Serdar Korucu

The Unweaving of Greeks from Black Sea: The Pontic Genocide, 1919-1922

“To the north, the Pontus Government, intended to be established on the richest and most beautiful shores of the Black Sea, has been defeated along with its supporters” says Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk), the victorious chief commander of the Turkish forces, in his opening address to the parliament on August 13th, 1923. The elimination that he mentioned was the final phase of the genocide wiping out the Pontic Greeks from their historic homeland in Black Sea region. In spite of the magnitude of violence and being a matter of urgency during the Greek-Turkish War, the Pontic Genocide in the Black Sea unfortunately still remains understudied and less-documented. This paper aims to shed lights on the destructive policy of emerging nationalist movement in Anatolia targeting the Pontic Greeks by employing the Turkish Grand National Assembly Archive. In this regard, the public and closed sessions of the First Assembly, which served from April 1920 to August 1923, reveal how the issue was perceived and discussed by the deputies and officials of the time, particularly by those parliamentarians hailing from the region. Thus, it dwells on how the Turkish side had depicted and even witnessed the genocide which stripped the Pontos region of Greeks, Islamized the certain geography, and delineated the borders of the Turkish Republic.