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Greeks in Turkey: Map


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Ethnic groups in the Balkans and Asia Minor as of early 20th Century (William R.
Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1911).

The Greeks in Turkey ( ) constitute a population of Greek and Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians who mostly live in Istanbulmarker, as well as on the two islands of the western entrance to the Dardanellesmarker: Imbrosmarker and Tenedosmarker ( and Bozcaada) and also on the Princes' Islandsmarker. They are the remnants of the estimated 200,000 Greeks who were permitted under the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne to remain in Turkey following the 1923 population exchange, which involved the forcible resettlement of approximately 1.5 million Greeks from Anatoliamarker and East Thrace and of half a million Turks from all of Greecemarker except for Western Thrace. After years of persecution (e.g. the Istanbul Pogrom), in 1955, fewer than 10,000 Greeks still lived in Turkey, and the Greek Orthodox population in Istanbul, , is estimated at just around 5,000.

Since 1924, the status of the Greek minority in Turkey has been ambiguous. Beginning in the 1930s, the government instituted repressive policies forcing many Greeks to emigrate. Examples are the labour battalion drafted among non-Muslims during World War I as well as the Fortune Tax (VarlńĪk Vergisi) levied mostly on non-Muslims during the same period. These resulted in financial ruination and death for many Greeks. The exodus was given greater impetus with the Istanbul Pogrom of September 1955 which led to thousands of Greeks fleeing the city, eventually reducing the Greek population to about 48,000 by 1965 and to about 5,000 by 2006.

However according to the Human Rights Watch the Greek population in Turkey is estimated at 2,500 in 2006. The Greek population in Turkey is collapsing as the community is now far too small to sustain itself demographically, due to emigration, much higher death rates than birth rates and the resulting gentrification.

See also


  1. Library of Congress Country Study for Turkey.
  2. According to figures presented by Prof. Vyron Kotzamanis to a conference of unions and federations representing the ethnic Greeks of Istanbul. "Ethnic Greeks of Istanbul convene", Athens News Agency, 2 July 2006.
  3. According to the Human Rights Watch the Greek population in Turkey is estimated at 2,500 in 2006. "From ‚ÄúDenying Human Rights and Ethnic Identity‚ÄĚ series of Human Rights Watch"

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