Hrisantos: İşgal Yıllarında İstanbul Halkına Dehşet Yaşatan Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun İlk Seri Katili

The First Serial Killer of the Ottoman Empire: Hrisantos

The Ottoman Empire, which was defeated in the First World War, had entered a difficult period in its history that it had never seen before. The Armistice of Mudros, signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Entente States, paved the way for the empire to be occupied by the Entente Powers. In particular, the occupation of the capital Istanbul by the armies of the Entente States, most of which consisted of British soldiers, was a harbinger of a terrible period for the people of the capital. This period, which was already difficult and dark enough for the Ottoman subjects, became even more unbearable due to a bloody bandit named Hrisantos…

This terrible man, a member of the Greek minority in Istanbul, turned into a bloody and ruthless monster with the support of the occupying forces in occupied Istanbul. During his short life, he brutally murdered dozens of people, mostly police officers in Istanbul, and became the first serial killer of the Ottoman Empire. Here’s what you need to know about the empire’s first serial killer, the ruthless Chrysanthos…

Hrisantos, whose real name is Hristo Anastadiyadis Veledi Ahilya, was born in 1898 in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul.

His father, named Ahliya, went to Athens in 1910 and was never heard from again. His mother, Andernohin, was running a brothel in Beyoğlu. However, Hrisantos had a younger brother and sister known as “Laternacı Koço” who helped him in his first criminal attempts…

Known to have worked as a tailor’s apprentice during his childhood, Hrisantos was also involved in crime during his childhood.

Together with the Laternacı Koço, he was extorting the passengers of the tram and stealing the money of the men who came to the brothel run by his mother. Hrisantos, who turned into one of Beyoğlu’s notorious thieves as he got older, started to rob people in broad daylight.

After Hrisantos became one of the notorious names in the criminal world, he founded the “Hrisantos Gang”, where he would commit terrible crimes in the future.

The gang led by Hrisantos included other famous bandits of the period. Zafiri, Fantoma Mehmet, Harito, Pastamaker Niko, Demirci Andon and Hrisantos became the scariest faces of Tatavla (Liberation) Papazköprü, Dolapdere, Sinanköy, Bülbülderesi and Beyoğlu…

He committed his first murder with his comrades in the gang

Gang members entered a pudding shop in Boğazkesen and brutally murdered the owner of the shop, 65-year-old Recep Usta. They disappeared, taking the money from the shop. But they were caught shortly after the incident. Hrisantos and his friends, who were tried for the horrific murder they had committed, were sentenced to 15 years of hard labor and sent to prison. Thus, the people of Istanbul, who shrugged off the Hrisantos Gang, breathed a sigh of relief…

Gang members sentenced to 15 years in prison escaped from prison by digging a tunnel!

Istanbul newspapers described this interesting and terrible event as “Hrisantos, Zafiri,14 Pastamaker Niko and Fantoma Mehmet, who were convicted of the murderer and theft of safes and were incarcerated in the General Prison, managed to escape by opening a sewer under their ward. The police are vigorously following them.“He announced to the people of Istanbul…

During the time Chrysanthos spent in prison, Istanbul was occupied by the Allied Powers.

Thus, when the gang members were released from prison, they found the environment they were looking for: a desperate and weary Istanbul, trying to be suppressed by the occupying forces. The gang, which continued to commit crimes in such an environment, started to receive money and weapons from the British. Thanks to this, the gang’s actions became more and more brutal…

However, Hrisantos is seen as a “hero” among some members of the Greek community in Istanbul. For this reason, especially the Greeks in and around Beyoğlu were aiding and abetting both Hrisantos and the gang members. Chrysanthos, on the other hand, was working as an intelligence officer in return for the support he received from the British invaders.

Thanks to the support he received from the occupation forces, Chrysanthos continued to commit crimes and murder until the day he was captured.

hrisantos

Many of the people killed by the gang were members of the security forces in Istanbul. The first police officer killed by Hrisantos was Mehmet Efendi, one of the Taksim Police Station personnel. Mehmet Efendi came to the aid of a woman named Madam Despina, who was being raped by Hrisantos and other gang members in the middle of the street while she was going to the center where she was working one night. However, while he was on the scene, he was shot by gang members and died.

After Mehmet Efendi was killed by the Hrisantos Gang, the security forces in Istanbul went after the murderers.

The first attempt to capture Hrisantos was initiated by the commissioner named Fahri Efendi. Fahri Efendi followed Hrisantos with the three police officers he took with him. However, his plan did not succeed. As a result, Fahri Efendi became the second security officer killed by Hrisantos… As the number of security forces killed by Hrisantos increased, the security forces in Istanbul started to try harder to catch this murderer.

However, Chrysanthos managed to find a way to escape each time. Moreover, he killed many police officers during the operations carried out by the security forces to capture him. Hrisantos was the first serial killer of the Ottoman Empire…

Seeking to take down the gang, the security forces decided to target Chrysanthos’ comrades.

hrisantos

This plan took effect in a short time and notorious criminals such as Zafiri, Fantoma Mehmet, Harito, Makarnacı Niko, Demirci Andon were caught or killed one by one. Thanks to the information provided by the captured gang members, the capture of Hrisantos was a matter of time. However, Chrysanthos was an experienced criminal enough to understand that the circle was narrowing…

Aware that he could not hide in Istanbul any longer, the murderer fled to Greece with his lover Eftimya in March 1920.

hrisantos

The empire’s first serial killer began to lead a quiet life in Greece, unlike his days in Istanbul. He was running a tavern in Piraeus. However, Chrysanthos’ quiet days in Greece did not last long.

When a gendarme named Panayot fell in love with Eftimya and disturbed her, the first serial killer of the empire killed this man as well. Thus, the notorious murderer had to start his life as a fugitive again and settled in Thessaloniki…

Eftimya, who was left alone in Piraeus, left these foreign lands and returned to Istanbul. This situation angered Chrysanthos a lot. Thus, Hrisantos, under the pseudonym “Achilles Anastasyadis”, took the road to Istanbul to kill his lover Eftimya…

The first thing Hrisantos did after returning to Istanbul was to clash with the security forces.

hrisantos

However, he managed to escape with injuries once again. Meanwhile, Eftimya’s father “Meyhaneci Brava”, who was worried about the safety of his daughter and himself, shared vital information with the security forces.

According to this, the serial killer was hiding in the house of a man named Fisherman Agaton. Police officers in Istanbul prepared a comprehensive plan to catch Hrisantos…

The house of Agaton the Fisherman was surrounded. Hrisantos got into his last confrontation with the police teams… The first serial killer of the Ottoman Empire was killed by a police officer named Cafer Tayyar Efendi…

Source: one

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