A Greek Muslim group banned by the country’s highest civil court on grounds of national security for calling itself Turkish has said it will appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights.
«Following the publication of the official ruling, the Turkish Union of Xanthi… shall apply to the European Court of Human Rights in search for justice which has been denied to it within Greece,» the group said in a statement dated January 19, obtained by AFP Sunday.
The statement is co-signed by 12 other Muslim groups forming a «Consultative Committee of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace».
The northeastern Greek region of Thrace is home to a 100,000-strong Muslim, Turkish-speaking community that has often been a source of friction between Greece and nearby Turkey.
Athens recognizes the community as Muslim but not as ethnically Turkish, citing the international 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that established modern Turkey.
Established in 1927, the Turkish Union of Xanthi, a Thrace town, counts some 2,400 members.
According to a court source, the Supreme Court ruled on January 13 that the association «served the interest of a foreign country in the attempt to appear a Turkish minority in Greece.» The decision is expected to be formally announced in the coming weeks, according to standard practice in Greece. (afp)