Türkiye responds to the EU and Greece on 'minorities'

Western Thrace
Sat, 24 Sep 2022 10:26 GMT
Türkiye emphasized that Greece's attitude towards the Western Thrace Turkish minority within the scope of the Treaty of Lausanne violated contemporary minority rights standards.
Türkiye responds to the EU and Greece on 'minorities'

Türkiye emphasized that Greece's attitude towards the Western Thrace Turkish minority within the scope of the Treaty of Lausanne violated contemporary minority rights standards.

Türkiye emphasized that non-Muslim groups defined as minorities under the Treaty of Lausanne have their own institutions in Türkiye, but that Greece's attitude towards the Western Thrace Turkish minority violates contemporary minority rights standards.

In the high-level meeting on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on Minorities, organized by the President of the General Assembly at the margin of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly High Level Week, violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Turks of Western Thrace were expressed in the statement made by the Türkiye. The “allegations” of EU representative in against the “Greek” minority in Türkiye were also responded to.

Stating that Türkiye has been home to a legacy of tolerant and cultural pluralism for centuries, "Our country is a haven for those fleeing persecution in every period of history." expressions were used.

Emphasizing the intolerance towards refugees in Europe, the statement stated that Türkiye hosted more than 4 million refugees during this period.

In the statement, which pointed out that the constitution also guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms, it was stated that citizens belonging to non-Muslim minorities in Türkiye have their own schools, places of worship, foundations, hospitals and media organs within the framework of the Treaty of Lausanne.

On the other hand, the way Greece treats the Western Thrace Turkish minority violates international human rights law and contemporary minority rights standards. The Western Thrace Turkish minority is still not recognized as an ethnic minority by the Greek government, and even they are prevented from using the word "Turkish" in minority associations. It was reminded that the violation decisions of the Human Rights Court of Greece on this issue more than 10 years ago have not been implemented yet.

In Türkiye's statement, it was stated that the discriminatory Greek authorities should remove all obstacles to the full enjoyment of the rights of the Turkish minority, and the baseless allegations brought up by the EU representative that Ankara did not fulfill its obligations to protect the Greek minority were rejected.

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