News and statements targeting Western Thrace Turks after the general elections
In the general elections held on Sunday, May 21, 2023, the majority press reported news targeting our society, regarding the election of four Western Thrace Turks from Rhodope and Xanthi to the Greek Parliament by being elected as MPs, and the fact that one of them received the most votes in the Rhodope province.
In his statement evaluating the election results, New Democracy Party (NDP) Rhodope Deputy Evripidis Stilyanidis claimed that the success of SYRIZA in the Rhodope province in the last general elections was mainly the result of the intervention of the Turkish Consulate in Komotini to the internal affairs of the country by manipulating the minority votes, and that it was due to foreign interventions.
Eleni Laftçi, President of SYRIZA Rhodope Provincial Organization, shared on her personal Facebook account that the Turkish Consulate in Komotini managed to intervene in the political issues in Rhodope and that the success of SYRIZA candidate Özgür Ferhat, who was elected MP from Rhodope, has nothing to do with the progressive power or the left.
In the news of the Xronos newspaper dated 22.05.2023, it is stated that the candidate of PASOK-KINAL from Rhodope, Sibel Mustafaoğlu, received approximately 2,500 votes in the general elections, but did not even manage to get 500 votes in the municipal elections in 2019. It was noted that Mustafaoğlu's relationship with the Turkish Consulate or Consular mechanisms should be questioned.
In a statement about the election results in Rhodope, Metropolitan of Alexandroupoli Anthimos Koukouridis claimed that the religious identity of the citizens was instrumentalized by foreign powers and centers in order to intervene in the political mechanism, referring to the Western Thrace Turkish society.
In the news titled “SYRIZA's apology to the minority in Xanthi and Rhodope” published on the website Liberal.gr on 25.05.2023, SYRIZA repeated its mistake of handing over the Muslim minority to the manipulation of the Turkish Consulate in Komotini, thus It was alleged that he put the small party plans above national interests.
ABTT: “Election results must be respected”
Habipoğlu said in his statement:
“When we read the news and statements directly targeting our society after the May 21 general elections, we see that even the results of the democratic elections are not respected in our country. It's really sad to see this.
However, this is deliberately ignored: we constitute the majority of the population in the Rhodope province and naturally a Turkish candidate gets the most votes.
It is quite normal for the Greek candidate to get the second most votes and a candidate from us to get the third most votes.
I must remind. In October 1993, before the requirement that independent candidates receive 3% of the votes nationwide in order to be elected as a member of parliament, we elected our independent deputies as a society and sent them to the Greek Parliament.
Therefore, our society, which is ignored in our country, gives its votes to Turkish candidates in every election, reminding our country's rulers and political parties of its existence and power in the most democratic way. Our society says 'we are here with our Turkish identity'."