List of massacres in Turkey

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

Byzantine Empire

Name Date Location Deaths Responsible Party Victims Notes
Nika Revolt January 532 Constantinople 30,000 Byzantine Empire Byzantines About thirty thousand rioters were reportedly killed.[1]
Sack of Amorium August 838 Amorium 30,000–70,000[2] Abbasid Caliphate Byzantines
Battle of Levounion April 29, 1091 Enez ten thousands[3] Byzantine Empire & Cumans Pechenegs The Pechenegs consisting of 80,000 warriors and their families invaded the Byzantine Empire. Near Enez they were ambushed by a combined Byzantine and Cuman army, fighting soon turned into wholesale slaughter. Warriors and civilians were killed and the Pecheneg people were nearly wiped out.[3]
Massacre of the Latins May 1182 Constantinople Uncertain - tens of thousands Greek Eastern Christian mob Roman Catholics The bulk of the Latin community, estimated at over 60,000 at the time, was wiped out or forced to flee; some 4,000 survivors were sold as slaves to the Turks. The massacre further worsened relations and increased enmity between the Western and Eastern Christian churches, and a sequence of hostilities between the two followed.
Siege of Constantinople (1204) 8–13 April 1204 Constantinople many civilians killed


Crusaders Byzantines The city was sacked and looted.
Fall of Constantinople 1453 Constantinople 4,000[5][6] Ottomans Byzantines 4,000 persons of both sexes and all ages were massacred during these days. Moreover, the dwellings and the churches were plundered. Some 50,000 were enslaved.[6]

Ottoman Empire

Before 1914

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[7] Kurdish Emirs of Buhtan, Badr Khan and Nurullah Assyrians. Many who were not killed were sold into slavery. 1826 Janissaries massacred by government (link to Auspicious Incident)
Batak Massacre 1876 Batak 1,200–7,000[8] Ottoman irregular troops Bulgarians Occurred at the beginning of the April Uprising.
Hamidian massacres 1894–1896 Eastern Ottoman Empire 100,000–300,000[9] Ottoman Empire
Kurdish and Turcoman irregulars
Armenians and Assyrians See also Massacres of Diyarbakır (1895)
Adana massacre April 1909 Adana Vilayet 15,000–30,000[10][11] local Turkish nationalist activist, conservative reactionary to Young Turk government Armenians
The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913 Summer 1913 Edirne Vilayet 50,000-60,000[12][13] Young Turk government Bulgarians

World War I (1914–1918)

Name Date Location Deaths Responsible Party Victims Notes
Greek genocide[14][15][16][17] 1914–1918 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[18][19]
Assyrian genocide[20] 1914–1918 Ottoman Empire 270,000–750,000 Young Turk government Assyrians Denied by the Turkish government
Armenian Genocide 1915–1918 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.[21][22][23] It is the second most studied case of genocide after the Holocaust.[24]
Massacres in the Çoruh River valley 1916[25] Çoruh River valley 45,000[25] Cossack regiments Muslim population 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.'" [25]

Post-World War I (1919–1923)

Republic of Turkey (1923–present)

Name Date Location Deaths Responsible Party Victims Notes
Zilan massacre July 1930 Van Province 4,500-15,000 Turkish security forces Sunni Kurds 5,000 women, children, and elderly people were reportedly killed[26]
Suppression of the Dersim rebellion Summer 1937-Spring 1938 Tunceli Province 7,594-13,806[27] Turkish security forces Alevi Zazas The killings have been condemned by some as an ethnocide or genocide[28][29]
Istanbul pogrom 6–7 September 1955 Istanbul 13-30[30] Turkish government[31] primarily Greeks, as well as Armenians The killings are identified as genocidal by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas.[32] 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[33]-42[34] Unknown Leftist demonstrators
Beyazıt massacre March 16, 1978 Istanbul 7 university students killed, 41 injured , 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[35] Neo-fascists Leftist students
Maraş massacre December 19–26, 1978 Kahramanmaraş Province 109[36] Grey Wolves[36] Alevi Turks and Kurds
Çorum massacre May–July, 1980 Çorum Province 57[37] Grey Wolves Alevi Turks
Pınarcık massacre June 20, 1987 Pınarcık in Mardin Province 30 PKK (alleged)
The Turkish army (alleged)
Kurdish civilians
Sivas massacre[38]

(aka Madımak massacre)

July 2, 1993 Sivas, Turkey 37 Salafists Alevi intellectuals
Başbağlar massacre July 5, 1993 Başbağlar, near Erzincan 33 Turkish army/PKK (disputed) Turkish civilians
Yavi massacre[39] October 25, 1993 Yavi, Çat, Erzurum Province 38 PKK Turkish civilians
Kuskonar massacre March 23, 1994 Kuskonar, Sirnak 38[40] Turkish forces Civilians of Kurdish origin The government bombed and killed residents of villages who refused to join the government forces. The government spread pictures of dead children in newspapers and blamed the PKK. Turkey was condemned for carrying out the massacre of Kurdish civilians in the ECHR.
Gazi Quarter massacre March 15, 1995 Istanbul and Ankara 23[41] Anonymous Alevi Turks More than 400 injured[41]
Mardin engagement ceremony massacre May 4, 2009 Bilge, Mardin 44[42] Village guards 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.[43]
Roboski airstrike December 28, 2011 Uludere, Sirnak 34[40] Turkish forces Civilians of Kurdish origin Warplanes killed villagers who had been involved in smuggling gasoline and cigarettes in the area, during an operation meant to target Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels. The government gave no information about the facts.



  1. This is the number given by Procopius, Wars (Internet Medieval Sourcebook.)
  2. Treadgold, Warren T. (1988). The Byzantine Revival, 780–842. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1462-2.
  3. 1 2 Grumeza, Ion (2010). The Roots of Balkanization: Eastern Europe C.E. 500-1500. University Press of America. p. 35. ISBN 9780761851356.
  4. Claster, Jill N. (2009). Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396. University of Toronto Press. p. 35. ISBN 9781442600584.
  5. Philippides, Marios; translated,, ; Philippides, annotated by Marios (2007). Mehmed II the Conqueror and the fall of the Franco-Byzantine Levant to the Ottoman Turks : some western views and testimonies. Tempe, Ariz.: ACMRS/Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. p. 197. ISBN 0866983465. Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  6. 1 2 Fuller, J.F.C. (1987). A military history of the Western World ([Da Capo Press pbk. ed.]. ed.). New York, N.Y.: Da Capo Press. p. 522. ISBN 0306803046.
  7. Gaunt & Beṯ-Şawoce 2006, p. 32
  8. Editors J. Rgen Nielsen, Jørgen S. Nielsen (2011). Religion, Ethnicity and Contested Nationhood in the Former Ottoman Space. Publisher: BRILL. p. 282. ISBN 9004211330.
  9. 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.
  10. Akcam, Taner. A Shameful Act. 2006, page 69–70: "fifteen to twenty thousand Armenians were killed"
  11. Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views By Samuel. Totten, William S. Parsons, Israel W. Charny
  12. Carnegie (1914). Report of the international commission to inquire into the causes and conduct of the Balkan Wars. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  13. Resettlement Waves, Historical Memory and Identity Construction: The Case of Thracian Refugees in Bulgaria, pp. 68
  14. IAGS Resolution on Genocides committed by the Ottoman Empire retrieved via the Internet Archive (PDF), International Association of Genocide Scholars, archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-28
  15. "Genocide Resolution approved by Swedish Parliament — full text containing the IAGS resolution and the Swedish Parliament resolution from". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  16. Gaunt, David. Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I. Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press, 2006.
  17. 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.
  18. The New York Times Advanced search engine for article and headline archives (subscription necessary for viewing article content).
  19. Alexander Westwood and Darren O'Brien, Selected bylines and letters from The New York Times, The Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2006
  20. 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.
  21. "Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Resolution". Armenian genocide. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  22. 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.
  23. "A Letter from The International Association of Genocide Scholars" (PDF). Genocide Watch. 13 June 2005.
  24. Rummel, RJ (1 April 1998), "The Holocaust in Comparative and Historical Perspective", The Journal of Social Issues, 3 (2)
  25. 1 2 3 Gerwarth, Robert; Horne, John (2012). War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe After the Great War. Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 9780199654918.
  26. Ahmet Kahraman, ibid, pp. 207-208. (Turkish)
  27. "Dersim massacre monument to open next month". Today's Zaman. 24 October 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  28. 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.
  29. İsmail Besikçi, Tunceli Kanunu (1935) ve Dersim Jenosidi, Belge Yayınları, 1990.
  30. Λιμπιτσιούνη, Ανθή Γ. "Το πλέγμα των ελληνοτουρκικών σχέσεων και η ελληνική μειονότητα στην Τουρκία, οι Έλληνες της Κωνσταντινούπολης της Ίμβρου και της Τενέδου" (PDF). University of Thessaloniki. p. 29.
  31. 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.
  32. Alfred de Zayas publication about the Istanbul Pogrom
  33. Özcan, Emine (2006-04-28). "1977 1 Mayıs Katliamı Aydınlatılsın". bianet (in Turkish).
  34. Mavioglu, Ertugrul; Sanyer, Ruhi (2007-05-02). "30 yıl sonra kanlı 1 Mayıs (4)". Radikal (in Turkish).
  35. Yalçın, Soner; Yurdakul, Doğan (1997). "The Bahcelievler Massacre". Reis: Gladio’nun Türk Tetikçisi. Su Yayinlari.
  36. 1 2 A modern history of the Kurds, By David McDowall, page 415, at Google Books
  37. Cüneyt Arcayürek: Darbeler ve Gizli Servisler, (Sayfa.221)
  38. "Turkey commemorates 15th anniversary of Sivas massacre". Hürriyet. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  39. "Yavi Şehitlerine vefa". Erzurum gazetesi (in Turkish). 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2015-02-12.
  40. 1 2 "Concerns raised about obscuring evidence in Uludere killings". 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  41. 1 2 "Ergenekon zanlısı, Gazi mahallesi provokatörü çıktı -". Star Gazete (in Turkish). 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  42. "Reuters article" Reuters. Retrieved 4 May 2009
  43. "Blood feuds, gun violence plague Turkey's southeast". Reuters. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
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