Greek diplomatic sources: Minority in Thrace is religious not ethnic, in response to Turkish Minister’s claims

5 May 2021
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Greek diplomatic sources responded to statements made by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister, Yavuz Selim Kiran, who dubbed the Muslim community in Thrace “Turkish” during his visit to Thessaloniki.

The diplomatic sources called the claims a “distortion of reality and falsification” of the actual data, referring to the complaints of the Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister, who spoke of “pressures on the Turkish ex-pats.”

“Greece remains firmly committed to its international obligations, fully respecting international law, which is a compass of its foreign policy. In this context, it applies the provisions stemming from the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which recognises the existence of a religious Muslim minority in Thrace. The Muslim minority, which is thriving, numbers about 120,000 inhabitants, Greek citizens. In this area, 127 minority schools are currently operating, as well as 260 Mosques. Any attempt to distort the reality and falsify the data, from wherever it comes, is self-evidently rejected and does not need further comment.”

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