The newly elected Muslim cleric (mufti) of the Turkish minority Mustafa Trampa says that the rights of the Turkish minority have been violated by new laws and decrees.
The newly elected Muslim cleric (mufti) of the Turkish minority in the Xanthi region of Western Thrace in Greece has said that discriminatory practices are being carried out against the Turkish minority in the region.
Mustafa Trampa, who was elected as the new cleric on September 9, told Anadolu Agency on Monday that the legal basis of the institution of the mufti is the Athens Treaty of 1913, Law No. 2345 enacted in 1920 and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, but Greece violated the fundamental rights of the Turkish minority under both these treaties.
Stating that the rights of the Turkish minority have been violated by new laws and decrees, Trampa said: "Our people clearly showed their reaction against … the mufti who was appointed without discussing it with our advisory board, our highest institution. Since 1990, our people began to elect their own mufti, as specified in treaties and laws. The process started with the unlawful dismissal of our muftis."
Noting that the Greek media took an "immoral and unlawful" attitude towards them with the announcement of the mufti candidacy, Trampa said what was done was open discrimination and an attitude that harmed human dignity.
Trampa noted that even though they can pray freely in Greece, their religious freedoms are severely violated.
"The approach that if you can pray, then you have freedom is wrong because the Greek government has issued decrees with the force of law to minimise your institution and turn it into a state office. Greece's policies towards the religions of minorities are a great example of unlawfulness."
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Stating that the aim of the Greek authorities is to place Christians in minority foundations and religious institutions, Trampa said: "For example, Christians lead the foundation committee in Rhodes. Christians are among the delegations here, including secretaries or in different positions. The latest law states that Christians or people from different religions can also be employed in Muslim mufti offices and foundations' boards of trustees."
He said it is very difficult to obtain the necessary permits for the maintenance and repair of mosques in Western Thrace and that the bureaucratic procedures that can be completed in two to three months for the construction of a new village mosque have been extended up to 20 years.
"They are doing their best to alienate you from these works," he added.
Trampa, who won the election after Ahmet Mete, the elected mufti of Xanthi, passed away on July 14, became the third elected mufti of Xanthi.
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