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President´s Column - 10.05.2019

To show our presence and power, our votes are for the DEB Party and Turkish candidates at the elections!

Dear readers,

On May 26, 2019, the European Parliament (EP) elections will be held in Greece as well as the local and regional elections.

While the political parties are participating in the EP elections with their own lists, in regional elections in other words in the provincial elections candidates in different lists will compete.

In the towns of Kozlukebir (Arriana) and Mustafçova (Myki), all the mayor and parliamentary candidates are the members of the Turkish community in Western Thrace and the election race will be among Turkish candidates.

In the town of Yassıköy (Iasmos) two Turkish and one Greek candidate is competing.

In the municipalities of Komotini, Xanthi, Maronia-Sapes, Bulustra (Avdira) and Inhanli (Topiros) where the lists are dominated by the Greeks, there are also the candidates from the Turkish community in Western Thrace.

In the administrative region of Eastern Macedonia of Thrace, we are also competing for the provincial council by taking part in the lists led by the Greeks.

While there are Turkish candidates in the lists of the Greek majority parties in the EP elections, Friendship Equality Peace (DEB) Party, the only political party of the Turkish community in Western Thrace is participating in the elections with a list completely consisted of Turkish candidates.

As it is known, there are no parliamentarians from DEB Party due to the 3% threshold imposed at general elections and EP elections in Greece.

As you may recall, although DEP Party came first in the Rodopi and Xanthi provinces, and third in the administrative region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in the last EP elections in 2014, DEB party candidates could not get seats in the EP.

Western Thrace Turks are standing as candidates from majority parties to become an MP at the Greek Parliament due to the 3% election threshold imposed on both political parties and independent candidates in the country.

In fact, in the last general elections, we won all three chairs in the province of Rodopi.

Furthermore, the ruling SYRIZA party received most of the votes in the Western Thrace region in Greece.

Thanks to the support of three Turkish deputies, the SYRIZA government can sustain its power.

But unfortunately, our problems remain. The SYRIZA government did not solve the problems of the Turkish community in Western Thrace. On the contrary, new ones have been added to our problems.

For years, within international institutions and organizations in Europe, we have been expressing the injustice done by our country Greece to us. However, the Greek state has not taken a step forward in preventing the injustice and no progress has been made in this regard.

In my opinion, as the Turkish community in Western Thrace, we must continuously articulate that we are victimized in Athens and the injustice done to us.

Yes, DEB Party may not send a parliamentarian to the EP, but with the participation of our party in the EP elections, Western Thrace Turks and our problems will be raised throughout the country.

We must make our presence felt and visible in all of Greece!

With the votes we will cast; with the votes we will cast for DEB Party in EP elections and for Turkish candidates in local and regional elections!

I wish the month of Mubarak Ramadan-i Sharif to be benevolent for Western Thrace Turkish community and all the Islamic world.

Sincerely yours

Halit Habip Oğlu
President of ABTTF

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