A few days ago, Ahmed Imam, president of the Pomak Association in Xanthi, was the victim of an attack by unknown perpetrators, but who he suspects as being fanatical supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The president of the association was left bloodied and unconscious on the street.
"I was on the road and then I felt a strong blow on the back and I fell down. They kicked me in the head, in my ribs. But I took so many kicks in the head that I lost consciousness," he initially stated in the main bulletin of Alpha.
Then, after recovering, he reached his home with difficulty where he found that only his money had been taken and not the rest of the things he had on him. In fact, he suspects that this is not a simple robbery.
"What I suspect more is Erdoğan's people, who are everywhere here in Thrace, and less a random event," added Ahmet Imam who is also the editor of the Pomak newspaper and has clashed many times with the Turkish consulate while constantly criticising Erdoğan.
"Erdoğan wants to assimilate the Pomaks and make them tomorrow's Janissaries," he added while also referring to a past incident where his grandson had found a bullet on the balcony of their house.
"It is not hunting but military. I told him that she is mine so that the family will not be afraid that they are threatening us" he pointed out.
It should be noted that Ahmed Imam reported what happened and a report was filed, from which it appears robbery with a small amount of money and use of physical violence, without giving any other extensions to the incident. The perpetrators have not been identified and are being sought.
The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne resulted in a population exchange of Christians and Muslims between Greece and Turkey, with Muslims in Western Thrace and Greeks in Istanbul, Tenedos and Imvros exempt.
In violation of the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey claims that the 120,000 Muslims in Thrace are Turkish, despite the majority being Greek, Pomaks (Slavic Muslims) and Roma. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry affirms that there is only a Muslim minority in 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.”
It is recalled that in 2021, the Cultural Association of Pomaks of Xanthi reacted strongly to claims by the president of the minority party KIEF, Çiğdem Asafoğlu, who characterised the Muslim Minority in Thrace as being completely "Turkish" in origin.
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."