ND denounces PASOK over comments by Muslim MP

[InTime News]

The new democratic ruling party attacked the socialist PASOK opposition after the party’s deputy leader appeared to admit that a Turkic minority exists in Greece’s Thrace region.

New Democracy’s reaction was sparked by a social media post by Xanthi MP Bourchan Baran claiming to be a member of a local NGO known as the “Advisory Board for the Turkic Minority of Western Thrace”. . In the same post, Balan urged Greek Muslims to vote for the new Mufti in the Sept. 9 elections.

Greece does not recognize its Muslim population, primarily located in Western Thrace, as a religious minority, not as an ethnically Turkish minority. In addition, they do not recognize elected Muftis (religious officials who adjudicate on matters of Islamic law) and often bring them to court for “impersonating public officials.” Turkey encourages Greek Muslims to choose their own Mufti in Xanthi and Rhodope.

In a statement on Friday, the Conservative Party urged PASOK to expel Muslim MPs. “Play PASOK [officials] Do you respect Greek law? Do they respect the legal procedure for the election of the Mufti recently passed by parliament?”

A new law approved by parliament in late July allows minority Muslims to form a 33-member advisory board drawn from among Islamic science scholars and imams. The committee evaluates the candidates and submits the list to the Ministry of Education.

Sources said Baran’s comments brought dismay to his PASOK party. ND denounces PASOK over comments by Muslim MP

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