The genocide of the Greeks of Pontus recognition

N. Lygeros

Translated from the Greek by Evi Charitidou

Rarely do we know whether a struggle is worthy during our passing life. We are used to fight out of a need, without knowing whether there actually is an evaluative element proving the rationality of our stance in an objective way. Recognition of genocide belongs to these rare cases in which humanness touches humanity directly. This struggle is valuable regardless of the fighters giving it. When a whole people became victim of inhumanity, humanity itself was the one to have been hurt. The same holds for the genocide of the Pontiacs. This is not only a local problem concerning a minority. Pontus as a Greek element and as an acritic entity of our civilization constitutes one of the singularities characterizing our multiplicity. Consequently, we shouldn’t isolate the Pontian cause neither as a historic fact nor as a strategic goal. On the contrary, we have to integrate the know-how we possess in the human rights domain. The example of the genocide of the Armenians recognition is both indicative and efficient; because intermediate targets were not attained by state institutions, but by lobbies. When the European Union recognized the genocide of the Armenians in 1987, Armenia was not an independent state yet. Thus, the framework of a state is not indispensable, and consequently this is not an excuse for inertia. The example of the 2004 European Union report on the Imvros issue is spectacular, because many Greeks had been considering that Imvros was one of the ‘lost homelands’ and just that. However, the most efficient example at personal level is the recent Cypriot struggle in the domain of the massive appeals against Turkey. For, at this level each refugee contributes to the indirect liberation of his country, by transforming a moral and humane problem into one to be characterized as economic and strategic. Through the human rights strategy, the Cypriots proved that economy can be interpreted as the dynamics of ethics. In total, all these historic examples substantially constitute the basic elements of a strategic mix, which in coordinated moves proves that it is a powerful weapon in the human rights domain; especially as regards the genocide of the Greeks of Pontus recognition issue. The Greeks of Pontus are not alone are not alone in this struggle for recognition, because other peoples, too, have suffered and are still suffering by the Turkeys’ diachronic military regime. However, they have both experiences and successes in difficult cases and it’s those that we have to use dynamically within a strategic framework in which the sentimental and traditional elements do not suffice. This struggle should be organized through appeals at an individual level, but also through specialized lobbies at a group level, too.

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