Greece's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement condemning the personal attack by Turkey on the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou for remarks she made during the event at the “Mikis Theodorakis” Cultural and Conference Centre in Argyroupoli where she presented the design of the future Hall for the Global Pontian Greeks of Sourmena.
"Despite their tragic history that includes persecution, slaughter, and violent attempts at Islamisation, Pontian Greeks who left their Asia Minor homes as refugees “brought to Greece their drive and values – their loyalty to country, family, community and traditions, their hard work and tireless inventiveness,” Sakellaropoulou said.
In response the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the Greek President by name:
"We regret the baseless claims and remarks distorting our recent history expressed by Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece, at an event to introduce the design of the “Hall for the Global Pontian Greeks of Sourmena”, planned to be built in the Elliniko-Agrirupoli district of Athens.
"False accusations frequently put forward by Greece overshadow the efforts towards establishing a sincere and honest dialogue for the settlement of the problems between the two countries.
"Such attitudes and behaviors are incompatible with responsibilities expected from dignitaries of state. In this context, we once again invite our neighbor Greece to adhere to common sense and constructive understanding.
over remarks she made about the future construction of the “Hall for the Global Pontian Greeks of Sourmena”, planned to be built in Athens." read the Turkish statement.
The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a swift rebuke of the Turkish diplomatic malpractice:
"Once again, in violation of the most basic rules of diplomatic practice, the Turkish side rails against a high-ranking official of Greece, in this instance against the President of the Hellenic Republic.
"Unfortunately, the Turkish side distorts reality yet again and conceals not only what happened in the past but also its ongoing policy, which violates International Law on a daily basis, creating tensions and poisoning the climate between the two countries.
"Greece, while rejecting the Turkish claims in their entirety, points out that the acknowledgement of historical truth and the reconciliation of nations with their past constitutes a moral leap forward in overcoming differences between peoples and a guarantee of their peaceful coexistence for the future." read the statement by the Greek Foreign Ministry.