President of ABTTF, Halit Habip Oğlu was elected as the Vice President of FUEN for the third time at the FUEN Board of Delegates, held within the framework of the congress where the Turkish community in Western Thrace represented by ABTTF.
Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) participated at the 64th annual congress of the Federal Union of the European Nationalities (FUEN), held in Bratislava, capital city of Slovakia, and in the city of Dunajská Streda on 12-16 June 2019. Halit Habip Oğlu, President of ABTTTF and Vice President of FUEN, Sami Yusuf, Sebahattin Mümin, Aydın Ahmet and Bülent Çolak, Vice Presidents of ABTTF and Melek Kırmacı Arık, ABTTF International Relations Director participated at the congress in which 70th anniversary of FUEN was celebrated and hosted by the Hungarian minority and Carpathian Germans in Slovakia.
Halit Habip Oğlu, President of ABTTF has been elected as the Vice President of FUEN for the third time for 2019-2022 period at the FUEN Board of Delegates held within the framework of the congress which was attended by over 200 minority representatives from different countries of Europe. Besides, at the FUEN Board of Delegates, the resolution on the main problems of Turkish community in Western Thrace in education jointly presented by ABTTF, Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association (WTMUGA) and Friendship Equality Peace Party (FEP) which together represent the Turkish community in Western Thrace under the umbrella of FUEN, was adopted unanimously. And the resolution on the right to learn the mother tongue and education in mother tongue presented by Rhodes, Kos and the Dodecanese Turks Culture and Solidarity Association (ROISDER) representing Rhodes and Kos Turks at the congress was also adopted unanimously.
Turkish community living in Greece was introduced at FUEN traditional “Minority Market”
In the evening of the first day of the congress, a traditional fair called “Minority Market” was organized where cultural and linguistic diversity, traditions and unique cuisines of minorities from different countries of Europe were introduced. At the Minority Market, Bernard Ziesch, Vice President of FUEN, and representatives of the host organizations gave a greeting speech, and the tastes of the Turkish and Greek cuisines of the region were introduced by the Western Thrace and Rhodes-Kos Turks living in Greece. In addition, detailed information was given about the culture and problems of the Turkish community in Western Thrace and Rhodes-Kos Turks through brochures.
Representatives of Turkic minorities and communities met at the meeting held during the congress
Within the framework of FUEN Congress, FUEN Working Group of Turkic Minorities/ Communities (TAG) meeting was held. Representatives of Western Thrace Turks, Rhodes-Kos Turks, Ahiska Turks and Crimean Tatars attended the meeting. At the meeting, organization of the 6th Annual Meeting of FUEN TAG was also discussed, the video explaining the activities and works of FUEN TAG for the period of 2016-2019 prepared by FUEN TAG Secretariat was presented to the participants. To watch the video please refer to https://www.facebook.com/Federal.Union.of.European.Nationalities/videos/701052797003190/.
At the congress, FUEN's 70-year struggle of advocating for minority rights was evaluated and the situation of minorities living in Slovakia and Ukraine was addressed
The FUEN 2019 Congress officially started in the afternoon of June 13 with the opening speech of Loránt Vincze, President of FUEN. At this year’s congress, FUEN Prize was presented for the first time and Hartmut Koschyk, Former German Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities has been the first to receive the FUEN Prize, awarded to persons who have made a special contribution to dialogue, the protection of national minorities and the coexistence of minorities, language communities and the majority in Europe. Afterwards, the 70- year struggle of FUEN for the protection and promotion of minority rights was evaluated at the panel session organized with the participation of former presidents and the current president of FUEN. FUEN celebrated its 70th anniversary in the evening gala.
At the panel sessions held on June 14th, Friday, past, present and future of the Slovakian Hungarians were discussed and the situation of minorities living in Ukraine-scheduled to host the congress this year but canceled for security reasons-was addressed. On the same day, FUEN introduced its new project, the Minority Monitor (MiMo) for national and local minorities. Within this context, Melek Kırmacı Arık, Director of International Relations who contributed to the project on the right to learn mother tongue in the first phase of the project, on behalf of ABTTF stated that the Turkish community in Western Thrace had reported the issue of bilingual minority kindergartens to FUEN.
The draft resolutions submitted by Western Thrace Turks and the Rhodes and Kos Turks were adopted unanimously
At the FUEN Board of Delegates, the draft resolution on the main problems in education of the Western Thrace Turkish community, presented together with ABTTF, WTMUGA and FEP Party as the “Western Thrace Turkish Minority” delegation, and the resolution on the right to learn mother tongue and education in mother tongue was adopted unanimously.
ABTTF President Habip Oğlu has been re-elected as FUEN Vice President at the FUEN Board of Delegates
Within the framework of the congress, elections were held for the FUEN Presidium consisted of the chairman and six vice-presidents at the FUEN Delegates Board on Saturday, June 15. At the election total of 221 votes were casted and 2 votes were void. The current president of FUEN, Loránt Vincze, who ran in the presidential elections as the only candidate, received 196 votes and was once again elected as FUEN President for the next three years. In total, 9 candidates competed for the Vice Presidency of FUEN. Halit Habip Oğlu, President of ABTTF and current Vice President of FUEN was elected as the Vice President of FUEN for the third time by receiving the second most votes among the candidates with 170 votes. As a result of the elections, the FUEN Presidential Board was formed as follows: President Loránt Vincze (196 votes), Vice President Daniel Alfreider (180 votes), Vice President; Halit Habip Oğlu (170 votes), Vice President Gösta Toft (153 votes), Vice President Vladimir Ham (127 votes), Vice President Angelika Mlinar (109 votes) and Vice President Bahne Bahnsen (100 votes). The three other candidates for FUEN Vice-Presidency; Meto Novak, Steen Schröder and Gusen Shakhpazov received 89, 61 and 60 respectively.
Number of members of FUEN increased
At the FUEN Board of Delegates, the Confederation of Slovene Organisations belonging to the Slovenian minority living in Italy received ordinary membership of FUEN while the Serbian-Aromanian Association “Lunjina”, organization of the Aromanian minority in Serbia and the Democratic Union of Slovaks and Czechs in Romania became associate members of FUEN.
As the ABTTF Presidium, we sincerely congratulate Halit Habip Oğlu on his election as the Vice President of FUEN for the third consecutive year and wish him success in his endeavors.