Greek, Armenian and Syriac genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 20th century were recognized by the Netherlands earlier in the week.
The move follows the overwhelming adoption by the Dutch parliament of a resolution noting that the government “still does not recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915 [perpetrated] by the Ottoman Empire (in which also the Arameans, Assyrians, and the Pontic Greeks were victims).”
The resolution stated that “there is more urgency than ever for countries to clearly speak out about the past in order to advance reconciliation and prevent repetition in the future.”
The genocide of 1915 was committed by the Ottoman Turks and Kurds against the Syriac people and occurred parallel to the genocides of Armenians and Greeks, which was not only reduced to the region of Pontus, but all Greeks in the Ottoman Empire.
The resolution said that 1.5 million Armenians, more than 300,000 Pontic Greeks, and up to another 700,000 other Greeks, as well as 300,000 of the region’s estimated 700,000 Syriacs (Assyrians-Chaldeans-Arameans) were massacred.
Turkey condemned the decision of the Dutch parliament calling it null and void.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said the decision is a null attempt to rewrite history with political motives.
“Councils are not venues to write history and trial it. Those who agree with this decision, instead of looking for what actually happened in 1915, are after votes as a populist,” Aksoy said.
He said the Dutch House of Representatives is detached from reality as it has frequently been in recent years.
Aksoy invited the Dutch government to wage a struggle against racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia rather than taking decisions against Turkey.
Every year on May 19 Pontic Greeks commemorate one of the darkest pages in Hellenic history, as the date will forever be connected to the genocide of their ancestors at the hands of the Turks.
The Pontic Genocide cost 353,000 lives, while even more lost their homes and generations of wealth in the Pontus (Black Sea) region, and then were forced to emigrate to other places to begin their lives all over again.
Pontian Greeks had an ancient history in the area, going as far back as 800 BC.
The very first colonists in the Black Sea area were merchants from the Ionian Greek city-state of Miletus. They flourished during the time of the Byzantine Empire.
The persecution of the Pontic population, along with other Christian Greeks living n Ottoman lands, began in 1908.
The Turks, on the pretext of “national security,” displaced most of the Greek population by burning entire villages, either slaying those who resisted or chasing them off their ancestral lands.