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FUEN and MIDAS visited Western Thrace - 28.03.2013

Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) President Hans-Heinrich Hansen and The European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages (MIDAS) member of the Governing Board Bojan Brezigar have visited press and media institutions, civil society organisations in representation of the Western Thrace Turkish and Mega Derio, the village in Western Thrace where the Hara Nikopoulou vs. Gundem and Millet case has broken out. The event including the visit of the two human rights and press activists has been commonly hosted by the Western Thrace Minority Culture and Education Foundation (PEKEM), the Friendship, Equality and Peace (DEB) Party and the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) on 22-23 March 2013.

FUEN President Hansen and MIDAS Governing Board Member Brezigar was on a visit to DEB and PEKEM

After the trial of Gundem and Millet vs. Hara Nikopoulou case at Thrace Court of Appeal on 22 March 2013, FUEN President Hansen and MIDAS Governing Board Member Brezigar were present for observation, a visit accompanied by ABTTF President Halit Habipoğlu and PEKEM President Cemil Kabza has been paid to DEB Party Headquarters. On the occasion of this visit, DEB Party President Mustafa Ali Çavuş expressed the problems encountered in terms of political representation. The application of the 3% threshold to independent candidacy is in contrast with democracy according to Çavuş. The respective delegation visited PEKEM on 23 March 2013 when it has been informed of foundation’s work. PEKEM President Kabza indicated that though the foundation submitted an application in 2011 to Ministry of Education for opening one private kindergarten and one secondary school still no communication has been received from the corresponding authorities.

FUEN and MIDAS harken problems of Minority press and media associations

Following their visit to the premises of Millet newspaper, Çınar FM, Radio City and Gundem newspaper on 22 March Friday, Hansen, Brezigar and Habipoğlu have only met the representatives of the İnsanca, Olay and Bülten dailies given the insufficient place to host visitors. The representatives of minority press and media expressed the difficulties which threaten their freedom of expression and media as constantly decreasing revenues from advertising and the institutional restrictions embedded in media law.

Mega Derio peasants shared their experience with Hara Nikopoulou

Having paid a visit to DEB Party Evros Provincial Branch on 23 March, the delegation attended an excursion to Mega Derio, where a reunion with residents of the village has taken place. Ayşe Kaşayka, the defendant of the law suit issued by Hara Nikopoulou with a claim of compensation 5000 € (Euros), and the then principal of the minority primary school Ali Abdurrahman was among the participants of the meeting at the village’s cafeteria.

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