ANKARA (AA) – Greece’s discriminatory policy towards its Muslim Turkish minority violates its obligations under European Union law, a European political party said Wednesday.
In a letter to the European Commission, the president of the European Free Alliance (EFA), Lorena Lopez de Lacalle, asked about the steps they would take to ensure that Greece’s Muslim Turkish minority can exercise their right to education without compromising their religious duties, the EFA said in a statement.
The letter, which was sent to European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, expressed the party’s concern about a recent decree banning minority primary schools in the regions where most of Greece’s Muslim Turkish minority is concentrated from closing early on Fridays to allow their students to attend prayers, according to the statement.
“Preventing school children from attending Friday prayers constitutes discrimination against the Muslim community and (there are) fears that the goal of such a decision is ‘assimilation,’ the statement said.
Against this background, the party said: “Will the commission open an investigation to establish whether the actions of the Greek authorities in this case constitute a violation of their obligations under European law?”
The statement also drew attention to the current situation of Turkish minority schools.
It underlined that the number of schools offering curricula in both Turkish and Greek had declined from 230 to 103 in the last two decades.