EU slams Turkey for discriminatory policies against minorities
The European Union called on Turkey to respect its minority groups’ property rights.
Turkey should “protect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, including property rights of persons belonging to minorities and minorities’ legal entities,” Eamon Gilmore, EU’s special representative for human rights said, addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
“The EU deeply regrets past discriminatory policies implemented by Turkey, which resulted in the Greek minority currently being on the verge of extinction,” Gilmore added, during his speech on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Kathimerini newspaper said.
Non-Turkish ethnic groups, particularly non-Muslims, often face discriminatory practices in Turkey.
The 6-7 September 1955 pogrom targeting the Greek, Armenian and Jewish districts is a significant example of such practices in modern Turkey’s history.
On the evening of Sep.6, 1955, the mobs raided Greek, Armenian and Jewish districts, destroying, torching and looting homes, offices and non-Muslim worship places, schools and cemeteries.
According to official reports, a total of 4,226 residents, 1,011 offices, 74 churches, eight sacred wells, one synagogue, two monasteries, 26 schools and three cemeteries, all belonging to Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities in Istanbul and Izmir, were subjected to the aggression.
Many women were sexually assaulted, many people were severely beaten, and at least 10 citizens were killed overnight.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday, urged Turkey to explain what happened to the Greek community of Istanbul and how the once thriving minority of over 100,000 has now been reduced to less than 5,000 people, in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s accusations against Athens of pursuing “discriminatory and oppressive policies” towards the Muslim Turkish minority living in Western Thrace.