The European Free Alliance (EFA) expresses its deep concern, following 2 new incidents that were recorded in W. Thrace, Greece over the past few days.
First, a fire destroyed almost completely the Beyazit Mosque in the city of Didimotiho/Dimetoka, one of the oldest mosques in Europe. Maintenance works to protect the mosque's unique wooden roof had started 5 years ago but were never completed. A few days later, weapons and a small amount of amunition were discovered inside another mosque in the village of Iliopetra/Goynuklu, the imam was arrested only to be released shortly afterwards due to the lack of any evidence connecting him with the findings.
Commenting on the situation, EFA President Francois Alfonsi highlights:
"After numerous acts of aggression against the Turkish minority living in Western Thrace, it is one of the oldest mosques in Europe, the Beyazit Mosque, which has become a victim of suspected arson.Each time the investigations trample, and the perpetrators of these acts enjoy impunity that makes us wonder about possible complicities within the state apparatus. Similarly, for the discovery of weapons in another mosque of the region, there is suspicion of a deliberate manipulation. The succession of those events combined with the unchanged negative attitude of the Greek authorities towards minorities, is an alarming fact; Regardless of who is in power, Greece continues to follow a minority policy which is based on fear, intolerance and various complexes.”