ATHENS – Despite repeatedly criticising Greece for appointing the Muslim community’s muftis in the region of Thrace, Turkey also appoints its own muftis at a central level, via a state agency, Greek diplomatic sources pointed out on Tuesday, highlighting the hypocrisy of Turkey’s stance.
The sources noted that three Turkish muftis were appointed, seven were transferred and one was removed from office with a Presidential Decree published in the Turkish government gazette a few days ago, on June 7. They pointed out that the muftis are civil servants employed by the Religious Affairs (Diyanet) Directorate, which is a state agency.
In spite of this, they added, Turkish officials have repeatedly accused Greece of allegedly violating the religious rights of the Muslim community in Thrace and demanded that muftis are elected and not appointed, as they have been until now. What is carefully concealed by the Turkish side, however, is that Turkey does exactly the same, namely that muftis in that country are appointed and not elected, the same sources said.