A declaration recognizing the Pontic Greek genocide has been passed by the Canadian city of Laval, Quebec, despite demands from the Consul General of Turkey in Montreal that it be withdrawn.
On Tuesday, local lawmakers voted to adopt a resolution to acknowledge the Pontian Greek genocide which took place between 1914 and 1922. Over a million Greeks and other minorities were killed or expelled from Asia Minor by Ottoman and Turkish nationalist forces.
However, at a late hour on the night before the vote, the Consul General of Turkey in Montreal, Deniz Barkan Umruk, reportedly sent an official request on behalf of the Turkish state that the proclamation be withdrawn.
The proposal to recognize the genocide and honor those who died in it was unanimously passed.
Dimitris Azemopoulos, the ambassador of Greece to Canada, thanked the lawmakers for their support.
In a social media post, he said: “Unanimous! Yes, the municipality of Laval, one of the largest in Canada, recognized the Pontic Genocide tonight, unanimously!
“Truth and justice always triumph in the end. Honestly, I am deeply moved and grateful to everyone who contributed to it.”
The Canadian Hellenic Congress said the Laval City decision was “historic for the Hellenic community in Quebec”.
“It serves as a reminder to all of us here in Quebec and Canada, and to the generations to come, of this brutal and heinous crime against our Greek ancestors and humanity”.