Translated from Turkish by Translators for Justice
A special feature to mark the 58th anniversary of the 6th-7th September pogrom: an editorial from the Istanbul-based Greek daily Embros, dated 15th September 1955.
Due to heavy damage to its printing facilities during the pogrom of 6th-7th September, Embros stopped printing for eight days. Once printing was resumed, the 15th September 1955 editorial read: “We will stay right where we belong. We’ll stand up to rebuild our churches, bury our dead, refurbish our schools, shops, flats, and stay where we are”.
We will stay in this country, where we were born and raised, where our forefathers’ graves lie, albeit damaged. We will make a new world out of the damaged graves, and out of the churches, schools, shops and flats that have been reduced to ruin. Through perseverance and courage, we will put our lives in order again amid the ruin.
We will raise our voices and shout out that this tragedy that befell us should not have taken place. We will exclaim that the country that we live in is our home and we are not here as anyone’s hostage or captive and that we do not have to leave simply because some want to see us leave. We will stay here. Like a sycamore embracing the earth with its roots, we will constantly remind others that we have our roots in this country. They may cut off our branches but the deep roots of our old tree are beyond anyone’s reach.
Our presence here has not been granted as a favour and does not depend upon anyone’s whim. We are here because we have a right to be here. We do not seek special protection from the government. What we demand is the maintenance of the notion of government as citizens of this country.
There can be no government in a country where safety is not provided. So long as the state of Turkey lives, we will live in it.
We will forget about what we have been through and stay here. But we do demand that our future be safeguarded. With the help of God Almighty and the security provided by the government, Turkish Greeks will rise from the ashes in no time.