Representatives of the local ethnic Greek communities met here with a 12-member delegation comprised of local government officials as well as foreign affairs and interior ministries’ officials.
Both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the ethnic Greek community representatives characterised the meeting as “very important” and a “development of a symbolic nature”.
The meeting reportedly focused on all issues raised by representatives of the now tiny ethnic Greek community.
Turkey’s ambassador to the EU, career diplomat Volkan Bozkir, who headed the 12-member delegation, pledged that he will do everything in his power to solve the problems, adding however, that he does not have a “magic wand to provide solutions to everything”.
The meeting took place at the headquarters of the secretariat that coordinates negotiations with the EU, and was held within the framework of the initiatives undertaken by the Turkish government aimed at dealing with minority issues.
A recent Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) report has called on Greece and Turkey to handle minority issues in their true dimension, such as human rights and individual liberties issues.
The report also suggested that minority issues should not fall under the jurisdiction of the ministries of foreign affairs as if they concern nationals of a foreign country. A similar appeal has been made repeatedly by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
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