Minority rights still being ignored

Western Thrace
Tue, 18 Jan 2022 13:38 GMT
Greece claims that the rights of the Greeks in Turkey are not respected President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis via video conference attended the online Christmas pastry event of the Gökçeada People's Association on Janua...
Minority rights still being ignored
Greece claims that the rights of the Greeks in Turkey are not respected

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis via video conference attended the online Christmas pastry event of the Gökçeada People's Association on January 16, 2022. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also sent a message to the event.

In her greeting speech at the event, President Sakellaropoulou said that the Turkish authorities should change their attitudes towards the Greek Orthodox minority living in Turkey.

Sakellaropoulu expressed her hope that the provisions stipulated in the Treaty of Lausanne regarding non-Muslim minorities and international conventions on the protection of human rights will be respected.

President Sakellaropoulou noted that Greece will always support efforts to strengthen Hellenism in Gökçeada and to remedy the injustices it has suffered over time. 

Prime Minister Mitsotakis: “Respect the rights of the Greek minority” 

In his speech, Prime Minister Mitsotakis stated that the government will always stand by the Greeks of Gökçeada and called on Turkey to respect the rights of the Greek Orthodox minority in the country.

Stating that they will put pressure on Turkey to respect the signatures on all kinds of international platforms, Mitsotakis noted that they will constantly remind Ankara of its official commitments.

Mitsotakis said that any discrimination against the Greeks of Gökçeada, who are Turkish citizens, is a violation not only of the Treaty of Lausanne but also of international conventions on the protection of human rights.

A message from Dendias

In his message, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias called on Turkey to fully implement the Treaty of Lausanne and fully respect the rights of the Greek Orthodox minority in Gökçeada, Bozcaada, and Istanbul.

Asking Turkey to comply with international and European standards in respecting the rights of people and persons belonging to minorities, Dendias stated that they will continue to remind Turkey's commitments at every opportunity and to emphasize the injustices suffered by Hellenism in Gökçeada.

Statement of ABTTF

Halit Habipoğlu, the Chairman of the Federation Of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), issued a statement regarding the issue.

Habipoğlus’ statement is as follows: “I read with great astonishment the statements of the president, prime minister and foreign minister of our country, Greece. With their statements, our country's top executives once again kept the habit of turning their backs on facts and voicing an illusion that only they believed in.

Our country ignores the Western Thrace Turkish community, which is given the same rights as the Greek Orthodox minority in our homeland (Turkey), within the framework of the principle of reciprocity determined by the 1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty, and sees it as a threat and danger.

It is absurd that our country, which has not implemented the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights regarding our associations for 14 years despite all the warnings and calls of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, calls on our homeland to comply with its obligations arising from the Lausanne Treaty and international agreements.

While our country has usurped our autonomy in education with unilateral policies and practices over the years, closing our primary schools one by one every year on the grounds of student shortage, and ignoring our bilingual minority kindergarten requests, our homeland (Turkey) has opened schools for only four students in Gökçeada, in line with the demand of the Greek Orthodox minority.

Currently, education is given in kindergarten, primary school, and secondary school-high school belonging to the Greek Orthodox minority in Gökçeada.

Now I want to ask: Is it our country (Greece) or our homeland (Turkey) that must comply with its obligations arising from the Treaty of Lausanne and international agreements?

MILLET MEDIA OE.
BİLAL BUDUR & CENGİZ ÖMER KOLLEKTİF ŞİRKETİ.
Address: Miaouli 7-9, Xanthi 67100, GREECE.
Tel: +30 25410 77968.
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