ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ ΤΟΥΡΚΟΨΥΧΩΝ ΦΟΡΕΩΝ ΘΡΑΚΗΣ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΗΝ ΔΙΕΘΝΗ ΑΜΝΗΣΤΕΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΣΕ ΞΕΝΕΣ ΠΡΕΣΒΕΙΕΣ

Επιστολή μειονοτικών φορέων προς την οργάνωση ΔΙΕΘΝΗΣ ΑΜΝΗΣΤΕΙΑ

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Φορείς της τουρκικής μειονότητας δυτικής Θράκης έστειλαν επιστολή στο ελληνικό γραφείο της Διεθνούς Αμνηστείας.

Φορείς της μειονότητας εξέτασαν την αναφορά της Διεθνούς Αμνηστείας που με τίτλο ¨ Καιρός για Αλλαγή : Μια Νέα Κατεύθυνση Στην Πολιτική Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων στην Ε.Ε. ¨ σχολίαζε την περιοδική προεδρία της Ελλάδας και αποφάσισε να ενημερώσει την Διεθνή Αμνηστεία σχετικά με τις παραβιάσεις δικαιωμάτων της τουρκικής μειονότητας κατά την τελευταία περίοδο.
Στην επιστολή που εστειλαν οι μειονοτικοί φορείς στην Διεθνή Αμνηστεία, αναφέρονται σε :
Θέμα μουφτήδων
Νόμος 240 ιμάμηδων
Θέμα βακουφίων
Εκπαιδευτικό θέμα
Θέμα ελευθεροτυπίας μειονοτικού τύπου
Ελευθερία έκφρασης
Θέμα άρθρου 19
Η επιτυχία του κόμματος DEB στις ευρωεκλογές
Στα θέματα των Τούρκων Ρόδου και Κω,
Η επιστολή στα αγγλικά που στάλθηκε στην Διεθνή Αμνηστεία και σε αποστολές άλλων χωρών στην Ελλάδα, έχει ως εξής :

Dear Mr. Ilias G. Anagnostopoulos

Director of Amnesty International’s Athens Office

Komotini, June 30, 2014

Mr. Anagnostopoulos,

We have read the recent mid-term evaluation report titled “A Time For Change: A New Direction For Human Rights Policy in EU” issued by the Amnesty International, regarding the Greek EU Presidency.

We are confident that all such reports touching upon violations of human rights in various fields contribute greatly to encouraging all governments to take necessary measures. So we have the pleasure to congratulate all those who took part in the drafting process of the above-mentioned report which deals with a wide range of issues such as women’s rights, fighting discrimination, respecting Roma rights, corporate accountability and the treatment of migrants and asylum –seekers. However, we also feel obliged to share with you our disappointment stemming from the non-inclusion of the problems in the field of Minority rights in the report.

As you may know, the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace was excluded from the Compulsory Population Exchange of 1923 between Greece and Turkey, just like the Orthodox Christian Greek inhabitants of Istanbul and the islands of Bozcaada (Tenedos) and Gokceada (Imbros). Our Minority and other fundamental rights were safeguarded mainly by the Lausanne Peace Treaty and also by other international/bilateral treaties and agreements. However, we still continue to have significant problems most of which were aggravated during the Junta period (1967 – 1974) but have not changed ever since. Our Muftis whom we elect in our mosques in accordance with the Treaty of Athens (1913) and who have our full support and respect are not recognized by a Christian-Orthodox government by constitution of so-called “religious teachers” to make sure that the local villagers could not dare to express their sincere disapproval. Such intimidation tactics are no different from the “Junta” days. While the rest of Greece has moved on and shed the remnants of this grim period, we seem stuck in time, as a Minority.

The Greek courts continue to ignore the relevant verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights, regarding the shut-down associations bearing the word “Turkish” in their titles.

The members of the Administrative Boards of the Waqfs (our religious charitable foundations) have been imposed as a fait-accompli by our authorities since the Junta period, despite the fact that we have the rights to elect them.

Greek authorities keep on turning a blind eye to our demands for the opening of Greek-Turkish dual language Minority kindergartens. The need for the upgrading of the existing two and the opening of a third Minority secondary-high schools is completely ignored. In fact, with deliberate tactics our Government spares no effort to push the Minority education towards the edge of a slow but certain demise.

Our freedom of press also continues to be violated through intimidation and vigorous fiscal and legal controls. We invite you to survey the xenophobic, virulent and discriminatory local Greek press, which is surprisingly “well-informed” and “well-funded”.

We sometimes even have problems and face official oppression in speaking our native tongue, Turkish, as well: During a conference titled “The Treaty of Lausanne: 90 Years Later – Framing Minority Issues” organized by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the “Programme for the Education of Muslim Minority Children in Thrace” in Komotini on November 22-23, 2013, a Minority journalist was prevented from making his speech in Turkish, in the presence of officials on the panel, which led to many participants to withdraw in protest.

The situation of the Turks of Rhodes and Kos is even worse, since even their Minority status is not recognized. Our authorities keep on arguing that the Lausanne Peace Treaty, which defined the minorities in Greece and Turkey, makes no mention of the islands of Rhodes and Kos. This is because of the Dodecanese Islands joined Greece in 1947, which is 24 years after signing of the Lausanne Peace Treaty. The Turks of Rhodes and Kos, whose combine population is around 6.000, face all the problems we have here, including the denial of their ethnic identity. In the run up to the local and the European Parliament elections, a Minority member, a teacher, was taken into custody by the police three times in three days in Rhodes and Kos, for distributing the ballots of the Friendship-Equality- Peace Party, a political party promoting and defending, among others, the rights of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace whose headquarters is in Komotini. You must also know that in Greece it is the common practice to distribute ballots by hand, in advance.

The plight of tens of thousands of Minority members deprived of their Greek citizenship due to the application of the now abolished Article 19 of the Greek Citizenship Code which reflects a “racist mentality” still continues.

We also would like to draw your kind attention to the 3% nation-wide election threshold in our country. This threshold was introduced in 1990 after the Minority elected out-spoken independent deputies. The aim has been still is to deprive the Minority of the opportunity to be represented in the Hellenic Parliament through its own political party, namely Friendship-Equality- Peace (FEP) Party, or through independent deputies. Therefore Minority politicians have no option but to continue their carriers through political parties which considerably limit and marginalize their voices in raising the problems of the Minority in Athens, due to party positions and party discipline. In this context, we would like to proudly express that the Minority has shown its support to the FEP Party in the European Parliament elections, held on May 25, 2014, which actually had no chance of sending deputies to the European Parliament. The FEP Party gained %46 of the votes in Rodopi and %27 in Xanthi and appeared as the winner in both provinces. We sincerely want to believe that the election victory of the election victory of the FEP Party in Rodopi and Xanthi will be analyzed in good faith and solution-oriented approach by our authorities.

We would like to share with you the copies of several letters we have sent you to the diplomatic missions in the last couple of years explaining our problems in detail. We also would like to take this opportunity to invite an Amnesty International team to Western Thrace so that you can see and listen to our problems here on the ground. We will also be honored to visit you at your offices to express ourselves at your earliest convenience.

With our best regards.

AI Athens Office

CC: AI Head Office, London

AI EU Office, Brussels

Εφ. Τρακιανίν Σεσί 10/7/2014

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