NEWS

Erdogan heads to Komotini to meet with Muslim minority

TAGS: Diplomacy, Politics, Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was expected in Komotini at noon on Friday, on the second leg of a two-day official visit to the country that got off to a tense start in Athens.

The Turkish president was expected to attend prayers at the northern town’s Kirmahalle Mosque and meet with leaders of its Muslim community.

After challenging his hosts, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, by going off script on Thursday with demands for an “update” of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty that forms the bedrock of Greece’s relationship with Turkey, there are concerns in Athens regarding the Turkish president’s statements during Friday’s visit.

The Lausanne Treaty was supposed to protect the Muslim minority in Greece but instead they are discriminated against, Erdogan said on Thursday, calling for increased rights for the Muslims of Thrace, including the right to elect their own religious leader.

He also told Pavlopoulos and Tsipras that revising the treaty that defines the borders between Greece and Turkey would be in the interest of both countries.

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