Turkey releases provocative statement calling Pontic Genocide “imaginary”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a highly provocative press release against Greek politicians who made statements related to the occasion of the anniversary of the internationally recognised Genocide of the Pontic Greeks on May 19, 1919 by the predecessor to the modern Turkish state.

The statement dubbed Greek politicians as “radical groups”, while calling the “claims” of the killing of 300,000 Pontic Greeks “imaginary” that “distorted historical facts”.

The press release implied that the statements by Greek politicians were organised and aimed at spreading hate towards Turkey, while it went as far as to make reference of “compensation” for the atrocities committed by the Greek army against Turks in 1919.

The full Press Release:

19 May 1919 marks the beginning of our national struggle that led to the founding of the Republic of Turkey and is celebrated with pride every year in Turkey and abroad.
The attempts of some radical groups to cast a shadow on this meaningful day with their imaginary claims targeting our history, with their activities seeking to fuel hatred against Turkey as well as the statements of some politicians in Greece that distort historical facts for their political motives cannot be accepted.
We remind the claimants of these unsubstantiated allegations that the responsibility of Greece for the atrocities committed by her army, which also violated laws of war while invading Anatolia, and her obligation to pay a compensation were laid down in the Treaty of Lausanne.
We bring to their attention that when the atrocities committed by the Greek Army against Turks reached an inconceivable magnitude, the allies of Greece established an Inquiry Commission and identified inhumane crimes of the Greek Army.
As a matter of fact, these baseless claims targeting our history bear no relation to reason, conscience, and fairness. This rhetoric is incompatible with our objectives to further our bilateral relations and leaves a negative legacy to future generations.
The nomination of our great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for the Nobel Peace Prize by the then Prime Minister of Greece, Venizelos, in 1934 after the founding of the Republic of Turkey constitutes the clearest proof showing that there is no such historical issue between the two countries in contrast to the claims of some irresponsible politicians and radical Greeks.