Memorial Day for the Genocide of Pontians (1914 – 1923)

The memory of hundreds of thousands of Pontic Greeks celebrated today, May 19 Memorial Day for the Genocide of Greeks of Pontos , established in 1994 by decision of the House of Greek and refers to massacres and deportations against Greek populations in the Pontic region made by the movement Young Turks in the period 1914-1923. It is estimated that killed about 326000-382000 Greeks . The survivors fled to the Upper Sea (the USSR) after the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922 in Greece.


These events are officially recognized as genocideby the Greek State, Germany, Cyprus, Armenia, Sweden, some federal republics of Russia, eight US states, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, but also from international organizations, such as the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

The methods used were the displacement , the depletion of hardship, the torture , the hunger and thirst , and marches of death in the desert.

The international literature and government authorities in many countries contain numerous testimonies about the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire residents Pontiacs. The genocide took place alongside genocide against other peoples, namely the Armenians and Assyrians, leading some researchers to consider the individual persecution as part of a single genocidal policy.

Upon recommendation of the then Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou , the Greek Parliament recognized the genocide in 1994, and voted the proclamation of 19 May as the “Day of Remembrance for the Genocide of Greeks in Pontus Asia Minor.” In 1998 the House unanimously passed the proclamation of September 14 as “Day of national memory of the Genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor by the Turkish State.


(Price and Events memory about the genocide of Pontic Greeks in Nafplion. File Photo. Source: EUROKINISSI-Papadopoulos Vasilis)

The three phases

The extermination process of Pontic Greek populations historically divided into three consecutive phases : the start of World War II as the conquest of Trabzon by the Russian army (1914-1916), the second ends with the end of World War II ( 1916-1918) and the last completed the implementation of the Covenant for the population exchange between Greece and Turkey (1918-1923).

A and B phase

The massive wave of persecution began in Pontus in the form of deportations in 1915 . The deportations continued incessantly during the time when Russian troops entered in Trabzon in early 1916. Especially on the pretext that the Pontiac supported the movements of Russian large number of residents of the regions of Sinop and Giresun displaced in the hinterland of Asia Minor. Also been forced Islamization and female populations.

According to estimates by the Bishop of Trebizond, the number of victims of these policies was, for that time, to about 100,000 . Not ceased and protests by Austrian and American diplomats in the Ottoman government.


(Little dancers, band members Pontiac dancing traditional dance in the pedestrian zone of Dionysius Areopagite. File Photo. Source: EUROKINISSI / Antonis Nikolopoulos)

Phase C

After the capitulation of Russia and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the region, intensified persecution there. With the arrival of Kemal Ataturk, in May 1919, the region and the surge of movement of intensified action irregular groups (Chet) against Christian populations.

On May 29 the Kemal commissioned Chet, Topal Osman, now to conduct massive operations against the local population. In this context, there were the massacres and deportations of Greeks in Samsun and in 394 villages, inhabited by Greek population. Related reports recorded by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau.

Between February and August 1920 he held the burning of Bafra and mass extermination of 6,000 Greeks who had hastened to find protection in the churches of the region. A total of 25,000 Greeks who lived in the regions of Bafra and Aazam, 90% killed, while others, most displaced in the interior of Asia Minor.

The notables and the spirit personalities were arrested and sentenced to death by the so-called “Courts of Independence” in Amasya, in September 1921. At the same time, there were detachments and forced young girls and boys from the families, which were given for harems of wealthy Turks.

Victims in Asia Minor and Thrace

For the Greek population of the Ottoman Empire in Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace by the spring of 1914 until 1923, Aristoklis I. Aigidis in his book “The Hellas without refugee” (Athens 1934) emphasizes that ” 1,200,000 souls are in a tragic in human REPORTS loss of the contest . ” Theofanis Malkidis, Doctor of Social Sciences and teaches at the Democritus University of Thrace, stresses that ” we are talking about more than 800,000 Greeks .” On March 20, 1922, the British diplomat Rentel drafted a memorandum for the Turkish atrocities against Christians from 1919 onwards. The preamble of this memorandum states:

Achieving a ceasefire with Turkey on October 30, 1918, seemed to have had a temporary cessation of persecution of minorities by the Turks perpetrated throughout the war. In pursuit of these persecutions, it is generally accepted that … over 500,000 Greeks were deported, of which comparatively few survived … “.


(Commemoration of the Genocide of Pontian. File Photo. Source: EUROKINISSI-ALIVE ALEXANDER)


Global recognition

On February 24, 1994 the Greek Parliament voted unanimously proclaiming May 19 as “Day of Remembrance for the Genocide of Greeks in Pontus Asia Minor” day Mustafa Kemal landed in Samsun. Also in 1998 the House unanimously passed the proclamation “of September 14 as a national day of remembrance of the genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor by the Turkish State”.

In December 2007 the International Association of Genocide Scholars (International Association of Genocide Scholars or IAGS) officially recognized the genocide of the Greeks, with the genocide of Assyrians, and adopted the following resolution:

“WHEREAS the denial of genocide well recognized as the ultimate stage of genocide, ensuring impunity for perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides,

WHEREAS the Ottoman genocide against minority populations during and after the First World War, usually presented as genocide against Armenians alone, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire,

Decides that belief is the International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constitute genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, Pontian and Anatolian Greek.

Union decides to ask the government of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to formally apologize, and take appropriate and meaningful steps toward restitution (non-repetition). “

The Pontian genocide is recognized as such officially in four states, Greece with Law 1994 (N. 2193/1994), Sweden to vote in the Swedish parliament on March 11, 2010, Armenia in March 2015, along with genocide Assyrians and the Netherlands, along with the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians, on April 9, 2015.

Turkey does not recognize that there was genocide and gives their deaths in war losses to famine and disease and does not accept that there was genocide. However. Turkish scientists have publicly characterized the events as genocide.


(Commemoration of the Genocide of Pontian. File Photo. Source: EUROKINISSI-ALIVE ALEXANDER)

A shocking story


The Panaila (Panagiota) Papadopoulou, were survivors of the great Pontic uprooting . He settled in the village Monolithi Kilkis in 1922, with villagers from Bafra and kontochorianous from Alatsam. It belonged to the so-called “Turkish-speaking” Ponta Western Sea – people’s violence nterempeidon and Agas led to the loss of Greek dialect, but not the Romeikos consciousness. In this violence, the western Pontus had reacted with guerrillas, decades before uprooting. From father to son passed the message:

“Biz yunanli iz – We Greeks.

Biz rum iz – we Greeks. “

Towards the end of her life, the 80s, Panagiota complained about frequent headaches. The complaints worsened in intensity and frequency. The radiological examination found a shady arrangement beneath the occipital bone. It could be and sphere of cannon. The family doctor, visited Panagiota by radiography at hand. When asked how they explained the finding of radiological examination, Panagiota got hands with emotion Bible priest grandfather – book written in Turkish but with Greek characters – and reverently pulled the memories of her childhood.


(The Panaila Papadopoulou was from the survivors of the large Pontiac uprooting. Photo Source: ANA-MPA)

“My mother is Saturday, was left with four daughters of – Sunday, the Evlampia, Evanthia me. I knew for Chet, their listosymmorites. They spoke older I kryfakouga. I heard the mother to a neighbor asks Turkish girlfriend to protect me for a few days till it removed the risk. The same had been done and other Turkish neighbors for children. She said I was small and weak and that there will withstand hardships. The rest would get mountains to the villagers. Already they had prepared what could and was able to carry everyone. I hid in the barn by the Turkish neighbor. I realized that he was looking for. It was dusk, nightfall, when out of the village of Gkiolmpelen Geralnti region in Bafra, shots were heard . Rebels skirmished village, throwing shots to delay their Chet. Approximately four kilometers, boot into the foothills of the mountains. Empty the village and the rebels followed. The Chet were everywhere. The Greek houses were leaf and feather . The houses of Muslims expected an intact – as did barn. He protected with. He was shaking from fear and cold.

When not heard anymore, nor the sound of the wind, I took the plunge to join ours. The familiar – picking hazelnuts paths to those places. Xeglistrontas in the darkness, she was running . Pebbles and blackberries full place. The face, feet, hands, into the blood. I had time climbing the foothills of the mountain.

The Chet was not happy after their prey from the fall of our homes. They wanted gold, blood to sate the insatiable rage. They wanted flesh of young girls. New shots and at the same time the command of the rebels attendants: “Hurry mountain!”. Had their lair protected. Sunday and the Evlampia 4-5 steps ahead, we further back, in the middle too, my Evanthia right mana Saturday left holding my hand.

I felt a blow to the back of my head and arm numbness in his left arm from which blood began to run . The mother took off the scarf and wraps pressing point wound in his hand. For hitting the head nor reason. ” Hurry ! Hurry ! “. I did not fall, not dizzy. I was scared. The Chet, these hyenas will catch us, they will rape us and cut our heads! This fear had replaced any pain. Approaching the lair, rebel gunfire kept at a distance and Chet intercepted macabre their chase.

In a small clearing in the forest a rest, curled up in the arms of his mother Saturday. Named more head ache now. I put my fingers and was bathed in gore . “

Rich, tawny hair, unwashed, uncombed, thrown in the middle. Concerned mother separated hair density and saw the site of injury. Washing with water from a nearby source, few masticated leaves the surrounding grass little tobacco (tobacco dry chopped), acted as haemostatic and pressing mechanism in the two wounds. Around the wound, scar tissue developed. There trothike heartbeat brain. Lucky Panagiota and hand wound . Subcutaneously and bright, free to touch bone, artery, vein or nerve.

Days and nights in the snow and cold, hungry, persecuted, same wild beasts with patrons our guerrillas. Two years or so. Finally recorded as interchangeable in the lists. We delivered the weapons, but the agreements with the Turkish authorities were not kept … “.

The village progressed as caravan westward to reach the coast, accompanied from the Chet now gendarmes had undertaken tasks.

“Smothered in dust, dry lips. The Evlampia suddenly removed, heard the command “tour-tour! Stop it! “. Frightened to safeguard ran behind a cluster of shrubs. The anticipated two Cetto. Of the butts of their weapons was found unconscious in the dirt. They raped. They heard two shots. The murdered in cold blood . Property caravan. The other robbers were holding guns. So observing the agreements as Chet. They said it was an example. Bachtsisi collected by villagers to give permission for the burial of Evlampia to the point of murder. He was 13 years old …

At last we reached the coast of Asia Minor.. We had a cart. A thousand difficulties found small transport ship to move to the coasts of Eastern Thrace. We had boarded the transport. For a moment Sunday disappeared. We did not see it. We cried all our loud and louder her name. The transport had already departed. We had hoped that we will meet on the coast of Thrace. Our hopes were dashed. So we lost Sunday Papadopoulou, our older sister. He was 15 years old . “

This was the story Panagiota Papadopoulou, as the Athens Macedonian News Agency. To find her sister, Sunday, searches were undertaken by the Red Cross, from the 50s to the 80s, but were unsuccessful. Their father, Savvas Papadopoulos, sent to labor battalions (Amelia tambour) in the region of Aktsale and has since lost his whereabouts. Her grandfather, the priest “papasin Sava” as they called him in the area, was hanged by robbers of Topal Osman.

The reference to the tragic events of the life of Greeks of Pontos and in general of Asia Minor. The period 1900 – 1924, there should be exploited by all origins and homeland mongering ethnosotires. God the criminal actions of his creatures, across the land, does not participate. But there are words to deliver events like these?

The undersigned is grandson Panagiota and Risen Alexandridi. Life brought them to be and the physician of. His mother Evlampia, bears the name of the murdered aunt. The Bible’s great-grandfather “papasin Sava” adorns the family library, with unalterable diafylagmeni historical memory and the Greek consciousness.


Source: CNN GR


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s