21 March International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is celebrated with many events in worldwide with the motto “Let’s fight against racism”. The United Nations declared 21 March as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1966 and declared this year’s theme as “Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies”.
The UN noted that racist extremist movements based on ideologies that seek to promote populist, nationalist agendas fueled racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance in different parts of the world. In its resolution of 22 December 2018, the UN reiterated that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies. The resolution also emphasized that any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous. The UN stressed that nationalist populism poses threat to the fundamental human rights principles of non-discrimination and equality.
Halit Habip Oğlu, President of Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), made the following explanation: “Racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic attacks are on the rise throughout Europe and the world. While the extreme right-wing parties in Europe target refugees, migrants, minorities and Muslims, seeing some people hesitating to name the attack on two mosques in New Zealand as terrorism, reveals the extent to which Islamophobia and racism have reached in the world. We must be aware that that terrorism does not differentiate religion, language. We must remember that all people are equal and any form of racism must not be tolerated by any states. In our country Greece, Western Thrace Turks are considered as “enemy Turks” rather than as part of the country’s religious, cultural and linguistic diversity. We have recently witnessed incidents of arbitrary prosecutions and investigations against Western Thrace Turks. Our country, Greece and all Europe must make a decisive and determined stand against rising nationalist populism, extreme right and Islamophobia and produce appropriate policies.”