ABTTF President: “Our country became a member of the EU in 1981, long before Poland. But compared to Poland, it is far behind Poland in terms of minority rights. In Greece, there is no passage for our associations with the word ‘Turkish’ in their names, and it is not possible for us to organise any event under the name of Turkish Minority in Western Thrace’’.
The German Minority in Poland will hold the 7th German Minority Cultural Festival in Wroclaw, Poland on 10 September 2022. The German Minority Cultural Festival, which is held every three years at the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, is held with the aim of introducing the cultural richness of the German minority to the Polish people. Organised with the support of Poland and Germany, the cultural festival will feature music and dance performances as well as a range of activities including workshops, exhibitions, and games for children and youth.
‘‘The German minority, the majority of whom live in the Silesian region of Poland, is officially recognised by Poland and supported by the state, is going to carry out the Cultural Festival of the German Minority in the region where it has historically lived. Blessed is the German minority in Poland! Yet Poland is a young democracy compared to our country Greece, and it became a member of the EU in 2004. On the other hand, our country, as a country that prides itself on being the cradle of democracy, does not recognise the Turkish identity of the Turkish community in Western Thrace and carries out practices that disregard the status and rights guaranteed by treaties. Our country became a member of the EU in 1981, long before Poland. But compared to Poland, it is far behind Poland in terms of minority rights. In Greece, there is no passage for our associations with the word Turkish in their names, and it is not possible for us to organise any event under the name of Turkish Minority in Western Thrace. We cannot collectively reveal our identity, the state cannot talk of Turkish for the curriculum in our bilingual schools, it indicates a Minority program. We cannot run our schools ourselves; we cannot choose our muftis ourselves. In a policy that is reminiscent of that which is enforced against the Uyghurs in China, in a way that cannot be seen in any EU country, our country is trying to destroy our Turkish identity, it is as if we are in an open-air prison”, said Halit Habip Oğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF).