Thursday, May 19, 2005

May 19th Pontic Greek Genocide Day

Today is May 19th. The day of remembrance for the Pontic Greek Genocide. There is a German company that has a film under production on this tragedy. Here is a link and a page from their site.

History of the Ponto-Greek

The Pontic ( from the Greek: euxinos pontos = hospitable sea) is a Greek community which first settled on the southern shore of the Black Sea about 3000 years ago and later also on the north, east and west coasts. The first settlers came from Militav to Asia Minor at the beginning of the 8th century B.C. and founded the city of Sinopi. Settlers from other Greek cities like Megare and Athens followed. The foundation of these new coastal cities meant the Pontic Greeks were able to control important trade routes. The area was later ruled by the Persians : the Greek cities, however, retained their autonomous status and were governed democratically. The economic power of these Greek cities reached its peak during the time of Alexander the Great and his successors. After Alexander's death, Mithridates (around 320 B.C.) founded the first Pontic state. During Mithridates' dynasty the "Hellenisation" of the hinterland was advanced. In 63 B.C. the kingdom was annexed by the Roman Empire, an action which subsequently provided the Pontic people with wealth and peace.

In 1461, the city of Trapezount ("the last bastion of the empire") was conquered by the Turks. The Greeks fled in their thousands to the Caucasus, to Russia, Georgia, Armenia and to Kazakhstan, or to the mountains in the hinterland where they founded new Greek cities - cultural centres, where persecuted Greeks were still welcomed with open arms generations later.As a consequence of this, a second Ponto-Greek community grew up around the same time, especially in Russia, which became bigger and stronger through further immigration of refugees throughout the entire period of Ottoman rule. More than half a million Pontic people soon lived in Russia alone and after further immigration in 1918 the number had exceeded a total of 650,000. Many Pontic Greeks were, at the same time, assimilated forcibly by the Muslims.

The last real heyday for the Pontic Greeks occurred at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, when it is possible to speak of a Renaissance of Greek culture on the shores of the Black Sea. These people were traders who built up schools, founded theatre groups and organisations for traditional costumes and published newspapers. The seizure of power by the "Young Turks" in 1908 meant the beginning of the end of the Greeks and of all Christians in the Ottoman Empire. The "Young Turks” set themselves the higher aim of the "Turkisation" of the Ottoman Empire - the Christian communities should be exterminated through genocide and forced assimilation. Kemal Attaturk completed this policy through the means of his so-called "Liberation Revolution". The Lausanne Treaty of 1923 meant the end of the Greek presence in the Ponto region, one which had existed for a thousand years. As part of the obligatory resettlement, 1,250,000 Greeks from Turkey were forcibly expatriated to Greece.

Everyone who managed to survive the strain of their flight or to escape the guns of their persecutors found sanctuary in Greece, Russia and also in Armenia and Egypt. Only the Pontic people who had become Muslims stayed behind (in the area of Tokat and Of). To this day, they still speak their Pontic dialect, one derived from ancient Greek. May 19th is a day of remembrance for the Pontic Greek genocide.


Blogger Johnny said...

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6:01 PM  
Blogger Hellenic Nationalist said...

Oh, your welcome for the link,Nikos, and thanks for thoughtful commentary to this post.

I always wondered why Greeks tell dumb Pontic jokes?

It seems that the production of this German film is a joint Armenian and Kurdish venture. This alone ought to make it more resistant to possible detractors. After all, one would be wary if only Greeks in Germany were making a movie about Greeks. Even if it can be seen as self-promoting to a certain degree.

Have you seen 'Politiki Kouzina' ?
It was the only major Greek film in recent memory, or ever perhaps, to reflect on the pogrom of Greek in Constantinople in 1955, although it had had some barely concealed anti-Naionalist bias. I wonder if this upcoming German film will?

10:27 PM  
Blogger Johnny said...

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2:59 PM  
Blogger Hellenic Nationalist said...

That's why I figured insensitive Greeks insult Pontics, maybe this is what is happening today to Northern Epirotis?

Kurds from Turkey who are politically active, often work with Armenians on issues against Turkey. If you check the site AKIN ( , which is a very effective anti-Turkish lobby in America, you will notice that AKIN has many joint actions with the Armenian lobby ANCA and vice-versa. Also , the site Hellenic Genocide quotes and Photos , which is linked on this blog, has a photo of an anti-Turkish demonstration in Germany , where Kurds and Armenians protest against Turkey side-by-side. The responsibilty for the Genocide lies with the Turkish government, and Kurds know this , even if many were duped into supporting mustafa kemal in the so-called "liberation" war against the infidels.

I'm not sure if it is a Kurd, it is just something I read som ewhere on the web, it could be wrong. One of the guys is definitely Armenian, from the name.

Maybe the Greek public is getting tired of anti-nationalist propaganda,and is getting back to their "roots" , so to speak. "Politki Kouzina" is one of most succesful Greek films in recent history, selling over 500,000 tickets in Greece, and when I saw it in Athens the cinema was packed. It's out on DVD , by the way.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Hellenic Nationalist said...

BTW, I have not seen the film "Eleni" nor read the book, but I did come across a book in Greek , that was written in the 1980s, by an outright leftist, the book was titled "Tin Alli Eleni" or "The Other Eleni", he claims to have done first-hand research in Epiros and unearthed mass graves of leftists and also claimed that the real paidomazoma of Greek children was by Greek rightists in order to sell the kids to American orphanages. Have you read or heard of this book?

It sounded bogus, a lot of "he said" and "she said" and no real evidence.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Johnny said...

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2:59 PM  

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