An unidentified group targeted a Turkish cemetery in Narlikoy, located in Greece’s Western Thrace region, damaging approximately 20 tombstones over the weekend. Local parties and leaders, including Ibrahim Serif, chair of the Consultative Committee of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace, were quick to condemn the act and call for accountability.
In a formal response on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic strongly condemned the vandalism. “We expect the Greek authorities to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice as soon as possible,” said Bilgic. He acknowledged that an investigation had been initiated according to a statement by the Greek Secretary General at the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
Bilgic also spoke to broader concerns, saying, “The fact that even Muslim cemeteries are targeted reflects the rising Islamophobia across Europe, underscoring the urgency to defend our shared human values.” He urged Greece to take preventative measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace.
Western Thrace is home to approximately 150,000 Muslim Turks, whose rights were established under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. However, tensions have escalated over the years, with Türkiye accusing Greece of failing to uphold the community’s fundamental rights and ignoring rulings by the European Court of Human Rights.
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