Türkiye on Friday called on Greek authorities to investigate a death threat against a Greek lawmaker who is also a member of the country’s Muslim Turkish minority.
“We expect the Greek authorities to investigate this serious incident and punish the perpetrators,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Twitter, sharing a statement from the Advisory Council of the Turkish Minority in the Greek region of Western Thrace, which explained that Huseyin Zeybek, a member of the Greek parliament, was threatened live on television.
“We support the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, who will not give up their struggle for human rights and freedom despite all threats and pressure,” the ministry added.
According to a statement from the advisory board, Zeybek was threatened during a live broadcast on local Next TV by someone who called the show.
The council said the threatening phone call was intended to “transform into action the rhetoric of marginalization and targeting (by Greece) that has been going on for many years.”
The Greek region of Western Thrace, in the northeast of the country, near the Turkish border, is home to a large, long-established Muslim Turkish minority, numbering around 150,000 people, or about a third of the population. The rights of the Turks of Western Thrace were guaranteed by the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, but since then the situation has steadily deteriorated.
After a Greek junta came to power in 1967, Turks in Western Thrace began to face harsher persecution and violations of their rights by the Greek state, often in flagrant violation of court rulings. Europeans. The Turkish minority in Greece continues to face problems in exercising their collective civil and educational rights, including the Greek authorities banning the word “Turkish” in the names of associations, closing Turkish schools and trying to prevent the community Turkish to elect its own muftis.