In a controversial statement on Greek television, Greece’s current education minister Nikos Filis stated that although his government recognizes an official Pontian Genocide Day, he believes personally that the actions against Pontian Greeks in the early 1900s did not constitute a genocide.
Almost a half million Greek Pontians were massacred in the early part of the 20th century by Turks. Entire villages were wiped out in brutal campaigns, forcing a population of Greek-speaking residents of the southern shores of the Black Sea region known as Efxinos Pontos to relocate to mainland Greece.
Filis reiterated in the interview (see video below) that his personal opinions as an academic and a former journalist did not constitute official government policy and referred to seven years of research he had conducted.
In his interview, he did recognize the pain and blood shed, but reiterated that the events did not constitute a genocide.