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Alexis Tsirpas – Western Thrace to revert back to their original toponyms. February 17, 2015

Posted by Yilan in Yunanistan.
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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.

Two Turkish hopefuls secure Greek parliament seats October 8, 2009

Posted by Yilan in Turkey.
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Ahmet Hacıosman and Çetin Mandacı from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, or PASOK, will represent the Turkish minority in the new Greek Parliament, Anatolia news agency reported Monday.

Fourteen candidates of Turkish descent were nominated in Sunday’s general election, mainly in Rhodope and Xanthi, but only Hacıosman and Mandaci, both from the Western Thrace region of Greece, have managed to enter parliament from the socialists’ ranks, which will have 160 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament.

Hacıosman received a hero’s welcome in his hometown, Komotini, or Gümülcine in Turkish, and thanked the Turkish minority for their support during his election campaign.

“As a member of the ruling party, I will try to find comprehensive solutions to the growing problems of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace,” Hacıosman told supporters in Komotini.

“I have personally experienced these problems and I have realized the responsibility that sits on my shoulders.” Hacıosman, who served as a PASOK lawmaker for two years in the previous parliament, also said he would benefit from the advantages of being a member of the ruling party, adding: “For two years, I was in the opposition ranks. But now, our party is in charge and PASOK leader George Papandreu will become the next prime minister. The Turkish minority have been working hard for PASOK, and it is now PASOK’s and Papandreu’s turn to give,” Hacıosman said.