. Armenian scholars such as Vahakn Dadrian, Peter Balakian, Richard Hovannisian, Dennis Papazian and Levon Marashlian have been known to dishonestly present only one side of their story, as long as their genocide becomes affirmed. They have enlisted the help of "genocide scholars," such as Roger Smith, Robert Melson, Samantha Power, and Israel Charny… and particularly  those of Turkish extraction, such as Taner Akcam and Fatma Muge Gocek, who justify their alliance with those who actively work to harm the interests of their native country, with the claim that such efforts will help make Turkey more" democratic." On the other side of this coin are genuine scholars who consider all the relevant data, as true scholars have a duty to do, such as Justin McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, Heath Lowry, Erich Feigl and Guenter Lewy. The unscrupulous genocide industry, not having the facts on its side, makes a practice of attacking the messenger instead of the message, vilifying these professors as “deniers” and "agents of the Turkish government." The truth means so little to the pro-genocide believers, some even resort to the forgeries of the Naim-Andonian telegrams or sources  based on false evidence, as Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Naturally, there is no end to the hearsay "evidence" of the prejudiced pro-Christian people from the period, including missionaries and Near East Relief representatives, Arnold Toynbee, Lord Bryce, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and so many others. When the rare Westerner opted to look at the issues objectively, such as Admirals Mark Bristol and Colby Chester, they were quick to be branded as “Turcophiles” by the propagandists. The sad thing is, even those who don’t consider themselves as bigots are quick to accept the deceptive claims of Armenian propaganda, because deep down people feel the Turks are natural killers and during times when Turks were victims, they do not rate as equal and deserving human beings. This is the main reason why the myth of this genocide has become the common wisdom.