The presence of Greeks at the Euxeinus Pontos, the Black Sea, dates thousands years ago (about 1200 BC). Greek mythology refers to Jason and the Argonauts who passed Ellispontos and arrived to Kolchis (Georgia) to retake the golden hide that Frixos brother of Elli's had left there, the punishment of Prometheus by Zeus because he gave the fire to the man and the arresting of his body to the mountains of Caucasus. Xenofon and his men after their adventures in Persia, found refuge in greek cities of Pontus, (Thalatta-thalatta).

In the 8th century BC, many greek cities were created and the main occupation was sea trade. Sinope with its harbor was a strong trade center with important cultural influence. The first cities preserved the same social and political organization as their colonial mother-towns.

In the period of Alexander the Great and his successors, the economic power of the Greek cities reached its zenith. Under the reign of king Mithridates VI Eupator, the Greek language became official language of Asia Minor.

Even in Roman times, the Greek culture in the eastern part of the Black Sea retained its leading role in the economic and cultural life of that region. St. Andrew and St. Peter  profited from the fact that the spoken language was Greek and spread Christianity to Pontos. Greek culture and Orthodoxy were united and formed a homogenous culture.

After the capture of Constantinople by the Franks in 1204, Alexios Comnenos founded in Pontos the Empire of the Great Komnenes of Trebizond which had at that time great development.

The fall of Constantinople (1453) and, eight years later of Trebizond (1461) mark one of the greatest disasters in Greek history. Mehmet later murdered the emperor David and 5 of his children and forbade their bodies to be burried. But David's wife alone buried her husband and her children with her bare hands. She was imprisoned for that action. Immediately after the seize of Trebizond by the Ottomans, many inhabitants of the rich coastal towns fled. Most of them escaped into the remote mountain regions of Pontos.

Iason takes the golden skin, Colhis
Euxenus Pontus
Tombs of Mithridates
Saint Eugenius, protector of Trapezous
Sinopi, byzantine walls
Trapezous, byzantine walls
Monastery of Panaghia Sumela, 1902
Monastery of Saint George, founded 702
Haghia Sophia, Trapezous founded 13th century
Trapezous, 1900
Family Kerasous, 1910
Students, Trapezous 1921
Camps of death, Amele Tampourou
Surmena, 1908
Greeks welcome russians, 1916
Mines of Argyroupolis
Kerasous, 1915
Greek bank of Pontus, 1915
Women of Pontus, 1920
Revolutionary, Vaggelis Ioannides
Map of free Pontus, 1918
Pontians, 1906
Germanos Karavaggelis, Amaseia
Argyroupolis, runaways
19 May, day of Genocide for Greeks, day of joy for Turks
Letter of Vatum, asking for help
German Le fon Sanders - Kemal, 2 butchers
Visit at Sumela, 1986
Visit at Sumela, 1986
Greek school of Kerasous
Greek schools of Sinope
Greek schools of Kerasous
School of Argyroupolis, built 1722

Up to the year 1910 the Greeks of Pontos had the leading economical role in the region. They lived peacefully and prospered. They were bankers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, tradesmen etc. But Turks, under their German advisors decided a slow extermination of the annoying Greeks. It had to be quietly, not like the Armenians. So they gathered the men and forced them to march in the interior of Turkey, without food and clothes. Many of them died. The rest were concentrated in camps and were forced to work 18 hours the day (amele tampourou=work camps). This was a slow death. 500000 Pontians died this way.

Pontian cities like Trebizous, Sampsous, Kerasous, Sinopi, Amaseia, Argyroupolis, Rizoupolis, Amissos, Athena, Neokesarea had now only turkish populations. Many Pontians managed to escape and find refuge in Russia. They settled in central Russia, Crimea, in the region of Georgia, Armenia, where they founded new Greek cities, cultural centers. The rest survivors were transfered to Greece, after the signing of the treaty of Lozanne in 1923. So ended the History of Greek Pontians after 3000 years. This time of year is called «the Catastrophe of Asia Minor» in Greek history.

The criteria for the exchange in the treaty of Lausanne was the religious dependency, which had the effect that Greeks which had turned themselves to Islam in 17th century, did not become part of the exchange. This explains why inhabitants in regions around the Pontian towns Tonya, Ophis, Sourmena and Matsouka still today, 75 years after the Catastrophe of Asia Minor live in Turkey, speak their Pontian-Greek dialect, dance their cyclic dances, and play lira, the music organ of Pontians. They remember their origin and preserve their traditions.

School of Trapezous, built 1682
Kerasous, boat racing
Monastery of Sumela, first built 386
Monastery of Sumela burnt 1922
Monastery of Ioannes Vazelonos, built 270
Visit Sumela, 1986
Visit Sumela, 1986
Pontian dance, 1986
Wedding 1900
Pontian dance, 1900
Pontian dance

The New York Times

July 31, 1919


Charges that Turkish officials decimated the Greek population along the Black Sea Coast by 250,000 men, women and children living between Sinop and Ordu without the shedding of blood, but by “parboiling” the victims in Turkish baths and turning them out half-glad to die in pneumonia or other ills in the snow of an Anatolian Winter, are made in a letter from Dr. GEORGE E. WHITE, representative of the American Committee for relief in the Near East, made public yesterday.

Dr. White said that the Province of Bafra, also where there were more than 29,000 village Greeks, now less that 13,000 survive, and every Greek settlement has been burned. The number of orphans, including some Armenian and Turkish children, in the entire district, it was said, aggregated 60,000. Since the armistice, the doctor wrote, many of the deportees have been returning to their ruined homes.

NOTE: TORTURE! MURDER! PLUNDER! Was the order of the day. This is another piece of evidence, from reliable sources, of the horrendous Turkish crimes against the Greek population of Pontos. Yet the Turks for too long now have the insolence to deny so shamelessnessly.

J. D. Australia

Kerasous, the time of identification
Chrysanthos bishop of Trapezous welcomes russians, 1916
Chrysanthos bishop of Trapezous was the official leader of Autonomous Pontus during 1916-1918
Turkish commander hands over the administration to Chrysanthos, 1916:"We took Pontus from Greeks we give back Pontus to Greeks"
1917, Pontian musulmans ask Chrysanthos to return to Orthodoxy again
Western states are accomplice to the destruction of Greek civilization in the East
Istil Aghas - rebel
Kapetanidis Nikos, one of millions vitims
Marioupolis - Crimaea
Victims of Neoturks, 1918
Odessus - Moldavia
Ottoman occupation
Pontian church of Russia 1937
Stalin also murdered thousands of Pontians
Stalin also murdered thousands of Pontians