Athens condemns Ankara’s attacks on Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece, because of her words about the genocide of the Pontic Greeks in 1914-1923. The Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday:
“Once again, in violation of the elementary rules of diplomatic practice, Turkey is attacking a high-ranking official of Greece, in this case, the President of the Republic. The Turkish side, unfortunately, again distorts reality and hides not only what happened in the past, but also its current policy, in which it violates international law on a daily basis, creates tension and poisons the atmosphere between the two countries.”
Greece points out in a statement that the recognition of historical truth, the reconciliation of nations with their past is a sign of the moral overcoming of differences between peoples, as well as a guarantee of their peaceful coexistence in the future. Ms. Sakellaropoulou, speaking of the extermination of the Pontic Greeks, noted that “as a result of a methodical and systematic genocide with persecution, massacres, attempts at forced Islamization and unspeakable barbarism”, they were expelled from their ancestral homes and became refugees. According to the President of Greece, wherever the Pontians who arrived in our country as refugees settled, they always tried to help it prosper, maintained close ties with each other and became a factor in strengthening national self-consciousness.
In response, as the onalert.gr portal wrote yesterday, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
“Ankara regretted the unsubstantiated statements of Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou during the presentation ceremony of the plan to build the Palace of World Pontic Hellenism on the site of the former Ellinikon Airport. These accusations do not change the fact that it was Greece that tried to invade Anatolia, and that the Greek army committed barbaric “crimes against humanity, especially against innocent civilians in the Western Anatolia region. Frequent false accusations by Greece overshadow steps to create a sincere and honest dialogue environment to resolve problems between the two countries.”
Greek government spokesman Ioannis Ikonou, writes GreekReporter, said at a briefing on Thursday:
“The historical facts are very specific. Criminal behavior and murders, genocide took place and were characterized as such, not only in our country, but also in other states. History cannot be falsified, and moreover, it cannot be erased from memory.”