Discrimination continues for the Turks in Thessaloniki

Greece
Mon, 26 Nov 2018 10:08 GMT
Thousands of Turks living in Thessaloniki, pray in the locale of the Macedonia-Thrace Muslim Association because it is not allowed to open the mosques according to the state policy. In Thessaloniki known as the second capital in Greece, Hamza Bey, Hortacı...
Discrimination continues for the Turks in Thessaloniki

Thousands of Turks living in Thessaloniki, pray in the locale of the Macedonia-Thrace Muslim Association because it is not allowed to open the mosques according to the state policy.

In Thessaloniki known as the second capital in Greece, Hamza Bey, Hortacı Süleyman Efendi, Yeni Cami and Alaca İmaret Cami mosques which are Ottoman works are kept close for the prayer by the Greek State.

FRIDAY AND EID PRAYERS ARE HELD IN LOCALES

In the city where approximately 7 thousand Turks live, Friday and Eid prayers are obliged to be held in the locale of Macedonia and Thrace Muslims Education and Culture Association.

Turks pray on the carpet they have laid, by putting out the stuff of the association. After the prayer, the carpets are removed and the tables and chairs are moved in their place again.

GREECE, THE CENTER OF DEMOCRACY, THE ONLY EU COUNTRY WITHOUT A MOSQUE

Even though being proud to be the center of democracy, Greece is the only European Union country which there is not any mosque in its capital, moreover, some of the mosques are being locked, and some of them are being used as a museum.

IMAM COMES FROM DEDEAĞAÇ (ALEXANDROUPOLIS)
Imams employed by the muftis elected by the Turkish Minority in Western Thrace goes to Thessaloniki for the Friday prayer and religious education to the Turkish children every week.

Imam Abdurrahim Kuru, who currently works in Dimetoka (Didimoteichon) of Dedeağaç, goes to Thessaloniki for the Friday prayer every week which is almost 300 KMs far from Dimetoka.

ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT: "THEY HAVE CLOSED OUR MASJID"

Macedonia-Thrace Muslims Education and Culture Association president Osman İsmailoğlu stated that their mosques remain closed for years, although they have applied repeatedly for a mosque they could have not received even one mosque yet. Osman İsmailoğlu, mentioning that there are approximately 7 thousand Muslims in Thessaloniki, the Greek offices have been tricking them by saying “We will arrange it”.

Osman İsmailoğlu who said that they had a masjid in the past and after the closure by the Greek State with a justification that it was unauthorized, they had to pray in the association locale, also spoke as follows:

"Of course we do not give up. We will get an authorization for a new place and we will keep praying there. We put out the chairs and tables where we drink tea and coffee in order to pray for Friday. There is Alaca İmaret Mosque remained from the Ottoman Era. We demanded to open it but it was not given. There is Kışla Mosque, from the Ottoman era, we demanded it as well but it was not given too. Yeni Cami was given for Eid al Adha this year. We prayed in the mosque. However, they did not let us pray again. We, pray by removing the chairs and laying the carpets every Friday. After that, we put the chairs in their place and use it as a locale. We live in this country, we are people of this country, so I think that we have the rights to pray here too. Because we pay taxes here, attend to the army and vote. I cannot understand why we are being discriminated so much."

"WE DO NOT EVEN HAVE ANY BURIAL GROUND TO BURRY OUR DEADS"

İsmailoğlu, stating that there is not even a burial area for the Muslims in Thessaloniki, also said "We had burial areas in the Ottoman period. But they destroyed them and built some buildings in their place. We are now approximately 6-7 Muslims here, but unfortunately, we do not have our own burial area. We take our dead people to İskeçe, Gümülcine or Dedeağaç in order to bury them.”

 

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