MINELRES: ABTTF Press Release: FUEN celebrated its 60th foundation day

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Sun Nov 1 16:45:21 2009


Original sender: ABTTF <news@abttf.org>


Press Release

FUEN celebrated its 60th foundation day

>From 29 September to 2 October 2009, the Federation of Western Thrace
Turks in Europe (ABTTF) attended the 60th jubilee congress of the
Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) with the theme of
“fundamental right to political participation”. At the congress, the
Turkish Minority of Western Thrace was represented by the delegation
composed of President Halit Habipo?lu, Vice-President Sami Yusuf,
Secretary General Ozkan Re?it and member of International Affairs
Department Fatma Re?it on behalf of ABTTF and Ali Huseyin and Yrfan
Cakyr on behalf of the Western Thrace Minority University Graduates
Association. 

On 30 September 2009, a meeting attended by the FUEN delegates who were
on a visit to the European Parliament, and by MEPs was organized.
Furthermore, on the last day of the congress, on 2 October 2009, draft
resolutions submitted by the FUEN delegates were discussed and
subsequently adopted. 

Issue of the Turkish Minority’s political representation was brought to
the agenda

Following the presentation by Dr. Oleh Protsyk from the European Center
for Minority Issues (ECMI) on the issue of political participation on
the first day of the congress held in Brussels, Halit HabipoÏlu,
President of ABTTF, raised the problem of political participation faced
by the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace during the debate.

HabipoÏlu pointed out that according the new electoral law enacted in
1991 in Greece, candidates had to obtain at least 3% of the votes
throughout the country in order to be elected to the Parliament, and
thus the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace could not be represented by
independent MPs in the Greek Parliament. After HabipoÏlu, Ali HÝseyin,
member of the Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association,
stated that the „Turkish“ ethnic identity of the Turkish Minority of
Western Thrace was recognized, adding that the Minority had been facing
many problems in terms of recognition of its rights in the areas of
education and religion where it had autonomy, and had also been facing
several problems in the area of political representation. 

Two resolutions for recommendation related to the Turkish Minority of
Western Thrace were adopted 

As the Delegation of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace, ABTTF and
the Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association submitted
two resolutions for recommendation to be adopted at the FUEN Assembly of
Delegates. In the unanimously adopted text of the resolution for
recommendation, ABTTF and the Western Thrace Minority University
Graduates Association demand from the Greek Government to withdraw the
3% electoral threshold for an independent candidate, and to abolish the
division of local districts into enlarged electoral districts which are
now implemented in the prefectures of Rhodope and Xanthi. 

On the first day of the congress, HabipoÏlu also stated that it had been
brought on in the Greek newspapers that soldiers serving their time in
the 4th Army Corps had had to sign a document stating that they did not
want to vote in the places where they had been born, but in Western
Thrace. Thus, HabipoÏlu expressed his concerns that the democratic
electoral process might get jeopardized. As the Delegation of the
Turkish Minority of Western Thrace, ABTTF and the Western Thrace
Minority University Graduates Association, prepared a common text of
resolution for recommendation demanding the investigation of the
regarding allegations, and submitted it to the FUEN Assembly of
Delegates on 2 October 2009.

With regard to the issue, Halit HabipoÏlu, President of ABTTF, stated
that “The fact that the FUEN Congress was hold just before the early
general elections on 4 October 2009 in Greece increased the importance
of this Congress for the Turkish Minority of western Thrace.= Therefore,
representing the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace, ABTTF and the
Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association brought the
issue of political representation to the agenda. In addition, upon the
allegation that soldiers serving their time in the 4th Army Corps have
been had sign a document stating that they would like to vote in the
region, we prepared an urgent text of resolution for recommendation
related to the issue, and achieved that it was adopted by the FUEN
Assembly of Delegates”.
 
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ABTTF, Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe
Wemerstr. 2
58454 Witten
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 2302 /
913291                                                
Fax:  +49 (0) 2302 / 913293
E-Mail: news@abttf.org
Homepage: www.abttf.org

NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council
of the United Nations 
Member of the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) of the European Union
Agency for Fundamental Rights
Member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities
(FUEN)

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