The denial of the Turkish identity of Western Thrace Turks
In the statement of the İskeçe Turkish Union, it was emphasized that on January 29, the Turks of Western Thrace struggled against discriminatory practices and denial of national identity by raising their voices.
The statement said:
“We are celebrating another anniversary of January 29, the most important resistance and social reaction movement of the Western Thrace Turkish Minority against injustice and discrimination in a century-old life.
January 29 is a milestone for the Western Thrace Turkish Community. It has been 35 years since the "National Day of Resistance and Social Solidarity" on January 29, 1988, when Western Thrace Turks raised their voices and shouted against injustice, injustice and discriminatory practices.
January 29; It is the honor day of the Turkish people of Western Thrace, who said 'NO' to injustice, discrimination, oppression and denial of Turkish identity, and fight for their democratic rights. It is a milestone in which Western Thrace Turks say 'stop' to the anti-democratic mentality that does not want or accepts them and treats them as second-class citizens.”
“THE THE POLICY OF DENIAL CONTINUES”
In the statement of the İskeçe (Xanthi) Turkish Union, it was stated that the mentality that denied the identity of the Western Thrace Turks 35 years ago continued to usurp rights, and said, "The mentality that denied the national identity of the Western Thrace Turks 35 years ago, continues to usurp our rights, which are guaranteed by international law, despite the passage of years.
The Turkish Minority of Western Thrace gained basic citizenship rights to a great extent thanks to the will and struggles it displayed on January 29. However, 35 years have passed since January 29 1988, there has not been the slightest of improvement in the collective rights of the minority community. Unfortunately, new ones have been added to existing problems.
In recent years, Turkish minority institutions and minority representatives have faced numerous perception operations in the public and media to target, marginalize and implicate them. It is tried to prevent minority people from claiming their own institutions and their democratic struggle, and our people are tried to be intimidated by various methods.”
In the statement, which also included the events of January 29, 1990, it was emphasized that the state still has not apologize from the minority for the attacks and violence against the Turkish minority on January 29, 1990. In the statement of Xanthi Turkish Union, “Western Thrace Turkish Minority expects an apology from its state.” was said.
The announcement included the following statements: “It has been 33 years since the violence and attacks against Western Thrace Turks on January 29, 1990. We would like to remind you that although years have passed since the January 29, 1990 attacks, which made the members of the minority feel not wanted in this land; the Greek state of which we are citizens still has not made an apology.
The Western Thrace Turkish Minority is still waiting for an apology from its state. This apology has not come in 33 years. We want to believe that we will not wait another 33 years for at least an apology from our society.
By the way, we would like to remind you that; The decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, which are closely related to the Western Thrace Muslim Turkish Community, are still not implemented in the last 15 years, the injustices against the minorities continue, the Western Thrace Turks who talk about the usurpation of rights and injustice are 'othered' and 'targeted'. Even years after the January 29, Western Thrace Turks are faced with injustices, practices far from law and democracy.
In this context, although 15 years have passed since the ECtHR's positive decision in favor of the İskeçe (Xanthi) Turkish Union, the Greek state still does not implement this decision and the ECtHR decisions regarding the Turkish minority.
As İskeçe (Xanthi) Turkish Union, we commemorate with mercy and gratitude our elders who fought for our rights and passed away to eternity, and we commemorate once again with respect the 29 January National Resistance and Solidarity Day and all our compatriots who contributed to this struggle."