'Türkiye foiled Greek bid to wipe out Ottoman-era Muslim cemetery in Western Thrace'
Municipal authorities of Bulustra (Avdira) “were planning to turn a part of the cemetery into a sports field,” Mustafa Trampa, the mufti (Muslim cleric) of the Turkish minority in the Western Thrace city of Iskece, told Anadolu Agency.
Their plans were foiled when the Turkish Foreign Ministry took up the issue, he said.
Ankara had strongly condemned the move, with the ministry issuing a statement on March 18 condemning the cemetery’s destruction and calling for it to be brought back “to its former state.”
“After Türkiye’s statement, the issue gained international prominence,” said Trampa, adding that officials in Bulustra were forced to “withdraw the decision immediately.”
“Greece is doing everything it can to remove all traces of Ottoman history, be it baths, mosques, madrasas, or cemeteries, throughout the country and in Western Thrace,” said Trampa, who became the mufti of Iskece this September.
“We expect the Greek authorities, who responded positively to our demarches, to show the required sensitivity to finalize the investigation as soon as possible and to bring back the cemetery to its former state,” it added.