Montreal city council recognizes Greek Genocide

The city of Montreal adopted a declaration Monday night in city council to acknowledge the Pontic genocide, also known as the Greek genocide, which occurred during and after the First World Warm, the Montreal Gazette reports. The government of the Ottoman Empire forced the Greek population from their homeland in Anatolia, expelling and murdering the Christian Greeks and destroying their churches and monuments.

Several members of Montreal’s Greek community were in council for the announcement, during which council members of each political party addressed the genocide.

“If we ever want to cease these atrocities, it’s important to remember the past,” Mayor Denis Coderre said. “Too often it seems like history is a rehearsal.”

Pontian and Anatolian Greeks were victims of a broader Turkish genocidal project aimed at all Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire. A total of more than 3.5 million Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians were killed under the successive regimes of the Young Turks and of Mustafa Kemal from 1915 to 1923. Of this, as many as 1.5 million Greeks may have died. The end of the genocide marked a profound rupture in the long Greek historical presence on the Asia Minor.

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