FEP Party participates to EP elections to be the voice of Western Thrace Turks

Western Thrace
Sat, 8 Jun 2024 10:08 GMT
The President of the Friendship Equality Peace (FEP) Party Çiğdem Asafoğlu stated that they will participate in the European Parliament (EP) elections on 9 June, as they did in 2014 and 2019, to be the voice of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace.
FEP Party participates to EP elections to be the voice of Western Thrace Turks

The President of the Friendship Equality Peace (FEP) Party Çiğdem Asafoğlu stated that they will participate in the European Parliament (EP) elections on 9 June, as they did in 2014 and 2019, to be the voice of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace.

Asafoğlu, who reached the remotest villages of Western Thrace within the scope of the election campaign and listened to the demands of the people on the spot, told AA correspondent about the importance of these elections and the goals of the party.

GREEK PARTIES DO NOT ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS OF THE TURKISH MINORITY

Asafoğlu stated that the main reason for the participation of the FEP Party in the elections was that the Greek political parties did not include the problems of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace in their agenda. Asafoğlu stated that the fact that the problems of the minority are not on the agenda of these parties leads to their inability to produce healthy and effective solutions on this issue.

Asking "How can they find a solution to the problems of a society whose identity is denied?" Asafoğlu said that they participated in the elections in order to be the voice of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace and to draw attention to the problems that have remained unresolved for years.

Asafoğlu reminded that the FEP Party managed to come first in the elections in 2014 and 2019 in the provinces of Rodopi and Xanthi.

Underlining that this success is an indicator of the trust in the FEP Party in protecting the identity of the minority and defending its rights, Asafoğlu stated that they strongly conveyed the message that "The minority living in Western Thrace is Turkish".

Stating that the party is working for the solution of chronic problems such as the muftiate, foundations, education and identity denial, Asafoğlu drew attention to the economic difficulties in the region and stated that the Greek authorities do not show the necessary importance to these problems.

Asafoğlu underlined that the FEP Party is an active member of the European Free Alliance (EFA) representing minority communities in the EP and drew attention to the role of EFA in the struggle for minority rights.

LANGUAGE BARRIER IN HEALTH SERVICES

Pointing to the problems in health services, Asafoğlu said, "The problems in the health system after the New Democracy came to power, combined with the language barrier, made access to health services even more difficult for minority members. Many Turkish doctors, nurses and health workers in the region receive warnings for speaking Turkish in public hospitals."

Referring to the positive agenda between Türkiye and Greece, Asafoğlu stated the following:

"We expect this to reflect positively on us. We always have such an expectation, but unfortunately this is not reflected in this region most of the time. It is not reflected on the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace, in other words, when the relations between Greece and the Republic of Türkiye, our homeland, are good, Greece does not approach Western Thrace Turks differently. Unfortunately, we have not seen this until today because there is a different administration here. A different mechanism governs Western Thrace."

WHAT DEB AP DEPUTY CANDIDATES SAY

Deputy candidate Hüseyin Baltacı said that he met the FEP Party in his childhood and that Dr. Sadık Ahmet's struggle for minority rights constituted the soul of the party.

"Our party, the party of our childhood, the party that spreads our spirit of struggle," said Baltacı and stated that FEP Party has the mission of being the voice of Western Thrace Turks.

Baltacı said, "We especially aim to announce the chronic problems of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace to both Europe and Athens, the capital of Greece. In short, wherever there is an oppressed, wherever there is a violation of rights, the FEP Party is there."

Stating that the 3 per cent threshold introduced to prevent the FEP Party from entering the parliament did not break their motivation, on the contrary, it strengthened it even more, Baltacı said that he believes that they will overcome this threshold.

Baltacı pointed out that apart from Western Thrace Turks, they also receive support from Thessaloniki, Edesa, regions where Macedonian minority lives and refugees living in Athens and said, "We see the support from the messages sent to us. They embrace us, they provide this support because they know that we are sincere and we will be their voice," he said.

Parliamentary candidate and educator Nilay Mümin, who is also a candidate for parliamentary seat, stated that not only the physical conditions of the minority schools are inadequate, but also the quality of education is low.

Baltacı said, "We especially aim to announce the chronic problems of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace to both Europe and Athens, the capital of Greece. In short, wherever there is an oppressed, wherever there is a violation of rights, the FEP Party is there."

Stating that the 3 per cent threshold introduced to prevent the FEP Party from entering the parliament did not break their motivation, on the contrary, it strengthened it even more, Baltacı said that he believes that they will overcome this threshold.

Baltacı pointed out that apart from Western Thrace Turks, they also receive support from Thessaloniki, Edesa, regions where Macedonian minority lives and refugees living in Athens and said, "We see the support from the messages sent to us. They embrace us, they provide this support because they know that we are sincere and we will be their voice," he said.

Parliamentary candidate and educator Nilay Mümin, who is also a candidate for parliamentary seat, stated that not only the physical conditions of the minority schools are inadequate, but also the quality of education is low.

Baltacı said, "We especially aim to announce the chronic problems of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace to both Europe and Athens, the capital of Greece. In short, wherever there is an oppressed, wherever there is a violation of rights, the FEP Party is there."

Stating that the 3 per cent threshold introduced to prevent the FEP Party from entering the parliament did not break their motivation, on the contrary, it strengthened it even more, Baltacı said that he believes that they will overcome this threshold.

Baltacı pointed out that apart from Western Thrace Turks, they also receive support from Thessaloniki, Edesa, regions where Macedonian minority lives and refugees living in Athens and said, "We see the support from the messages sent to us. They embrace us, they provide this support because they know that we are sincere and we will be their voice," he said.

Parliamentary candidate and educator Nilay Mümin, who is also a candidate for parliamentary seat, stated that not only the physical conditions of the minority schools are inadequate, but also the quality of education is low.

Stating that he believes that the FEP Party can find solutions to the problems of Western Thrace Turks, Arifoğlu emphasised that all Turks living in Xanthi Plain support the FEP Party.

Hasan Mehmet, a resident of Kırköy, pointed out that Greeks living in Istanbul have their own identity and said, "We cannot have an identity here."

AA

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