100th Anniversary of the Pontic Genocide

Hits: 113

May 19, 1919 has different and even opposing meanings in Turkey and Greece, just as May 15, 1948, marks both the establishment of Israel and, for Palestinians, the start of the Nakba (“catastrophe”).

In Turkey, this date marks the first step that led to the establishment of the Turkish Republic, while for descendants of Ottoman Greeks and Greece it marks the end of the centuries-long Pontic Greek presence on the shores of the Black Sea. Whereas Turks celebrate May 19, Greeks mourn it.   

Researcher Tamer Çilingir summarised the issue in a 2016 interview with the Turkish-Armenian daily Agos:

“The Pontic Genocide is the last phase of Great Christian Genocide that started in 1894 with Sultan Abdulhamid’s massacres against Armenians and continued with the Union and Progress Party’s 1915 slaughter that killed 1.5 million Armenians and almost 300,000 Assyrians. People that had lived for 600 years in Pontus were either forced to convert to Islam or massacred between 1914 and 1923 or were banished in 1923 during the Turkish-Greek population exchange.

Between 1914 and 1921, some 353,000 Pontic Greeks were killed in the region: 134,078 in Amasya, Samsun, and Giresun; 64,582 in Tokat; 17,479 in Maçka; and 21,448 in Şebinkarahisar, along with 50,000 who died during the population exchange.

With the arrival of Mustafa Kemal — the founder of Turkey, who was later given the surname Atatürk, meaning “father of the Turks” — to Samsun on May 19, 1919, the process transformed into total annihilation. The first thing Mustafa Kemal did was to have a meeting with Topal Osman, a Turkish militia leader known for his anti-Greek brutality.”

The target was not only the lives of the Greeks, but also their properties and wealth. 

Studies conducted outside Turkey show that the Pontic Genocide was a multi-year conscious annihilation process. In Turkey, people are either or totally ignorant of these events or wrongly interpret them as in line with the official narrative that blames secessionist Pontic Greeks.   

In recent years, some strong research has begun to emerge on the genocides against Armenians and Assyrians. But there is scarcely any reliable information available on the Pontic Genocide, as both academia and opinion makers largely ignore the subject.  

In Turkey, talking about the past and present of Pontic Greeks in the Black Sea provinces is likely to result in curses, insults, and worse.

Even the word “Pontus” is unacceptable to Turkey’s government. This past Saturday, a modest gathering in Ankara meant to commemorate the Pontic Greek genocide was forbidden by the governor.

Despite a total denial within Turkey, the issue has been on the agenda abroad for some time now. I asked historian Taner Akçam, one of the leading authorities on the Armenian Genocide, what had been done so far.

Efforts to jointly research the massacres against Pontic Greeks and Assyrians together with the Armenian Genocide had been gathering pace since mid-2000s.   

In 2011, George Mavropoulos, an engineer and a leader of the Pontic Greek community in the United States, founded the Asia Minor and Pontus Hellenic Research Center in Chicago, a milestone for the movement.

The Zoryan Institute and its director George Shrinian gave vital support to Mavropoulos and his initiative. Mavropoulos began by organising a series of conferences, with the first held in 2008. Research papers presented at the conferences were later published, and a book titled “The Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Ottoman Greek Genocide” was published in 2012. Another, published in 2017, was called “Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks”.

Regarding holistic Ottoman genocides studies, a first happened earlier this month. Aristotle University in Thessaloniki hosted an international conference called “The Genocide of the Christian Populations in the Ottoman Empire and its Aftermath”. This event highlights how advocates have since 2008 sought to draw the attention of academics. It is crucial that studies will now be conducted within academia.

Moreover, in the past, activists and researchers generally focused on their own genocide and reached out to their own communities. From now on, it seems, the Ottoman genocides against non-Muslim populations will be handled with an integrated scientific approach, as Israeli historians Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi’s do in their new book, “The Thirty Year Genocide,” which estimates that up to 2.5 million Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Christians were killed in Anatolia from 1894 to 1924.

Turkey has generally failed to use centenaries to remember, learn, understand, question, and come to terms with its past, in order to start healing. Yet our present has largely been shaped by the events that unfolded starting in 1908. Turkish society, opinion leaders and leading academics seem uninterested in the centenaries of the Second Constitutional Era, the Balkan Wars, the Raid on the Sublime Porte, World War One, the Ottoman Genocides, the Treaty of Sevres, and more still to come, excepting of course the centenary of Turkey’s founding.

Instead, everybody seems comfortable parroting official narratives on these troubling deeds and rejecting studies performed abroad as packs of lies. As a result, “diseases” keep relapsing!

One the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Pontic Genocide, it is important to recognise that Turkey, where non-Muslim populations have been erased, has become the most religiously homogeneous yet sterile country in the region.

We will never find normality without reckoning with this great civilisational loss.  

Originally published on 2019-05-21

Author: Cengiz Aktar

Source: Ahval News

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

 
READ MORE!
BBC Fake News
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been slammed for mistakenly using a photo taken in Iraq in 2003 to illustrate the Syria 2012 massacre, in which over 100 people, including 32 children, were brutally killed. The picture, taken on March 27, 2003, showed a young Iraqi child jumping over dozens of white body bags containing skeletons found in a desert south of Baghdad. It was posted on the BBC news website under the heading “Syria massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows”. According to The Telegraph, the caption stated the photograph was provided by an activist and cannot be independently verified, but said ...
READ MORE
The Kosovo “Powder Keg”
While all eyes have been on the U.S. presidential campaign, such foreign-policy hot spots as Syria, Iran and Pakistan, and the increasingly frosty relations between the United States and China, a simmering problem in the Balkans threatens to come to a boil. The most serious clashes to date involving angry Serb inhabitants of the northern portion of Kosovo and international Kosovo Force (KFOR) peacekeeping personnel erupted on November 28. Thirty German and Austrian soldiers were injured, some by small-arms fire and Molotov cocktails, when KFOR troops tried to remove roadblocks that Serb residents had erected. Those barricades have been the most ...
READ MORE
Draft Constitution of the Syrian Republic
Syrian constitution is questionable The Russian-proposed constitution for Syria is raising a storm in Media. Not only the opposition but the governmental circles are discussing it. Many forums are endlessly debating its 85-controversial articles. Some Syrians feel insulted by a charter authored by one outside power and approved by two others, Turkey and Iran. The Islamists are furious, because the draft constitution scraps Article 3, which specifies Islam as the religion of the president of the republic. This is a long-standing article since 1920 which several Syrian leaders, including Hafez Al Assad, tried to change, with little luck. Arab nationalists are also ...
READ MORE
Erdogan’s Islamic Vehicle to the Balkans: Ottoman Symbolism in Kosovo
A billboard at a construction site, with a photo of an Ottoman-style mosque with four minarets and the flag of Turkey, was erected recently in the center of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. With less than 2 million people, Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, is the home of over 800 mosques. Now the Islamic Community of Kosovo is building the “Central Mosque” at an estimated cost of $35- $40 million. Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) is financing the project. The Diyanet also financed the building of a similar mosque on a 10,000-square-meter parcel of land on ...
READ MORE
The U.S. Military Interventions (1945- )
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
America’s Enemies, Who’s on the List?
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow.  This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations:  the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation. The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay. We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial ...
READ MORE
Kosovo and the Crisis of Ignoring International Law and Global Opinions
Kosovo obtained part independence when America and many European nations gave the go ahead for the creation of this new nation. However, it is clear that things are not plain sailing because many other nations did not support this elitist adventure, therefore, the wider international community was ignored. Therefore, today we have a situation where some nations support this new state, however, the majority of nations in Africa, Asia, and South America, have not given their consent. Also, the Russian Federation, Spain, and some other European nations, refuse to accept this American led adventure. Therefore, what does the future hold for Kosovo ...
READ MORE
The 2014 Coup d’État and the Ukrainian Crisis
The current Ukrainian crisis and in fact civil war which stared at the very end of 2013 are grounded in for decades lasting internal interethnic antagonisms primarily on the Ukrainian-Russian relations including above all the “Crimean Question” as an apple of discord from 1954 between Ukraine and Russia.[1] The crisis came from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius were in November 2013 an Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine had to be signed. Lithuania at that time (July 1st−December 31st, 2013) presided the European (Union) Council and formally had a full political responsibility for the breaking out of the crisis as being ...
READ MORE
Kosovostan Albanian Monstrous Crimes
Serbian girl Jovana was only 11 years old when Albanian terrorists captured, beaten and detained her together with rest of the family. They were taken in a camp in the village of Klecka, Lipljan, along with her mother and grandmother. The camp was under direct rule and control of Fatmir Limaj (acquitted by the Hague cangaroo court) and Hashim Thaci. Hasim Taci used to visit the camp. One day little Jovana was taken by the Albanian KLA bandits, Luan and Bekim Mazrreku, who, before the eyes of her mother and grandmother raped the eleven years old girl. They tortured her, cutting her body ...
READ MORE
Ukraine’s State-Sponsored “Azov Battalion” Expands Use of Nazi-Inspired Symbols
On September 22, Ukraine’s Azov Battalion had a ceremony honoring its fighters who were killed in combat in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass regions. It is natural for any military unit to honor its dead. But it is evident from the images on Azov’s own website that this ceremony used iconography that is disturbingly reminiscent of the 1930s Nuremberg rallies, including the use of searchlights, the banners with Waffen-SS stylized logos and the flames. The background of Azov, its leadership, its recruitment and emblems are all deeply disturbing. It grew out of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), a group of far right and neo-Nazi organizations ...
READ MORE
American Unlimited Imperialism: Syria
Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific ...
READ MORE
The Syrian Crisis is Part of a War Waged on Russia by the West
It seems clear now that the West wants to defeat Russia in Syria at all costs. This latest protracted confrontation in the Middle East can be understood as a proxy war of the US and NATO against Putin’s resurgent Russia. But Syria is just one zone of engagement in a much wider war against Russia that has been taking place since Putin started to stand up to the West. The same confrontation also occurs in Ukraine and formerly in Georgia, where Russia successfully halted, albeit temporarily, the Western advance. This amounts to a new Cold War or an undeclared war ...
READ MORE
Libya: Is this Kosovo all over Аgain?
Another NATO Intervention?Less than a dozen years after NATO bombed Yugoslavia into pieces, detaching the province of Kosovo from Serbia, there are signs that the military alliance is gearing up for another victorious little “humanitarian war”, this time against Libya. The differences are, of course, enormous. But let’s look at some of the disturbing similarities.A demonized leaderAs “the new Hitler”, the man you love to hate and need to destroy, Slobodan Milosevic was a neophyte in 1999 compared to Muammar Qaddafi today. The media had less than a decade to turn Milosevic into a monster, whereas with Qaddafi, they’ve been ...
READ MORE
Why the US Supports Kosovo Independence?
BELGRADE – Amnesty of crimes during NATO aggression, bilateral legalization of Camp Bondsteel in a friendly milieu, settling the Islamic world with support to their communities in the Balkans and forcing Russia out of that same Balkans, are four reasons the US supports the independence of Kosovo, writes “Sputnik”.On Christmas (according to Gregorian calendar) Michael Kirby shows up. Outgoing US Ambassador congratulates Serbia upcoming New Year. “The normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina implies Kosovo’s membership in the UN,” was the content of the “greeting card”.Apart from some kind of formalization, Kirby’s statement is not new for the local public ...
READ MORE
Russian Sanctions Latest Betrayal of Post-Cold War Agreements
While the US claims recent sanctions targeting Russia are based on alleged Russian interference in last year’s US elections, a careful examination of US policy post-Cold War reveals a systematic campaign aimed at undermining Moscow, encircling Russia and attempting to overturn the current, prevailing political order there in favor of one dominated by US interests.At each step, various excuses are concocted, mainly to mesh with current political narratives embedded within public perception at any given time. Currently, playing left and right-leaning Americans against one another regarding the 2016 election and still-unproven allegations that Russia played a hand at tipping the ...
READ MORE
South-East Europe in the International Relations at the Turn of the 20th Century (I)
Preface At the beginning of the 20th century the Great European Powers,[i] divided into two totally antagonistic political-military alliances, were preparing themselves for the final settling of accounts among each other concerning the new division of political-economic spheres of influence and the redistributing the colonies around the world. Their different interests overlapped upon the territory of South-East Europe, much more look down at the other parts of the globe, for the reason of the exploitation of the regional natural wealth and to take advantage of the military-strategic importance of South-East Europe as the strategic hinterland of East Mediterranean and the most ...
READ MORE
Why Israel is Blocking Access to its Archives
Israel is concealing vital records to prevent darkest periods in its history from coming to light, academics say Al-Jazeera – 9 June 2016 Israel is locking away millions of official documents to prevent the darkest episodes in its history from coming to light, civil rights activists and academics have warned as the country’s state archives move online. They claim government officials are concealing vital records needed for historical research, often in violation of Israeli law, in an effort to avoid damaging Israel’s image. The Israeli army has long claimed to be the “most moral” in the world. Accusations of increased secrecy come as Israel marks ...
READ MORE
McCain Against the World
In his militarist lust he was near lunacy; his ignorance: profound; he was, in many respects, conventional—numbingly conventional—on Washington’s global role. That was John McCain. This was a man who, post-9/11, promoted measures expected to boost foreign terrorism. “Within hours” of that morning’s carnage, he made himself “leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan,” to countries—like Iraq—with no Qaeda ties, where revenge, really, would be aggression. On CNN, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on “Face the Nation” he pushed for assaulting Iraq, stressing the “need to keep telling the American people” about Saddam’s menace, to ...
READ MORE
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių, Vilniaus gyventojai džiaugsmingai sutiko tarybinius karius-išvaduotojus. 1939 metų kovo 22 d. Lietuvos prezidento A.Smetonos įgaliotas premjeras Mironas, Užsienio reikalų ministras J.Urbšys, Lietuvos pasiuntinys Vokietijoje ir kartu Abvero agentas K.Škirpa “patriotiškai” atiduoda Klaipėdos kraštą nacistinei Vokietijai “istoriniam teisingumui atkurti” , kaip teigiama pačioje sutartyje. http://www.xn--altiniai-4wb.info/files/istorija/IH00/1939_03_22_Sutartis_d%C4%97l_Klaip%C4%97dos_atidavimo_Vokietijai.IH2407.pdf  Anksčiau A. Smetona nuolankiai atidavė Vilnių ir Vilniaus kraštą Lenkijai, Europos hienai, kaip ją pavadino Anglijos premjeras V. Čerčilis. Lenkija viena iš pirmųjų 1934 metais pasirašė su nacistine Vokietija Hitlerio-Pilsudskio Nepuolimo paktą ir iki pat 1939-09-01, kai nacistinė Vokietija užpuolė savo “partnerę”, bendradarbiavo su nacistais, laikė juos savo strateginiais ...
READ MORE
U.S. Korea Policy
“If you have nukes, never give them up–If you don’t have them, get them”Dan Coats, Director of National IntelligenceThose were the words of President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, about the lessons taught from the U.S. destruction of Libya and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi.That is why North Korea is a nuclear power. That is the reality and eventually the U.S. will have to accept “Mutually Assured Madness“. The U.S. has nobody to blame for its self-inflected wounds. It is called Blowback.The propaganda mill and the mainstream media greatly exaggerate the US national security risk to the American people, and ...
READ MORE
BBC Fake News
The Kosovo “Powder Keg”
Draft Constitution of the Syrian Republic
Erdogan’s Islamic Vehicle to the Balkans: Ottoman Symbolism in Kosovo
The U.S. Military Interventions (1945- )
America’s Enemies, Who’s on the List?
Kosovo and the Crisis of Ignoring International Law and Global Opinions
The 2014 Coup d’État and the Ukrainian Crisis
Kosovostan Albanian Monstrous Crimes
Ukraine’s State-Sponsored “Azov Battalion” Expands Use of Nazi-Inspired Symbols
American Unlimited Imperialism: Syria
The Syrian Crisis is Part of a War Waged on Russia by the West
Libya: Is this Kosovo all over Аgain?
Why the US Supports Kosovo Independence?
Russian Sanctions Latest Betrayal of Post-Cold War Agreements
South-East Europe in the International Relations at the Turn of the 20th Century (I)
Why Israel is Blocking Access to its Archives
McCain Against the World
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių
U.S. Korea Policy
Global-Politics.eu

Written by Global-Politics.eu

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu