Turkish Foreign Minister Arrives in Greece, Calls Muslim Minority ”Turkish”

Cavusoglu in Komotini

Mevlut Çavuşoğlu , the Turkish Foreign Minister, arrived on Sunday morning in Greece, ahead of a two-day visit to boost the intense relations between Ankara and Athens.
Çavuşoğlu  landed in Alexandroupolis, a northeastern Greek city in the region of Western Thrace.

“In Greece to meet members of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace and discuss our bilateral relations,” Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter as he landed in Komotini on early morning on May 30.

Greece does not accept the characterization of its minority as Turkish.

Turkey has previously 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.”

Çavuşoğlu is expected in Athens on Sunday afternoon to meet with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias.

Çavuşoğlu  had said earlier this week that his talks with the Greek Foreign Minister also aim to allow for a possible meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.