Greece has rejected Turkey’s claims that a new legal framework on the election of Muslim clerics (muftis) in Thrace, northeastern Greece deprives the community of the right to elect its own muftis, saying that it is “fully compatible with the constitution of Greece and the constitution of the country”. international obligations”.
The new law, approved by Parliament on July 29, allows the Muslim minority to form an advisory council of 33 people, chosen from among specialists in Islamic sciences and imams. The jury will evaluate the candidates and submit a list to the Ministry of Education who will choose one for the position.
On Thursday, Turkey’s foreign ministry called the law’s provisions “unacceptable” and urged Greece to “respect international law and fulfill its obligations” under the Lausanne treaty.
The Greek Foreign Ministry said the law was drafted after extensive consultation with minority representatives and “creates a modern and integrated institutional framework for muftis in Thrace”.
“Our Muslim fellow citizens of Thrace live in a European country. They benefit from all that a democratic and well-governed state offers to all its citizens, without exception,” the Greek ministry said, while questioning Turkey’s compliance with the articles of the Treaty of Lausanne.
Some 120,000 Muslims live in Greek Thrace.