Bahçeli to Mitsotakis: Pomaks are Turks, Greece is fascist

Devlet Bahçeli Pomaks

The leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, a coalition partner of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, launched an insulting attack on Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The reason is because Greek Prime Minister in Pomakochoria described young students of the Pomak village as “Greeks,” which infuriated Ankara.

Pomakochoria is a Pomak village in northern Greece.

The Pomaks are Slavic-speaking Muslim people that Turkey incorrectly calls “Turks.”

Speaking to his parliamentary group, the leader of the MHP accused Mitsotakis of “racism”, because he called the children as “Greek”, and called for the European Parliament to intervene against Greece.

In his tirade, Bahçeli called Greece’s “policies of assimilation” as “fascist” and called the Pomaks as “Turks.”

It is recalled that in March, 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.”

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.”

Turkey repeatedly claims that the 120,000-strong Muslim minority in Greece’s Thrace are “Turkish,” despite the fact that Turkish-speakers make up a minority of the group who overwhelmingly identify as Greeks, Pomaks or Roma.

Turkey’s own Foreign Ministry website affirms that there is only officially a Muslim minority in Western Thrace via the Treaty of Lausanne Part VI Article 2, that 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.”

READ MORE: Pomak Association of Xanthi: We are not Turks, we are Greek! 

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