Turkey “distorts the reality” when it comes to its past, Greece said on Thursday, responding to the neighboring country’s Foreign Ministry which chided President Katerina Sakellaropoulou for mentioning the genocide of Pontic Greeks.
“The Turkish side, unfortunately, once again distorts reality and hides 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,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said.
“Greece, rejecting Turkish objections in their entirety, points out that the acceptance of historical truth and the reconciliation of nations with their past is a leap of moral overcoming of differences between peoples and a guarantee of their peaceful coexistence for the future.”
Turkey said Thursday it regretted “baseless claims” by Sakellaropoulou during an event to present the design for the new “Hall for the Global Pontian Greeks of Sourmena.”
“These allegations do not change the very fact that it was Greece that attempted to invade and occupy Anatolia, and that the Greek army committed barbaric crimes against humanity, especially against innocent civilians in the Western Anatolian region,” it said in a statement.
Speaking at the event on Wednesday, Sakellaropoulou said that the “tragic end” of Pontic Greek presence in Anatolia, “with the methodical and systematic genocide with persecutions, massacres, attempts at violent Islamization and unspeakable barbarism, uprooted them from their ancestral homes and brought them to the path of becoming refugees.”