ABTTF President: “We condemn in the strongest terms the inappropriate and defaming wording used by our country’s permanent mission aimed at slandering ABTTF. As ABTTF, we would like it to be understood that within the framework of the rules of law and democracy, we will continue to speak the truth about the Turkish community in Western Thrace at the UN and all other international organisations.”
The Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations (UN) Office at Geneva responded to a written statement submitted by the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) to the 46th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council entitled “Violation of freedom of association due to the refusal to register associations with the word ‘Turkish’ in Greece and the pending implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights”.
In response to ABTTF’s written statement with respect to the non-implementation of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgments regarding the Xanthi Turkish Union, the Cultural Association of Turkish Women in the Prefecture of Rodopi and the Evros Prefecture Minority Youth Association in the Bekir-Ousta and Others group of cases, Greece said that the Greek authorities have long used ECtHR case-law as a criterion in state practice, which also applies to such cases.
In its written reply lodged to the UN, Greece said it had the impression that ABTTF’s written statement was futilely trying to confuse the truth about the Muslim minority in (Western) Thrace, and once again suggested that ABTTF, acting once again as a governmental NGO (GONGO), was egregiously disconnected from the realities on the ground and was not in a position to speak on behalf of the Greek citizens belonging to the Muslim minority in (Western) Thrace.
In response to the accusations targeting ABTTF expressed by the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN Office at Geneva, ABTTF President Halit Habip Oğlu said the following: “The permanent mission of our country, which is disturbed by ABTTF’s raising of the problems of the Turkish community in Western Thrace before the UN and its successful activities for many years, has made outrageous and unacceptable accusations against us. ABTTF is an umbrella organisation of associations founded by the Western Thrace Turks who are Greek citizens living in Germany and has been representing the Turkish community in Western Thrace at international platforms since its establishment in 1988. ABTTF, which is a pluralistic, liberalistic, democratic and law-abiding organisation, is independent of political parties, state authorities and governments and carries out its work in accordance with the law, as clearly stated in its statute. We condemn in the strongest terms the inappropriate and defaming wording used by our country’s permanent mission aimed at slandering ABTTF. As ABTTF, we would like it to be understood that within the framework of the rules of law and democracy, we will continue to speak the truth about the Turkish community in Western Thrace at the UN and all other international organisations”.
Click here for the written statement submitted by ABTTF to the 46th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council:
Click here for the written reply of Greece to ABTTF: