25 May, 2007
History can neither be falsified or rewritten, Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos stressed on Thursday in his reply to Turkish foreign ministry statements disputing that a genocide of Pontian Greeks had taken place.
"History cannot be written off. It cannot be rewritten. It cannot be falsified. Nor can it, of course, be the victim of domestic political rivalry and expediency," Koumoutsakos underlined.
The spokesman stressed that Greece "respected history but also had its gaze turned on the future" and thus wanted "full normalisation" of its relations with Turkey, for the sake of stability and development on a bilateral and regional level.
"Stability and development that only full respect of good neighbourly relations can ensure," he added.
According to a Turkish foreign ministry statement, claims that the Greeks living for centuries along the shores of the Black Sea had been the victims of genocide at the hands of Turkish authorities in the early 20th century had "no historical and scientific basis". It also criticised a law passed by the Greek Parliament in 1994 establishing May 19 as a day of memory of the Pontian genocide, saying that it targeted the founder of the modern Turkish state, Kemal Ataturk.
Source: Athens News Agency