Turkish minorities in Greece face religious, cultural problems – Middle East Monitor

Turkish minorities in Greece are facing religious and cultural problems, a new report issued by the Turkish parliament revealed on Tuesday.

Joint heritage sites in the southeastern European country, such as a 600-year-old Ottoman-era mosque in Didymoteicho, have not been maintained, it added, while the Celebi Sultan Mehmet Mosque, built in 1420, was severely damaged in a 2017 fire.

In a statement the Turkish parliament said that Ankara had offered to restore the mosque.

It is stated that Turkish people in Western Thrace and the Dodecanese Islands did not have control over their religious foundations, which negatively impacts the struggle to protect historical sites.

Last week, Turkey also slammed Greece over its systematic closure of Turkish minority schools in the country’s Western Thrace region, depriving the minority of the education of their choosing.

READ: Remembering the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire

For 25 years, Greece has been systematically shutting down schools belonging to the Turkish minority on the pretext of austerity measures and insufficient enrollment, said the ministry.

In June, the Muslim Association of Greece reported in a press release that Greece ordered one of the oldest Muslim prayer halls in the greater Athens area to shut down.

According to a report published by Daily Sabah, Athens is the only capital in Europe without an official mosque.

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