Greece Western Thrace Turks are exposed to double standards

Greece ignores the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in favor of the rights of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace. The criticism of the Council of Europe towards Athens on this issue was inconclusive. EU member states have also preferred to remain silent for years. Greece has been ignoring the existence and rights of Western Thrace Turks for years. Athens ignores the ethnic identity of the Turkish minority and describes them as ‘Greek Muslims’.

He is concerned about the existence of the word ‘Turkish’. For this reason, Turkish minority associations were either closed or not allowed to be opened due to the word ‘Turkish’ in their names. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which examined the cases of associations belonging to the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, found Greece unjust in 2008.

He ruled that the Athens administration had violated the European Convention on Human Rights. However, ignoring the ECHR decisions, Greece does not back down from its policy of blocking the Turkish minority in Western Thrace.

Greece denies identity of Turkish minority in Western Thrace

Greece violates the rights of Western Thrace Turks

EU member states have not been silent for years in the face of these violations. The Turkish minority, which is disturbed by the double standards of the EU countries, wants Athens’ violations to end. “Pressure on Greece” message Xanthi Turkish Union President Ozan Ahmetoğlu said, ‘We expect the international platform, EU countries, Council of Europe countries to intensify their calls and pressures for Greece to fulfill the requirements of international law. We want to get results.’ made statements.

Only the Council of Europe, to which the ECHR is affiliated, criticizes the rights violations against the Turkish minority. However, since the criticisms of the Council are not binding, they are inconclusive in terms of Athens’ implementation of the ECHR decisions.

ECHR judgment on Greek Western Thrace Turks

The Xanthi Turkish Union (ITB), founded in 1927, the Komotini Youth Union (GGB) established in 1928, and the Western Thrace Turkish Teachers’ Union (BTTÖB) established in 1936, were closed because they used the word Turkish. They were closed on the allegation that the minority in Western Thrace was defined as ‘Muslim’, not ‘Turkish’ in the Treaty of Lausanne.

Greece did not give official status permits to associations bearing Turkish names. The Rhodope Province Turkish Women’s Cultural Association and Meriç Province Minority Youth Association, whose official status activities were not allowed, and the association registration applications were rejected, brought the issue to the European Court of Human Rights. The ECtHR ruled that Greece violated the freedom of association. However, Greece still continues to violate the rights of the Turks in Western Thrace.