Reaffirms Commitment to a Truthful and Just Resolution of all of Turkey’s Genocidal Crimes
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) joined today with Pontian Greeks – and all Hellenes, Assyrians, Syriacs, and other communities representing the victims of Turkey’s genocidal campaign against its Christian minorities – in commemorating May 19th, the international day of remembrance for the genocide initiated by the Ottoman Empire and continued by Kemalist Turkey against the historic Greek population of Pontus along the southeastern coast of the Black Sea.
«We join with all our brothers and sisters – in the Hellenic, Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac, and other Christian communities subjected to genocide under Ottoman and Turkish rule – in solemnly marking the anniversary of the Pontian Genocide – a genocide that remains unrecognized by its perpetrator and unpunished by the international community,» said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. «In commemorating this date, we reaffirm our determination to work in concert with all the victims of Turkey’s genocidal campaigns to secure full recognition and justice for these crimes.»
The Ottoman Empire, under the cover of World War I, undertook a systematic and deliberate effort to eliminate its minority Christian populations. This genocidal campaign resulted in the death and deportation of well over 2,000,000 Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, and Greeks.
The Pontian Genocide has been formally acknowledged by Greece and Cyprus and, within the United States, by the states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, among others.
For Immediate Release
May 20, 2010
Contact: Garo Manjikian
Tel: (917) 428-1918
91st ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIAN GREEK GENOCIDE COMMEMORATED IN NEW YORK CITY
New York, NY — The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA ER) joined with a broad range of Greek American associations at the annual commemoration of the Pontian Greek Genocide held at Bowling Green Park in New York City. The solemn program coincided with a special flag raising ceremony to mark the occasion.
The event was organized by the Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada and the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York. Gus Tsilfides, Director of National Issues of the Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada, serving as the master of ceremonies, addressed the crowd and urged for decisive action for recognition of the Pontian Genocide. Along with speakers from various Greek American organizations, the commemoration also included statements delivered by representatives of Greece and Cyprus, and a keynote speech from distinguished author and researcher, Fanoulla Argyrou. The event also highlighted statewide proclamations and resolutions recognizing the Pontian Genocide, and the Ypsilantis Honor Award presented to the people of Sweden for passing a resolution to recognize the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Genocide.
“91 years on and Turkey is still escaping punishment for those unprecedented crimes of the past century. Turkey refuses to acknowledge those crimes, refuses to apologize, the least expected of her, compromise with history and come to terms with it,” said Argyrou. “Μodern Kemalist Turkey has been created over the dead bodies of hundreds of thousands of Christian Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians, who were ethnically cleansed to pave the way for the new state of Turkey. It is an established fact that modern Turkey evolved out of the ashes of one of the most horrific genocides recorded at the beginning of the 20th century.”
Speaking on behalf of the ANCA ER was Executive Director Garo Manjikian who stated, “We are, most importantly, here to commemorate the victims of the genocide – those who were brutally murdered by the Ottoman Turks and the newly established Turkish Republic. We are also here to demand justice, because all crimes call for justice. The absence of justice has allowed Turkey to continue with aggressive policies towards its own minorities and even neighboring countries. It is an issue that affects us today.”
Highlighted at the event was Rhode Island State Resolution, S2815, that proclaims May 19, 2010 as “Greek Pontian Genocide Remembrance Day” in the state of Rhode Island. The Rhode Island State Resolution was introduced by Senators Leonidas Raptakis, Hanna Gallo, Paul Jabbour, Daniel Connors and Dennis Algiere. Also noted were proclamations by New York State Senator George Onorato and State Assembly Member Michael Gianaris.
Earlier in the day, candidate Michael Grimm, running in the Republican primary race in New York’s 13th congressional district, released a statement commemorating the Pontian Genocide. “Many people are unaware of the violence and genocide perpetrated against the Pontian Greek population in Asia Minor at the hands of the Turkish government during the early part of the twentieth century, or the genocides that befell the Armenian and Assyrian populations of the region. It is important for all New Yorkers and all Americans to recognize Pontian Greek Genocide Remembrance Day because it is only by recognizing these tragic events will we prevent their repetition in that region of the world and elsewhere,” said Grimm. Currently representing New York’s 13th district is Rep. Michael McMahon who opposes Armenian Genocide recognition.
Distinguished speakers and statements from those who could not attend include : Gus Tsilfides, Director of National Issues, Pan-Pontian Federation of USA & Canada; Reverend Father John Romas from the nearby historic St. Nicholas church that was destroyed on 9/11; Vasilios Theodosakis, Chairman, Asia Minor Holocaust Memorial Observance Committee; Nicholaos Taneris, President, Pan-Thracian Union of America “Orpheus”; Tassos Efstratiades Esq., President Federation of Hellenic American Organization of New Jersey; Demetrius Kalamaras Esq., President, Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York; Garo Manjikian, Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region; Paul Kotrotsios, President, Hellenic American National Council; Elias Tsekerides, President, International Confederation of Pontian Hellenes; Ted G. Spyropoulos, USA Coordinator, World Council of Hellenes Abroad; The Honorable Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, Consul, Republic of Greece; His Excellency Mr. Vassilis D. Kaskarelis, Ambassador to the Republic of Greece; Chistos Mesaratzidis, Colonel, Republic of Greece Military Attache; Evangelos Tssantzalos, Captain, Republic of Greece Military Attache; The Honorable Koula Sofianou, Consul General, Republic of Cyprus; keynote speaker Fanoulla Argyrou, researcher and author; and Dimitrios Molohides, President, Pan-Pontian Federation of USA & Canada.
Armenian National Committee of America
Eastern Region Executive Director
122 W. 27th St. 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel: (917) 428-1918
Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA)
2578 Broadway #132
New York, NY 10025
New York: Tel. 917-699-9935