Canada rejects to recognize so-called Pontus genocide

Canada rejects to recognize so-called Pontus genocide

Motion submitted by Greek-origin senator was rejected with 32 votes against, 21 votes for and 16 abstentions

News Service AA

Canadian Senate on Tuesday rejected a motion on recognizing the so-called Pontus genocide.

The proposal -- brought forward by Greek-origin senator Leo Housakos -- got 32 senator votes against, 21 votes for and 16 abstentions.

Turkish Foreign Ministry made intensive diplomatic efforts for the proposal to be rejected by the Canadian Senate, according to diplomatic sources.

The sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland over the phone on Monday.

Cavusoglu conveyed Turkey's sensitivity on the issue and Turkey's expectations from Canada.

The Turkish society living in Canada also showed wide reactions against the Pontus claims on social media.

Among the Pontus claims is the planned ethnic cleansing against Greek Orthodox people living in the area -- today's Black Sea region of Turkey in the year 1919.

The claims drew attention in 1994 when the Greek parliament recognized May 19, 1919 as the date of the "Genocide of Pontus Greeks" following efforts of the then Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

Tsochatzopoulos received 20 years of prison sentence over corruption in 2013. He served 5 years in prison between 2013- 2018 and was released in July over health issues.

In 2015, the then Greek Education Minister Nikos Filis rejected that the Turks committed genocide against the Greeks of Pontus and was supported by some Greek historians.


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