ABTTF President: ‘We strongly condemn the interventionist approach and practice of our government and request from it to withdraw this decision which is scandalous’.
Following the change of the signboard of Madrasah of Hayriye Foundation Minority Secondary and High School, which is one of the two historical religious schools belonging to the Turkish community in Western Thrace, to ‘Komotini Muslim Madrasah of Hayriye Secondary and High School’ on Thursday morning (24 December), the signboard of the madrasah in Xanthi has also been changed on Tuesday (29 December) and the word ‘Minority’ on the signboard has been changed to the word ‘Muslim’.
According to Millet newspaper, there are differences in the signboards of the madrasahs which constitute the two religious schools belonging to the Turkish community in Western Thrace since the past. While the signboard of the madrasa in Xanthi mentioned the name of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs in the past as well, the new signboard was written as follows: ‘Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Education-Research and Religious Affairs, Xanthi Muslim Madrasah’.
Halit Habip Oğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) made the following statement: ‘Following Komotini, the signboard of our madrasah in Xanthi has also been changed. Changing the signboards of our madrasahs with an approach of fait accompli in a period of Christmas holidays in our country clearly reveals the mentality of the rulers of our country. Regardless of whether the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs is mentioned or not, our madrasahs are ours, we have the right to establish, manage and administer our own schools in accordance with the status and rights that the Turkish community in Western Thrace has been granted. Madrasahs in Komotini and Xanthi are also our schools that provide religious education within the autonomous status. However, the rulers of our country interfere with every stage of our education, as in our primary schools, secondary schools and high schools, ignoring our educational autonomy. Now they are changing the signboards of our madrasahs. We strongly condemn the interventionist approach and practice of our government and request from it to withdraw this decision which is scandalous’.