Turkey: We want to set a positive agenda with Greece on minorities

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Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran said that his country wants to set a positive agenda with Greece regarding the rights of minorities.

This came in statements made by Kiran on Wednesday at the Turkish Consulate General in the Greek Komotini region, on the sidelines of his visit to the regions of Thessaloniki and Western Thrace.

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Kiran added that no one should expect Turkey to remain silent about the violation of minority rights (referring to the Turkish minority in Greece).

He also stressed that his country will continue to talk about the rights of minorities in Greece on various levels.

He explained that Ankara views the Romanian minority in Turkey and its Turkish counterpart in Greece as a bridge to strengthen relations between the two countries.

He called on the “Greek friends” to follow up on the affairs of minorities on their lands, and opened the door to a decent life for them, as Turkey does with the Roman minority on its lands.

He also pointed out that the denial of ethnic identity and restrictions on the freedoms of minorities in Greece negatively affects the relations of the two countries.

He stated that Ankara would like to set a positive agenda with Athena with regard to the rights of minorities in the latter.

The western Thrace region in northeastern Greece is home to a Turkish Muslim minority with a population of about 150,000 people, and they usually face discrimination policies by the Greek authorities.