Turkey’s Foreign Ministry slammed the Greek government for its “baseless and delirious statements” over claims of genocide during the late Ottoman era.
Athens made a statement on Tuesday, May 19, the remembrance day of the Pontian Genocide. The day commemorates the hundreds of thousands of Greeks who were systematically killed in Ottoman Turkey between 1913 and 1922.
“On such a day, the baseless and delirious statements made by the Greek parliament and institutions under the pretext of marking the anniversary of May 19, 1919 does not accord with historical facts or values of the 21st century,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Turkish ministry went on to say that “it is another proof that irresponsible politicians and radicals are trying to reverse history today.”
The vast majority of the world’s nations, historians and academics recognize the anti-Christian atrocities by Turks as genocide.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement came in response to a statement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday.
“Α century ago, the Pontian Greeks became the victims of an unprecedented atrocity,” Mitsotakis said. “They were persecuted, displaced and exterminated. Those who survived left behind their ancestral homes to rise up again in the motherland.”
“The state unanimously responded to the self-evident duty of recognizing the genocide and is still fighting for its internationalization and worldwide promotion,” he said. “In parallel, Greece has integrated into a new course the strength of its children from Pontus, of those who keep alive the memory and the traditions of their land. We will honor the Remembrance Day until the Day of Vindication dawns.”
Greece says the killings formed part of a larger attack on Christian minorities which includes Armenians and Assyrians. Turkey has yet to recognize the killings as genocides and says the deaths took place in a general situation of war that saw casualties on all sides.
On Tuesday, the Christian magazine Persecution wrote that “Turkey’s continued denial of the Greek genocide has led to a number of hardships for the descendants of the genocide’s survivors. Turkey has never acknowledged or apologized for these exterminations, and the country continues to enforce policies that ostracize Greek Christians within the nation.”
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