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Pontos Brings Greeks and Turks Together

Bahadir Karaosman is a young man from Rize (ancient Rizaion) of Pontos. He is a Turkish civilian, who grew up among Muslim Pontians and studied Greek literature in Istanbul. When his friend Vasilis Tsartsanis told him that there would be a meeting of Greeks of Pontian descent in Germany, he said he would like to attend it. During the recent 17th young Pontians conference in Europe, which took place in Nauheim, near Frankfurt, he presented his own speech. “We are all children of the Black Sea. The Greek language is culture by itself. Now I know more about the Pontian dialect, history and culture. I am Turkish, but I was influenced by the Pontian culture, too. Currently, I teach Pontian dances. Dreams and hopes meet there where the lyre bow starts and calls us like a warm voice, which is familiar to both nationalities. We all know the “vernacular” of lyre, of kemence. As we say in Pontos, this “vernacular” is a call for prayer. Pontos still lives and will live through the customs and traditions, the dances, the brotherhood and the hospitality of Pontian people. Today, we see the increasing interest of the younger generation for the Greek language. All over the area of Pontos they sing both in Turkish and in the Pontian dialect. They dance and have fun singing the same songs”.

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