The day before the Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Greek Genocide from the Pontus region of Asia Minor, the American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) has called on U.S. President Joseph Biden to recognize the Greek Genocide.
Most historians agree that the Greek Genocide, which happened parallel to the Armenian Genocide, was the systematic extermination of between 1 and 1.5 million indigenous Greeks living in various regions of the Ottoman Empire.
“This year, we commemorate the 102-year Pontian Greek Genocide as part of the larger Greek and Christian Genocide where hundreds of thousands of Pontian Greeks were murdered,” AHEPA President George G. Horiates said in a statement.
In addition to those murdered in Turkey’s well-organized campaign, “More than 1 million more were forced to seek refuge in Greece as their homes and property were confiscated, not to mention the destruction of Greek Orthodox churches in the area,” Horiates continued, adding that “Ottoman Turkey endeavored to destroy Hellenism — its history, culture and language.”
Turkey has repeatedly denied that a genocide took place against any of its Christian subjects, despite overwhelming historic evidence and the vast majority of recognized scholars and historians affirming the systematic attempt to annihilate the Christian presence from the region.
“AHEPA commends the U.S. government’s rightful recognition of the Armenian Genocide with President Biden’s statement last month and the overwhelming passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution by both chambers of the U.S. Congress in 2019. Those congressional resolutions have recognized a campaign of genocide against Greeks by citing the United States’ history of providing relief to ‘the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians.’ Further, in 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars affirmed that the ‘Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire constituted a genocide,’ including Pontian and Anatolian Greeks,” Horiates said.
“It is time the U.S. government recognizes the Greek Genocide that occurred 1914 to 1923 as a matter of affirming a historical truth and upholding a commitment to human rights as well a matter of education to prevent future atrocities from occurring,” he said.
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