In Constantinople, the youth controlling the speech of citizens quickly “got out of control” and those who did not speak Turkish in public places and public transportation were subjected to physical beatings and violence. The article published by Cihat Baban, one of the famous journalists of the period, in the “Ulus” newspaper in 1960 about the atrocities committed by nationalist youth in public places is interesting. In it, he describes how on a ship, young people severely beat a representative of an ethnic minority who dared to speak Turkish. Reflecting the atmosphere of that period, the famous journalist says: “Such incidents were frequent at that time.”
The initial phase of “Citizen Speak Turkish”, which lasted for 3 months, did more to increase the level of Turkish speaking than to raise the level of fear among minorities. It is worth noting that this nationalist event was later repeated. According to Turkish researcher-historian Ayşe Hür, the first phase of “Vatandaş, Türkçe Konuş” (Citizen, speak Turkish) ended quickly, but the second phase, which started in 1933, lasted longer,
And in the meantime, attacks and repression became more severe, with the result that minority representatives were forced to take public steps.
At that time, the tribes of Bursa, Tigranakert, Cilicia, Ankara, Edirne and Kırklareli declared Turkish as their mother tongue or “own language” and hung “Citizen, who speaks Turkish” banners in their community buildings.
And a group of Armenian, Greek and Jewish citizens living in Constantinople announced the establishment of the “Union for the Propagation of the Turkish Language”, an organization whose problems were obvious from its name.