Greece takes action for Minority's Mufti Office

Western Thrace
Sat, 23 Jul 2022 7:01 GMT
It was stated that the law proposal, which foresees the changes to be made in the laws regarding the mufti offices in Western Thrace, has been submitted to the Greek Parliament. The timing was remarkable. While this move of the government caused questions...
Greece takes action for Minority's Mufti Office
It was stated that the law proposal, which foresees the changes to be made in the laws regarding the mufti offices in Western Thrace, has been submitted to the Greek Parliament. The timing was remarkable.

While this move of the government caused questions in terms of timing, reactions such as "The government continues to ignore the minority" and "Same bowl, same bath" rose from the Western Thrace Turkish Minority society.

It was noted that the draft law prepared by the Ministry of Education and Religion was presented to the general assembly of the parliament earlier yesterday.

According to the news, written by Haralambopoulou for the Proto Thema, it was noted that the draft law includes regulations regarding the religion of Islam, public service and judicial powers of the mufti, and that the regulation on how to elect a mufti will also be changed.

The bill also includes changes regarding the mufti's election system. According to the proposal, a 33-member committee will determine the mufti candidates. It was noted that the Advisory Committee of 33 people will be formed by the Vice Mufti, and then the members will be determined as a result of the official drawing of lots.

It was stated that the said committee will be composed of the members of the Religious Education Department at the University of Thessaloniki, teachers in the madrasahs, imams, preachers and members of Ierodidaskalos "240 imams".

In the news, it was claimed that with the new legislation that the Ministry of Education and Religion presented to the Parliament, a mufti and a mufti with administrative powers and prestige was aimed.

In the statement made by the Ministry on the subject, it was said that the new regulations aimed to modernize the mufti offices within the framework of respect for their religious identity for the "Muslim Minority in Thrace".
In addition to this, it was also noted that the aimed is to fill the serious gaps in this regard so far.

In the statement of the Ministry, “This step taken for the modernization of the mufti offices in Thrace was primarily taken into account with the Treaty of Lausanne, the European Convention on Human Rights, Greece's obligations to international norms and its constitutional obligations.

With the new application, it is aimed to eliminate the conditions that have been in effect until today and cause many problems, and to make the mufti offices an institution that will meet their religious needs and work properly.
The legal regulation also envisages the muftis to use their judicial powers appropriately.” it was said.

PREVIOUS CHANGES IN THE LEGAL REGULATION

In the news published in Proto Thema, the remarkable points regarding the regulation were summarized as follows:

"- It is foreseen to cover the expenses of the activities and works of the mufti such as accommodation, security, human resources, travel, printing and publishing works, and the creation of web sites. With these changes, it is aimed to facilitate the work of muftis and muftis and to strengthen their image, while encouraging their financial independence.
- It is aimed to transform the mufti-centered style that has been valid until now into a muftia.

-Giving three different statuses to the mufti. The mufti will serve as a clergyman, a civil service senior official, and an official with judicial powers.
- Arrangements will be made to protect the prestige of muftis at the individual level, to limit the risks of accusations against them and to eliminate incompatibilities.

-Innovations will be made in election so that muftis have high prestige, have special ties with citizens and can be widely accepted by the public as much as possible.
The most important change in the election process is that the Vice Mufti will lead the election process, not the Administrative General Secretariat, as it has been before.

According to the proposal, a 33-member committee will determine the mufti candidates.
The 33-person Advisory Committee will be formed by the Mufti Regent, and then the members will be determined as a result of the official drawing of lots. The said committee will be formed by faculty members of the Religious Education department at the University of Thessaloniki, teachers in madrasas, imams, preachers and members of the Ierodidaskalos "240 imam law".

The Advisory Board (Board) examines the candidates and decides whether each candidate is qualified to assume the office of Mufti.
Then, he submits the alphabetical list of those who are suitable for the mufti to the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, and the Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs appoints one of them to the Mufti by Presidential Decree. The process of choosing a mufti is also in line with the principles of Islam."

In the news in the Greek press, "The said legislative proposal was prepared as a result of the comprehensive research of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, consultation with the clergy, cooperation with expert scientists, the current constitution, laws and international regulations, and consultations with the Thrace Development Commission." was recorded.

Again, according to the news, it was announced that with the said legal regulation, it was aimed to solve the problem of the mufti, which has existed for many years.

TIMING ATTENTION

It was noteworthy that such a legal arrangement was brought to the Parliament a few days after the death of the Xanthi Mufti Ahmet Mete, who was elected according to human rights by the Turkish Minority in Western Thrace, succumbing to a relentless illness.

“SAME BOTTLE, SAME BATH”-NOTHING CHANGE

The Western Thrace Turkish Minority society shows reactions that they were aware of the fact that the administration was faced with fait accomplish and arbitrary practices by ignoring itself and ignoring its demands, as it always does.

While this move of the government caused many questions in terms of timing, reactions from the Western Thrace Turkish Minority society made public, such as "The government continues to ignore the Turkish Minority" and "Same bowl, same bath".

"THIS PROPOSAL IS AN ATTACK ON OUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, IT AIMS TO DISPOSE THE MUFTİ"

Cengiz Ömer, President of the Çınar Association and Managing Director- of the MİLLET Media, said the following about the legal regulation, which the government described as an assassination attempt to discredit the Turkish Minority's rights and discredit their religion and mufti:

"While the Turkish Minority wants to use its right to elect its muftis according to the agreements and International Law, Greece continues to pursue its arbitrary and unlawful practices persistently.
This has nothing to do with gaining an image and raising the reputation of the mufti and muftis, as claimed. We are being mocked by these claims.
Will they gain prestige by ignoring the religious belief of a society, by cruelly confiscating its religious institutions, and by arbitrarily imposing all kinds of human rights and non-religious impositions there?

Such cruelty is unprecedented in Europe. There may be prints in different ways, but what Greece has done is unique.
While doing this, Greece markets it as ‘democratic practices exemplary to the world’.
Although it oppresses a society, there are few states that are as successful as Greece in marketing it to the world as if it were a blessing.

THE STATE, İS NOT INTERFERING IN THE INTERNAL BUSINESS OF THE CHURCH, BUT IS INTERFERING IN THE MÜFİ

It is noteworthy that Greece does not impose these unlawful practices against the religious institutions of Western Thrace Turks on any religious community in the country, especially its own Orthodox Church.

The reason for this is based on the grounds that the Turkish Minority and its institutions are seen as a "national problem" and must be controlled by the state.

WHAT IS DEMANDED IS AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS, ISLAM AND THE WILL OF THE TURKISH MINORITY

The articles in the Greek press about the aim of solving the mufti problem with the legal regulation were evaluated as an indication that the government's distorted view towards the Turkish Minority would not be corrected.

The reason for this is that the issues put forward as a solution are against human rights, Islam, the demands and will of the Turkish Minority.

Greece cannot appoint Metropolitans who are hierarchically comparable to Muftis of the Greek Church. Likewise, the Archmetropolitan/Archbishops, who are the equivalent of the Chief Mufti, are not determined and appointed by the Greek government.

The Greek state cannot in any way interfere with the internal functioning and hierarchical structure of the Greek Orthodox Church. The church strongly opposes this. In the past, governments that tried to do this were under the wrath of the Church and were overthrown.

Likewise, the Istanbul Patriarchate, the center of the Eastern Orthodox Greek Church, which is the highest religious authority in Greece according to the constitution, is free in its internal affairs according to the Treaty of Lausanne. The Turkish state does not interfere with the religious affairs and hierarchical structure of the Patriarchate.

According to the Treaty of Lausanne, the Metropolitans, who are the counterparts of the Muftis in Western Thrace, are not appointed by the responsible ministry of Türkiye.

If Turkey introduces a similar legal regulation, which was presented to the Parliament in Greece, which can be described as a disrespectful intervention to the religion of Western Thrace Turks and an attack on their reputation, Greece and the entire "civilized" world will stand up an react. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Turks of Western Thrace, there is not much objection other than symbolic reactions. In my opinion, the information in the Greek media about ‘the said legislative proposal was prepared as a result of the comprehensive research of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, consultation with the clergy, cooperation with expert scientists, the current constitution, laws and international regulations, and consultations with the Thrace Development Commission’. It is unfounded. This has nothing to do with the reality.

On the contrary, we are faced with an assassination on our reputation. We are faced with propaganda aimed at manipulating unfair and cruel practices to control the institutions by ignoring the religious will of the Turkish Minority. I must state once again that Greece is openly interfering with the religion of the Turkish Minority.
Greece makes these unfair and cruel laws to control our faith and religious institutions.
The last regulation, like the others, was prepared in a malicious way and completely contrary to the Constitution, Lausanne, International Law, Islam and our traditions.

The minority society itself, the deputies who are the real representatives of the Minority, the imams and muftis who are currently working in mosques and elected by the minority, representatives of the foundation committee, municipal and state councilors are strongly against this law and the arbitrary regulations of the administration.

This regulation, which was brought to the parliament and targeting the existence of the Turkish Minority. IT is an attack on our religion and freedom of religion and aims to completely discredit the muftis. We are strongly against and we will fight with all our strength against those who play with our reputation.

MÜFTIS ARE NOT GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS

Religious authority and institutions belong to their believers. The religion of Islam belongs to Allah and concerns Muslims. However, Greece pretends to say "Islam belongs to me" and wants to subordinate Muslims to the religion that the state sees fit, not God's.

Greece wants to control us. It does this by reducing the Mufti to the state office. Mufti offices are not government offices. They are private institutions with international status. It is entirely governed by the Minority and the state supervises only as much as it has the right and supports if necessary.

We do not allow our mufti to be turned into a state directorate. Mufti offices are serious and very important institutions. It is not a state fire department, tax office or waterworks agency. Muftis are not civil servants like the fire chief.

MUFTUS ARE APPOINTED IN TURKİYE, BUT..

Greece says that muftis are appointed in Turkey as well. Yes, but Türkiye is an Islamic country and those who appoint Muftis are Muslims. In Greece, it is the Christian state that appoints or wants to decide how it should be. Anyone who has nothing to do with Islam has no right to interfere in the affairs of Muslims. Deliberately making false comparisons.

The status of muftis in Western Thrace is determined according to Treaty of Lausanne, not Turkish law. The counterparts of the muftis in Western Thrace are the Metropolitans of the Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul. The Turkish state does not appoint the Metropolitans there. They are appointed directly by the Patriarchate. They are trying to distort the facts, but this minority never accepts it.

The gilded news leaked to the press, perception operations and propaganda did not and will not work for us and for our society. Just as the Patriarchate determines the Metropolitans in Türkiye, the Turkish Minority should be able to determine the Muftis in Western Thrace. Despite the impositions, the Turkish Minority, as it knows, chooses and elects its muftis in accordance with international agreements and law. Let Greece continue to deceive itself and the world with a few salaried civil servants.

LAWS MUST FOLLOW LEGAL BASIS

We are the grandchildren of a society with official minority status of Turkish origin, who died for a state that respects the constitution and international law. Citizens of course, must respect and obey the law.
However, laws that are against the Treaty of Lausanne, international law and aiming to destroy a society are invalid and will not be applied. We are against them.

Every citizen must fight against so-called laws that are not based on legal foundations and work for the establishment of real law and justice in the country.

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