Greek newspaper in Istanbul struggles to survive after almost a century in print

The last Greek newspaper in Turkey, Apoyevmatini, is struggling to survive through financial problems and faces the danger of closing down, the Greek Reporter news site said on Friday.

Founded in 1925 in Istanbul, Apoyevmatini, meaning "evening newspaper" in English, is one of the oldest papers in Turkey, alongside the Cumhuriyet newspaper. Both were established just after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.

The newspaper has covered the news of the Greek community in Turkey, including cultural events, politics, bilateral relations with Turkey and reports on the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate since its foundation. Apoyevmatini’s circulation in the 1920s and 1930s was as large as 30,000. Today it has slipped to just hundreds.

In 1955, during the violent persecution of Greeks in Istanbul, some Turkish attackers raided the newspaper’s offices and printing facilities. The historical paper managed to survive the pogrom, despite huge financial losses.

In the following years, after the deportation of the majority of the Greeks in Turkey, the circulation dropped to barely 80 copies per day. The paper launched an online edition in 2007, began bringing in new income from subscribers living abroad. In 2011, the Turkish government funded the newspaper as part of wider support to minority newspapers.

The campaign saved the Greek newspaper from total extinction, but financial problems only lingered.

Apoyevmatini in 2014 had to leave its historic offices, which had served as its headquarters for almost ninety years.  Nowadays, the newspaper suffers from lack of advertisement as well as the lack of awareness by the Greek communities worldwide that could protect its almost a hundred years of legacy.