“Turkey once again distorts reality in Thrace. It is at the very least an oxymoron for a country with a quite poor record on human rights issues to accuse Greece of violating the rights of the Muslim Minority in Thrace,” according to a statement of the Greek foreign ministry.
Greece, as a modern European democracy, pursues a coherent minority policy that promotes the minority’s welfare, the foreign ministry said and added:
“A minority, which numbers approximately 120,000 members, the same number as when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, which Turkey systematically invokes.
It is astonishing how it invokes Lausanne and speaks of its violation by Greece, when in Istanbul, Gökçeada (Imbros), and Bozcaada (Tenedos), the Greek Minority numbers less than 3,000 people, whereas at the time of the signing of the Treaty it numbered around 130,000.
This reality was recently reminded by the EU’s statement at the 77th UN General Assembly “on past discriminatory policies implemented by Turkey, which resulted in the Greek minority in Turkey currently being on the verge of extinction”.
The statement speaks for itself. As well as the numbers speak for themselves. And they demonstrate in the most striking way who is actually implementing the Lausanne Treaty and who is pursuing a minority policy that respects human rights.
The statement concluded:
“We hope that this indisputable truth of the numbers will serve as a springboard for Turkey to finally reflect on its responsibilities in the area of minority policy. We call on Turkey, instead of delivering human rights lessons, to “ put its house in order” and implement policies that will give new life and dynamism to the Greek minority there.”