It was reported yesterday in the Turkish media that Greek authorities delayed 120 Turks from reaching Thessaloniki in time to pay their respects at the birthplace of their Nation’s Founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on the 75th Anniversary of his death.
As it was mentioned in the media, the Greeks delayed the passport check at the borders deliberately so the group wouldn’t reach Thessaloniki in time. The Turks had to be in front of Kemal’s house at exactly 9:05 am–the time of his death–in order to commemorate him and hold a minute of silence in his honor. Instead they demanded that the train be stopped at that exact time so they could pay their respects.
Nikos Lazou–representative for the driver–said that the train was scheduled to arrive in Thessaloniki at 7:19 am, but was delayed at the borders. The delegation members had placed their passports in one bag, making it hard for the authorities to check everyone in time. He added “We are a welcoming country and we want to respect people’s religion.” It was reported that the driver along with the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) agreed to stop the train and did not cause any problem for the Turkish group.