Foreign Ministry: Unacceptable to Call out Greece for the Muslim Minority in Thrace

ATHENS. “Turkey is once again distorting the reality in Thrace,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement regarding issues concerning the Muslim minority. In fact, it underlines that it is at least an oxymoron for a country with a poor record on human rights issues to accuse Greece of violating the rights of the Muslim Minority in Thrace.

He points out that Greece, a modern European democracy, follows a coherent minority policy, which promotes the welfare of the minority. A Minority, which numbers around 120,000 members, which is the same number as was in the period when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, which Turkey systematically invokes, he adds and stresses that it is surprising how it invokes Lausanne and speaks of its violation by Greece, when in Istanbul, Imbros and Tenedos the Greek Minority numbers less than 3. 000 people, while at the time of the signing of the Treaty it numbered about 130,000.

He notes that this reality was recently reminded by the EU’s statement at the 77th UN General Assembly “on Turkey’s past discriminatory policies, which resulted in the Greek Minority in Turkey being on the verge of extinction”. The statement speaks for itself, just as the numbers speak for themselves, and demonstrate in the most striking way who is really implementing the Lausanne Convention and who is following a minority policy that respects human rights, he underlines.

In this context, the Foreign Ministry hopes that this indisputable truth of the figures will serve as a springboard for Turkey to finally reflect on its responsibilities in the area of minority policy.

In conclusion, it calls on Turkey, instead of delivering human rights lessons, to put its house in order and implement policies that will give new life and dynamism to the Greek minority there.


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