ABTTF attends OSCE Additional Human Dimension Meeting

Western Thrace
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 14:56 GMT
At the meeting, ABTTF expressed hate speech and structural and systematic discrimination targeting Western Thrace Turkish society, especially in politics and media in Greece. The Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), representing the Weste...
ABTTF attends OSCE Additional Human Dimension Meeting

At the meeting, ABTTF expressed hate speech and structural and systematic discrimination targeting Western Thrace Turkish society, especially in politics and media in Greece.

The Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), representing the Western Thrace Turkish community, attended the European Security and Cooperation Organization (OSCE) Additional Human Dimension Meeting held in Vienna, on 28-29 March 2022 

Deniz Servantie from ABTTF Brussels Representation attended the meeting titled “International cooperation to address violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” organized by the OSCE Chairman of the Board in Poland and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The meeting, which started with the opening speeches of OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, and OSCE/ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci, was attended by representatives of OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, as well as expert researchers.

Speaking in the second session of the meeting titled “Investigating and documenting violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”, ABTTF underlined that Greece does not recognize the Western Thrace Turkish community as a national minority and rejects the “Turkish” identity. It was also emphasized that hate speech in politics is a part of structural and systematic discrimination against Turkish society noted as part of it.

The ABTTF representative stated that the ABTTF regularly reports hate speech and hate crimes targeting the Turkish community in Western Thrace to the OSCE every year, and these are included in the OSCE Hate Crimes Report.

The ABTTF urged OSCE participating States to carry out support and training programs for individuals or groups of different backgrounds to enhance cooperation with non-governmental organizations in reporting and data collection to ensure that government and civil society are actively engaged in the implementation of OSCE commitments.

The representative of Greece, who was present at the meeting, exercised his right of reply.

Reiterating the Greek state's official view of the Western Thrace Turkish community, he stated that Greece recognizes the "Muslim minority in (Western) Thrace" and asserted that the minority is a religious minority. Greece claimed that members of minorities have many rights and actively participate in political discussions.

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