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Hate crimes targeting the Turkish community in Western Thrace included within the OSCE 2020 Hate Crimes Report


The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published the 2020 Hate Crimes Report. The section related to Greece in the report, which includes information on hate crime incidents in states in the OSCE region and statistics on them, also includes hate motivated attacks and hate speech targeting the Turkish community in Western Thrace reported by the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF).

The 2020 Hate Crimes Report, which provides official data from the OSCE’s 42 participating States, includes information on hate incidents in 46 Participating States reported by 136 non-governmental organizations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and OSCE missions.

OSCE/ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci underlined that hate crime is a human rights abuse, noting that many states in the OSCE region have taken concrete steps against hate crimes, but most of them still remain unreported, unrecorded or unprosecuted, leaving victims without support or redress.

ABTTF had earlier issued a written statement in preparation for the OSCE 2020 Hate Crimes Report, reporting hate-based attacks and hate speech targeting the Turkish community in Western Thrace in Greece.

The report notes that on 12 May 2020, an unidentified person or persons attacked a fountain built by a philanthropist from the Turkish community in Western Thrace in Nimfea (Yanıköy) which is linked to Komotini, smashing the marble slab with the name of the benefactor and the date of the fountain’s construction, and spray-painting anti-Turkish insults on the fountain wall.

Moreover, the report indicates that on 16 July 2020, the minaret of the historic mosque in the Diomidia (Hemitli) village linked to Avdira (Bulustra) Municipality in Xanthi province was destroyed by unidentified persons or persons, adding that on 25 September 2020, the association founded by Turks who migrated from Western Thrace to Imathia province was attacked and the windows of the association building were broken.

The report also notes that on 27 November 2020, ‘A Good Turk is a Dead Turk’ and other threats were written in the mirror of the elevator of the apartment where Mufti of Xanthi Ahmet Mete which was elected by the Western Thrace Turks lives.

Please click on the following link for more information on the section related to Greece of the OSCE 2020 Hate Crimes Report: