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Greece condemns burning of Turkish flag

Turkish flag over Van province of Turkey on 1 February 2018 [Ali İhsan Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish flag in Van province of Turkey on 1 February 2018 [Ali İhsan Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

Greece’s Foreign Ministry yesterday condemned activists in Athens who burnt the Turkish flag during the tenth commemoration of the Pontic Genocide – known as a massacre of the Christian Ottoman Greek population carried out in Anatolia during World War I.

“Greece condemns in the most explicit manner any action that desecrates the national symbol of any country, in this case of Turkey,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the act was “contrary to the culture and the customs of the Greek people.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry recently denounced statements by the Greek parliament about the genocide, describing the remarks as “baseless and delirious” and as not being in accordance “with historical facts or values of the 21st century.”

In 1994, Greece officially recognised the killing of 370,000 Potnic Greeks, who were staying on the shores of the Black Sea in the Ottoman Empire between 1914 and 1923, as a “genocide”, designating 19 May an annual day of remembrance. Turkey denies the classification and maintains that the deaths were both much lower in number, and occurred as a result of conditions of war and not deliberate actions.

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