A Brief Look at the Events of
September 6-7 1955
In 1955, the Cyprus problem was the most important 'national
issue' in Turkey.
At the end of August a conference was arranged in London, with
Greece and the United Kingdom - the other parties involved - to determine the status of
Cyprus. Turkey planned an activity to demonstrate the sensitivity of this problem within
the Turkish community.
The newspaper, ISTANBUL EXPRESS (6 September 1955), published
the news of the bombing of Ataturk's birthplace in "Selanik" (Thessaloniki),
Greece. Student protests started the same day. It developed into a nationwide response and
within two days, shops, cemeteries and churches belonging to Greeks were destroyed and
properties were plundered.
Police, who had initially supported the violence, had to use force
to stop it once they realised that they could no longer control it. Martial law was
announced in Istanbul (Constantinople). The government declared that the communists were
responsible for the violence. Many people known to be leftist, were placed under police
Later, it was discovered that the events had been planned by the National
Intelligence Agency (MIT) and that the bomb had been planted by Oktay Engin,
a MIT agent who, in 1992, was Governor of Nevsehir, a Turkish province. (*)
* OZGUR GUNDEM 6-7 September 1992.