Ankara slams Athens over PM's remarks
Ankara has urged Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to refrain from “fanciful ideologies” and embrace the principles of friendship and good neighborliness in regard to ties with Turkey, while rejecting the Greek premier’s statements on what he called “the Pontic genocide.”
“We reject the statements of the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivered at the ‘International Conference on the Crime of Genocide’ held in Athens on 6 December 2019. His statements concerning our past and present are devoid of any base, and its hostile tone is laden with lies and slander,” read a statement issued by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy late on Dec 7.
Mitsokatis told the conference his government will bring what he called the “Pontic genocide” to the attention of the international community through the European Parliament.
Greece claims thousands of ethnic Greeks who had been living on the southern shores of the Black Sea were killed during strife that accompanied the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Turkish state.
Turkey says the Greek communities wanted to take advantage of the fall of the Ottoman Empire through the occupation of its lands by the occupying forces, including Greece, France and the United Kingdom and sought to form their own state.
Aksoy, in his statement, recalled the actions of the Greek military in Anatolian lands: “Should the Greek leadership, which seems unable to overcome the then-Greek occupying forces being driven into the Aegean during the Turkish War of Independence, wish to face its past, the starting point ought to be the report of the Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry, which recorded the war crimes of the Greek Army during its invasion of Anatolia.”