QA-21, 22 July 2022, Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tanju Bilgiç, in Response to a Question Regarding the Closing of 4 More Primary Schools Belonging to the Turkish Muslim Minority in Western Thrace by Greece for the 2022-2023 School Year

Republic Of Türkiye Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 22.07.2022

We condemn Greece's decision of closing 4 more primary schools belonging to the Turkish Muslim Minority in Western Thrace, with their annual pretexts of austerity measures and insufficient number of students.

With this latest decision, more than a half of the Minority primary schools has been closed. Thus, Greece's policy of closing primary schools belonging to the Turkish Muslim Minority in Western Thrace through "temporary suspension" has proven to be systematic.

As we have stated time and again, the aforementioned decisions violating the Turkish Minority's right to establish, manage and inspect their own schools, in accordance with the provisions of the Lausanne Peace Treaty, are indications of the discriminatory and oppressive policies pursued against our kinsmen in Western Thrace in the field of education.

While Greece closes primary schools with the pretext of insufficient number of students, it ignores, on the other hand, the demands for opening new Minority secondary/high schools despite the obvious need, and violates the education rights of Minority children.

We invite Greece to put an end to its discriminatory policies towards Minority schools, which recur every school year.

Republic of Türkiye will continue to support the Minority's struggle for its rights and justice, both in bilateral contacts and international platforms.

Atatürk

Yönet Can Tezel Ambassador
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