Working to secure the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples

Minority Rights Group International campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard.

This information pack has been produced with the support of E4D.

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Chapter Six


Minority associations and organizations form the backbone of the Turkish community and play an important role in supporting schools, teachers, leaders and other activities. This has been central to ensuring the survival of Turkish language education in the region. The Western Thrace Turkish Teachers’ Union, which was founded in 1936, has experienced a long history of repression, including constant threats of closure during the military junta (1967-74), the removal of its signboards in 1985 and its official suspension by the courts. But they have managed to continue their activities despite these obstacles.

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The Komotini Turkish Youth Union, founded in 1928, has faced similar issues.

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The Xanthi Turkish Union, the first civil society organization registered in Western Thrace in 1927, is now run by Ozan Ahmetoğlu. It has taken the remarkable step of challenging its suppression by the Greek authorities in the European Court of Human Rights.

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Learn more from the video interview with Ozan Ahmetoğlu: