Leader of Muslim Party in Western Thrace Hails “Motherland Turkey”



The KIEF Party’s Cigdem Asafoglu

The leader of the Party of Friendship, Equality and Peace (KIEF), representing part of the Muslim minority of Greece’s Western Thrace region, said on Wednesday that her party is “Turkish.”

Cigdem Asafoglu, whose KIEF Party swept the prefectures of Xanthi and Rodopi in the European elections last Sunday, told Open TV that she felt Turkish.

“My country is Greece, my motherland is Turkey. My flag is Greek, my motherland’s flag is Turkish. I simply belong to a minority that is both national and religious,” she said.

KIEF came on top in the elections in both Xanthi and Komotini. In Xanthi, the party earned 25.05 percent of the vote, leaving behind the New Democracy Party at 24.43 percent, while in Rodopi it garnered 38.01 percent support, compared to the 18.32 percent of second-place New Democracy.

Asafoglu said that KIEF is “officially a political party of the Greek state, but in essence it’s a Turkish party… It has been founded by Turks, and the current leader is a Turk.”

Asafoglu, 32, was born in Xanthi. She attended a Turkish Minority Primary School and the 1st State High School in Xanthi. She completed her university education at the Department of Philosophy and Pedagogy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

She was elected as the president of KIEF at its party congress on January 5, 2019.

Related Opinion column: Who is Responsible for Letting Turkey Influence Greek Muslim Minority in Thrace?