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The Turkish minority in Western Thrace: The long struggle for rights and recognition

23 October 2019

The Turkish minority in Western Thrace has inhabited the region for centuries. However, despite a raft of protection in domestic and international law, they remain unrecognized by the Greek government. The Turkish Minority in Western Thrace: The Long Struggle for Rights and Recognition highlights the barriers still confronting the community today.This situation has resulted in a wide range of restrictions on their ability to establish associations, practice their culture and provide education in the Turkish language, representing a serious threat to their identity, participation and self-expression. The Turkish minority also faces a number of obstructions of their religious freedoms, including state interference in the appointment of their spiritual leaders.The rights of the Turkish minority continue to be determined by a framework established almost a century ago, despite Greece’s accession to a host of international human rights treaties and its obligations as a member of the European Union. In this context, Greek authorities must take immediate steps to recognize the Turkish minority in Western Thrace and remove all barriers to the full enjoyment of their rights.

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