Tags: Alexis Tsirpas, Çetin Mandacı, Bati Trakya, Greece, PASOK
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Alexis Tsirpas speaking with local Turkish leaders in the Western Thrace city of Komotini promised that his party Syrzia will look into a draft law to revert back to old Turkish placenames renamed over 65 years ago.
Newly elected Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsirpas was keen on the idea to rename toponyms in Western Thrace to their previous toponyms bearing Turkish names in an effort to boost friendly relations with Turkey which has been pressuring Greece for many years to provide human rights for the Muslim Turkish minority in Greece..
Alexis Tsirpas indicated that he and his Syriza party will back the draft-law for restoring authentic toponyms in Thrace be brought in through Greece’s Legislative parliamentary commission.
A two-third majority is required in order the draft-law on restoring authentic toponyms to be enacted, which means that opposition MPs need to be in favour of the document.
“In the entire region of Bati Trakya (Western Thrace) no one uses the Hellenised name of the municipalities or the other names of places… for us and for our ancestors and future generations it has been and will always be Turkish names such as Gümülcine for Komitini or İskeçe for Xanthi. In 1949 a decision had been reached against the will of the Turks in Western Thrace to change the toponyms. In recent years, the Turkish language is in use thus they are written in Turkish with the Turkish Alphabet,” says former Member of Parliament and ex PASOK MP, Cetin Mandaci.