Ankara over the past few years has increased the propaganda of a “Turkish minority” in Western Thrace.
Turkey’s own Foreign Ministry website affirms that there is only a Muslim minority in Thrace.
The Treaty of Lausanne Part VI Article 2 states:
“Moslems established in the region to the east of the frontier line laid down in 1918 by the Treaty of Bucharest shall be considered as Moslem inhabitants of Western Thrace.”
This did not stop Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from saying on Saturday that “some 150,000 people of Turkish descent live in Western Thrace today, but Greece does not show them the respect those citizens deserve.”
Of course, of that 150,000, Erdoğan labels Greek Muslims, Pomaks (Slavic-speaking Muslims) and Roma as “Turkish.”
Erdoğan’s latest outburt comes as Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias corrected his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s false claim that a Turkish minority exists in Western Thrace.
“There is a Muslim minority in Greece, it is recognized by the Treaty of Lausanne, this is the view of the Greek state,” Dendias said during their joint statements following their meeting in Ankara on Thursday.
This view was also supported by Sabiha Suleiman, president of the Women’s Cultural Union in Drosero village in Xanthi, who said to Star “I liked listening to our Foreign Affairs Minister say the same thing we have been saying for years.
Suleiman, an activist fighting for the local’s rights in Xanthi, added “Above all, we are Greek citizens.”
Suleiman, who is attempting to banish Turkish propaganda in the villages where the Muslim minority lives, explained that there about ten provocateurs who are trying to turn Greek Muslims into Turks.
“It’s a profession for them. There’s a team of 10 people, training, trying to spread their propaganda,” she revealed.
This sentiment was also shared by the Pomak community, who emphasised that there are no problems between Christians and Muslims.
“My friends are Christian and Muslim, my best friend is a Christian, we are like siblings to one another,” said Emine Bourountzi, president of the Pomaks Cultural Union in Xanthi.
— Σύλλογος γυναικών Ρομά Δροσερού "Η ΕΛΠΙΔΑ" (@Drosero_Hope) April 17, 2021