Mitsotakis welcomes students from Greek Muslim minority primary school in Kentavros


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed students from the Greek Muslim minority primary school at the Pomak village of Kentavros in Xanthi to Maximos Mansion on Tuesday.

With the premier, the children spoke about their school and their classes, their favorite sports, and life in their village, inhabited by Pomaks, a Slavic-speaking Muslim minority.

They also asked the prime minister if it would be possible for their school facilities to be enriched with an indoor sports arena and a physics lab.

Mitsotakis and Education Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis handed out Christmas presents while the children invited the prime minister to visit their village soon.

The Pomaks are a Slavic-speaking Muslim population in Greece’s Thrace region and constitute a large part of the 120,000-strong Muslim minority, which Turkey mislabels as a "Turkish" minority.

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.”

In 2021, the Pomak community through their Facebook page, Rodopi-Pomakochoria, clarified that “we are Pomak Muslims and Greek citizens”.

The post addressed to Devlet Bahçeli, a government partner of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, states, among other things: “We are Pomaks and not Turks and our villages are also called Pomak villages and not Turkish villages.”

“We were, are and will remain Pomak Muslims and Greek citizens,” they continued, adding: “you cannot make us Turks by force and threats.”

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