'Mitsotakis again denied the identity of the Turkish community in Western Thrace'

Western Thrace
Thu, 4 May 2023 11:02 GMT
ABTTF President: "We do not want our identity and rights to be used for election propaganda."
'Mitsotakis again denied the identity of the Turkish community in Western Thrace'

Halit Habipoğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), regarding the speech of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Xanthi on 27 April Thursday, said: "No matter how much our country denies it, we who have been living in these lands for centuries are Turks and we do not want to be used for election propaganda over our identity and rights."

In his written statement, Habipoğlu said, "Prime Minister Mitsotakis, in his election speech in Xanthi, continued to deny the Turkish identity of our community and repeated what he said before. As if this was not enough, it is unacceptable for our Prime Minister to present our motherland's protection of us, whose identity is denied and whose rights are usurped, as election material and propaganda and to characterise our identity and minority rights as 'myths'. Our country defines the minority living in Albania as Greek minority, not Orthodox Christian, and protects them. This is also quite natural. In fact, during his visit to the south of Albania, our Prime Minister was welcomed with Greek flags by the Greek minority living there. However, Albania, which is not yet a member of the European Union, accepts and recognises the Greek minority living in its territory with its ethnic identity, while in our country, member of the European Union for a long time and claims to be the cradle of democracy at every opportunity, we are described as a 'Muslim' minority and our identity is denied. Is this how our country abides by the rules of international law and respects European values? No matter how much our country denies it, we who have been living in these lands for centuries are 'Turks' and we do not want to be used for election propaganda over our identity and rights."

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