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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey

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13 May 2012


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"The Pontian Greeks lived along the Black Sea coast of Turkey … Like other Christians in Turkey, the Armenians and Assyrians for example, the Pontic Greeks faced persecution and suffered during ethnic cleansing at the beginning of the 20th century."

I struggled to read on after your first paragraph. The Pontians lived along the Black Sea coast of Asia Minor, not "Turkey." The Christians faced persecution and suffering during GENOCIDE.



Although many Greeks lived along the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, the "Pontic Greeks" lived in Pontus situated on the northern Black Sea coast of what is now Turkey.

For your edification, I am providing this link:

Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.

Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group."

The Turks used both methods to rid Turkey of its Christian minorities.

Thanks for your comments.


"Although many Greeks lived along the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, the 'Pontic Greeks' lived in Pontus situated on the northern Black Sea coast of what is now Turkey."

You are making no sense. Asia Minor basically denotes the land base of what is today (although no real Greek should really be describing it as such) Turkey. If you really are only taking Asia Minor to mean that part which fronts the Aegean Sea, at least substitute "Turkey" for Anatolia. Your original wording leaves a lot to be desired. You give the impression that that land is "Turkish, "and has always been "Turkish."

For your edification:
Note: describes the Asia Minor peninsular being bounded by the Black Sea to the North.

You are clearly being difficult for the sake of being difficult with your last point. Genocide is genocide, end of story. The Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians were victims of genocide.


Andreas you must be an expert and obviously have no patience for amateurs like myself. Sorry I am not living up to your standards of what constitutes a "real" Greek. I admit I am a rather poor one.

My point was that the Pontians lived along the Black Sea coast. Whether you want to call it Turkey, Asia Minor or Anatolia is strictly a personal preference. I write for a wider audience, most readers understand where "Turkey" is located.

Constantinople fell in 1453. Unless you have a plan for retaking it we must concede that the land is Turkish, although it has not always been so.

I appreciate your attempt to clear things up, and hope that you too are trying to tell others about the "genocide," in some more substantial way.

Best wishes to you.


Thanks for posting this here. I know too little about this and thanks to your post I know a bit more. The descriptions of these crimes are very hard to read and to acknowledge, but it is an important obligation that we carry to learn, teach our children and ensure that this never happens again.
May their memory be eternal


Hi Joseph,

History is a great teacher, those who forget it will inevitably repeat it. Their memories will be eternal only if we tell our children.

All the best to you and family.


Dear Stavros,

As always, it is very pleasant to read your kind response.
I will carry on the memory and tell my children about the genocide of these innocent and brave people.

Best wishes,



Memory eternal to my Pontian cousins.
I know that the Eastern Empire had its last outpost in Trebizond. And I am well aware that the Komnenoi and the Ypsilantis family were Pontians, as was the astronomer Gregory Choniates.

Panos Anagnostopoulos

Dear Stavros,
I must firstly congratulate you on your excellent and most informative blog.
I was looking at your Halki Seminary blog and saw the interesting piece about your father (may his memory be eternal). I showed it to my father who was at Halki school about the same time as your father. He was sad about the news but as he is President of the Estia Halkis Theologon - Graduates/Alumni Association ( they would like to include an obituary about your dear dad in their next Newsletter. Apparently your father was on the circulation list.

Can you please touch base with me on and will take it up from there.

Thanks in advance
Panos Anagnostopoulos


Always nice to hear. :) Best wishes to your blog as well.


Indeed, MGO is a place for inspiration. I am always enlightened by the content here. Molly, I had a look at your blog as well. It is indeed a well designed and very enlighting. Thank you both!


Turkey didnt even exist before 1923. There was a Turkish millet which became Turkey when it expanded into other millets through war and genocide. Interesting, pro-Ottoman/Sultan Turks supported Greece during the early stages of the Anatolia War.

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