Western Thrace Turkish minority to participate in EU parliamentary elections for the first time as a political entity May 26, 2014Posted by Yilan in Human rights abuses.
The Friendship, Equality and Peace Party, representing the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, Greece, will take part in Sunday’s European Parliament elections for the first time, contesting the polls with 38 candidates.
Speaking to an Anadolu Agency reporter in Athens, the party’s chairman, Mustafa Ali Cavus, said Saturday that the party felt obliged to participate in elections ‘as a last resort,’ as he claimed the Greece government does not help solve the Turkish minority’s problems in many areas.
“We will participate in the EU parliamentary elections to raise our voice in a democratic way,” Cavus said.
The party’s vice president and a candidate for a seat in the European Parliament, Ozan Ahmetoglu, said that the elections are an opportunity to make the Turkish minority more visible.
Ahmetoglu said the minority had many issues, which were compounded by economic difficulties, including a youth unemployment level that stands higher than the national rate.
The European Union is holding parliamentary elections, which last four days through Sunday, when the majority of EU member states will hold their national vote.
The Friendship, Equality and Peace Party was founded in 1991 to represent the interests of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace.