Last night we attended one of the few events in the New York City area related to the Pontic Greek Genocide , although May 19th is the official Day of Remembrance nothing at all was done in New York City on that day nor in Athens for that matter, the only action that went on anywhere in the world from reports was a small memorial service that was held in the heavily Pontic Greek populated city of Thessaloniki on May 19th . We , Hellenic Nationalists in New York city,, waited until May 22nd to attend part of an organised North American speaking tour of University of Thrace academic ,Dr. Fanis Malkidis , in Greek ΦΑΝΗΣ ΜΑΛΚΙΔΗΣ
, at the request of Pontian diaspora groups, all coordinated by the respective educational attaches of the Greek Foreign Ministry
The event in the Archdiocese Cathedral was attended by 45 ppl, the vast majority of attendees were well in their fifties in age and beyond , and it seems that the event was advertised almost exclusively to regional Diaspora groups, the Pontian diaspora group leader, of Pontian Society "PONTOS" of Norwalk, Connecticut was in attendance as were many members of the The Pan- Pontian Federation of USA- CANADA
who from what I gathered, learned about this event from word of mouth and emails. The major Hellenic American newspaper "National Herald" did NOT advertise this event, we learned of this event totally by chance while stumbling onto the PontosWorld.com which advertised the events this month surrounding the the May19th Pontic Greek Genocide Remembrance Day. To our dismay, there was not one piece of paper, no flyer, no sign-in-sheet, nothing from the Pontian groups organising this event,at the event, as to how we can get in touch with them, how we can meet speakers and so on, we even asked the old guy,sorry, the president of PONTIAN SOCIETY "PONTOS" Of Norwalk, how we can get involved and all he had to say was "well you can go check the site, sometimes its updated...." His group is actually a sub-group of the larger aforementioned Pan-Pontian Federation and its site, has a link to a non-existant section on the Pontic Greek Genocide!
Vasileios Marinis , an adjunct Professor at Queens College in New York, has joined the Dr. Malkidis speaking tour this month in some North American cities, and he began his presentation of a slide show of the Aghia Sophia monastery, apparently the only standing Greek Orthodox Monastery building left standing in the entire Pontos region of whats now called "Turkey", the only thing we got out of his commentary on the slides was that it was built with porches and the few remaining details of the angels were amazing, it was apparent, though the presenter never pointed it out, that the face of Jesus was scraped off, as is usual with any icon visited by Muslim Turk invaders and occupiers. The interesting part to this presentation came from an audience member who immediately pointed out the obvious desecration..Vasileios Marinis immediately responded that "well we should make mention of preservation of monuments anywhere in the world (ed:what he meant to say was...not just in Turkey...) to be fair Aghia Sofia was part of joint British and....(he was afraid to say Turkish) restoration effort in the 1960s and was preserved...many monuments around the world are not preserved..." A follow up question ,IN GREEK, was asked by some old guy, in the audience who visited the region years ago, his parents were from there and he pointed out that the Aghia Sophia building was being used as a mosque until the 1960s and that all the walls were whitewashed of icons. THEN Marinis finally explained that yes, all the Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries in Pontos, were destroyed and since Aghia Sofia was centrally located in Trebizond ,or Trapezounta, it was made a mosque, as was common with the Islamic conquest of Asia Minor to destroy all Christian buildings and use the central structure in a city as a mosque...unfortunately, Mr Marinis ,apparently was afraid to say this in English, some woman sitting in front of me in a Bannana yellow jacket and mini-skirt and was part of the Greek Consulate entourage loudly shushed me when I provided a running translation into English of this exchange for a non-Greek speaker!
Finally it came the turn of Dr. Fanis Malkidis' presentation, done entirely in Greek, which centered on the theory that, get this, there are some 500,000 crypto-Christians living in Pontos and another 150,000 living in Constantinople, he based his presentation on the history of the Tanzimat reforms in 19th Century 'Turkey" when the government implemented a liberal policy towards minorities due to Western pressure, and he claimed that a considerable number of crypto-Christians re-converted back to Christianity from Islam. All along reading poems and letters from crypto-Christians from this era, he then jumped to the conclusion that this coincides with current efforts by the EU to pressure the government in Ankara to accept liberal European policies. And inferred that this would lead to crypto-Christians coming out of the closet . Neglecting to mention that these people who may speak Pontic Greek dialects have been Muslim for three or four generations and have been intermarrying and mixing ,racially and otherwise, with Turks and Kurds and Lazs and Circassions and God knows what other various mixed breeds in Islamified Pontos and Constantinople for generations .Lets not forget that unlike the 19th Century Pontos, modern post-Genocide Pontos has NOT ONE operating Greek Orthodox church. Tellingly the two sites he referenced karalahana.com and ocena.info are Turkish sites, one is even promoted by Greek political establishment daily , kathimerini.
The concluding remarks had to do with the failure of previous Greek administrations in past decades to reach out to Pontic Greek speakers in Asia Minor and their negligence in accepting immigrants from "Turkey", but remarked that the current government is committed to building a Greek consulate in Trebizond in order to better facilitate requests for immigration into Greece, thus without him saying so, one reaches the conclusion that this theory is very convenient to explaining away the waves of , hundreds of thousands of Turkish immigrants that the degenrate-Greek political Establishment is ,apparently, planning to bring to Greece, making the duped, smiling , Greek-on-the-street believe that these are our "brothers" and also using this theory of Greek speaking crypto-Christians or "Greek Muslims" to facilitate more and more support for the political establishment's Greek-Turkish friendship propaganda and official state policy, ultimately resulting in more loot for the capitalist profiteers in the form of cheap immigrant labor and open markets concurrent with their plan for the eventual total destruction of the Greek nation, which the political establishment and the Greek capitalist abhors.
It's really a shame that these old guys who run the Pontian groups,who while they may have their hearts in the right place, they don't realise how they, with no experience whatsoever in real activism and lobbying, and with their blind faith in the Greek Foreign Ministry of the political establishment, are harming their own people. Moreover, its becomes also apparent that the Greek genocide denial of the Greek political establishment has entered a second phase, now that they realise that its too late , due to grassroots educational efforts, to openly deny the Greek genocide, the establishment instead is now promoting this crackpot crypto-Christian theory in order to dupe us , the Greek people, into welcoming the Turks into our homes as "brothers"