Remembering the persecution of Istanbul's Greek minority
For the 65th anniversary of the Turkish pogrom against the Greek minority of Istanbul, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation or Freedom produced a documentary film with statements from witnesses, ordinary and peaceful citizens, who suffered because of political issues. The documentary attracted the interest of the major organizations of Istanbul Greeks in Athens and we were invited to co-host a big event in Alimos, a coastal town near the centre of Athens.
On September 9, FNF and the group “Romion Praxeis”, together with the Municipalities of Palaio Faliron and Alimos, and the support of “Mikrasiatis Media Network”, hosted the event “1955 – Istanbul Greeks and human rights”. The event was very successful. More than 300 guests appeared to watch the documentary and listen to the panel discussion. Unfortunately, the wind created some problems with the screen and the video was not screened. However, Athanasios Grammenos, Project Manager for Greece, spoke about the purpose of the video and directed the people to the foundation’s website and YouTube channel.
Moreover, he spoke about the ideals of FNF, such as freedom, open society, human and civil rights and social market economy, sending a message about the support we provide to the minorities and the vulnerable groups. The next speaker was Ambassador Alexis Alexandris who focused on the 1955 events.
The welcome speech was given by Stefanos Diamantis, President of Alimos’ City Council and Eli Kovi-Haritonidou, coordinator of “Romion Praxeis”. The highlight was the written foreword sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, who blessed the organizers and made a special mention to FNF. “We congratulate the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for the production of the documentary,” he wrote.
The event was honoured by many prominent individuals, such as the Mayor of Palaio Faliro, Giannis Fostiropoulos, Minister of Tourism, Harris Theocharis, Former Minister and MP, Giannis Mpalafas, and the MP, Sofia Voultepsi.
The moderators were Fotis Papathanasiou and Perros Tzanetakos, anchor-men at the National Broadcaster (ERT TV). Significant was the support of the Young Liberals Greece. All measures applied against COVID-19.