Athens accuses Ankara of spreading ‘fake news’ over Thrace schools

Athens accuses Ankara of spreading ‘fake news’ over Thrace schools

The Greek Foreign Ministry on Monday issued a terse response to allegations from Turkey regarding the closure of 12 minority primary schools in the northeastern province of Thrace, which, Ankara claims is a violation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne provisions safeguarding the rights of Muslims in the area.

In a lengthy response issued on Monday night, Athens said that Ankara is “distorting reality,” making “baseless claims” and spreading “fake news” with such allegations.

It said that the decision to suspend the operation of the 12 schools was prompted by the fact that they do not have the minimum required number of pupils, nine, while adding that an additional 24 public schools are being closed in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace for the same reason.

The ministry went on to note that the Muslim minority in Thrace consists of some 120,000 members when the Greek minority in Turkey has shrunk to just 3,000 from being equal in size at the signing of the agreement, while more than 100 minority schools will operate in Thrace in the next academic year, as opposed to just three Greek schools in Istanbul.

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