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AHEPA Requests President Biden Recognize the Greek Genocide

Ευρωκίνηση

An image from the commemoration of Pontian Greek Genocide in Thessaloniki. (Photo by MOTIONTEAM/ Giorgos Konstantinidis)

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) sent a formal request to President Joseph Biden, Jr., asking for the United States government to recognize the Greek Genocide.

In a June 7 letter, Supreme President George G. Horiates wrote, “President Biden, it is time the U.S. government recognizes the Greek Genocide that occurred 1914 to 1923 as a matter of affirming a historical truth and upholding a commitment to human rights as well a matter of education to prevent future atrocities from occurring.”

Supreme President Horiates cited resolutions passed by the U.S. Congress that referenced the United States’ history of providing relief to “the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians,” and a 2007 International Association of Genocide Scholars resolution that affirmed that the “Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire constituted a genocide,” including Pontian and Anatolian Greeks, to justify the recognition.

He also conveyed the appreciation of the Greek diaspora to President Biden for the correct historical reference to Constantinople in the President’s April 24, 2021 statement recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

The text of the letter follows:

Dear President Biden:

On behalf of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the nation’s leading Hellenic heritage service association for the nation’s millions of Americans of Hellenic heritage and Philhellenes, I write to request for the United States to formally recognize the Greek Genocide, the systematic extermination of between one million and 1.5 million indigenous Greek minority of the Ottoman Empire.

This year, we commemorated the 102-year Pontian Greek Genocide as part of the larger Greek and Christian Genocide where hundreds of thousands of Pontian Greeks were murdered. More than one million more were forced to seek refuge in Greece as their homes and property were confiscated in addition to the destruction of Greek Orthodox churches in the area. Ottoman Turkey endeavored to destroy Hellenism – its history, culture, and language.

Under your leadership, AHEPA commended the U.S. government’s rightful recognition of the Armenian Genocide with your April 24, 2021, statement and with the overwhelming passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution by both chambers of the U.S. Congress in 2019. Also, in your statement, Greek Americans, Greeks across the globe, and philhellenes, appreciated the historical reference to Constantinople. Constantinople, as your correctly wrote, was the epicenter where intellectuals of all ethnicities gathered in addition to serving as a religious and spiritual center for all religions.

· Those congressional resolutions have recognized a campaign of genocide against Greeks by citing the United States’ history of providing relief to ‘the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians.’

· Further, in 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars affirmed that the ‘Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire constituted a genocide,’ including Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.

President Biden, it is time the U.S. government recognizes the Greek Genocide that occurred 1914 to 1923 as a matter of affirming a historical truth and upholding a commitment to human rights as well a matter of education to prevent future atrocities from occurring. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this policy matter and request with the Administration. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

George G. Horiates

AHEPA Supreme President