Turkey condemns ‘racist threat message’ in Greece

25th Dec 2020
Turkey condemns ‘racist threat message’ in Greece

(Photo courtesy of ABTTF)

Nadine Osman

Turkey has condemned a “racist threat message,” in north-eastern Greece written on an elevator of a flat building that is the residence of Ahmet Mete, the Mufti of Xanthi in Western Thrace, Greece.

The xenophobic graffiti reading, ‘Good Turk is a Dead Turk’ was penned on the evening of November 27, in the mirror of the elevator in the flat where Mufti Mete lives.

“This incident once again revealed the intolerance of racist and extremist groups in Greece towards the existence of the Turkish Minority in Western Thrace and their representatives,” said Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hami Aksoy.

“We expect the Greek state to enlighten the heinous incident and bring its perpetrators to justice by carrying out an investigation with due seriousness and sensitivity, ” he added.

Separately, Turkey’s Parliament Speaker, Mustafa Sentop, also denounced the attack. “I condemn the attack on the residence of Mr Ahmet Mete, the Mufti of Xanthi in Western Thrace. I call the attention of those who undertake the responsibility of protecting the rights of the Turkish minority. Hope the EU also recalls the notion of human rights when the victim of the attack is a Muslim as well,” said Sentop.
Ali Erbas, head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, also condemned the message.

In a statement to The Muslim News the Presidium of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), said, “On behalf of Western Thrace Turks living in Europe we condemn the attack targeting our Mufti Ahmet Mete and convey our best wishes to him.

Hate and threats-based attacks carried out by racist and fanatical groups targeting the Turkish community in Western Thrace and its representatives threaten the peace and tranquility environment in our region.“In the face of this abominable attack, we demand that the relevant authorities immediately carry out the necessary prosecution and investigation, finding their perpetrators and bringing them to justice.”

The election of muftis, or Islamic clerics, by Muslims in Greece, is regulated by the 1913 Treaty of Athens, a Greek-Ottoman Empire pact which was implemented by Athens in 1920.

But in 1991, Greece annulled its law regarding the 1913 treaty and unlawfully started to appoint the muftis itself.

The muftis appointed by the Greek state have since usurped local Muslims’ right of jurisdiction on family and inheritance matters. The majority of, the 150,000, Turks in the region do not recognize muftis appointed by the Greek state and instead rightfully elect their muftis.However, since 1991 the Greek state has refused to recognize elected muftis, and authorities have even put clerics on trial.

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