A statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday said the commemoration ceremony is not based on historical realities and is morally problematic. It added that Turkey condemns these kinds of ceremonies and the “mentality behind these events.”
The Greek Assembly enacted a law on Feb. 24, 1994 announcing May 19 as a day of remembrance day for what they see as the genocide of Pontic Greeks. This day is the very day Turkey celebrates Atatürk Commemoration, Youth and Sports Day, which marks the start of the country’s War of Independence in 1919, when the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, arrived in Samsun to launch a countrywide campaign against occupying forces.
The statement added that such initiatives damage efforts to improve relations and cooperation between the Turkish and Greek peoples.