No: 9, 11 January 2018, Press Release Regarding The Law Adopted By The Greek Parliament On The Powers Emanating From Sharia Law

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 11.01.2018

The Greek Parliament adopted on 9 January 2018 a law, according to which, the powers emanating from Sharia Law becomes optional for the Turkish minority of Western Thrace. The law also makes it possible for the Civil Code to be used in case of a disagreement among the parties.

The Greek authorities have not consulted with the minority’s elected Muftis on this law just as they have not done with any other laws that fall under their jurisdiction.

This legislation was drafted due to an application lodged with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) by a member of the minority of Western Thrace. We expect Greece to implement this and other verdicts of the ECtHR about the minority in a non-discriminative manner and thus to register the minority NGOs, and not to use their titles as a pretext for not doing so.

We observe with concern that Greece, which does not recognize the elected Muftis of the Turkish minority of Western Thrace, has recently increased the level of pressure against them through legal investigations.

We would like to remind that in the past, the European Court of Human Rights, ruled in five different cases against Greece, which had filed cases against the elected Muftis on grounds of “usurpation of power”. Therefore, we expect Greece to draw lessons from the past and put an end to legal pressure imposed on the elected Muftis.

Mehmet Vakur Erkul Ambassador
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