Greece braces for Thrace rap

Greece is likely to face strict criticism regarding its treatment of a Muslim minority in the northern region of Thrace following a scheduled visit next month by Council of Europe officials, diplomatic sources have told Kathimerini. The delegation is to check whether Greece has honored a decision by the European Court of Human Rights allowing two local groups to define themselves as Turkish. In March last year, the court ruled that Greece had violated European provisions on freedom of association by banning two groups called the Xanthi Turkish Union and the Rhodope Cultural Association of Turkish Women. A Greek diplomat said a warning or a stiff fine was in store. «We are going to find ourselves in a corner and under a lot of pressure,» he said. Meanwhile, it emerged that Ankara is considering conceding to Greek requests for the reopening of the Halki Orthodox Seminary but only in exchange for the creation of a Turkish university in Thrace, a proposal Greece is certain to refuse.

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