Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the statements made by Greek politicians on the occasion of the anniversary of the Pontic genocide, the massacre of ethnic Greeks by the Turks during World War I and the subsequent Greek-Turkish war.
“The attempts of some radical groups to cast a shadow on this meaningful day with their imaginary claims targeting our history, with their activities seeking to fuel hatred against Turkey as well as the statements of some politicians in Greece that distort historical facts for their political motives cannot be accepted,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said Tuesday.
“These baseless claims targeting our history bear no relation to reason, conscience, and fairness. This rhetoric is incompatible with our objectives to further our bilateral relations and leaves a negative legacy to future generations,” it said.
Furthermore, the ministry said that the nomination of Turkey's revered founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk for the Nobel Peace Prize by then Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos “constitutes the clearest proof showing that there is no such historical issue between the two countries in contrast to the claims of some irresponsible politicians and radical Greeks.”
Greece has officially recognized the murder of up to around 370,000 Greeks who lived on the shores of the Black Sea between 1914 and 1923 as genocide since 1994, designating May 19 an annual day of remembrance.