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Refusal to the decree from the Muftis elected by the minority07 September 2018

A clear, definite and absolute rejection was made to the decree regarding the muftis that removed the private and autonomous status set by the Treaty of Lausanne from the Muftis elected by the minority.

The Muftis, respected by the minority, used the expressions "We reject categorically the draft text open to the public’s opinion and declare that the said text is not acceptable to the minority" at press conferences on the president's decree restricting freedom of belief.

Mufti of Komotini (Gümülcine) İbrahim Şerif and Mufti of Xanthi (İskeçe) Ahmet Mete, who were elected by the minority, attended the press conferences held on Wednesday, September 6th at 18:00 in their respective regions, and many of the religious officials who worked in Western Thrace all participated.

Mufti of Komotini (Gümülcine) İbrahim Şerif and Mufti of Xanthi (İskeçe) Ahmet Mete published a joint press statement as follows:


We have analyzed the draft of the Presidential Decree prepared under the legislation that makes the judicial powers of the Muftis arbitrary.

We see that Muftis as religious establishments, who are the guarantees of the religious freedoms of the Muslim-Turkish Minority in Western Thrace and have been documented in the international literature, are tried to get shackled.

It is understood that the muftis establishments, which is the existential institution of the minority, is aimed to be put under the domination of state officers and to be transformed into ordinary state offices. Just as the right to choose the muftis of the minority is usurped, this time the Muftis establishments are emptied functionally and institutionally.

Moreover, it is forbidden for the minority to speak their mother tongue in the Muftis. This is the continuation of the policies that have been applied since years to deny the identity of our Minority. We would like to emphasize that such an application would also be a violation to universal Minority rights.

In this framework, we reject categorically the draft text opened to public opinion and declare that the said text will not be accepted by the Minority."

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