Here we see important sites of memory for the Greek [Rum] Communities of Istanbul: the historic Rum schools of Phanar Greek Orthodox High School and Ioakeimeion Girls’ High School which are located directly opposite to each in Fener neighbourhood of Istanbul (‘Phanar’ in Greek). These are prominent institutions and buildings, and the former is still active, albeit with vastly […]

Stelyos is from Istanbul. After many years as a member of the Ecumenical Patriarchate choir, he moved to the island of Gökçeada (Imroz) in 2020. He teaches music in a Greek high School and trains the Greek children of the island to sing traditional Orthodox church music.  Together with his wife Pelin Suer, Stelyos established […]

The independent initiative Istos is a Greek ‘Rum’ organization in Istanbul established in 2011. One of the first activities of Istos was to revive the historic publishing tradition of the Greeks of Istanbul that was discontinued over half a century previously due to political pressure. They aim to contribute to knowledge about the history, culture […]

Stelyos Berber talks about the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for the development of Greek Orthodox Church music and how music played a significant role in Greek Orthodox culture for centuries. Stelyos sang in the choir of the Patriarchate in Istanbul for 20 years, before which he attended as a child.  Greek Orthodox […]

Dimitris lives in Athens. His parents left Istanbul in 1964 when Turkish state exiled people with Greek citizenship. In the video, Dimitris talks about his journey from the harbour in Karaköy to Athens by himself as he had to follow his parents. It was the first time he left Istanbul. He tells the story of […]

I remember it as a very beautiful picture in my head, like a dream…’ That’s how Athanasios started to describe his memory of a night service to celebrate Easter in the 1960s. On one of these nights, when Athanasios was a child, he was taken ill. He was lying down and watching the service in the yard of Agia Triada Church from his […]

Athanasios left Istanbul in 1975 in his teens because tensions over Cyprus between Greece and Turkey made his life very difficult. He is from Beyoğlu area of Istanbul, but very often they visited his maternal grandmother’s house in Göztepe. A trainline went by the house, but the nearest stop was about one kilometre away. His father, who also liked visiting […]