Turkish FM Calls Muslim Minority of Thrace “Turks”, Says Rights Violated



Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday once again called people belonging to the Muslim minority of Western Thrace “Turks” whose rights are being violated by Greece.

The statement came in response to a European Court of Human Rights decision that ordered Turkey to release Kurdish opposition politician Selahattin Demirtas from prison.

In an interview with CNN Turk today, the head of the Turkish State Department said the ECHR decision is inconsistent with any other decisions it has taken, it is illegal, and Turkey will oppose it.

Cavusoglu argued that since Greece does not abide to the European Court of Human Rights in regards to the rights of Muslims of Western Thrace, Turkey will in turn not follow ECHR orders. The Turkish foreign minister claimed that Greeks do not allow the West Thrace Muslims to call themselves Turks, and this violates their rights as a minority.

The Turkish diplomat also called Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, “out of line” to request the release of Demirtas.