Ban sought for 2nd ‘Turk’ body

In a second court case on the sensitive issue of whether Thrace’s Muslim minority can call itself an ethnic, rather than religious minority, a Supreme Court judge has urged a ban on a Rhodope women’s association that uses the word «Turkish» in its name. Court sources said yesterday that judge Dimitris Kyritsakis has called on the Fourth Section of Greece’s highest civil and criminal court to rule against the «Cultural Association of Turkish Women in the Rhodope Prefecture» in its bid for formal recognition as an association. This follows the Supreme Court’s decision, taken in mid-January but yet to be officially announced, banning the «Turkish Union of Xanthi,» also in Thrace, on grounds of national security. Ankara has voiced dismay at the decision. Greece argues that, under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, it has no ethnic Turkish minority, while the Turkish-speaking population of Thrace can only be described as «Muslim.» The women’s group is contesting an appeals court ban.