"Former President Pavlopoulos again distorts the facts"
Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) stated that former President Prokopis Pavlopoulos distorted the facts in his speech on "The Treaty of Lausanne and the Minorities Issue" at an event in Corinth on 8 September.
In the press release issued by ABTTF on the subject, it was stated that "In his speech, Pavlopulos stated that the most important achievement of former Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos was the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne, which stipulated that the minority in Greece is religious, i.e. Muslim, while the minority in Turkey is national, i.e. Greek, and that positive steps have been taken for the minorities living in Greece and that they expect the same constructive attitude for their kinsmen living in Türkiye."
ABTTF President Halit Habipoğlu said: "Pavlopoulos, the former president of our country, again interprets the Treaty of Lausanne according to himself and makes unrealistic claims. As our former president, who is a jurist, knows very well, the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne only include the term 'non-Muslim minorities' for the minorities in our homeland. We would like to remind this fact to the former president once again. On the other hand, our former president claims that positive steps have been taken for minorities in our country. The reality is exactly the opposite! The educational and religious autonomy of our community, which was guaranteed by the Treaty of Lausanne, has been largely taken away from us today. While our primary schools with autonomous status in Western Thrace are being closed one by one and their number is decreasing every year, in our homeland, in Gökçeada, a primary school of the Greek Orthodox minority was opened in 2013 with only 4 children, and a secondary school and high school were opened in 2015. Over the years, the number of students studying in these schools has increased. Today there are 21 students in the Greek primary school and 35 students in the middle and high school. Furthermore, our country has not implemented the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights against our three associations for 15 years and continues to disregard international law. We ask the former and current rulers of our country not to make populist statements that blatantly distort the facts and to act responsibly."