• Opening: Tuesday, March 4 19:00
  • Dates: 4 March 2014 - 5 April 2014
Exhibition: 20 Dollars 20 Kilos

5 March - 5 April 2014 
Opening: 4 March, Tuesday 19:00

 

The ethnic Greek community in Istanbul had largely consisted of Turkish and Greek citizens up until 1964. Although their citizenship hardly mattered for them, the Turkish state used it as political leverage during the Cyprus dispute. The twelve thousand or so Greeks who had built a life and acquired property in Istanbul were soon expelled from the country as a result of black propaganda campaigns launched by the media under the false pretense of the Cyprus dispute. Their bank accounts were frozen, properties seized, private schools closed...

While thousands of Istanbul Greeks-who, by and large, had never been to Greece in their entire lives-were being deported, they were only allowed to take 20 kilos of baggage and 20 dollars with them. The exiles were accompanied by their spouses, children, partners, and loved ones. Fifty thousand exiles, who were accused of being too Greek in Turkey and too Turkish in Greece, would soon abandon their home and citizenship, never to return.

The project 20 Dollars 20 Kilos coordinated by Salih Erturan and curated by Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, focuses on this forced deportation. Extensive interviews with the victims and/or their family members were conducted in Athens, Imbros and Istanbul. In addition to the oral history activities, documents, archive scans and various printed and visual materials pertaining to the period will be exhibited to explore and to open up a debate on concepts such as separation, abandonment, defenselessness and stigmatization for the 50th anniversary of this incident.

Project Coordination and Management: BABİL Institute (www.babilder.org) 
Strategic Partner: Ecumenical Federation of Constantinopolitans (IREF) 
Project Supporters: Open Society Foundation, AB Sivil Düşün, Anadolu Kültür 
Project Consultant: Rıdvan Akar