With the provocative title: “The only crime is that they are Turks in Greece. The Turkish minority of Western Thrace,” the pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak, presents the Muslim minority in Thrace as “persecuted” by the Greek authorities.
The claim is due to the recent suspension of 12 Muslim Minority schools due to lack of students.
The Yeni Şafak article states, among other things: “With regulations it has established in the education system in Western Thrace, Greece reduced education quality of Turkish students.
“It closes schools and associations, creates inequality in political representation and public employment, poses various obstacles to prevent people from becoming economically stronger and, most importantly, forces the minority to renounce its national identity.
“It is impossible to be a Turk in Greece,” noted the provocative and unfounded article, which, although it refers to the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, it ignores that it defines the minority in Thrace as Muslim one and not as Turkish.
The Yeni Şafak article states, among other things: “The non-acceptance of the right of the minority to define its national identity, using the gaps of the Treaty of Lausanne, has as a result characterised Turkish-speakers as Greek Muslims”.
Much of the Yeni Şafak article comments on the education system of the minority, accusing Greece of closing 65 minority schools in Thrace since 2011.
“Although these schools are self-governing, they do not belong to the Greek government, according to the Treaty of Lausanne, the regime was terminated unilaterally by the Greek state in order to violently assimilate the children of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace,” the article claimed.
Finally, there is a reference to the nationalist leader of the pro-Turkish minority, Sadik Achmet, presenting him as a “national hero” of the “Turks” of Western Thrace, describing his death in 1995 as “suspicious”.
“He was imprisoned again in 1989 because he declared that the ‘West Thracians’ are Turks.
“Giving priority to Islamic moral values and being fully aware of every aspect of his life, Sadik Achmet was elected MP by taking an oath with the Qu’ran in the Greek Parliament.
“After what preceded it and the threats he received, on July 24, 1995, the leader of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace lost his life as a result of a suspected car accident.”
It should be noted that the Yeni Şafak article accompanies an image of Sadik Achmet, against the background of the flag of the so-called “Independent Western Thrace.”