Greece’s Muslims Say Mediation Offer Rejected by SYRIZA

Pilgrims walk outside Kirmahalle Cammi mosque in the northeastern Greek town of Komotini. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos, File)

The leader of the Muslim minority party in Greece said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA government has refused to accept an offer to act as a mediator with them even though the government build a state-paid official mosque in Athens set to begin operation in the fall.

The Friendship, Equality and Peace (KIEF) party came first in two regions of Thrace in last month’s European Parliament elections and its leader, Cigdem Asafoglu told the Turkish Anadolu Agency that,”I hope those who govern this country will see the truth from now on and acknowledge the KIEF party’s role..”

He added that, “If we were consulted, maybe we could have met at a common ground.” He said the government won’t even consult with the Muslim minority living in northeastern provinces on affairs concerning them.

Muftis in Thrace have the jurisdiction to decide on family and inheritance matters of local Muslims but are appointed by the government.

Asafoglu said her party was not a threat to Greece. “They tell us ‘if you are a Turk, go to Turkey’ and I respond to them each time with the same answer: No, I will not, because this place belongs to me as much as it belongs to you,” she said.