Ankara voices solidarity with Turkish minority in Greece

Türkiye on Sunday reaffirmed its support for the legitimate struggle of the Turkish minority of the Western Thrace region in Greece.

Marking the Jan. 29 National Day of Resistance and Social Solidarity of Western Thrace, the Foreign Ministry said the people living in the region have been fighting for their Turkishness for more than 30 years.

"Türkiye will resolutely continue its support for this just struggle of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace and will not leave its cognate brothers alone," the ministry said on Twitter.

In a separate statement, the National Defense Ministry said Türkiye is with the Turkish minority in Western Thrace in their just struggle against "identity genocide."

"We wish God's mercy on Sadik Ahmet, the leading name of the struggle, and we commemorate him with respect," the ministry said on Twitter.

In response to a decision by the Greek judiciary to close associations with the word Turk in their names, on the grounds that "there are no Turks in Greece," 1988, Turks in Western Thrace held a mass march on Jan. 29, 1988.

The Western Thrace region -- located near Greece's northeastern border with Türkiye -- is home to a substantial, long-established Muslim Turkish minority numbering around 150,000.

The rights of Turks of Western Thrace are guaranteed under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. But over the decades, the situation has seriously deteriorated, with Greece refusing to carry out rulings by the European Court of Human Rights.

Türkiye has long criticized Greece for depriving the Muslim Turkish minority of their basic rights and freedoms.

Source: Anadolu Agency