ABTTF President: “As the representative of Western Thrace Turks living in Europe and as ABTTF, we strongly condemn the public death threat of our deputy Hüseyin Zeybek. This grave incident has taken place in our country as a result of the increasing hate speech against the Turkish community in Western Thrace in politics and media and the targeting of the representatives of our community’’.
Xanthi SYRIZA Deputy Hüseyin Zeybek was threatened with death by a viewer who was connected by phone to the ‘‘Anihti Grami (Open Line)’’ programme, which was broadcast live on local Next TV from Xanthi.
The person who was connected to the programme broadcast on 12 September 2022 by phone threatened to kill him by hurling insults at Zeybek.
In a statement on his social media account, Deputy Hüseyin Zeybek condemned both the person who threatened him and Panos Papadopoulos, the journalist who presented the programme. Zeybek stated that the presenter continued the conversation with the citizen instead of condemning his statements, and that receiving threats against his life on live television exceeded all boundaries and that the main role of the media was to defend democracy, not hatred. ‘‘Everyone should assume their responsibilities now...’’, Zeybek said.
“As ABTTF, the representative of the Western Thrace Turks living in Europe, we strongly condemn the public death threat of our deputy Hüseyin Zeybek. We call on the prosecutors of our country to be in charge and expect the incident to be investigated urgently and for the perpetrators to be punished as they deserve. This grave incident has taken place in our country as a result of the increasing hate speech against the Turkish community in Western Thrace in politics and media and the targeting of the representatives of our community. Likewise, our deputy Zeybek was targeted by the ruling New Democracy Party Deputy Tasos Chatzivasileiou after an interview he gave to a Turkish television channel about the death threat he received, and Chatzivasileiou had indicated that the expression ‘Turkish minority’ used by Zeybek was unacceptable. This is too much! It is the most basic right of a person to express his own ethnicity! No one can interfere with this. Just as the Greek Orthodox minority living in Istanbul is Greek, we whom are living in Western Thrace are Turks and we have been living as ‘Turks’ in our country Greece for centuries”, said Halit Habip Oğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF).