Turkish PM confused about Greece

Criticized by European Commission about press freedom issues in Turkey, Prime Minister Recep T. Erdogan said (they) should be concerned about Greece first. Erdogan also criticized the treatment of Muslim minorities in Greece.

Last week police in Turkey went practically door to door to confiscate copies of an unpublished book by Ahmet Sik, an investigative journalist. Allegedly the book propagates an underground establishment by retired high-brass military officials to establish a military junta in Turkey. However opinion leaders in the country argue under the veil of this investigation, government is trying to silence opposition by jailing influential journalists whose number totals 163 as of today. Many of these people are held in jail without convictions for up to three years now.

Recent arrests and house searches without warrants alerted European Union officials and foreign press concerning human rights and freedom of speech in Turkey. Today, a member of European Parliament anonymously declared that Turkey is in breach of political criteria to become a member of the Union.

Turkey is a candidate for full membership in the European Union, but has a very poor record on civil liberties and human rights.

Muslim minorities in Greece enjoy all constitutional rights as full citizens whereas in Turkey large Kurdish, Armenian, and a small Greek minority are discriminated in their dealings with government organizations and mostly do not have basic rights such as the right of education in mother tongue.


  1. Uh, well, Turks in Greece have some civil rights, but their cultural and linguistic rights are regularly violated. They can’t call themselves “Turks”, and Turkish is not taught in the schools. Also, there’s the ongoing outrage at the failure of the Greek government to permit the construction of a mosque in Athens, despite the 500,000 Muslims living there. So there’s plenty to negotiate on both sides.

  2. I agree that there is plenty to negotiate by both sides. I also acknowledge tthat the Greeks are no Angels, but the treatment of ethnic Turks in Greece is much better than the treatment of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.

  3. Greeks who have remained in Smyrni or Constantinoupoli are not taught greek in schools. Nor are they permitted to practice their religion. There is plenty to negotiate on both sides, you’re right. BUT I think turkis atrocities and lack of respect for minorites far outweighs Greece’s.