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7 months of imprisonment for Elected Mufti of Xanthi Ahmet Mete - 14.11.2017

Halit Habip Oğlu: “Religious autonomy of the Turkish community in Western Thrace, of which right to elect its own religious leaders which are muftis has been usurped by Greece since 1990, has been disregarded once again with the court’s judgment of imprisonment.”

The Virtuous Mufti of Xanthi Ahmet Mete elected by the Turkish community in Western Thrace, Greece and Imam of the Glafky (Gökçepınar) village Erkan Azizoğlu were both sentenced to 7 months of imprisonment in the lawsuit where they were tried for “usurping the office” and their punishment was delayed for 3 years.

Following the funeral held in the village of Glafky (Gökçepınar) with the presence of the mufti appointed by Greek government for the Western Thrace Turkish community member Ahmet Katunlu who lost his life during his military service last year, Prosecutor of Xanthi made an ex officio denunciation against Mufti Mete and Imam Azizoğlu with the allegation of “usurpation of office” and “preventing the appointed mufti from fulfilling his duty”. As a result of the hearing on 13 November 2017 in Thessaloniki Sole Judge Court, Mufti Mete and Imam Azizoğlu were both sentenced to 7 months of imprisonment. The punishment was delayed for 3 years. Mufti Mete and Imam Azizoğlu objected to the court’s judgment and filed an appeal.

“First of all, we convey our good wishes to our esteemed Mufti Ahmet Mete and Imam of the Glafky (Gökçepınar) village Erkan Azizoğlu and affirm hereby that we are always by them. While there is nothing against the law requiring any sanction, the court’s judgment is completely a political decision and has an aim to intimidate the mufti elected by the Western Thrace Turks. Sentencing our mufti and the village imam to imprisonment with accusation of “usurpation of office” is doubtlessly a part of the policy of suppression and intimidation against the Turkish community in Western Thrace and its representatives, which has been rising incrementally recently. The religious autonomy of the Turkish community in Western Thrace, of which right to elect its own religious leaders which are muftis has been usurped by Greece since 1990, has been disregarded once again with the court’s judgment of imprisonment. We hope the Appeal Court reverses the judgment at the soonest and the justice is done,” said Halit Habip Oğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF).

*Image: www.gundemgazetesi.com
 


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