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Working visit by ABTTF to Brussels - 06.02.2019

The Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) paid a working visit to Brussels, the capital of the European Union (EU), on 6 February 2019. Halit Habip Oğlu, President of ABTTF, accompanied by Aykut Garipoğlu from the Brussels Office of ABTTF met within the scope of the working visit met with the members of the European Parliament (EP) Pál Csáky (EPP, Slovakia) and Bodil Valero (Greens/EFA, Sweden) as well as with Günther Dauwen, Director of the European Free Alliance (EFA), and Ralph Bunche, Secretary General of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).

Recent developments related to the Turkish community in Western Thrace were conveyed and joint activities for future were discussed

The first meeting within the scope of the working visit was held with the MEP Pál Csáky belonging to the Hungarian minority in Slovakia in his office at the EP. At the meeting, ABTTF President Habip Oğlu conveyed Csáky the recent developments regarding the problems and unjust treatments experienced by the Turkish community Western Thrace in the fields of education and freedom of religion to. The EP elections to be held in May 2019 were also discussed during the meeting.

ABTT President Habip Oğlu provided the MEP Bodil Valero, who was met by ABTTF for the first time, with information on the major problems of the Turkish community in Western Thrace. Habip Oğlu conveyed the problems experienced by the Turkish community in Western Thrace in the field of freedom of education to Valero who is the shadow rapporteur of the EP report on “Minimum standards for minorities in the EU” on behalf of the political group of the Greens/EFA. During the meeting, the current minority problems in the EU were also discussed.

At the meeting held with the EFA Director Günther Dauwen at the headquarters of EFA in Brussels, joint activities between ABTTF and EFA for future were discussed. Within the scope of the working visit, the last meeting was held at the Brussels Office of ABTTF with Ralph Bunche, new secretary general of UNPO, an organization operating in the field of minority rights and ABTTF cooperated with in the past, where collaboration opportunities between the two organizations were evaluated.

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