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General News

AHI Marks Anniversary of the Pontic Greek Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has issued the following statement on May 20 in remembrance of the Pontic Greek Genocide:

“Today, we join with the Pontic Greek community to commemorate the anniversary of the Pontic Greek Genocide, a crime against humanity. We remember the hundreds of thousands who were systematically and deliberately annihilated by the Ottoman Empire and members of the Turkish National Movement.

“Pontic Greeks lived in a region on the coast of the Black Sea in present-day Turkey, since around 700 BC. They remained there despite the hardships faced during the Ottoman Empire’s colonization of their lands hundreds of years later. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century, when the Ottoman Empire began its genocide on the Greek population, that Pontics Greeks were finally ripped from their homes where they lived for over 2000 years.

“The goal was not only to kill or deport the Pontic Greek people, but also to destroy their culture, their religion, and even their history.

“The historical record on the Pontic Greek Genocide the broader genocidal campaign against Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire is well documented. Yet, there is a continued effort by present-day Turkey to deny these genocides, which is an affront to fundamental human rights and only serves as an obstacle to regional stability and greater regional cooperation.”

AHI Legislative Director Alexander Christofor stated that “my own family, removed from their land, suffered greatly during this tragedy. One of the best ways tribute can be paid to them is by ensuring that the Pontic Greek genocide will never be forgotten and that people will be educated on what occurred.”

Christofor provided testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly in March 2024 for a bill that would allow the inclusion of the Pontic Greek Genocide in the state’s Holocaust and Genocide Education and Awareness curriculum.

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