ABTTF attends the OSCE Human Dimension Conference

Western Thrace
Sat, 1 Oct 2022 10:24 GMT
At the conference, ABTTF raised the current issues of the Turkish community in Western Thrace and its increasing targeting in politics and media.
ABTTF attends the OSCE Human Dimension Conference

At the conference, ABTTF raised the current issues of the Turkish community in Western Thrace and its increasing targeting in politics and media.

The Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), representing the Turkish community in Western Thrace, participated in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Human Dimension Conference on 28-29 September 2022 in Warsaw, Poland.

Deniz Servantie from the ABTTF Brussels Office participated in the ten-day conference on the state of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the OSCE region, organised by the OSCE Polish Presidency with the support of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Intervening at the session titled ‘Addressing racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance, including based on religion or belief’’ of the conference, which was attended by representatives of the OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions, international organisations and civil society, ABTTF noted that the systematic violations of the religious autonomy of the Turkish community in Western Thrace guaranteed by the treaties continue in Greece.

Indicating that the state does not recognise the muftis elected by the Turkish community in Western Thrace and that there is a dual structure in Western Thrace insofar as with state-appointed muftis and elected muftis, ABTTF explained that the muftis elected by the Turkish community are tried and sentenced to prison on grounds of illegally using religious symbols.

Indicating that the religious autonomy of the Turkish community in Western Thrace was further weakened by the Presidential decree No. 52/2019 and the new act under the title of ‘‘Modernisation of the Mufti Offices’’ adopted by the Greek parliament on 29 July 2022, ABTTF pointed out that the new law was violating the 1913 Treaty of Athens and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and was intended to establish full control and audit over the muftiates that have the autonomous structure.

Moreover, ABTTF indicated that following the passing of Mufti of Xanthi Ahmet Mete, deputies and representatives of the Turkish community in Western Thrace were directly targeted in politics and media during the election of a new mufti in Xanthi.

Underlining that Greece’s policies and practices regarding the right of the Turkish community in Western Thrace to its freedom of association and the exercise of religious freedom are in no way compatible with the European Union (EU) standards of which it is a member and the European Convention on Human Rights, to which it is a party, ABTTF asked the Greek government to respect the right of the Turkish community in Western Thrace to elect its own religious leaders, the muftis, in accordance with the 1913 Treaty of Athens and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

Furthermore, ABTTF also called on Greece to repeal the new act titled ‘‘Modernisation of the Mufti Offices’’ as well as the Presidential decree No. 52/2019.

ABTTF

Related News

MILLET MEDIA OE.
BİLAL BUDUR & CENGİZ ÖMER KOLLEKTİF ŞİRKETİ.
Address: Miaouli 7-9, Xanthi 67100, GREECE.
Tel: +30 25410 77968.
Email: info@milletgazetesi.gr.