List of massacres in Turkey

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The following is a list of massacres that have occurred in Turkey and the Ottoman Empire (numbers may be approximate, as estimates vary greatly):

Ottoman Empire (before 1914)[edit]

Name Date Location Deaths Responsible Party Victims Notes
Constantinople Massacre 1821 Constantinople unknown Ottoman government Greeks Greek Orthodox Patriarch Gregory V and other notables were executed.
Massacres of Badr Khan 1840 Hakkari 10,000[1] Kurdish Emirs of Buhtan, Badr Khan and Nurullah Assyrians Many who were not killed were sold into slavery.
Hamidian massacres 1894–1896 Eastern Ottoman Empire 100,000–300,000[2] Ottoman Empire
Armenians and Assyrians See also Massacres of Diyarbakır (1895)
Adana massacre April 1909 Adana Vilayet 15,000–30,000[3][4] Young Turk government Armenians

World War I (1914–1918)[edit]

Name Date Location Deaths Responsible Party Victims Notes
Greek genocide[5][6][7][8] 1914–1923 Ottoman Empire 500,000–900,000 Young Turk government Greeks Reports detail systematic massacres, deportations, individual killings, rapes, burning of entire Greek villages, destruction of Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries, drafts for "Labor Brigades", looting, terrorism and other atrocities[9][10]
Assyrian genocide[11] 1914–1925 Ottoman Empire 270,000–750,000 Young Turk government Assyrians Denied by the Turkish government
Armenian Genocide 1915–1923 Ottoman Empire 600,000–1,800,000 Young Turk government Armenians The Armenians of the eastern regions of the empire were systematically massacred. The Turkish government currently denies the genocide. Considered the first modern genocide by scholars.[12][13][14] It is the second most studied case of genocide after the Holocaust.[15]
Massacres in the Çoruh River valley 1916[16] 45,000[16] Cossack regiments Turks and Kurds During WWI, Russian "General Liakhov, for instance 'accused the Muslims of treachery, and sent his Cossacks from Batum with orders to kill every native at sight, and burn every village and every mosque. And very efficiently had they performed their task, for as we passed up the Chorokh valley to Artvin not a single habitable dwelling or a single living creature did we see.'" [16]

Post-World War I (1919–1923)[edit]

Name Date Location Deaths Responsible Party Victims Notes
Smyrna, Pontus, Asia Minor 1919-1923 Mainly Smyrna, Pontus, Asia Minor regions 453,000 Turks Greeks Estimated between 340,000 to 611,000. Includes Catastrophe of Smyrna.[17] Approx. 353,000 deaths from Black Sea region.[18]
Kars, Alexandropol, Cilicia 1919-1923 Mainly Kars, Alexandropol, Cilicia regions 440,000 Turks (mainly), Kurds, Azeris Armenians Estimated between 325,000 to 545,000.[17]
Asia Minor 1919-1922 Asia Minor 15,000[17] Greeks Turks

Republic of Turkey (1923–present)[edit]

Name Date Location Deaths Responsible Party Victims Notes
Zilan massacre July 1930 Van Province 4,500-47,000[19] Turkish security forces Sunni Kurds 5,000 women, children, and the elderly were reportedly killed[20]
Dersim Massacre Summer 1937-Spring 1938 Tunceli Province 13,806-70,000[21] Turkish security forces Alevi Zazas The killings have been condemned by some as an ethnocide or genocide[22][23]
Istanbul pogrom 6–7 September 1955 Istanbul, Izmir 13-30[24] Turkish government[25] primarily Greeks, as well as Armenians The killings are identified as genocidal by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas.[26] Many of the minorities, mostly Greek Christians, forced to leave Turkey. Several churches are demolished by explosives.
Taksim Square massacre May 1, 1977 Taksim Square in Istanbul 34[27]-42[28] Unknown Leftist demonstrators
Beyazıt massacre March 16, 1978 Istanbul 7 university students killed, 41 injured [1], Grey Wolves, Turkish Police, Deep State Leftist university students Cemil Sönmez, Baki Ekiz, Hatice Özen, Abdullah Şimşek, Murat Kurt, Hamdi Akıl and Turan Ören were killed and 41 others were injured by a bomb that was followed by gunfire March 16, 1978.
Bahçelievler massacre October 9, 1978 Bahçelievler, Ankara 7[29] Neo-fascists Leftist students
Maraş massacre December 19–26, 1978 Kahramanmaraş Province 109[30] Grey Wolves[30] Alevi Turks and Kurds
Çorum massacre May–July, 1980 Çorum Province 57[31] Grey Wolves Alevi Turks
Sivas massacre[32] July 2, 1993 Sivas, Turkey 37 Salafists Alevi intellectuals
Başbağlar massacre July 5, 1993 Başbağlar, near Erzincan 33 Kurdistan Workers' Party or Deep State (unsolved) Turkish civilians
Yavi massacre[citation needed] October 25, 1993 Yavi, Çat, Erzurum Province 38 Kurdistan Workers' Party Turkish civilians
Gazi Quarter massacre March 15, 1995 Istanbul and Ankara 23[33] Anonymous Alevi Turks More than 400 injured[33]
Mardin engagement ceremony massacre May 4, 2009 Bilge, Mardin 44[34] Civilians of Kurdish origin Civilians of Kurdish origin Reuters said it was "one of the worst attacks involving civilians in Turkey's modern history", declaring that the scale of the attack had shocked the nation.[35]
Uludere massacre December 28, 2011 Uludere, Sirnak 34[36] Turkish forces Civilians of Kurdish origin Warplanes mistakenly killed villagers who had been involved in regular smuggling in the area, during an operation meant to target Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists. The government quickly acknowledged that the victims were smugglers, not terrorists.[36]



  1. ^ Gaunt & Beṯ-Şawoce 2006, p. 32
  2. ^ Akçam, Taner. A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006, p. 42. ISBN 0-8050-7932-7.
  3. ^ Akcam, Taner. A Shameful Act. 2006, page 69–70: "fifteen to twenty thousand Armenians were killed"
  4. ^ Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views By Samuel. Totten, William S. Parsons, Israel W. Charny
  5. ^ IAGS Resolution on Genocides committed by the Ottoman Empire retrieved via the Internet Archive (PDF), International Association of Genocide Scholars, archived from the original on 2008-04-28 
  6. ^ "Genocide Resolution approved by Swedish Parliament — full text containing the IAGS resolution and the Swedish Parliament resolution from". Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  7. ^ Gaunt, David. Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I. Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press, 2006.
  8. ^ Schaller, Dominik J; Zimmerer, Jürgen (2008). "Late Ottoman genocides: the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turkish population and extermination policies – introduction". Journal of Genocide Research 10 (1): 7–14. doi:10.1080/14623520801950820. 
  9. ^ The New York Times Advanced search engine for article and headline archives (subscription necessary for viewing article content).
  10. ^ Alexander Westwood and Darren O'Brien, Selected bylines and letters from The New York Times, The Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2006
  11. ^ Travis, Hannibal. "'Native Christians Massacred': The Ottoman Genocide of the Assyrians During World War I." Genocide Studies and Prevention, Vol. 1, No. 3, December 2006, pp. 327–371. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
  12. ^ "Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Resolution". Armenian genocide. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Ferguson, Niall (2006). The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. New York: Penguin Press. p. 177. ISBN 1-59420-100-5. 
  14. ^ "A Letter from The International Association of Genocide Scholars" (PDF). Genocide Watch. 13 June 2005. 
  15. ^ Rummel, RJ (1 April 1998), "The Holocaust in Comparative and Historical Perspective", The Journal of Social Issues 3 (2) 
  16. ^ a b c Gerwarth, Robert; Horne, John (2012). War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe After the Great War. Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 9780199654918. 
  17. ^ a b c Death by Government, Rudolph Rummel, 1994.
  18. ^ Samuel Totten, Dictionary of Genocide: A-L, p. 337
  19. ^ M. Kalman, Belge, tanık ve yaşayanlarıyla Ağrı Direnişi 1926-1930, Pêrî Yayınları, İstanbul, 1997, ISBN 978-975-8245-01-7, p. 105. (Turkish)
  20. ^ Ahmet Kahraman, ibid, pp. 207-208. (Turkish)
  21. ^ "Dersim massacre monument to open next month". Today's Zaman. 24 October 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ The Suppression of the Dersim Rebellion in Turkey (1937-38) Excerpts from: Martin van Bruinessen, "Genocide in Kurdistan? The suppression of the Dersim rebellion in Turkey (1937-38) and the chemical war against the Iraqi Kurds (1988)", in: George J. Andreopoulos (ed), Conceptual and historical dimensions of genocide. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, pp. 141-170.
  23. ^ İsmail Besikçi, Tunceli Kanunu (1935) ve Dersim Jenosidi, Belge Yayınları, 1990.
  24. ^ Λιμπιτσιούνη, Ανθή Γ. "Το πλέγμα των ελληνοτουρκικών σχέσεων και η ελληνική μειονότητα στην Τουρκία, οι Έλληνες της Κωνσταντινούπολης της Ίμβρου και της Τενέδου". University of Thessaloniki. p. 29. 
  25. ^ Mills, Amy (2010). Streets of memory : landscape, tolerance, and national identity in Istanbul. Athens: University of Georgia Press. p. 119. ISBN 9780820335735. ...the state-led local violence that shattered neighborhoods across Istanbul in 1955 made ethnic-religious difference visible and divisive as Greeks and other minorities in the city were targeted and their property violated. 
  26. ^ Alfred de Zayas publication about the Istanbul Pogrom
  27. ^ Özcan, Emine (2006-04-28). "1977 1 Mayıs Katliamı Aydınlatılsın". bianet (in Turkish). 
  28. ^ Mavioglu, Ertugrul; Sanyer, Ruhi (2007-05-02). "30 yıl sonra kanlı 1 Mayıs (4)". Radikal (in Turkish). 
  29. ^ Yalçın, Soner; Yurdakul, Doğan (1997). "The Bahcelievler Massacre". Reis: Gladio’nun Türk Tetikçisi. Su Yayinlari. 
  30. ^ a b A modern history of the Kurds, By David McDowall, page 415, at Google Books
  31. ^ Cüneyt Arcayürek: Darbeler ve Gizli Servisler, (Sayfa.221)
  32. ^ "Turkey commemorates 15th anniversary of Sivas massacre". Hürriyet. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  33. ^ a b "Ergenekon zanlısı, Gazi mahallesi provokatörü çıktı -". Star Gazete (in Turkish). 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  34. ^ "Reuters article" Reuters. Retrieved 4 May 2009
  35. ^ "Blood feuds, gun violence plague Turkey's southeast". Reuters. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  36. ^ a b "Concerns raised about obscuring evidence in Uludere killings". 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2013-06-24.