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Greece: Court rejected the application of the Western Thrace Turkish associations08 June 2020

The Court of Appeal of Thrace rejected the applications for recognition by the Cultural Association of Turkish Women of the Region of Rodopi and the Evros Prefecture Minority Youth Association belonging to the Turkish community in Western Thrace. 

In its verdict dated 25 May 2020, the Court of Appeal of Thrace indicated that the two Western Thrace Turkish associations had made a recourse to the domestic courts following the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in 2008 but that their recourse had been rejected and that because of this, it claimed that a new recourse cannot be made and thus rejected the applications of the associations. 

The applications by the Cultural Association of Turkish Women of the Region of Rodopi and the Evros Prefecture Minority Youth Association for registration had been rejected by the Greek domestic courts and following this, the two associations had applied to the ECtHR. In its judgments it made in 2008, the ECtHR found the two associations in their right and had ruled that Greece violated the freedom of association of the Turkish community in Western Thrace. The two associations had applied to the Court of Appeal of Thrace within the framework of the Law 4491/2017 which had been adopted with the objective that ECtHR decisions are implemented by the Greek domestic courts and new conditions in domestic law. 

"We call on our country Greece to stop its stalling tactics"

“The negative verdict bearing political trait of the Cultural Association of Turkish Women of the Region of Rodopi and the Evros Prefecture Minority Youth Association did not surprise us. The same court had rejected the application for the restitution of the official legal entity of the Xanthi Turkish Union which was closed earlier because of the word ‘Turkish’ in its name. The verdict of the court is in contradiction with the promises by Greece to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which closely supervises the implementation of the ECtHR judgments regarding the Western Thrace Turkish associations under the name ‘Bekir Usta group cases’. We call on our country Greece to stop its stalling tactics and to immediately implement the ECtHR judgments with respect to the freedom of association of the Turkish community in Western Thrace. As ABTTF, we will continue to inform the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regarding the latest developments on the ongoing legal process before the Greek domestic courts and to support our associations”, said Halit Habip Oğlu, President of the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF). 


Source: www.abttf.org

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