MİLLET's OPİNİON | If peace stateside and abroad is desired just obey the law

Fri, 25 Feb 2022 16:01 GMT
With the New Year, Christmas cake cutting events are held in private and public institutions in Greece. These activities are among the rituals that Orthodox Christianity, which is the religion of the state, has made an official custom in accordance with A...
MİLLET's OPİNİON | If peace stateside and abroad is desired just obey the law

With the New Year, Christmas cake cutting events are held in private and public institutions in Greece. These activities are among the rituals that Orthodox Christianity, which is the religion of the state, has made an official custom in accordance with Article 3 of the Greek Constitution.

The church infiltrated the state with these rites and consolidated its existence. The reason we mention this is to draw attention to one of the important sources of the influence of the church, which has infiltrated the state, which is not like itself, and which is carried out against the Turkish and Islamic state policy in particular.

We beleive that this article will help to answer the question "Why is Greece doing this?"

The reason why we mention the Christmas cakes of the church is the message sent by the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou to the New Year cake event of the Macedonian-Thrace Association of Imbros which was held recently.

So, who are these Imbros people?

For those who are wondering, let's open a little bit.

The people of Imbros take their name from Imbros. Imbros is Turkiye's largest island and a district of Çanakkale Province.

A part of the Greek Orthodox Minority left in Turkey with the Treaty of Lausanne. According to Greek sources, it is stated that around 15 thousand Greeks from Imbros live outside Turkey, 10 thousand of which are from Greece. It is estimated that around 7,000 Greeks lived in Imbros in the 1960s. In 1955, a thousand students attended 7 primary schools and one secondary school on the island.

As Turkish-Greek relations deteriorated with the Cyprus issue, the Greeks on the island migrated to Greece over time and their numbers decreased significantly until the 60s. When we look at the interviews with the Imbros residents in Athens, it is seen and understood that one of the biggest reasons for migration is that the Greeks did not want to do their military service in the Turkish army. The islanders who immigrated to Greece were organized with the associations of Imbros, one based in Athens and the other based in Thessaloniki.

Greeks from Imbros living in Greece welcomed the opening of the Private Greek Primary School in Zeytinli village after half a century on 16.2.2013. Excited for the primary school to start operating with 2 students, residents of Imbros in Athens stated that they would support some families to realize their desire to return to the island. Zeytinli village is also important because it is the village where Patriarch Bartholomew was born. As a matter of fact, over the years, many Greeks started to return to the island and their numbers increased.

At this point, it is worth mentioning the following facts: While this was the situation in Turkey, the administration in Greece was trying to accelerate the opposite practices to the Turks of Western Thrace. While Turkey was opening schools, Greece was looking for ways to close them.

While the Patriarch and the clergy were elected by their own will in Turkey, the state seized the muftis and put pressure on the elected muftis in Greece. While Turkey reacted to these, Greece reacted and accused Turkey of meddling in internal affairs and threatening peace with the allegation of "Turkish Minority"

The people of Imbros, who hope to solve one of their problems in Turkey, the primary school issue, want concrete solutions to their other problems such as inheritance and property.  As Turkey responds the demands demands, the Greek minority they new ones.

In fact, they make demands other than the rights set in Lausanne, and the islanders express these through their associations at national and international platforms and events they organize. Even the Greek state officials participating in their events are voicing these high-pitched demands as a call to Turkiye. The President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, who did not implement the articles of the Treaty of Lausanne and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the rights of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, ask Turkiye to respect the rights of the Greek minority in their speeches at these events.

The aforementioned officials came together at an event organized by the Association of the People of Imbros on January 16th. At the online event where Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou gave a speech, Prime Minister Kiryakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also greeted the participants. In the messages given, the claims of the Greek administrators regarding Turkiye attracted attention. Speaking at the event, Sakellaropoulou and Mitsotakis claimed that Turkiye violated the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne. Dendias also stated that they will "continue to remind Turkiye's commitments at every opportunity and to emphasize the injustices suffered by the Hellenism of Imbros".

We witnessed that Mrs. President displayed a similar message and rhetoric on 19th January as well. When we look at the President's message, which started with "Dear Kinsmen", many question marks arise in the minds of the Turkish Minority people and they react.

In her message, President Sakellaropoulou explained how important the Imbros People's Union had rendered together with Patriarch Bartholomeos to the Hellenism of Imbros. She stated that the unity and solidarity consciousness of the people of Imbros is kept alive. She explained that the resumption of Greek minority schools in Imbros was thanks to the support of the people of Imbros and underlined how important this was. During her visit to the Patriarchate in Istanbul, the Greek Minister of Education and Religious Affairs made a speech emphasizing how Hellenism was kept alive in Turkey thanks to the Patriarchate and Greek Minority Schools. We would like to draw attention to this point as a clear indication of how the Greek state authorities are trying to protect their Greek and Greek Orthodox kinsmen all over the world with a common discourse.

Emphasizing the importance of keeping Hellenism alive on Turkish soil by the Greek Minority, President Sakellaropoulou said, “Other measures should be taken by the Turkish authorities in order to increase the presence of the people of Imbros on the island and to provide suitable conditions for the improvement of their living conditions. In this context, as I said before, Turkiye should change its attitude towards the Greek minority and fully implement what is envisaged in the Treaty of Lausanne and international conventions on the protection of human rights. I assure you that the Greek State will continually assist you in your tireless efforts to rectify the injustices that the inhabitants of Imbros have suffered over time”.

Hearing these, the members of the Western Thrace Turkish Minority naturally react to the Greek authorities' failure to take an equal and fair approach to the Turkish and Greek Minorities left in Turkey and Greece with the Treaty of Lausanne, the principle of reciprocity, and the same rights.

Turkish Minority people naturally ask:

Why does President Sakellaropoulou, who demands that Turkiye respect the Treaty of Lausanne and human rights, turn a deaf ear to the calls of the European justice mechanisms, which say the same thing for the Muslim Turkish Minority of Western Thrace living in Greece?

Why Greece ignores the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decisions that condemn Greece regarding the Turks of Western Thrace?

How long will Greece continue its unlawful attitude by not enforcing the convictions of the ECHR due to the prohibition of associations with the definition of Turkish and Minority in their names, such as the Xanthi Turkish Union?

How can the authorities of such a country accuse another country of unlawfulness and find the courage to invite them to apply the law?

Why do the Greek authorities oppose this when the President of Turkiye and state officials call on Greece for the return of the rights of the Turks of Western Thrace, won by Lausanne and international agreements?

Doesn't Greece, which accuses Turkey of meddling in its internal affairs with the discourse of "Turkish Minority" and of propaganda of Turkishness, contradicted itself while making Hellenistic propaganda with the discourse of "Greek Minority" in Turkey? In this way, isn't she interfering in Turkiye's internal affairs by using "Non-Muslim Minorities" as it was called in Lausanne?

Or is Greece trying to say that I do it, I am privileged, what I do is not questioned, because I am the most superior nation in the world? If so, it is a sign that we are dealing with an interesting mindset.

What if it is not a discriminatory and contradictory approach to deny the identity of Western Thrace Turks with the claim that they are "not mentioned in Lausanne", but to define "Non-Muslim Minorities" under the same treaty as ethnic?

Ignoring Lausanne, which defines Greeks in Turkiye as "non-Muslim", the President casually calls them as "Greek Minority". In our opinion, it is OK for her to say "Greek Minority". But when we say "Turkish Minority", why is it considered "treason" by the same people?

While the Turkish citizen Fener Greek Patriarch and his clergy are making efforts to raise Christianity and Hellenism in Turkiye with the support of the “Greek Army Fund”, why are the muftis elected by the Western Thrace Turkish Minority not recognized? Why are our muftis, who try to protect our religious and cultural values, prosecuted even though they are justified by the ECHR?

While President Sakellaropoulou emphasized that the Greek state will always stand by them to correct the injustices suffered by their cognates in Turkiye, why does the Turkish Republic react when it says the same thing for its cognates in Greece?

If Mrs. Sakellaropoulou and other Greek state officials do not want to be disturbed by the call to apply the law regarding the Turks of Western Thrace, which Turkiye is the guarantor of, they should do their part and abide by the law.

In recent years, Turkiye has taken important steps towards all minorities whose rights have been guaranteed with Lausanne. The mistakes of the past have been largely reversed and continue to be reversed. Greek state officials, especially Prime Minister Mitsotakis, voice this.

That's why the right thing to do for Greece is to take greater steps together in this sense by taking Turkiye's minority policies as an example and even developing friendship and dialogue with Turkiye. Only in this way can true peace and tranquility be attained.

In most of today's world religions, there is a principle defined as the golden rule: "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself."

In the Bible; “Treat people the way you want them to treat you.” This rule in the form of, in Islam is expressed as “A person is not considered a true believer until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

Let's end with the following meaningful statement that peace and tranquility will always prevail if humanity is an earring:

“Peace at home peace in the world”


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