Türkiye urges Greece to obey Lausanne over “violation” of Turkish minority rights
Türkiye expressed unease over a new legal regulation approved by the Greek parliament regarding the functioning of the mufti Western Thrace and said the move “once again violated the rights and freedoms” of the Turkish minority.
This legal regulation, which was prepared without consultation with the representatives of the Western Thrace Turkish minority, once again ignored the will and freedom of religion of the minority’s elected muftis and thus the Western Thrace Turkish minority, the foreign ministry said in a written statement.
The minister recalled that Article 40 of the Lausanne Peace Treaty grants the Turkish minority the right to establish, manage and control their own religious, educational and charitable and social institutions. “The violation of this right by Greece against its contractual obligations has also been registered with the decisions of the ECtHR in the past,” it said.
While Greece should provide the Western Thrace Turkish Minority with the necessary support and ease in electing, administering and structuring its mufti, it is “unacceptable that it tries to bring the mufti under its rule against the will” of the minority, Ankara said.
“With this legal arrangement, Greece continues to violate the religious rights and freedoms of our compatriots, which are guaranteed by international agreements, and tries to transform the mufti institution into a structure under the control of the Greek state,” said the statement.
The ministry once again invited Greece “to respect international law, fulfill its contractual obligations stemming from the Lausanne Peace Treaty and other relevant agreements, and put an end to its policies of oppression and intimidation against the Turkish minority in Western Thrace.”