THESSALONIKI — Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yavuz Selim Kiran has been in Thessaloniki since early on Wednesday, paying a two-day private visit to Greece, chiefly in Thrace.
The Turkish official visited the house where Kemal Ataturk was born and also the Yeni Mosque, while according to the programme he is expected to be given a tour of the sights of Ano Poli.
In a post on Twitter, Yavuz Selim Kiran stated: "I met with representatives of the Turkish Community of Thessaloniki. Pressures, restrictions on freedom of speech and religion against our people are unacceptable. We are always close to our own people who maintain their identity and religion in the face of any adversity. We started our visit to our own people in Greece from the house of Kemal Ataturk, founder of our Republic. We are working in order to be pioneers in peace and stability in our region, under the motto 'peace in our home, peace in the world'".
Based on the programme that has become known, in the afternoon Kiran is due to visit Komotini, where he will meet with members of the Muslim minority, while on Thursday he will visit Xanthi and followed by Didymoteicho, where he will be given a tour of the Mehmet I (Vagiazit) Mosque, which is in the process of being repaired after damage caused by a fire.
He will return to Turkey by car.