Qa-61, 10 September 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy In Response To A Question Regarding The Draft Presidential Decree With Respect To The Legal Regulation Which Makes It Optional For The Turkish Minority Of Western Thrace To Use Powers Emanating From Sharia Law In Greece

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 10.09.2018

Our views have already been released to the public regarding the legal regulation of 9 January 2018, which makes it optional for the Turkish minority of Western Thrace to use powers emanating from Sharia Law in Greece and enables the use of Civil Law in case of a dispute between the parties.

This time, a Presidential Decree specifying the implementation details of the said legal regulation has been published as a draft for the public attention, on the website of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

Minority institutions, particularly the Advisory Board, have revealed the opinions of our kinsmen in Western Trace on the abovementioned draft decree.

Our kinsmen in Western Trace are concerned that the draft decree would abolish the autonomous structure of the Office of Mufti established in international agreements. Our kinsmen expect that this regulation on the Office of Mufti, which should actually serve the minority’s religious needs, should be reviewed in accordance with the minority’s views and requests.

We also share the concerns of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace. We expect Greece, which does not recognize the elected Muftis of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace, firstly to put an end to this attitude and take into account the expectations of the Turkish Minority in the regulations.

Tahsin Tunç Üğdül Ambassador
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