Greek Education Minister Rejects Pontic Genocide; Causes Uproar



filisGreece’s Education Minister Nikos Filis rejected the notion that the slaughter of Pontian Greeks by the Turks was a genocide.

The leftist minister appeared on Star television late on Monday night in an interview and debate with the audience. Specifically, Filis said that he recognizes the pain and suffering of Pontians and is saddened by the blood shed, but a line should be drawn between a “bloody ethnic cleansing and the phenomenon of genocide.”

After comments to the contrary by the show host and an audience member, Filis maintained his position saying that he had expressed the same exact opinion seven years ago as a journalist and reiterated that the killings “was not a genocide in the scientific sense.”

Filis clarifies that this was his personal opinion and does not express the opinion of the Greek government.

The minister’s comment created a controversy among Pontians and other Greeks, causing several lawmakers of the opposition to call for his dismissal or resignation.

Records show that in the aftermath of World War I, at least 350,000 Pontian Greeks were exterminated through systematic slaughter by Turkish troops, deportations involving death marches, starvation in labor and concentration camps, rapes and individual killings. Entire villages and cities were devastated, while thousands were forced to flee to neighboring countries.

The Ottoman government’s plan to annihilate the Christian populations living within Turkey, including Greeks, Syrians and Armenians, during World War I was set into force in 1914 with the decree that all Pontian men aged between 18 to 50 would have to report to the military. Those who refused to do so, were ordered to be shot immediately.

The Pontic genocide had officially been recognized by Greek Parliament in 1994. Also, an anti-racist law voted in September 2014 has sanctioned prison sentences for those who deny genocide as well as fines from 5,000 to 20,000 euros, and even stricter fines for public officials (10,000-25,000 euros).


62 COMMENTS

  1. I used to be pro-EU but every since so many started demonized Greece over its botched fiances and playing dump about Skopje issue my feelings have cooled considerable. Ideally we shouldn’t leave the EU but if EU policies start posing a national security threat then we will have no choice.

  2. I know. I don’t dis-agree at all.
    I only think that there are much, much bigger fish to fry at the moment, than waste energy on Gypsy’s, who only have a bark and no bite.

  3. They pose a national security threat, from the economic perspective first and foremost!
    No economy…… no country!

  4. The EU isn’t to blame for economic problems. Leftist “Greeks” pose a far far bigger threat to the Greek economy than the EU.

  5. The problem with most Greeks is they think Skopians are the main threat. The real threat is the foreign nationalists backing them. Skopje’s apologists are trying to narrate Greeks out of ethnic existence using Skopje as a proxy (some consciously mean harm, others being morons trying to cover up their mistake of calling obvious slavs “Macedonians”)

  6. “Greek” leftist are betraying Greece right at this very moment by voting in antihellenic communists. Unity is for unprincipled fools that end up betraying their own country to fit in with the collective.

  7. ‘The EU isn’t to blame for economic problems’.
    I think that shows that those that are pro-EU, have an allegiance to the EU far and above their allegiance to Greece. Just like some communists had an allegiance to the Soviet Union before Greece during the civil war.
    And both, should be treated with a similar amount of suspicion!
    Greece and the Greeks are far more important, and involved in my view than a political wing or philosophy. Or honouring agreements signed under duress.

  8. The EU can be blamed for some things (e.g. evasions over Skopje irredentism) but not everything. I think those that blame the EU for our own spending mistakes are incompetent populists.

  9. Nah mate. Anyone who doesn’t exaggerate issues that paint the Greeks in a bad light is a nationalist or populist. The country has been bleed dry from imports, that has mostly gone to afew northern EU members, and they hate them for it. The rest are symptons of this main ‘trigger’ issue.
    As for the Skojians. A bigger bunch of nobodies you could not hope to be.

  10. Nah mate. Anyone who doesn’t exaggerate issues that paint the Greeks in a bad light is a nationalist or populist. The country has been bleed dry from imports, that has mostly gone to afew northern EU members, and they hate them for it. The rest are symptons of this main ‘trigger’ issue.
    As for the Skojians. A bigger bunch of nobodies you could not hope to be.

  11. It is when they control the currency and laws. Such is this strange entanglement.
    It would be like if Australia or America’s currency & laws was controlled by China.
    The Greeks are far too self critical, and overly condemn themselves, and when others see that they use it as an invitation to join in.
    I not condoning things like tax evasion, public sector etc, but each issue needs to be given its correct weight or emphasis.
    I just believe that a proper correct analysis of the past, and now the way forward would not paint the Greeks in such a dim light, and may offer at least some hope for the future.

  12. That’s right.
    A Greeks loyalty should be to Greece period.
    I’m just more focussed at the moment on what I see as the big threat.

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