ABTTF slams Stilianidis

Western Thrace
Thu, 1 Dec 2022 9:20 GMT
ABTTF President Habipoğlu: “Stilyanidis continued to distort the facts about Western Thrace Turkish community.”
ABTTF slams Stilianidis

European Western Thrace Turkish Federation (ABTTF) reacted to New Democracy Party Rhodope Deputy Evripidis Stilyanidis for his statements about the minority in Western Thrace.

ABTTF's statement included the following statements: "New Democracy Party (NDP) Rhodope Deputy Evripidis Stilianidis made statements about Western Thrace Turkish community in his speech at the Greek Parliament.

In his speech, Stilianidis stated that in accordance with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Turkish language courses were given in Minority schools, just like in state schools, and claimed that muftis are also active in (Western) Thrace, where there are 248 mosques today.

Regarding the issue, Halit Habipoğlu, President of the ABTTF, said in a statement: “Stilianidis continued his habit of distorting the facts in his speech by describing himself as 'the MP for Western Thrace and Rhodope elected by Christians and Muslims'. Stilianidis, many times in the past, ignored the problems of Western Thrace Turkish community and claimed that an open democratic society model was built in Western Thrace where the majority and the minority live together. The facts are very different from the perception Stilianidis is trying to create about our community and region. Our educational and religious autonomy, which was guaranteed by the Treaty of Lausanne, has been usurped by various laws and practices over the years. Our autonomous schools are closed one by one each year, our elected muftis are not recognized by the government. Our country has not persistently implemented the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights regarding our associations for years and denies our 'Turkish' identity. Our country no longer abides by the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne. While all these facts are clear and our rights are constantly being violated, Stilianidis's claim of an 'open democratic society model' about our community cannot go beyond a pleasant voice.”

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