The Cultural Association of Pomaks of Xanthi reacted strongly to recent statements by the president of the minority party KIEF, Çiğdem Asafoğlu, who once again characterised the Muslim Minority in Thrace as “Turkish.”
Speaking on ERT1’s latest show “Special Missions”, the KIEF president tried to homogenise the minority by faithfully following the line of Ankara and the Turkish consulate in Komotini.
She attempted to baptise Pomaks (Slavic-speaking Muslims) and Roma as Turks.
The reaction of the Xanthi-based Cultural Association was immediate.
They pointed out to the president of KIEF that she “can feel like Turk and longs for Turkey” but the Pomaks “feel for their homeland Greece and feel like Greeks.”
The announcement specifically states:
“We heard once again Mrs. Asafoğlu wanting to ‘baptise’ the minority as Turkish.
“This statement is offensive to both the Muslims of Thrace themselves and the Christians.
“Everyone has the right to self-determination, as well as the portion of Pomaks that our club represents which is and feels like Greek Pomaks.
“As she mentioned in her interview, the identity cannot be removed, changed or baptised as someone else wants.
“The minority is Muslim as it consists of three components, the Pomaks, the Roma and the Turkish-speakers.
“You can feel Turkish and long for Turkey, but we also feel for our homeland Greece and we feel Greek.”