NEWS

Top prosecutor urges ban on minority union

The Supreme Court prosecutor has urged judges to uphold a lower court’s ban on a Muslim minority association in Thrace which defined itself as representing ethnic Turks, judicial sources said yesterday. Fearing irredentist pressure and citing the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Greece insists that the Muslim minority of Turkish descent in Thrace cannot be described as Turkish, as a result of the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey that followed the calamitous – for Greece – 1919-22 war. The treaty refers to religious minorities. Acting on that principle, a Thracian appeals court had banned the «Turkish Union of Xanthi,» which took its case to the Supreme Court. Moreover, prosecutor Dimitris Linos argued, the union’s aims were illegal, as it «is blatantly attempting to present the existence in Greece of a Turkish ethnic minority.»