New Health Minister of Turkey Mehmet Müezzinoğlu claims proud of being appointed as a minister of the Turkish government, despite being born and raised in Greece as a Greek citizen until the age of 28, according to a Hurriyet daily report.
Born in the Greek city of Komotini, located in Western Thrace, Müezzinoğlu was granted Turkish citizenship at the age of 31. In 1983, Müezzinoğlu emigrated to Greece illegally by crossing the river Maritsa. Before acquiring Turkish citizenship in 1986, he lived in Turkey as a stateless man between 1983 and 1986.
Müezzinoğlu is one of the leading members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the founder of the Western Thrace Education, Culture Foundation, the Balkan Civilizations Association, as well as the Cooperation and Solidarity Foundation of Avcılar.
“If a man, born as Greek citizen, raised as a Greek citizen until the age of 28, who lived here [in Turkey] as a stateless man for four years, can become a minister in this country, that means this nation has great values and wealth,” said Müezzinoğlu according to the Turkish daily, adding that he was proud to be a minister of the Turkish Republic and thankful to both the great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the current Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.