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Greek president calls for recognition of Pontian Genocide on 103rd anniversary

The international community has a “manifest obligation” to recognize the systematic extermination of some 353,000 ethnic Greeks living on the shores of the Black Sea by the Ottoman Turks between 1916 and 1923, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Thursday, marking the anniversary of the Pontic Genocide.

“The memory of the hundreds of thousands of innocents slaughtered or displaced from their ancestral hearths remains alive 103 years after that ruthless pogrom,” she said in a message.

“The international community has a manifest obligation to safeguard historical knowledge by recognizing this unconscionable crime. Today’s anniversary in particular, coming at a time when authoritarian revisionism poses a direct threat to global stability, serves as a deterrent so that we may never experience such atrocities again,” Sakellaropoulou added.

“We all have a responsibility to respect diversity and be constantly vigilant against discrimination and violence,” she said.

The Pontic genocide was officially recognized by the Greek state on February 24, 1994 and Parliament unanimously voted to establish May 19 as the day of remembrance of the genocide of the Greeks of Pontus.