Kyriakos Chatzikyriakidis, Assistant Professor

The Pontus National Council, with its headquarters in Batumi (1919), was established and functioned as an informal government of the Greeks of Pontus in their effort to assist in the repatriation of their displaced from the southern shores of the Black Sea co-ethnics and, at the same time, to claim the establishment of an independent Republic in the particular region. During the operation of the National Council, its members, eminent Greeks of the historical Pontus and the Pontic Greek diaposra, were among the recipients of numerous testimonies of the suffering that their compatriots experienced in the cities, towns and villages of Pontus by the Young Turks and the Kemalists in the period 1916-1922.

After the uprooting of 1922, a part of the archive – known as the Political Archive – of the Pontus National Council was rescued, it was transferred to Greece and, since the 1930s, it was given to the “Black Sea Club of Thessaloniki” for preservation and protection in perpetuity. Being, however, consigned to oblivion for decades, the aforementioned archival material has remained obscure until recently and has therefore not been thoroughly studied or exploited.

Memoranda, demographic statistical tables, protesting démarches, occasional heartbreaking calls and statements from Greek Orthodox and Muslim witnesses and beholders, talk about Genocide either confirming facts already known from other sources, or, in particular, illuminating completely unknown and unexplored pages of the Young Turkish and Kemalist genocidal actions against the Hellenism of  Pontus.