Halit Habip Oğlu: “The decision of the court against our Mufti, İbrahim Şerif is a political decision which appears to be our country Greece’s policy in recent years to supress and intimidate the representatives of the Turkish community in Western Thrace.”
İbrahim Şerif, Mufti of Rhodopi elected by the Turkish community in Western Thrace, Greece was sentenced to 80 days prison for “the usurpation of Mufti office” since he participated in Friday prayer with motherland Republic of Turkey’s former Council of Komotini of and led the prayer in Musaköy, Aleksandropolis on 18 March 2016.
Following to a written question submitted by an MP in the Greek Parliament, Aleksandropolis’ Prosecution Office had started an investigation. The hearing was held in Aleksandropolis’ Criminal Court of First Instance on 5 November 2019. The court lowered the punishment from 80 days prison sentence to a fine. Mufti Şerif will appeal against the decision.
Halit Habip Oğlu, President of ABTTF said that “we as ABTTF, the representatives of Western Thrace Turks living in Europe always stand with our Mufti İbrahim Şerif and support him during the lawsuit process. The decision of Aleksandropolis’ Criminal Court of First Instance against Mufti Şerif is a political decision which appears to be our country Greece’s policy in recent years to supress and intimidate the representatives of the Turkish community in Western Thrace and cannot be accepted. We call upon our country Greece to respect religious autonomy and freedom of religion of the Turkish community in Western Thrace which is guaranteed by treaties and to recognise Muftis elected by our community.”