Athens has accused Ankara of trying to “fabricate history” after the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement denouncing comments by the Greek political class on the anniversary of the Greek Pontian genocide.
A war of words:
To mark the anniversary of the Greek Pontian genocide on May 19, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis released a statement which read: “A century ago, the Pontian Greeks became the victims of an unprecedented atrocity. They were persecuted, displaced, and exterminated. Those who survived left behind their ancestral homes to rise up again in the motherland.”
However, the Turkish Foreign Ministry was quick to slam the Greek government with its own statement reading: “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. It is another proof that irresponsible politicians and radicals are trying to reverse history today.”
This is not the first time Turkey has issued such a denial of the Greek Pontian genocide. In fact, Turkey has inexplicably denied it committed a systematic genocide against its Pontian, Armenian and Assyrian minorities for almost 90 years – despite hundreds of books by genocide scholars, tons of archival documents, eyewitness accounts and diplomatic reports saying otherwise.
Hence, it’s no surprise that the Greek Foreign Ministry had the final say, with the release of a statement on Wednesday accusing Turkey of “fabricating history” and offering some well-meaning advice.
“Historical truth, self-criticism and the forsaking of revisionism are conditions for [holding] a well-meaning dialogue and fighting the extremities of nationalism, for the reconciliation of people and states and their peaceful coexistence.”
There has been no response yet from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.