ABTTF President: “We as Western Thrace Turks who have been subjected to systematic discrimination for years by our country Greece which prides itself of being the cradle of democracy have been waiting for over 12 years for the implementation by Greece of the ECtHR judgments.”
At the daily press conference on 3 September 2020, the European Union (EU) Commission Spokesman Adalbert Jahnz said they expect the Greek authorities to act in accordance with the law with respect to migrants.
Jahnz answered the question on the statement by the Greek Minister of Shipping and Island Policy Ioannis Plakiotakis that more than 10,000 migrants and asylum seekers had been pushed back in the Aegean Sea by Greece this year, and recalled the protection of the EU’s external borders under EU law is the responsibility of the Member States. He noted any measure implemented must be proportionate, compatible with fundamental rights and EU asylum laws.
Jahnz said the national authorities are obliged to comply with these obligations and added the EU Commission has the task of overseeing the implementation of EU laws, and in the event of a breach of the law such as push-back, the EU Commission expects the national authorities to conduct an investigation to uncover the facts and prosecute any illegality.
“The European Commission warned once again our country Greece which has a quite bad record as regards migrants and asylum seekers and invited it to act in conformity with its obligations as an EU Member State. We as Western Thrace Turks who have been facing systematic discrimination in Greece for years have also been waiting for over 12 years for the justice to take its place and for the implementation by our country of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) from 2008 with respect to our associations. I hope as the European Commission, you too will not have to wait so long that Greece acts in accordance with the law”, said Halit Habip Oğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF).