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Efforts of Western-Thrace Turks in Thessaloniki remain unsuccessful, mosque pledge not kept September 6, 2012

Posted by Yilan in Human rights, Human rights abuses, Thrace, Turkey, Yunanistan.
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Halit Habipoğlu: Why is the approval of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs needed for a request that comes from the Greek citizens?

The Greek Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports and the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to the request of Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris with regard to the opening of the New Mosque in Thessaloniki during the holly month Ramadan, which has been closed for worship since 1924.

According the to the news of daily Hürriyet, Yiannis Boutaris, Mayor of Thessaloniki, applied to the Greek Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports for the opening for worship on special days of the New Mosque whose right of use the Thessaloniki Municipality possesses as from 2012. However, the Mayor of Thessaloniki stated for the opening for worship of the New Mosque, not only the approval Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports but also of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is needed.

On the other hand, the Western-Thrace Turks living in Thessaloniki request for the opening for worship during the Ramadan feast of the Alaca Imaret Mosque which is in the best physical state among the mosques in Thessaloniki. Speaking to the daily Gündem, Ferit İsmailoğlu, member of the Executive Board of the Macedonia-Thrace Muslims Education and Culture Association, noted during the meeting they had with Yannis Boutaris three months ago, the Mayor promised to provide the Alaca Imaret Mosque for worship during the Ramadan feast.

“It is not understandable that the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Istanbul has the saying in satisfying the regarding demand expressed for a long time by the Muslims who are all Greek citizens. Today, the confusion on this issue is the result of the exclusionary attitude adopted by the Greek Government towards the request that comes from the members of the minority although they are its own citizens.” said Halit Habipoğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe

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