Turkey lashed out on Thursday at statements made by Greek officials, including the country’s president, to commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the Pontian Genocide.
“We categorically reject the delusional statements made by the Greek authorities on the pretext of the anniversary of the unfounded ‘Pontian’ claims, which completely distort history. It is clear that the efforts of those who try to draw enmity from history and mislead the young generations will not serve peace and stability,” Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a strongly worded statement on its website.
“It is regrettable to see that the Greek authorities continue their irrational efforts to misrepresent history. We also condemn the efforts of the anti-Turkey lobbies to deceive public by bringing these biased claims to the agenda in third countries,” the ministry said, in an apparent dig at Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who said in a statement earlier that 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.
“Instead of relying on falsified historical narratives contradicting reality, it would be more reasonable for Greece to face the facts regarding the crimes against humanity that were established by the Lausanne Peace Treaty, as included in the report of the Allied Powers Investigation Commission, committed by Greece during its occupation and invasion attempt of Anatolia. Likewise, it would be appropriate for those who make such unfounded claims to remember the brutal crimes and atrocities perpetrated against other religious or ethnic groups, particularly the Turks, including the 1821 Tripolitsa massacre,” the Turkish ministry’s statement said.
“We invite Greece to work together for peace, stability and a prosperous future on the basis of cooperation instead of trying to distort the facts,” it added.