“We are not going to bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich and just watch this happen”

Western Thrace
Sun, 1 Jan 2023 10:40 GMT
FEP Party Chairman Çiğdem Asafoğlu drew attention to the problems of Western Thrace Turks in the message she published on the occasion of the New Year.
“We are not going to bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich and just watch this happen”

In her New Year's message, Asafoğlu evaluated the contradictory attitude of Greece recognizing the Greek minorities in other countries as ethnic but not the Turks of Western Thrace in the same way, saying, "It is ridiculous that our "Turkish" identity is ignored by taking refuge in the "Muslim" and "non-Muslim" expressions in Lausanne.'

The New Year's message of FEP Party Chairman Çiğdem Asafoğlu is as follows:

“As the Western Thrace Turkish Minority, we are getting ready to welcome another new year with hope despite all the negativities in this exceptional region we live in.

We leave the year 2022, in which there has not been the slightest improvement in education and economy, or in minority problems such as chronic foundations and mufti office, in the deep and dark pages of history. In short, 2022 was a year in which our expectations were not met in the context of Minority Rights, and our identity was denied.

Despite the ECtHR's decision, the unrecognized officialdom of the ITB, our schools that were closed without considering their private and autonomous structure on the pretext of lack of children, our young people who could not hold on to the poorest region of the EU and Greece thus migrated, the administration of our foundations that were kept against our will, as in all matters, are subject to laws without being asked. We are deeply saddened by the fact that no positive step has been taken regarding a series of problems waiting for a solution, such as the emptied Mufti and the muftis we have chosen by declaring their will, and especially our self-identity, which was recognized from 1923 to the Junta Administration, was suddenly denied after 1972.

Despite the fact that Greece recognizes its minorities existing in other countries as ethnic, it displays a contradictory attitude by not showing the same attitude towards minorities in Greece, that is, by not recognizing them as ethnic. When we voice this contradiction, unfortunately, we are exposed to insults by many historically poor fascists.

I'm sorry, but we're not going to bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich and just watch this happen. History is obvious. It is ridiculous that our "Turkish" identity is ignored by taking refuge in Lausanne's "Muslim" and "non-Muslim" expressions. Because our identity is evident in the sub-negotiations of this agreement. Those who constantly write against us on this issue should know that the historical information we have is far above them. For this reason, it will be in the interest of our society for them to abandon their negligence, accusations, slurring of mud, and deceiving the public. When they do this, they will experience the happiness of serving the public peace.

I sincerely hope that 2023, the 100th anniversary of our stay in this country, will be a year in which peace, fraternity, and tranquility will increase for our minority, our country, and the world, the troubles will come to an end and minority problems will be resolved by taking our opinions.

With these feelings and thoughts, I wish the new year to be a peaceful year free from all kinds of troubles, I congratulate the new year of our patient, prudent, and high-minded citizens and offer my love and conversations.”

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