New York 3/15/01
From: HEC - Hellenic Electronic Center


Update on the International effort to prevent subjugation of Greek history to Turkish threats

Highest Priority
To all members, affiliates and friends of the HEC network

Today, HEC (Hellenic Electronic Center ), has received over 2100 electronic signatures on a petition that was activated just three days ago. The signatures come from Hellenes and philhellenes from all over the world.

The petition is one of many responses to the arbitrary and questionable decision by the Greek government to remove all references to Greek Genocides in Asia Minor from a law unanimously passed in 1998.

Specifically, the law decrees the 14th of September of every year as a memorial day for the Genocides of Greeks in Asia Minor. The law would have received presidential ascent to a presidential decree, however, the
Greek government acquiesced to Turkish threats and sent the law back to the committee to remove the articles offensive to the Turkish stratocrats in Ankara.

The legality of the arbitrary decision of the government is first of all questionable at best and anti-constitutional at worst. Most importantly, it sets a very dangerous precedent so that hostile regimes, like Turkey, can one day demand Greece cease commemorating holidays like the 25th of March. This in essence is a subjugation of Greece's sovereignty to the control and censorship of a foreign power.

This arbitrary move by the Greek government also imperils the mission of Diaspora associations that try and promote Hellenism and Greek history abroad. There is no doubt, historically and legally (UN articles) that Greeks did suffer Genocide, in the Pontus, in Eastern Thrace and during the ill-fated campaign in Asia Minor in 1921-22.

In addition to the petition more than 1,000 letters of concern and protest have been sent to the Greek government with copies to all the members of parliament, over 200 media affiliates, and His Beatitude Christodoulos.
Organizations like AHEPA, the Federation of Hellenic Associations of New York and others have taken a lead in decrying this denial of Greek history.

The effort is ongoing until the Greek government allows the President, Mr. Stephanopoulos, to sign the law into a decree as originally drafted and voted upon unanimously, without any amendments.

The online petition is at the following URL:

We urge all organizations and individuals who have not done so, to sign the petition immediately. Greece cannot be subject to the censorship and the threats of Ankara regarding its history, the very lifeblood upon which the modern Greek state morally survives.

The HEC Executive Council
The Genocide ACTION committee