Qa-49, 11 July 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Rejection Of The Application Of Xanthi Turkish Union For Its Re-registration By A Regional Court Of Appeals In Greece

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 11.07.2018

Xanthi Turkish Union, one of the prominent NGOs of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace had been banned by the Greek authorities on the pretext that the word “Turkish” was in its name.

After this incident, as a result of the judicial initiatives of Xanthi Turkish Union, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the right to association was violated and invited Greece to make necessary arrangements.

In this context, for the application of the decisions of the ECHR, the Greek Parliament adopted a legislation in 2017 that enabled the banned associations to apply for re-registration. However, the legislation included major exceptions for the acceptance of these applications.

As a matter of fact, the application of Xanthi Turkish Union for re-registration has been rejected by a regional court of appeals in Greece.

The decision of the court demonstrates that the legislation adopted by the Greek Parliament is not enough for the realisation of the right to association.

We expect from Greece to register the NGOs of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace without discrimination and make arrangements that will enable the application of ECHR rulings.

Esat Şafak Göktürk Ambassador
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