EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): Before the advent of modern DNA tests and studies (ancestry.com, ancient DNA, etc.), one had to be part of a very small club of history students, social scientists, etc. to have a glimpse into the origins of modern populations, especially in the troubled with foreign invasions and migrations area of Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. I was such a lucky guy as I had the chance to know much of the history of Islamization of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), mainly through the works of the late professor Spyros Vryonis. His book “The Decline of Medieval Hellenism of Asia Minor and the process of Islamization from 11th through the 15th Centuries” is the guiding light for such issues and Vryonis is the historical authority on islamizations. But I was twice lucky. I was among the first who saw and listened as a young graduate student of anthropology at Stony Brook (1985 and after) to one of the greatest pioneers of the introduction of DNA analysis in population genetics and population biology, Professor Robert Sokal. Sokal started doing DNA analysis in the Balkans before that time, which led to the explosion of such studies today…
Turkey, as you will see below, has a serious identity problem that is bound to split its society in at least three ways. No matter how the Turkish authorities try to discredit DNA tests, they will not be able to hide the truth… The truth will find a way to be spread even with word of mouth… But word of mouth is not that necessary for Turkey: President Erdogan himself is known to originate from a family of Islamized Pontian Greeks (from the village of Rize near Trapezounta), and the mayor of Istanbul, Mr. Ekremoglu, is Pontian to such a degree that when he visited a Pontian village in Northern Greece a couple of years ago, he was speaking and dancing Pontian without anyone being able to say the difference…
Muslim Greek-speaker from Pontos shocks 95-year-old in Athens – See the heartwarming video
A pleasant surprise awaited Aunty Pirinjava (Maria Triantafyllidou) when Mustafa, a Muslim Greek-speaker from the village of Otsena (Ότσενα) in Ofeos (Όφεως, Turkish: Of) Trapezounta (Τραπεζούντα, Turkish: Trabzon), visited her home in Acharnes, northern Athens.
The 95-year-old woman enthused Mustafa with her Turkish and Romeika (Pontian Greek) verses, while emotional moments unfolded when he made a video call to other Pontians living in Thessaloniki.
Ancestry.com highlighted that many Turkish citizens are mostly unrelated to Turkic peoples from Central Asia and are rather native Anatolian people that have been Turkified.
The largest for-profit genealogy company in the world noted that after the Ottoman conquest of Pontos in today’s Turkey’s southeastern Black Sea coast, the “Pontian Greeks adopted Turkish language and culture, and many converted to Islam in order to have greater opportunities in Turkish society.”
Because of this, the so-called Turkish DNA Project called for a boycott in a now-deleted tweet.
Ancestry.com also highlighted that another round of Turkification of Pontian Greeks occurred after the second Russo-Turkish War (1828-29).
With the advent of genetic testing, more and more Turkish citizens and diaspora communities are discovering that they are actually Turkified peoples, mostly pointing towards Greek.
More Turkish citizens are discovering that they are in fact not Turkish.
It is for this reason that the role of the so-called Turkish DNA Project is to create doubt among those who do genetic testing from legitimate companies like Ancestry.com and discovery that they are in fact not Turkic.
A famous case of a Turkish citizen discovering they are Greek is Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı, born Ibrahim Yaylalı.
Yannis was a former Turkish ultra-nationalist that was proud of his enmity towards Kurds and other indigenous peoples of Asia Minor.
However, he soon discovered he was actually Greek, became Christian and then became an activist for minorities in Turkey despite originally joining the Turkish Army to kill them, as reported by The Armenian Weekly.
Uzay Bulut, a Turkey-born journalist, also responded to the call by the Turkish DNA Project to boycott Ancestry.com.
“Why are Turkish nationalists so terrified of the truth? Because if they face it, the lies they’ve come up with will be shattered to the ground,” she said on Twitter.
“Through these lies, hatred has grown, which made them commit so many crimes against Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, and others,” Bulut said.
“Then they will realize that by destroying those peoples, they’ve actually destroyed their own ancestors and cultural heritage,” the journalist said, adding: “The truth will set us all free and bring much-needed peace to the region.”