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Western Thrace Turks participated at the FUEN 2018 Congress - 26.06.2018

At the congress with the theme of “The Message of a Million: Recognition and Protection”, results and future of the successful campaign “Minority SafePack Initiative” were discussed

The Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) participated at 63rd Congress of the Federal Union of European Nationalities(FUEN) hosted by the Council of the Frisian Movement, representing the Frisian minority in the Netherlands. At the congress in Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, ABTTF, Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association (WTMUGA) and Friendship, Equality, Peace(FEP) Party represented together the delegation of the Turkish community in Western Thrace.

Halit Habip Oğlu, President of ABTTF and FUEN Vice President, Sami Yusuf and Sebahattin Mümin, ABTTF Vice Presidents and Melek Kırmacı Arık, ABTTF International Affairs Director, Mutlu Osman Mustafa, Deputy of the President of the FEP Party and Onur Mustafa Ahmet, member of WTMUGA participated at the congress where 240 minority representatives attended from different countries in Europe. The FUEN Assembly of Delegates adopted two resolutions on Greece, in which Greece was urged to recognize the associations with the word “Turkish” in their names and implement the judgments of European Court of Human Rights related to the Turkish community in Western Thrace and to stop selling off forcibly of properties of the foundations belonging to the Rhodes and Kos Turks.

Western Thrace Turkish community presented in the traditional minority Market

At the traditional event namely, “Minority Market” on the first day of the congress where different cultures within FUEN are presented, Western Thrace Turks introduced Western Thrace Turkish community living in Greece to the participants. The participants who visited the booth were informed about the Turkish culture and the problems of the Turkish community in Western Thrace with brochures on the community.

Success of the campaign of the Minority Safe Pack Initiative celebrated at the congress

On the first day of the congress started which started with opening remarks of Ferd Crone, Mayor of the hosting province Leeuwarden/Ljouwert and Geart Benedictus, Chair of the Council of the Frisian Movement, Lorant Vincze, the President of FUEN provided information about “Minority Safe Pack Initiative” campaign and conveyed the targets for future. Ambassador Paul Bekkers, Director for Office of the Secretary General at Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), András Kocsis, Hungarian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Prof. Bernd Fabritius, Commissioner in the Federal Ministry of Interior, Building and Community of Germany, Andor Deli, Member of European Parliament, Bob Deen, Chief Advisor to the Office of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and Prof. Dr. Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues delivered speeches.

The success of the Minority Safepack Initiative was celebrated on the first day and results and future planning of the initiative were discussed for the EU minority protection with the participation of the members of the Citizens’ Committee, MEPs, member organizations and campaign coordinators.

On the second day of the Congress, Fryslan and the Frisian language within the trilingual education provided in some schools in the province and the Frisian institutions like Frisian broadcasting company and the Council of Frisian Movement were introduced.

Representatives of Turkish minorities and communities convened at the TAG meeting

At the Working Group of FUEN Turkic Minorities/Communities (TAG) meeting held on 21 June, Thursday, the TAG annual meeting which will be held on 25-28 October 2018 in Gagauzia was discussed. Representatives of Western Thrace Turks, Rhodes-Kos Turks, Ahıska Turks, Karachay-Balkar Turks, Crimean Tatars and Crimean Karaims participated at the meeting chaired by Halit Habip Oğlu, ABTTF President and FUEN Vice President.

Resolutions submitted by Western Thrace Turks and Rhodes-Kos Turks are adopted by majority of votes

The draft resolutions submitted by the delegation of Western Thrace Turks and Rhodes-Kos Turks to the FUEN Assembly of Delegates were adopted by majority of votes on Saturday. In the draft resolution submitted by ABTTF, WTMUGA and FEP Party as the Western Thrace Turkish delegation, it has been stressed that Greece still continues to violate the right to freedom of association of Western Thrace Turkish community, despite judgments of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) concerning dissolution and non-registration of associations which bear the word “Turkish” in their names. The resolution noted restrictions which were introduced with the new law for the implementation of the Court’s judgments are hindered. In the resolution, Greece has been urged to immediately implement the ECtHR’s judgments in the Bekir-Ousta group of cases.

In the resolution submitted by Rhodes, Kos and the Dodecanese Turks and Culture and Solidarity Association (ROISDER), Greece was urged to recognize Rhodes-Kos Turks and stop selling forcibly of the properties belonging to the foundations with the request of non-appointment of the members of the councils of the foundations by the state.

FUEN 2020 Congress will be held in Košice, Slovakia

As decided last year, the Assembly of Delegates confirmed that FUEN 2019 congress will be held in Ukraine. The Assembly decided that the FUEN 2020 congress will be held in Košice, Slovakia.

The Assembly accepted membership applications of Kosovo Youth Union Association, which has been participating at the annual meeting of the FUEN TAG for the last two years as the representative of the Kosovo Turks and Fondazione Agostina Piccoli, representative organization of Molise Croats in Italy.

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