Athens, Greece – In Western Thrace, Greece, as it does every time it is cornered, has again committed a provocation. The signs of schools belonging to the Turkish minority in Western Thrace were quietly changed at night. The phrase “minority” was removed from the names of the schools. In a circular issued by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the phrase “minority” in the names of Turkish schools in Xanthi (Iskece) and Komotini (Gumulcine) was deleted and replaced with the phrase “Muslim”. The name of Komotini (Gumulcine) Minority Madrasa-i Hayriye Secondary School and High School was changed and named as Gumulcine Muslim Madrasa-i Hayriye Secondary School and High School.” It’s never acceptable that this happened,” the school administration said in a statement.

This step of the Greek administration was also reacted by the Advisory Board of the Turkish minority of Western Thrace (BTTADK). “With this practice, which took place in order, the status of our minority as an ‘international minority’ was also ignored,” the statement said, stating that this process was unacceptable.

A joint statement from the PTA and the School Board said: “We never accept that the operation at midnight happened-it ended.” “This is an effort to destroy our existence and create a society whose lineage is unclear,” the statement said, stressing that the names of the schools were similarly changed in 2009. It is to create a rootless nation by destroying our existence.” Ilhan Ahmet, deputy of the Rhodope provincial Amendment Movement party (KINAL), also reminded that the change in the names of schools in Gumulcine and Iskece was a mistake in the question proposal he submitted to parliament to be answered.

Gumulcine Madrasa-i Hayriye and Iskece Madrasa belonging to the foundations of the Muslim community in Gumulcine and Iskece were connected to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs of Greece in accordance with the provisions of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. In the 2000-2001 academic year, the Greek Ministry of Education and religion introduced secondary school and high school equivalence as a 6-year school to madrasas that initially provided 3-year education. Today, there are about 600 male and female students in the madrasas in Gumulcine and Iskece. Turkish-Greek bilingual madrasas teach science courses as well as religious courses. 25 years ago, the number fell by half in the country, where there were 231 primary schools belonging to the Turkish minority.

Gumulcine Madrasa-i Hayriye and Iskece Madrasa belonging to the foundations of the Muslim community in Gumulcine and Iskece were connected to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs of Greece in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne from 1923. In the 2000-2001 academic year, the Greek Ministry of Education and religion introduced secondary school and high school equivalence as a 6-year school to madrasas that initially provided 3-year education. Today, there are about 600 male and female students in the madrasas in Gumulcine and Iskece. Turkish-Greek bilingual madrasas teach science courses as well as religious courses. 25 years ago, the number fell by half in the country, where there were 231 primary schools belonging to the Turkish minority.

For years, the Turkish minority in Greece has been victimized by problems with education, religious and ethnic identity recognition, but the Greek administration continues a policy of systematic discrimination rather than solving the problems. About 150 thousand Turks live in the country, most of them in Western Thrace.