While in New York for the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias raised the issue of the Greek minority in Turkey.
Responding to the Turkish president’s provocative claims against Greece, he noted:
“It would be nice if Turkey answered what happened to the Greek minority in Istanbul, and how a once prosperous minority of over 100,000 is today reduced to less than 5,000 or, as it was once said, Turkey has no the right to speak…”
The European Union, through its human rights representative, Eamon Gilmour, has condemned the “discriminatory policy” that Turkey is implementing against the Greek minority, which has led to the fact that “today it is on the verge of extinction.” The statement was made on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
Gilmour pointed out that EU reiterated its call on Turkey to protect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, including the property rights of persons belonging to minorities and legal entities belonging to minorities. He noted that “minority issues are being used as false pretexts to justify wars, as happened during Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military attack on Ukraine.”
During his speech, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, writes CNN Greecenoted that December 18 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption by the UN Member States of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic Groups, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and stressed:
“The Declaration remains an important milestone in the promotion and protection of the rights of persons belonging to the aforementioned minorities, providing guidance and setting standards, in particular with regard to non-discrimination, the use of one’s own language and effective participation in decision-making.”