Today is National Day of Remembrance for the Genocide of Pontian Greeks

The 19th of May, a National Day of Remembrance for the Genocide of Pontian Greeks by a decision of the Greek Parliament in 1994, marks our modern history. On this day in 1919, the second phase of the eradication of the Hellenism of Pontus began, scathing every sense of humanism and took the form of a national tragedy, since 353.000 souls perished unjustly, whilst forcing thousands of Greeks to go abroad.

The tragedy of the Greeks of Pontus, a day we honor, fulfills all conditions of the United Nations’ Agreement to qualify as Genocide. We ask nothing more than the restoration of historical truth, along the Genocide of the Armenian and all Christian people in the beginning of the last century, including the Holocaust of the Jewish People. Let’s not forget that the World Academic Union, the most qualified committee for the recognition of genocides, decided in 2007 that the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontos has in fact taken place. At the same time, the European Parliament requested two years ago from Turkey to come to terms with its historic past.

This day calls all Greeks-wherever they are- to pay national tribute. It is another chance to remind everyone that we will not stand silent and we will stand by the Greeks of Pontus worldwide, in their efforts for the international recognition of the Genocide of Pontic Greeks which will ensure the avoidance of such tragic events in the future. The recognition of the Genocide of Pontian Greeks from the Swedish Parliament, ten states of the United States and the State of South Australia, a result of the continuous efforts of the Pontic Greeks of our Diaspora, equip us with courage to continue this struggle for justice.

The recent visit of the Prime Minister of Turkey in Greece, was characterized by both sides as a historical one. We salute the intention expressed by the Prime Minister of Greeks, George Papandreou and the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayip Erdogan, to work together in order to enhance cooperation and solve many issues of the past, so that we can achieve peace and reconciliation. It’s the least we can do for our future generations.

* This is a message from the President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, Stefanos P. Tamvakis for the National Day of Remembrance for the Genocide of Pontian Greeks.