Within a few hours, 45 Greek communities were looted and destroyed on that September night in 1955, when a protest in Istanbul veered out of control. Greeks and Armenians were savagely beaten and there were gang rapes. Turkish writer Aziz Nessin says that any male passer-by the Turks considered a Greek was forced to show if he had been circumcised. In some cases, Nessin says, Turks carried out «circumcisions» on the spot with knives. Vryonis shakes his head sadly when these incidents are mentioned to him. He says most of the victims of this atrocity were Greek priests.