ABTTF: "Happy 29th of January, the Day of Social Solidarity and National Resistance!

Western Thrace
Tue, 30 Jan 2024 10:07 GMT
Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe issued a statement on the occasion of "29 January Social Solidarity and National Resistance Day".
ABTTF: "Happy 29th of January, the Day of Social Solidarity and National Resistance!

In the statement signed by ABTTF President Halit Habipoğlu, referring to the struggle of Western Thrace Turks for human and minority rights for years, it was stated that the struggle for rights will continue.

"We said we are Turks! What has changed today? Unfortunately, nothing! It hasn't changed because those who govern our country have no good intentions! We didn't give up, we won't give up! Our cause is the cause of right! We are not alone in our journey of so many years."

The Turkish community in Western Thrace commemorates the 36th anniversary of the day on 29 January 1988 when they shouted "We are Turks" against the denial of Turkish identity and the 34th anniversary of the attacks on 29 January 1990.

On 29 January 1988, when our associations with the word "Turkish" in their names were closed and banned, thousands of Western Thrace Turks did not give in to the pressure of the state, gathered in the squares in Komotini despite all the obstacles and claimed their Turkish identity.

On 29 January 1990, Western Thrace Turks who gathered again in Komotini to commemorate the events of 1988 were attacked, their workplaces and shops were vandalised and looted. The houses belonging to Western Thrace Turks were also targeted by the attackers and the police did not intervene to prevent the attacks.

The 29th of January, which is a turning point and glorious pages in the struggle for rights and freedoms of the Turkish community in Western Thrace, went down in history as the "Day of Social Solidarity and National Resistance".                 

Although years have passed since 29 January, the Turkish identity of the Turkish community in Western Thrace is still denied in Greece. Our country, which has not implemented the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) regarding our associations for more than 15 years, does not allow the registration of our associations with the word "Turkish" in their names.

Founded on 28 February 1988 in order to make the voice of our society heard in the international arena immediately after the events of 29 January 1988, our Federation has been supporting our society's struggle for rights and freedoms through its activities before international institutions and organisations since then, and has been making tireless efforts to solve its problems.

 ABTTF PRESIDENT HABIPOĞLU'S STATEMENT

"This year is the 36th anniversary of 29 January 1988. We were on the streets that day, we shouted to the whole world that we were Turks. Two years later, we were on the streets again on the same day. We said with one voice, we are here, we are Turks!

What's changed today? Unfortunately, nothing! It hasn't changed because those who govern our country have no good intentions! We didn't give up, we won't give up!

Our cause is the cause of right! We are not alone in our journey of so many years. We are in solidarity with other minorities in Europe, with the supreme organisations of minorities.

We establish cooperation with international non-governmental organisations. We continuously lobby internationally without giving up.

We present our problems to the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

In the international arena, our country is no longer able to cover up the facts.

A few days ago in the European Parliament, our country was severely criticised for not respecting the rule of law.

With regard to the Turkish community in Western Thrace, we have always said that the non-implementation of the judgements for almost 16 years, especially in the Bekir Usta and Others Case Group, is a clear proof of the disregard of the rule of law.

Now the skullcap has fallen off and the bald head has appeared!

We will continue to work for the restoration of our educational and religious autonomy without renouncing the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in our country.

Our struggle continues and will continue with our excitement, determination and determination on the first day! Happy 29 January Social Solidarity and National Resistance Day!"

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