State persecution: minority foundations' property are being sold
Greece's repression and intimidation policies towards the Muslim Turkish minority continue in Kos and Rhodes, as in Western Thrace. The state sold another land land of the Islamic Foundation of (Kos) in an unlawful way.
Lastly, 34 acres of land owned by Kos Islamic Foundation was sold to a tourism company for 181 thousand Euros with the approval of Kos Foundation Goods Administration. Following the decision in January, the sale of the land was officially completed last month, citing the restoration costs of five mosques in the region. Minority associations in Kos and Rhodes state that they are uncomfortable with the 'irregular' sales by the 'employed' foundation management.
Minority associations have stated that the sale of these properties is legally irregular and invalid on the grounds that they are foundation property, while they react to the appointment of foundation administrations by the government to keep them under control. Associations also stress that the situation restricts freedom of religion and worship.
Kadri Memiş, the President of the Association of Education and Culture of the Muslims of Kos, said: "We do not want the goods of the foundation to be sold. The foundation cannot make its own decisions. It is governed. As Muslims, we are against these ones." Memiş, stating that the pretext of the mosque of the restoration costs in the region for the sale of land "Money can be collected from Turkey or any Muslim state. In this way, modifications may occur, or Greek state to allocate this budget," he said. Memiş stated that more than 70 properties belonging to the foundation, including most of the land, were transferred or sold, and most of these lands were taken over to the municipalities for the purpose of building parks, parking areas or cemeteries.
On the other hand, Memiş stated that two mosques, one of which is open to worship on the island, are still closed due to the damage they suffered during the earthquake in July 2017, in which two people lost their lives.
Located in the center of the island and seeing the massive damage the earthquake destroyed the minaret of Defterdar Mosque as well as the Germe Mosque gets damaged, despite the intervening two years, Memiş stressed that mosques are yet to be repaired.
Memiş reacted to this situation, "There were two mosques worshiped. Deterdar is still ruined. There is very little damage in Germe. We heard that the project is being prepared but it is postponed day by day. We expect it to be opened as soon as possible." he said.
Approximately 150 thousand Turks live in Greece's Western Thrace region and approximately 9 thousand Turks live in Rhodes and Kos.