Greek-Turkish Relations
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Turkish provocation within the UN with references to a "Turkish minority" in Thrace - Strict response from Athens

A new Turkish challenge, and indeed this time within the UN, where in an insidious way he tried to raise the issue of a "Turkish minority" in Thrace.

The effort was made through the UN Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Read what the website of Turkey's state broadcaster TRT broadcasts: "The problems of the Turks of Western Thrace were discussed at a session of the United Nations.

The Director of International Relations of the European Federation of Turks of Western Thrace (ABTTF), Melek Kirmadzi Arik, attended the 87th Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) held in Geneva.

Melek Kirmadzi Arik in her speech referred to the problems faced by the Turkish community of Western Thrace in terms of religious autonomy, freedom of association and women's access to justice.

Recalling that Greece denies the Turkish identity of the Turkish community of Western Thrace and that it closes associations that contained the word "Turkish" in their name, Melek Kirmadzi Arik said that applications for the registration of new associations are also rejected.

Underlining that Greece has not implemented the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights regarding three Turkish associations in Western Thrace, including the Rhodope Prefecture Turkish Women's Cultural Association, for 16 years, Melek Kirmadzi Arik said that the application for registration of the Turkish Women's Cultural Association Prefecture of Xanthi has been rejected by the Greek authorities since 2017.

The Director of International Relations of ABTTF noted that these bans hinder the cultural and social development of Turkish women living in the region.

It is Turkey's umpteenth attempt to raise the issue of a "Turkish minority" in Greek Thrace in international forums in violation of the Lausanne Treaty.

Diplomatic sources who spoke to Pentapostagma pointed out once again that: "In Greece and Thrace there is a regime of equality and equality of state for all citizens, including of course our fellow citizens who are Muslims by religion."

It must be emphasized once again, as the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs also points out on its website, that the Greek State, in addition to full and practical compliance with the more specific provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne and international law in general, respects religious beliefs and cultural particularities of the three components of the Muslim minority in Thrace and reserves for Greek citizens, members of the minority, complete equality and equal statehood.Listening to the wishes of the Greek Muslims, who live in Thrace, and consulting with them, it plans and implements a consistent and coherent policy for the best possible response to their needs in all areas.

Turkish attempts to usurp the identity of the minority and flatten the special characteristics of each component are against international law and result in a violation of the rights of the members of the minority. The best and loudest response to these attempts is given by the minority itself, with its active and fruitful contribution to the political, economic and social development of the country.

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