1990 Komotini Events - Events

Events

The events started in Komotini, when 1,500 Greek Muslims gathered near a mosque chanting "we are Turks" in protest of the 1982 Supreme Court ruling restricting the use of the word "Turkish". After the broadcast of an erroneous news item on a local radio station, organized Greek mobs damaged and looted around 400 shops of the Turkish minority as well as beating some of the minority members including the acting mufti. The police did not intervene. After international reaction 12 Greeks were arrested for attacking Muslim premises.

According to an eye-witness reported by Helsinki Watch: Greek mobs consisted of approximately 40 to 50 people running wild, breaking windows, beating people and vandalizing cars; he saw a police car coming behind the mob, without making any effort to stop Greek nationalists. Foreign observers stated Greek shops were not touched, indeed many of these shops displayed Greek flags in the windows, suggesting the riots were carefully orchesatrated, and that police did not interfere to stop mobs.

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