Western Thrace Turkish Delegation attends the OSCE Conference

Western Thrace
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 19:38 GMT
Western Thrace Turkish delegation consisting of ABTTF and BTAYTD representatives attended the OSCE conference.The Western Thrace Turkish delegation, consisting of ABTTF and BTAYTD representatives, expressed the violation of the freedom of association of t...
Western Thrace Turkish Delegation attends the OSCE Conference
Western Thrace Turkish delegation consisting of ABTTF and BTAYTD representatives attended the OSCE conference.

The Western Thrace Turkish delegation, consisting of ABTTF and BTAYTD representatives, expressed the violation of the freedom of association of the Western Thrace Turkish society and that the ECHR decisions regarding Western Thrace Turkish associations have not been implemented by Greece for 13 years.

Representing the Western Thrace Turkish community, the European Western Thrace Turkish Federation (ABTTF) and the Western Thrace Minority Higher Education Association (BTAYTD) attended the “ODIHR: 30 Years and Ready for the Future: Democracy, Human Rights and Security in the OSCE Area” organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on 14-15 October 2021 in hybrid format.

Deniz Servantie from ABTTF and Human Rights Expert Kerem Abdurahimoğlu from BTAYTD attended the conference jointly organized by OSCE/ODIHR, OSCE Chairman Sweden and host country Poland on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The conference was attended by representatives of OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, as well as researchers. The conference, which started with the opening speeches of OSCE/ODIHR Director Matteo Meccaci, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Linde and Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Sękowski vel Sęk, evaluated the last 30 years of ODIHR and discussed the challenges of the new period.

ABTTF, who took the floor in the session titled “The protection and improvement of human rights and fundamental freedoms together” on 15 October, stated that Greece denies the Turkish ethnic identity of the Western Thrace Turkish community and does not allow associations named “Turkish”, and stated that the Xanthi Turkish Union, which was closed in 1986 noted that the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the ITB has not been implemented by Greece for 13 years. ABTTF called on Greece to immediately implement the ECtHR judgments regarding Western Thrace Turkish associations and ratify the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities.

Using its right of reply, the Permanent Representation of Greece to the OSCE stated that Greece only recognizes the "Muslim minority" in Western Thrace, claiming that the minority has many rights and is not discriminated against.

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