Greek President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, both shared their thoughts on Sunday on the anniversary of the Greek Pontic Genocide.

May 19 has been designated as “Greek Genocide Remembrance Day”, to honor the some 353 000 Pontian Greeks who were exterminated by the New Turks during the Ottoman Empire between 1916 and 1923.

President Sakellaropoulou gave the following to statement:

“Today, on Greek Genocide Remembrance Day, we honor the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims who were exterminated or violently displaced from their ancestral homes 105 years ago during the Ottoman Empire.

At the same time, we recognize the significant contribution of the Pontian Hellenism to the reconstruction and development of the Greek state, as they brought their dynamism and values to the motherland.

Every nation has a duty to protect its history. The international community must also recognize and condemn heinous crimes against humanity to prevent similar barbaric acts in the future.”

Prime Minister Mitsotakis, in turn, shared a post on Facebook, in Greek, reflecting:

“Today we bow our heads, as we do every year on May 19, in memory of the thousands of Pontic Greeks who were exterminated, tortured, and uprooted from their ancestral homes. At the same time, we honor the contribution of this indomitable part of our Nation to the economic and social recovery of our homeland. Their rich cultural heritage was, is, and will always be, an integral part of Greek identity everywhere in the world.

Some wounds may never heal. However, the shared duty to keep the memory of our history alive remains constant. Action must continually combat oblivion. Our voice of protest must be loud enough to transcend time as it demands justice. Until the day the international community officially recognizes the Genocide of Pontic Greeks. 

This year’s Day of Remembrance thus becomes a roaring call to responsibility. The people must stop being prisoners of the past. They must build their own present, guided by peace and justice. And they must turn the lessons of history into momentum for a better future. That is why we will not rest. We will continue to fight! We will not forget. We will not cease to demand!”