MILLET NEWS editor evaluates the European Parliament election results for AA

Western Thrace
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 10:23 GMT
"The rise of far-right parties in Greece worries Western Thrace Turks"
MILLET NEWS editor evaluates the European Parliament election results for AA

"In Greece, as in other EU countries, non-participants and far-right parties won the elections, except in Western Thrace. In Western Thrace, the victory of the DEP Party was one of the main agenda items in Greece."

The rise of far-right parties in the European Parliament (EP) elections held on Sunday in Greece raises concerns about the situation of minorities in the country, especially Western Thrace Turks.

Cemil Kabza, journalist from Western Thrace and Editor of Millet News, made an assessment to AA correspondent on the possible effects of the European Parliament elections in Western Thrace.

Kabza stated that the low participation rate and the vote rates of far-right parties came to the fore in the EP elections in Greece and said, "According to the unofficial final results, the participation rate was recorded as 41.39 per cent. In the last European Parliament elections in May 2019, the turnout rate was 58.69 per cent. There are many reasons for the low participation rate. Economic crisis, unemployment and instability are among the issues that people constantly complain about."

Kabza shared the estimation that most of the voters who were not interested in the EP elections and did not go to the polls were from the centre-right, centre-right, left and socialist groups, and said that this situation was among the reasons for the increase in the vote rates of the far-right parties.

Kabza pointed out that although the EP election results did not affect the general political course of the country and the parliamentary elections as expected, the rising trend of the far right is a reality and said the following:

"If it continues in this way, it is likely that no party will be able to rule alone in the parliamentary elections to be held in the coming period, that a coalition will be resorted to and that extremist parties will also take part in this possible coalition. This situation will affect the Muslim Turkish Minority of Western Thrace the most as well as Greece in general. It will have a negative impact not only on the Turkish minority in Greece but also on other minority groups living in the country. Most importantly, it is possible that the positive steps that have been taken and continue to be taken as a result of long efforts between Türkiye and Greece will be disrupted. The members of the Muslim Turkish minority living in Western Thrace desire the good relations between Türkiye and Greece the most. When the relations between the two countries are good, the minority breathes easier."

"With the rise of the far right, racism and Islamophobia will take deeper roots in Europe"

Kabza stated that since the EP elections took place in June, those who go to the islands for seasonal work, those on holiday and economic problems are the factors leading to low participation in the elections, according to unofficial data announced by the Ministry of Interior in Greece, which has the right to send 21 parliamentarians to the EP, The ruling New Democracy (NDP) managed to get 7 seats in the EP, the main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) 4, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) 3, the Greek Solution 2 (far right), the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 2, the NIKI (Victory) Party, the Freedom Route and the Voice of Reason Party one seat each.

Kabza pointed out that although the vote rates of the first three parties in the elections decreased, there was an increase in the votes of the far-right Greek Solution and said, "In fact, we have seen a rapid rise of far-right parties across Europe. The rise of the far-right may hinder the future of the European Union, especially in the economy, human rights, refugees and foreign policy. Moreover, racism and xenophobia, as well as Islamophobia, will take deeper roots in Europe. Respect for diversity and equal rights for EU citizens of different religions, languages and races will be undermined."

"Western Thrace Turks said 'We are here'"

Kabza noted that the Friendship, Equality and Peace Party (FEP Party) founded by Dr. Sadık Ahmet, who is known for his struggle for the rights of Western Thrace Turks, achieved a great success in the 9 June 2024 EP elections and stated that in a period when the map of Greece (except half of Crete) was painted blue (YDP) in the election results, it came out as the first party with 36 percent of the votes in Rhodope and 27 percent in Xanthi, where Turks live intensively.

Kabza stated that all the negative and unfair comments and insults made against the FEP Party before the elections helped the Western Thrace Species to unite even more and concluded his words as follows

"Western Thrace Turks, who had lost hope in the political system and political parties in Greece, united around the FEP Party and shouted 'We are here' to Greece, Europe and even the world. The most remarkable success of FEP Party was that it received votes from every province of Greece. This shows that the party has achieved a significant success throughout the country. One of the biggest factors in FEP's success was the nomination of Eugenia Natsoulidou, a well-known figure of the Macedonian Minority in Greece, as a candidate from FEP. The co-operation of the two minorities increased the vote rates of FEP and renewed the self-confidence of the Macedonian Minority. This co-operation caused concern in the right wing. In the comments made on social media, there were calls for the closure of FEP. In Greece, just like in other EU countries, the non-participants and far-right parties won the elections. Except in Western Thrace. In Western Thrace, the victory of the DEP Party became one of the main agenda items in Greece."


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