Greece ordered the pulling down of an Azerbaijan advertisement on public transport in the Greek city of Thessaloniki with the words “Shushi is Azerbaijan” on Wednesday.
was removed by the efforts of the Armenian Embassy, community structures, the Greek-Armenian Chamber of Commerce and the Armenian National Committee of Thessaloniki, Ambassador of Armenia to Greece Tigran Mkrtchyan told Armenpress.
“We contacted and worked with the Thessaloniki authorities, including the executive branch, and explained that the ads should be removed immediately, as they are political in nature and provocative. Within a few hours, the Greek authorities reported that the advertisement had been removed from the bus,” the Ambassador said.
He stressed that such actions by Azerbaijan can be expected not only in Greece, where there is a small Azerbaijani community but also in other countries.
Azerbaijan “perpetuates the results of the use of force as a reality”
“With such provocative steps, Azerbaijan is simply trying to present and perpetuate the results of the use of force as a reality, while we know for sure that the issue of the status of Nagorno Karabakh remains open, Shushi and Hadrut are currently occupied. With such steps, Azerbaijan is trying to make the impression that the issue is closed,” Mkrtchyan added.
“I consider this step as a provocation, especially in a friendly country like Greece, whose authorities have more than once expressed solidarity with the positions of Armenia. With such a provocative step they are trying to put some tension in the Armenian-Greek relations, which, of course, will be a failure”, the Ambassador of Armenia to Greece told Armenpress.
Greece- Armenia relations through the centuries
The ties of Armenian culture and Hellenism go back at least to the 6th century BC.
According to 20th-century linguists, the Armenian and Greek languages share a common ancestry, with the two peoples having similar traditions as well.
Armenians have contributed greatly as carriers of the Greek language, civilization, and Eastern Orthodoxy since they were an important part of the Byzantine Empire.
In the 20th century, the Armenian people and Hellenism both faced violent persecution by the Turkish state, culminating in the 1922 destruction of the Greek and Armenian population of Smyrna.
In fact, the Armenian Genocide (1915-1916) by the Ottomans during World War I is one of the darkest hours of modern history, as 600,000-1,500,000 Armenians were killed.
Greece is one of the countries that officially recognize the Genocide of the Armenians by the Ottomans. It also grants development and humanitarian assistance to Armenia and has supported that country’s rapprochement with European institutions.
Biden recognizes the Armenian Genocide
In November 2020, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia signed an agreement to end six weeks of fierce fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in a deal Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described as “unspeakably painful” in an emotional Facebook post.
Under the deal, Azerbaijan will hold on to areas of Nagorno-Karabakh that it took during the conflict. Armenia has also agreed to withdraw from several other adjacent areas over the next few weeks.
A few months later, President Biden recognized the genocide of Armenian people committed by Turkey in 1915. This ended a consistent policy of non-recognition that has long guided Biden’s predecessors.
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” the American President said.
Related: The Armenian contribution to Hellenism and Orthodoxy