Muslim Headscarves Dominate Student Parade in Xanthi, northern Greece

For the first time in Modern Greek history, all students in a parade in Xanthi were wearing Muslim headscarves.

In the past, Muslim headscarves rarely appeared en masse in student parades.

Xanthinews.gr. reports that the spectacle was unprecedented, and it became the main topic of discussion in this town in Western Thrace.

The Muslim minority consists of several ethnic groups, some being Turkish and some Bulgarian-speaking Pomaks, with smaller numbers descending from the Ottoman-era; Greek converts to Islam.

The precise identity of these groups is in contention with Turkey insisting that most Muslims in Western Thrace are ethnically Turkish.

Greece, on the other hand, claims that many are Pomak and others of local origin who converted to Islam and adopted the Turkish language and identity in the Ottoman period.