Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed Greek Muslims as fellow nationals at an impromptu speech he delivered at the Celal Bayar Muslim community school at the northeastern town of Komotini on Friday afternoon.
Erdogan spoke to the hundreds of Muslim Greeks gathered to see him at the minority school, touching on the minority’s history, the history of the Greek Orthodox minority in Turkey, and referring to the Greek Muslim community as “people of the same nation” as he, who “have given a fight to survive” there.
In a minor incident prior to his speech Erdigan asked for a microphone to address the crowd, but Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis who escorts him at his visit to Thrace said there was no microphone available as there was no speech scheduled at his school visit. “That is not what we have agreed on,” Amanatidis told the Turkish president.
Erdogan appeared upset to the dismay of the crowd gathered, before a microphone was eventually found for the Turkish statesman to speak, after being introduced by Amanatidis.
He will then go to a Komotini hotel where he will deliver a speech to Komotini Muslim community leaders.