MINELRES: Press release: International panel discussion in the European Parliament on the Turkish and Macedonian minorities in Greece

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Mon Mar 31 15:56:03 2008


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POLITICAL PARTY OF THE MACEDONIAN MINORITY IN GREECE
Member of the European Free Alliance - European Political Party
(E.F.A-E.P.P)
Member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (F.U.E.N.)

Stefanou Dragoumi 11 
Florina/Lerin O.E. 53100 PO Box 51 
Greece 
Tel/fax 0030 23850 46548
www.florina.org   
e-mail rainbow@florina.org
----------------------------------------------------------

Press Release
Florina/Lerin  31/03/2008

INTERNATIONAL PANEL DISCUSSION IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ON THE TURKISH
AND MACEDONIAN MINORITIES IN GREECE

On Thursday 17 April 2008, the European Free Alliance – European
Political Party in cooperation with the Federation of Western Thrace
Turks in Europe (ABTTF), European Free Alliance – Rainbow (Macedonian
minority of Greece) and the Federal Union of the European Nationalities
(FUEN) will be organising an international panel discussion in the
European Parliament in Brussels on the “Ignored Minorities in Greece:
Western Thrace Turks and Macedonians.” The event will be held in Meeting
Room A5G2 from 15.00 until 18.00. 

Guest speakers at this event will include Hans Heinrich Hansen (Panel
Chair) (President, Federal Union of European Nationalities), Halit
Habipoglu (President, Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe,
Nelly Maes (President, European Free Alliance - European Political
Party), Asst. Prof. Dr. Halim Cavusoglu (Department of Sociology,
Hacettepe University ), Pavlos Filipov Voskopoulos (Member of the
Central Council of EFA-Rainbow, political party of the Macedonian
Minority in Greece), Helene Flautre MEP* (Chair, Subcommittee on Human
Rights, European Parliament), Dr. Csaba Sandor Tabajdi MEP* (Chair,
Intergroup for Traditional National Minorities, Constitutional Regions
and Regional Languages), Boriss Cilevics (Member of the PACE, Chair,
Sub-Committee on Rights of Minorities) Panayote Dimitras (Spokesperson,
Greek Helsinki Monitor) and Mikel Irujo Amezaga MEP (Greens/EFA Group). 

Background information on the Turkish and Macedonian minorities of
Greece

The Greek state systematically discriminates against the Turkish
minority and denies the ethnic identity of the minority, which whether
acquired by birth or through acculturation, is Turkish. Greece prefers
to use the term “Muslim minority”, a concept based on the Lausanne Peace
Treaty and on the rejection of a “Turkish” identity. Greece’s refusal to
accept the minority’s Turkish identity has ranged from banning civic
organisations bearing the adjective “Turkish” in their titles – as in
the case of “Turkish Union of Xanthi”- to prosecuting individuals who
publicly identified the minority as “Turkish”. 

The Macedonian minority of Greece is concentrated in the northern part
of the country. Although the Macedonian language is spoken by a large
number of persons, it is in danger of becoming extinct as it does not
enjoy official state recognition and therefore is not taught in the
education system. Furthermore, Macedonian speakers and indeed persons
expressing a Macedonian ethnic identity have been persecuted by Greek
authorities. Greek courts on multiple occasions since 1989 have refused
to register the cultural association “Home of Macedonian Culture”.
______________________

* speaker to be confirmed
* Invitation: http://www.florina.org/html/2008/march27_e.pdf


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