Turkey comments on the closure of Turkish ethnic minority schools in Greece


A spokesman (Hami Aksoy) for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “Greece has closed many primary schools of the Turkish ethnic minority in Western Thrace over the past twenty-five years, using excuses such as austerity and lack of knowledge.”

This measure was done without consulting the country’s ethnic Turkish minority, and this quorum has been dubbed “temporary suspension”, and in fact, it is a systematic closure.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement stressed that the latest example of the continuation of this process is the closure of eight other primary schools in the western Thrace region.

Aksoy added, “With this decision, the number of primary schools for the ethnic Turkish minority, Greece, 25 years ago, reached 231, and with repeated closures, the number was reduced to 115 schools.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson also stressed: “The European Union monitors systematic violations of human rights in one of its member states. Turkey supports the position of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace and calls on the international community and human rights organizations to consider closing Turkish ethnic minority schools in Greece.

Hami Aksoy said, “Turkey’s efforts to solve the educational issues of the Turkish ethnic minority in Western Thrace will continue firmly, in communication with the Greek authorities and in accordance with the principle of reciprocity stipulated in the Treaty of Lausanne.”

The Treaty of Lausanne is the name of the peace treaty signed in 1923 between the members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Belgium and Yugoslavia in Lausanne, Switzerland.