Pontian Genocide Commemorated in New York

NEW YORK – The genocide against the Greeks of Pontos was commemorated at the Greek Press and Communication Office on May 16, 95 years after its most harrowing events, with a program of cultural and scholarly presentations presented by the Consulate General of Greece in NY in coordination with The Pan-Pontian Federation of USA & Canada and the Press Office.

Felicia Theodoridis, who served as the MC, welcomed the guests, as did Nikos Papaconstantinou, Greece’s Press counsellor. Fr. Ioannis Amarantidis of St. Nectarios of Brooklyn offered the invocation and greetings were read from Archbishop Demetrios, who was unable to attend.

Closing remarks were made by Gus Tsiflides, President of the Pan-Pontian Federation of USA & Canada, who declared that Pontinan organizations will continue to strive to the recognition of the genocide, which they owe to their ancestors, and to Justice, because “denial is the last stage of genocide, thus it is also a crime.”

Theodoridis announced that all of the Federation’s events this year will be dedicated to Sano Halo, “the grandmother of all Pontians,” who is the subject of her daughter Thea Halo’s moving book about her life and the genocide.

Manos Koubarakis, the Consul of Greece, representing the Consul General George Iliopoulos, thanked Thea for the book that has helped Americans and the world understand what happened to the people of Pontos.

The keynote address “Ottoman Genocide as a Demographic Policy” was delivered by distinguished Turkish-American scholar Dr. Taner Akcam, chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.

Akcam spoke of evidence in Turkish archives that all the Asia Minor genocides, whose victims included Greek, Armenian and Assyrian Christians, and which were complemented by violence against moslem Kurds, were all part of a deliberate and systematic policy of ethnic cleansing and Turkification of Asia Minor that began with the Ottoman state, continued with the Young Turks, and concluded by the forces of Kemal Ataturk.

He demonstrated with mathematical clarity that given the documentation he found for a Turkish policy of thinning out Asia Minor’s Christian population to 5-10 percent in the areas where they lived,  the “final solution” for remaining millions was obviously their extermination via attacks and death marches.

Dr. Constantine Hatzidimitriou, presented “Turkish responsibility for the destruction of Smyrna in 1992 – What do the American archives tell us?”

He noted that Ataturk was present at Smyrna and was in full control of his forces when the city was burned and killings were rampant, but he also discovered archival evidence that high American officials were cognizant of what was happening around Smyrna, and speculated Washington was motivated by desire to curry favor with Ataturk in order to secure access to the oil of Mosul and Kirkuk.

The cultural portion of the program included a musical presentation via video of “Tin Patrida m’exasa – I lost my homeland,” which begins:

I lost my homeland; I cried and felt pain,

Dying of nostalgia, unable to forget.

Stephanos Papadopoulos, the 2014 recipient of the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, read a number of poignant poems about the genocide from his collection titled “The Black Sea.”

There was also a short introductory video of the upcoming documentary “Preserving the Memory of the Anatolian Greek Genocide,” by the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center and the event concluded with a reception and with traditional Pontian Cuisine prepared exclusively by the women’s associations.

Theodoridou thanked the cooperating organizations, including the local Pontian Societies of “Komninoi” of New York and “Pontos” of Norwalk Connecticut and the Holy Institution of Panagia Soumela, where vespers and a wreath-laying this weekend also commemorated the genocide.

A Greek flag-raising ceremony took place at Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan on Pontian Genocide Commemoration Day, Monday, May 19, which happens to be Ataturk’s birthday.

The Pontian flag had also been raised for the past six years but on May 19 a Parks Department official would not permit it.





SAN FRANCISCO – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco celebrated a century of ministry on the West Coast at a Gala held at the Westin St.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.


Rosalynn Carter’s Intimate Funeral is Being Held in the Town Where She and Her Husband Were Born

PLAINS, Ga. (AP) — Rosalynn Carter received her final farewells Wednesday in the same tiny town where she and Jimmy Carter were born, forever their home base as they climbed to the White House and traveled the world for humanitarian causes.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are considering holding a formal vote next month to authorize the impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden as the party looks to legitimize a process that has yet to yield any direct evidence of wrongdoing by the president.

JERUSALEM (AP) — It has become an Israeli mantra throughout the latest war in Gaza: Hamas is ISIS.

ATHENS – As the 100th anniversary of her birth approaches on December 2, the tributes to Maria Callas continue – literally all over the world.

NEW YORK – Ahead of The Hellenic Initiative’s 11th Annual New York Gala on December 2, honoree Ted Leonsis, the well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist, shared his thoughts with The National Herald.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.