A giant banner was hung in memory of the hundreds of thousands of Pontian Greek genocide victims of Turkish barbarism that was part of the wider Greek Genocide that exterminated hundreds of thousands more in other areas of Asia Minor and Thrace.
A large banner, offered by PAOK Football Club on the initiative of its president, Ivan Savvidis, was hung on Saturday morning on the facade of the Thessaloniki City Hall, in memory of the Pontian Greek victims of the Turkish genocide that is commemorated on May 19.
The banner, measuring 17 by 10 meters, reads "I lost my homeland, I cried and I was in pain" and the following message: "Day of remembrance of the Greek genocide for our 353,000 unburied ancestors who demand justice."
"Thessaloniki, which welcomed thousands of refugees from Pontus in Asia Minor, as a refugee, does not forget. And it will play a leading role in characterising this day, this act, as genocide. We will remember, we will not forget," noted the mayor of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Zervas.
A similar banner, smaller in size, was hung on Friday at the Toumpa Cultural Center.
Nearly a million Greeks were killed, while millions more were uprooted from their ancestral homelands in Asia Minor, Pontos and Eastern Thrace as part of the Turks’ campaign of ethnic cleansing of its Christian populations. The Genocide also annihilated the Armenian and Assyrian Christians.
Asia Minor, present day Turkey, was home to Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians until 1923 when the expulsions and exterminations wiped out nearly all traces of the indigenous Christians – not even children were spared. The Greeks of Asia Minor have a history in the region going back over 3,000 years, which took only 10 years for the Ottoman and Nationalist Turkish governments to destroy.
These crimes will be exposed in an upcoming documentary has been in the making for the last 8 years. It has been a laborious journey and a major project of the Asia Minor and Pontos Research Center.
Lethal Nationalism: Genocide of the Greeks 1913-1923 is a full feature documentary about the tragic story of genocide during the years of World War I that has been kept silent for 100 years.
*Watch the trailer here: