Halit Habip Oğlu: “We do hope that issues pertaining to the Turkish community in Western Thrace will be tackled within the framework of talks between our country Greece and our motherland Turkey.”
Following the explanation by İbrahim Kalın, Spokesman for the Presidency of Turkey which is the motherland of Western Thrace Turks that Turkey is ready to hold talks with Greece on all issues without condition, government officials and opposition parties of our country Greece also reacted regarding possible dialogue process.
The Greek Government Spokesman Stelios Petsas noted Athens wishes that communication channels be open to determine maritime jurisdictions between the two countries, and that these talks may be in the form of previously discontinued exploratory talks.
The Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Greece is ready for dialogue with Turkey without pressure or threat, adding that ‘our only problem with Turkey is the determination of continental shelf and maritime jurisdictions’.
The opposition parties SYRIZA and KINAL in Greece also called for a possible dialogue between Turkey and Greece to be limited to continental shelf.
On the other hand, in an interview he realised wit Anadolu Agency in early July, the Spokesman for the Presidency of Turkey İbrahim Kalın said there is a Turkish Muslim minority which lives in Western Thrace and that there are problems in that respect along with other issues, indicating that it is always possible to achieve progress by talking mutually through negotiations between the two countries about all of these.
“The latest statements on the initiation of a dialogue process between our country Greece and our motherland Turkey are very encouraging. However, while our motherland request that all issues between our two countries be discussed, our country demands the talks to be limited to continental shelf. However, the Turkish community in Western Thrace, whose status and rights have been determined by the Lausanne Peace Treaty, is a bilateral issue that directly concerns our motherland and our country. There are bilateral treaties regarding the rights of the Turkish community in Western Thrace. It is not understandable that our country wants to limit the dialogue process to one issue while this reality is there. We hope, as representatives of our motherland have also expressed it, that issues pertaining to the Turkish community in Western Thrace will also be discussed within the talks and that our country Greece will take the necessary steps for a solution to issues and betterment of the situation of the Turkish community in Western Thrace”, said Halit Habip Oğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF).