By Wally Sarkeesian,
The Ottoman Greek Genocide (1914-1923) United We Remember
Los Angeles, CA. An event held at The Huffington Center commemorating the 95th Anniversary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe with a special screening of The Promise. Hosted by American Hellenic Council and Armenian Assembly of America. The event featured Actor and Songwriter Panos Vlahos as the Master of Ceremonies and guest speakers Dr. Jim Dimitriou and Executive Producer of The Promise, Dr. Eric Esrailian.
The Greek Genocide (or Ottoman Greek Genocide) refers to the systematic extermination of the native Greek subject of the Ottoman Empire before, during and after world war 1 (1914-1923) . It was instigated by successive government of the Ottoman Empire; the committee of union and progress party (C.U.P), and the Turkish Nationalist Movement of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. According to various sources, approximately 1 million Ottoman Greeks perished during this period. The first phase of The Greek Genocide commenced in the spring 1914 in Eastern Thrace and western Anatolia when Turks were ordered by boycott Greek businesses.
With the outbreak of the Great War in July of 1914, all Ottoman Greek men aged between 21-45 years were conscripted into forced labor (or concentration) camps. In the region of Pontus, Greek communities were de-ported during the peak of winter when fatalities could be at their highest. Stories of lethal injections, bodies being towed out to sea and dumped, as well as mass killings of Greek in churches was also witnessed.
With the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in WW1, prominent leaders of the C.U.P party were given death sentences during ottoman courts martial for their role in organizing the massacre of the Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians during the war, But the post war formation of the Turkish Nationalist movement under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk interrupted the proceedings to bring the perpetrators to justice. Instead the Kemalist Nationalists continued the ground and the expulsion of all remain C.U.P policy of massacring and deporting Greeks and resulted in the burning of the city of Smyrna (today Izmir) to ground and expulsion of all remaining Greeks from Turkey.
The following are the days of remembrance for the Greek Genocide. Greek have preferred to remember the Genocide based on region; September 14(Asia Minor as a whole), May 19 (Pontus region and April 6 (Eastern Thrace).