In May 1876, a quarrel which arose in the city between Muslims and Christians on the issue of return to Christianity, a girl who had recently converted to Islam.
When the girl got this, at the instigation of her mother, and the Christians hid in the house of the United States consul Chatzilazarou Pericles, an angry Turkish mob, led by fanatical priests, gathered in the Turkish headquarters (konaki) and Saatli the adjacent mosque (Mosque Clock, which was destroyed in the fire of 1917). The excitement was too great and there was imminent danger that the city unchecked, even by the Turkish authorities, situations. The event caused great concern in the West consuls, who saw that threatened the Christians of the city and especially the nationals of the countries represented.
As part of the efforts made to achieve some relief of tension, the consuls of France, Jules Moulin and Germany, Henry Abbot, went at noon on May 5th 1876 at Saatli mosque, to meet with Turkish Wali. But there fell upon them, the furious mob and Turkish massacre, in front of helpless Turkish officials.
The tragic fate of the two consuls led, naturally, great indignation in all western countries. Warships of the Powers began to arrive in Thermaikos while exerted intense pressure alarmed the Ottoman government to take stringent measures to restore order and punish the guilty. Eventually convicted and executed by public hanging at the beach 6 people from the Turkish mob, which was not, however, and by those responsible for attacks, and enforced by the Turkish court sentences lighter in others, including officials in the administration. Finally, given by the Ottoman government financial compensation to the families of two tragic victims.
The bloody events that took place in May 1876 in Thessaloniki is known as the "massacre of the consuls."
- The Saatli Tzami.
- The illustrated London News May 27, 1876.
- The house of Periklis Hatzilazarou.
See the original article of The New Yorw Times dated 22nd May 1876