President, PM mark anniversary of Pontian Genocide

President, PM mark anniversary of Pontian Genocide

The anniversary of the Pontian Greek Genocide “reminds the international community of the importance, for the peaceful coexistence of peoples, of recognising crimes against humanity in order to prevent their repetition in the future,” President Katerina Sakellaropoulou has said.

“Today, the day of remembrance of the genocide of the Pontic Greeks, the thoughts of all of us turn to the hundreds of thousands of innocents who, 104 years ago, were exterminated or forcibly displaced from their ancestral homes,” Sakellaropoulou said in a statement issued on Pontian Greek Genocide Remembrance Day, which marks the systematic extermination of some 353,000 ethnic Greeks living on the shores of the Black Sea by the Ottomans between 1916 and 1923.

“At the same time, we reflect with gratitude on the important role played in the development of our homeland and in the richness of our cultural identity by those of the uprooted Pontians who managed to escape the persecution of the Ottoman Empire and find refuge in our country,” she added.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also marked the anniversary.

“This year also we commemorate the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontus and Asia Minor, who were persecuted and annihilated. Those who escaped, left their ancestral homes in order to be saved in the motherland; always keeping their history and tradition alive. The fight for international recognition of the Genocide continues. Until Remembrance Day becomes Vindication Day,” he said in a social media post.

The Pontic genocide was officially recognized by the Greek state on February 24, 1994 and Parliament unanimously voted to establish May 19 as the day of remembrance of the genocide of the Greeks of Pontus. [AMNA, Kathimerini]

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