A few days ago, the well-known channel pro-Erdogan Al Jazeera TV in Qatar showed and uploaded on YouTube a poor “report” by Glenn Ellis about the “Turkish national minority” of Greek Thrace (Western Thrace, Contested Space: The Turks of northeast Greece) in the series People & Power, screaming from miles away, which was an order from Turkey.
The three-member crew had not been licensed for outdoor filming, had no plans to use a drone, recorded the faces and number plates of police officers, and were generally indifferent to any deontology. Every scene and every attack was set up to “substantiate” the Erdoganist propaganda for the Greek region and we will mention only the most glaring illegal acts of the show.
First of all, even one Greek Christian and also even one elected MP from the Muslim minority did not speak in the report
So many current and former MPs, mayors, councilors (we even saw some in the plans of the show) but no one was asked about the current situation in Greek Thrace! Only those who have contractually taken on the role of the accuser of Greece – as a rule abroad – and those who act on Turkish interests in our region spoke: The people of the illegally operating Turkish unions, some publishers – journalists (let’s say, now…), the president of the Turkish KIEF political party, the permanent slanderer of Greece by PEKEM, its “colleague” from Germany and the Turkish non recognised mufti Ibrahim Serif. Without a single Muslim word that has an institutional role, the completely false image of a marginalized minority has been given. No hint of the positive distinctions that the Greek state provides for the Muslims of Thrace (studies, work…). Except, of course, the half-truths and the whole lies that the so-called liars served.
Without historical references
The show begins by comparing a serene image of an elderly man in a minority village cafe to another of the Golden Dawn night gathering (in Athens!) With torches, flags, etc. The message immediately goes to the far-right Greeks who oppress peaceful Turks. Of course, it is kept secret that Chrysi Avgi (insignificantly electoral in Thrace) never touched the hair of a minority and that the only one who died in the ethnic unrest 40 years ago was a Christian (Angelos Solakidis in 1991).
As for the physiognomy of Thrace, he says that it passed through many rulers, but since 1300, the Ottomans who left 100 years ago have dominated! Not a word about thousands of years of organic integration of Thrace in the Greek world, ancient or Byzantine!
For Pomaks and Roma, not the slightest mention was made, in fact, while he is constantly talking about Turkish culture, he shows at some point Pomak costumes and says about old traditions, implying that they are also Turkish. And of course it shows dance groups with costumes, dances and purposes brought by Turkey, completely unrelated to Greek Thrace. So as the consular mechanism put them in our place for the last twenty years…
It refers to the 3 unions that were abolished by the Greek courts – basically to the Turkish Union of Xanthi (TEX), which also calls it an NGO! – but in 2008 they won a favorable decision in the European courts. However, he does not say that these unions have simply been deprived of their TIN and their license plates, while otherwise they operate normally, in fact, they even invite local authorities to their events! In fact, Ahmetoglou, the president of TEX, has the audacity to talk about “Greece’s problem with its national minorities” in the plural!
Here, of course, the responsibility lies with the Greek authorities, who do not seal the wasp nests as they should have done with the Law. Even more lewd misinformation is the channel’s report on minority schools. He says they closed five more last year, bringing the total to 65 in the last eight years (he doesn’t say they’re doubled). He conceals that schools across the country have been closed for economic reasons (with a limit of 9 students), but does not say that these children are being relocated to minority schools at the expense of the Greek state, bigger and clearly better than the two-seater schools they used to go to. It only speaks to the nonsense of assimilation through public education, where the children of Muslim villages are supposed to end up.
Below, he presents Ibrahim Serif as the “elected” mufti of Komotini, after telling us that “traditionally” the mufti was elected here. In fact, gentlemen, it is a tradition that is completely ignored by the entire Muslim world, and by Turkey itself, but it only applies in our parts! World patent, foreign to Islam but convenient for Ankara! At some point, the report goes into a broader context and refers to the Cyprus issue as an occasion for the hardening of the Greek attitude towards the minority population. He talks about inter-communal riots on the island that provoked the Turkish invasion, while the coup against Makarios did not have any such dimension.
He also refers to the events in Bulgaria in 1989 with the state’s attempt to change the Muslim names there, unrelated to everything Greek but helpful in the whole pro-Turkish climate set up by the show. After that in the show the Gudem magazine publisher Choulia Emin complains where the opponent demanded 1,000,000 euros, but it is never said that any other Turkish-language newspaper NEVER gave even one euro, even if their convicts were from affected citizens, often minorities. Likewise, the other… indigestible publisher, Genghis Omer of “Millet” newspaper, speaks of a 15-month prison sentence, leaving the impression that he went in or even paid! And he is talking about freedom of expression, which, if the law were applied, would have to be put on the bench after almost every issue of his fascist leaflet!
Another scam was the appearance of Tsigdem Asafoglou, the president of the “Turkish” Equality, Peace and Friendship Party (KIEF) set up by Turkey in Thrace. Almost laughing, she spoke of threats against her life and family, so it is reasonable to assume that they were either ridiculous or difficult to lie about. Did he ever report them to the GreekPolice, was anything found?
Then came the cultural monuments: For the fire at the Bayazit mosque in Didymoteicho, it was said that the minority did not believe the official version of the accident. Pervin Chairoula stressed that out of 3,000 Ottoman monuments in Greece, only 300 remain (!!!) because Greece does not give money for their restoration and photos appeared with 1-2 Muslim graves vandalized in Alexandroupolis – from the usual provocations, of course. No, they did not show anything about the Christian tombs and the vandalized churches. Neither from the renovated mosques, nor from the newly built ones that decorate them with Turkish flags (!), Nor from the operating schools…
However, the Turkish line was followed by the Al Jazeera TV channel everywhere in Greece. Even in his report on the recent events on Greek-Turkish border in Kastanies, he spoke of “refugees from Syria” to whom the Greeks threw tear gas and smoke, and only then did the Turks retaliate! In fact, even Turkish authorities would not describe them so objectively.
And one last thing: The show’s hosts say they were constantly monitored by the Greek secret police and were eventually arrested overnight. However, they do not say that this did NOT happen in Greek Thrace but in… Kos island, where they also went to show other “oppressed ethnic Turks” but were caught photographing forbidden places!