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President´s Column - 08.02.2019

Greece, “the spoiled child” keeps its eyes wide shut to realities!

Dear readers,

Just a few days ago, we had the 29th January, Social Solidarity and National Resistance Day. This year as well, our organizations representing Turkish community of Western Thrace in Greece, Turkey and Germany released statements on the 29th January and celebrated this important day with various commemoration events.

And in Germany, our member associations gathered Western Thrace Turks with their families living in their regions for the commemoration events.

As ABTTF when we said “We will not forget days of 29th January and won’t have them forgotten” we see that this has not remained unfulfilled. Western Thrace Turks, people of all ages, from the youngest to the oldest, participated at these events organized by our associations in Germany. Hence, social memory and consciousness are transferred through our associations.

Just after the 29th January, Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of our country, visited Ankara and İstanbul upon the invitation of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of our motherland Turkey.

Following official contacts, he made in Ankara, Tsipras visited İstanbul and Haghia Sophia Museum. Afterwards, he visited the Theological School of Halki which was closed in 1971. With this visit, Tsipras has been the first Greek Prime Minister who visited this school.

Tsipras responded to the positive step of Turkey by visiting the closed theological school with the Spokesman of the Presidency upon the invitation of our motherland.

On the other hand, do you know what Tsipras said about Western Thrace Turks who had the hope that there might be a change in the situation of Western Thrace Turks in Greece with this visit?

Tsipras, prior to the visit, unfortunately did not surprise with his statements. Tsipras, repeated the official position of the Greek governments from past to today, he used the definition “Muslim minority” and he repeated that Western Thrace Turks is not an issue of bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece, but a domestic issue concerning its commitments toward Greek citizens who are Muslim minority!

In his speech about the visit to Turkey, while Tsipras used the term “Greek minority in İstanbul”, he said “Muslim minority” when he referred to Western Thrace Turks! When he does so, we know that Greece relies on the Lausanne Treaty. If so, then when he talks about the Greeks in İstanbul, doesn’t he have to refer them as non-Muslims in Turkey?

Here are the false and biased statements of a Prime Minister of an EU member country! Indeed, Tsipras, in fact, distorting the truth, humiliates our country Greece. Stubborn, persistent in distorting the truths, as it keeps saying and continues to act like a “small spoiled child”!

Just like the same in the name crisis with Macedonia that took years!

In the 27-year-long name crisis, Macedonia was forced to use the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia because of Greece’s opposition. Finally, with the pressure of the European Union and the U.S., a final solution was found to the name crisis between Greece and Macedonia, with the name of the “Republic of North Macedonia”.

As long as our country sets aside its historical prejudices and fears and follow a rational policy, it will not accept the existence of Western Thrace Turks in the country.

It seems that it will take still a while for Greece to face with the facts about Western Thrace Turks!

In this situation, as Western Thrace Turks, we have a major task! Until then, we will cry out this reality every day with patience, perseverance, determination with any loss in our determination in our country and at the international arena.

We will cry out every day that we do live on this land for centuries and we will ask for the rights we were granted before, and we will continue to our struggle every single day for the better!


Halit Habip Oğlu
ABTTF President

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