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Turkish community in Western Thrace and anti-Islamic hate crime incidents in OSCE 2021 Hate Crimes Report


The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) has released its 2021 Hate Crimes Report. In the section on Greece of the report, which contains statistical and descriptive information on hate crime incidents in the states in the OSCE region, the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) is also mentioned as one of the contributing organisations to the report.

ABTTF made a written contribution to the preparation of the OSCE 2021 Hate Crimes Report, reporting on hate-based attacks and hate speech against the Turkish community in Western Thrace and anti-Islamic hate speech in Greece.

In its written contribution, ABTTF reported on the anti-Islamic remarks of the leader of the Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens, in a documentary broadcast on a television channel, the throwing of an improvised explosive device at a building used as a mosque in Athens, and the hanging of an anti-Islamic poster opposite the historic Çelebi Sultan Mehmet Mosque in the town of Didymoteicho.

The 2021 Hate Crimes Report, in which 41 participating States of the OSCE provided official data, includes information on hate incidents in 44 participating States reported by 114 non-governmental organisations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and OSCE missions. The report, which is the most comprehensive of its kind worldwide, records a total of 6,391 hate crime incidents in the OSCE region in 2021.

In the section of the report on Greece, it is indicated that according to official data submitted by Greece, a total of 110 hate crimes were recorded by the Greek police in 2021, two of which were prosecuted by the prosecutor’s office and one prosecution resulted in a conviction.

OSCE/ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci underscored that hate crimes are destructive for the communities they affect and can also destabilise entire societies, noting that civil society plays a vital role in combating hate and intolerance in the OSCE region, so that civil society organisations continue to be an invaluable partner for states in responding to all forms of hate.

On the occasion of the publication of the 2021 Hate Crimes Report, OSCE/ODIHR called on states to deepen cooperation with non-governmental organisations fighting hate speech and crimes and to make more efforts to support victims.

Please click here for the section related to Greece of the OSCE 2021 Hate Crime Report: