Western Thrace Turkish Minority delegation paid a working visit to the Council of Europe located in Strasbourg in France. The visit took place on 3-4 December 2018.
The visit was made under the leadership of ABTTF with the participation of Ozan Ahmetoğlu, President of Xanthi Turkish Union (İTB), Sebahattin Mümin, Vice President of Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), K. Engin Soyyılmaz, ABTTF Head Office Manager and Pervin Hayrullah, General Director of BAKEŞ.
Western Thrace Turkish Minority delegation had talks prior to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe meeting where the court cases won by Xanthi Turkish Union and other Turkish minority associations at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the judgements of these cases which have not been executed for 10 years by Greece would be discussed as an item of the agenda. The delegation met with the representatives of the delegations of the Council of Europe member states and told about the judgements on Turkish minority associations which have not been executed by Greece and the victimization of these associations which has been continuing for 10 years. The representatives of Western Thrace Turkish Minority explained about 35 years of struggle related to the Turkish minority associations in the meeting where they met with State delegations.
Within the framework of the meetings held in Strasbourg, Ozan Ahmetoğlu, Sebahattin Mümin, Pervin Hayrullah and K. Engin Soyyılmaz met with Fredrik Sundberg, Head of the Department for Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights supervising the implementation of judgements of the ECtHR and Nikolaos Sitaropulos and Dimitrios Kalogiros, the lawyers serving in the same department.
The necessity of the implementation of the judgements made by the European Court of Human Rights in 2008 regarding Xanthi Turkish Union, the Cultural Association of Turkish Woman in the Prefecture of Rodopi and Evros Minority Youth Association by Greece was once again emphasized at the meeting and 10 years process was conveyed. Besides, it was reminded that the cases were refiled on the grounds of the law which was drafted in 2017 to implement the judgements of the ECtHR however the amended draft was adopted as a result of interventions made following extensive discussions at the Greek Parliament and information about the process was provided. At the meeting, Western Thrace Turkish Minority representatives underscored the importance of the supervision of the judgements of the ECtHR on the Turkish minority associations by the Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe and keeping it on the agenda.