Meeting with deputies in the German parliament for Turkish Minority
ABTTF President Halit Habipoğlu met with German Bundestag member deputies Filiz Polat (Union 90/Greens) and Boris Mijatovic (Association 90/Greens) during his working visit accompanied by ABTTF Head Office Officer Engin Soyyılmaz.
At the meeting, hate speech and attacks targeting the Western Thrace Turkish Minority in Greece, as well as the discrimination and rights violations that Western Thrace Turks are exposed to, were discussed.
ABTTF President Habipoğlu underlined that the education and religious autonomy of the Western Thrace Turkish Minority, which was left to Greece with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, was guaranteed, and noted that Greece had liquidated the educational and religious autonomy of the Turkish society with various laws and practices over the years, contrary to its obligations arising from international agreements.
Habipoğlu explained, the European Court of Human Rights against the associations of the Turkish society of Greece, Xanthi Turkish Union, Rhodope Province Turkish Women Cultural Association and Meriç Province Minority Youth Association, which deny the “Turkish” identity of the Western Thrace Turkish society and claim that they are not “Turkish” within its borders.
He stated that the ECtHR has not implemented its decisions for more than 14 years despite all the warnings of the Council of Europe.
Stating that the Western Thrace Turkish Minority is seen and shown as an "enemy within the country" and a "threat" in politics and media in Greece. Habipoğlu stated that as a result of this negative perception based on prejudice, hate speech and attacks targeting the Turkish Minority have increased in the recent period.
President Habipoğlu cited as an example to this situation, Xanthi SYRIZA Deputy Hüseyin Zeybek was threatened with death in a live broadcast on a local television channel and a Turkish youth in Xanthi was insulted as a "filthy Turk" and physically attacked.
ABTTF President Habipoğlu stated that Greece, as a member of the European Union (EU), needs to be persuaded to become a country that is truly in line with the basic values and principles of the EU and fully respects the rule of law.