The forgotten Greek Genocide and the acquitted genocide perpetrator Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Greek genocide

The right-wing Partido Popular (PP) won the Madrid municipal elections (May 4, 2021).

PP was the party of Dictator Franco; it was named PP after the transition to democracy.

They have gained a majority in the city council, with VOX, who is further to the right of it.

So, what slogan did these parties, the successor of Franco, who left an innocent murdered in every inch of Spain, shout as part of their election campaign?

‘Libertad! Libertad! Libertad!’ (Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!)

That is, the successors of a dictator won the election and celebrated their victories with songs of democracy and freedom.

Though… in today’s world, this is something we have to get used to.

The right imitates the left left because somehow it cannot form an original discourse on its own.

They copy the accusations against them and direct those accusations with the same, always playing the victim.

Similarly, the perpetrators of those who murdered millions of Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds in a short period between 1913 and 1924 also criticize Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds, who are determined to hold those perpetrators to account for these genocides, as ‘nationalists’.

Think that, the grandchildren of those who killed 353,000 people just because they were Pontian Greek, the grandchildren of genocide perpetrators, accuse the grandchildren of genocide victims, who had been living there for thousands of years, instantly of ethnicism and nationalism when they talk about the genocide and the right of return to their land.

Here, I do not think we are facing an attack that could be taken lightly, or simply dodged by saying “I am not nationalist, I am leftist.”

On the contrary, we can respond to this situation, which gives the feeling that the concepts are intertwined and the roles are changing, not by eliminating nationalism, but by keeping this “nationalism” that disturbs and trembles the genocidal and dictators within us.

In the racist systems they have built and institutionalized that there is room for “we are all human beings” but not for “I am Pontian Greek” because the Unionist-Kemalist fascist regimes are confronted with the crimes against humanity that they have committed and are committing when we say Greeks, Kurds, Assyrians and Armenians.

Of course, the “Muslim Turkish” identity, and thus the regime they have created is endangered.

12-year genocide process

The genocide started in 1913 when the Greeks of Thrace were driven from their lands by the Unionists (The Committee of Union and Progress –CUP).

When they did not get a serious reaction, the persecution of the Greeks in the Aegean continued in the same year, and massacres took place in many Greek settlements such as Aivali (Αϊβαλί, Turkish: Ayvalık) and Phocaea (Φώκαια, Turkish: Foça).

They stopped for a while because of the reactions of England, France, and even Germany, but they also tested how well they were doing for their purposes.

With the start of the First World War, it was a great opportunity for the Unionists to finish what they left unfinished.

However, due to the good relations between Germany and Greece and the fact that Greece had not chosen their side in the war, they paused their attacks against the Greeks, even if they continued in distant places, and they directed all their violence against Armenians and Assyrians.

Hundreds of thousands of people were brutally murdered during the Armenian and Assyrian Genocides that started in 1915, and the same amount were driven from their lands.

In this process, in which all crimes against humanity were committed, all the assets of the victims were also seized.

As Greece entered the war on the British-French-Italian side towards the end of the war, the Unionists had the opportunity to spread the genocide towards the Greeks.

Until the defeat of Germany and therefore the Ottoman Empire in 1918, Greeks in Pontus and Asia Minor suffered greatly, were massacred and had to emigrate.

The Bolshevik revolution, which broke out before the end of the war, was another factor that opened the door to new suffering for the Pontian Greeks.

With the rapid withdrawal of the Bolsheviks from Trabzon, the Ottoman forces and gangs who settled in the region committed massacres and forced people to migrate.

The February Revolution of the Russians was a hope for the Pontian Greeks, who had to live in the Ottoman Empire as second-class citizens for more than 500 years.

This revolution, which defended the rights of nations to independence, language and belief, created a positive atmosphere in Trapezounta (Τραπεζούντα, Turkish: Trabzon).

Unfortunately, this atmosphere ended with the Leninist-Stalinist Bolshevik Revolution, which looked pragmatically to the issue of nations and saw peoples as just a tool for the fictional great revolution in mind.

The Bolsheviks quickly abandoned Trapezounta, where they could stay for a long time without being attacked by the Turks, to the Turkish state and left Pontian Greeks alone with the genocide.

Kemalist genocide process

The Ottoman Empire was defeated.

With the insistence and pursuit of the Allies and especially Britain, nearly 200,000 Greeks returned to their lands from where they were expelled by the CUP.

So once again, a hope similar to the one in 1908 arose.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Once again, hope ended in disaster.

After the First World War, those responsible for the Armenian Genocide were tried in courts established in Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις, Turkish: İstanbul).

Unionist leaders and their gangs were convicted, many of them became outlaws.

In other words, the Armenian Genocide is not a genocide that needs to be proven.

In 1918, it was a genocide that was proven by thousands of evidence in the courts, and even the criminals were punished.

However, the process has always been incomplete and the wound has never been healed, since the criminals often did not serve their sentences, but took an active part in new genocides.

These outlaws, who committed many massacres in Mesopotamia, Pontus and Anatolia, were judged and punished by the Constantinople Courts, later assumed the duty of the army and gangs of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, whose target was Greeks – almost everywhere.

Atatürk, who landed in Sampsunta (Σαμψούντα, Turkish: Samsun) on May 19, 1919, initiated a great genocide process against the Greeks of Pontus and Asia Minor.

His first job was to meet with Topal Osman (Osman Aga), a genocidal outlaw who was found guilty and wanted for massacring Armenians in Artvin.

During these years, which started in 1919 and continued until 1924, hundreds of thousands of Greeks were brutally massacred, hundreds of thousands were forcibly exiled from their lands where they had lived for thousands of years, and their properties were seized.

Those who remained became Muslims, Turks – and often the most radical kind.

Atatürk, who took good advantage of the conflicts of interest between England, France and Italy, and especially supported by the French, devoted all his energy to the destruction of the non-Turks (Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians) in the region he called the “national pact.”

The Bolsheviks were also another important actor who actively supported in the form of gold and arms aid, the “war of liberation” from imperialism in their own words, but from the ancient peoples of Pontus, Mesopotamia and Anatolia in the deed.

After this great genocide, hidden behind the Greek-Turkish war, the Greeks were almost completely removed from their lands where they lived for thousands of years.

The Kemalists started by saying that we will not make the mistakes we made while destroying the Armenians, and they were successful.

The Great Smyrna (Σμύρνα, Turkish: İzmir) Fire is actually like a photograph of this whole genocide process.

While Turkish soldiers and gangs massacred Greeks and Armenians in Smyrna, British, American and French ships anchored in the port were just watching, and they were content just to report their concerns as they do today.

Germans and Bolshevik Russia were always active participants on the spot.

During the genocide process that started with the Unionists and continued with the Kemalists, approximately 950,000 Greeks were massacred. 353,000 of those killed were Greeks from Pontus.

Kemal’s successful genocide inspired Hitler.

He hoped to do the same and get the same result. However, he failed, and the result stunned him.

Did the world, which remained silent to the deaths of millions of Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds, opened its eyes when it came to him?

But wasn’t that unfair to him?

I think the police in the US who was punished for killing George Floyd is in the same mood right now. He had done what many white cops have been doing for decades. But wasn’t that unfair to him?

These ‘injustices’! can happen to any genocidal, racist or murderer at any time because there is no timeout for crimes against humanity.

(In this article, May 19 The Commemoration Day of the Greek Genocide in Pontus is the day of remembrance of all Greeks who suffered genocide in Thrace, Pontus, the Aegean and Central Anatolia. May 19 is a date with a symbolic meaning for approximately 1 million Greeks who were subjected to genocide by the Turkish governments. I adopt the suggestion of some Greek friends that we accept this day as the day of the genocide of all Greeks.)


The author, Elias Ypsilantidis, is a Pontic Greek whose family have been living in Trapezounta for at least seven generations.

He was unaware of his family’s past, and upon realizing its truth, Ypsilantidis abandoned his Turkish birth name and made his journey into his family’s past into a struggle.

Ypsilantidis has been living in Spain for about 15 years and has a PhD.

He has been working on “de-assimilation” for two years and ponders the dynamics of returning to the essence of the assimilated.

One of his last works was with the documentary “Lethal Nationalism”, in which he translated the subtitles into Turkish.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor