Press Release: We remember the innocent fallen souls of Pontic Greek Genocide
Today May 19, we remember and commemorate the victims and martyrs of Pontic Greek genocide perpetrated by Ottoman-Turkish rule which lead to the demographical, cultural, social and economic destruction of ancient people from the Black Sea region.
With the start of World War I and declaration of jihad by Ottoman rule, Christian communities present in the empire borders had been primary target due to the ethnic and religious identity. Millennial Christian communities in the Empire as Pontic Greeks, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrians and Armenians faced rapidly killings, massacres and organized genocide.
Native people of Black Sea region, Pontic Greek people genocide started from 1914 until 1923 by targeting them in different cities and towns in the region by eliminating population, destructing churches and monasteries and targeting wealth and goods of Pontic Greek people. According to the Greek Patriarchate archives in the mentioned years there were in Amasya, Samsun, Giresun, Sinop, Ordu 608 church and 518 schools in Niksar 135 church, 106 schools in Trabzon 127 church, 106 schools in Tokat 182 church, 152 schools in Maçka 53 church, 45 schools and in Şebinkarahisar 74 church, 55 schools. Additionally, in different cities and towns 355.000 killed and faced genocide.
The genocide of Christian communities by the Ottoman-Turkish rule has changed dramatically Christian presence in Anatolia and Mesopotamia and native people perished to annihilation by adjacent aftermath policies. Recognition of genocide and mass atrocities is fundamental for common future and enshrined in the international law.
European Syriac Union, ESU and it’s affiliate associations and organisations will continue to work for the recognition of 1915 genocide with solidarity and cooperation. In this regard, we remember the innocent souls of Pontic Greek genocide and may eternal peace be upon them.