FM ‘warm’ toward Greeks from Istanbul

FM ‘warm’ toward Greeks from Istanbul

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
FM ‘warm’ toward Greeks from Istanbul

‘We demand our rights like any other citizens,’ says Nikolas Uzunoğlu. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has a favorable view of the demands of Greeks from Istanbul now residing in Greece, according to a related community group that recently met with Turkey’s top diplomat in Athens.

“The meeting was very positive. But there was not enough time to analyze these topics,” the chairperson of the Universal Federation of Greeks from Istanbul based in Athens, Nikolas Uzunoğlu, told the Hürriyet Daily News following his group’s Oct. 10 meeting with Davutoğlu in Athens.

“This meeting was a surprise,” said Uzunoğlu, adding that requested another meeting with Davutoğlu in Ankara.

Return of citizenship right
One of the federation’s main demands is the return of the right to hold dual citizenship for third-generation Greeks, descendants of those who had to leave Turkey without completing their compulsory military service due to the painful incidents experienced in the 1960s. Asked whether the issues were too sensitive for Turkey, Uzunoğlu said he did not believe they were. “We demand our rights like any other citizen.”

During them meeting, the group also demanded financial support for court costs for those who resorted to judicial means to recover property they had to abandon, Turkish-language courses for those who return, as well as the establishment of education and research institutes for returning scientists.

The federation recently sent a file containing the same demands to Ankara. Uzunoğlu said Davutoğlu told the federation to maintain contact with Turkish Ambassador to Greece Kerim Uras and retired Ambassador Hasan Göğüş on the issues.