Our President Prof. Mustafa Kaymakçı explained The Problems of Rhodes And Kos(Istankoy) Turks at the 12th Session of the United Nations (UN) Minority Problems Forum in Geneva (Switzerland) on 28-29 November 2019.
The paper provided by Kaymakçı is following:
In today, there is a Turkish population, whose number is about 9,000 and lives in Rhodes and Kos.
The said islands are located in Aegean Sea and were given to Greece in 1947 with Paris Treaty.
The Greek authorities have not recognized our mentioned cognates in “minority” statue due to the fact that the Dodecanese were under the Italian control when Lausanne Treaty was concluded in 1923.
As a matter of fact, minority cultural rights of Rhodes and Kos Turks have been addressed not only in a number of international treaties [Protocol No. 3 of the Treaty of Athens (1913); Article 15 of the Vienna Convention (1978), the Treaty of Sevres (August 10, 1920); Articles 37-45 of the Treaty of Lausanne (January 30, 1923) concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish populations; Treaties of Athens (1926), Ankara (1930) and Paris (1947)] but also within the context of the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations and the Greek Constitution. However, Greece continues to ignore all these resolutions and decisions.
In the year of 1972 , the schools, providing education in Turkish, were closed without any reason.
There are many problems of Turks living in Rhodes and Kos today.They include problems such as Citizenship, the Right to Education in Turkish, Free Practice of Religion, Protection of Cultural Heritage Inherited from the Ottomans, Foundations, and the Environment of Hatred and Oppression.
Greek authorities define them as Greek Muslims. However, they are not Greek Muslims but they are Turks. Living in the Islands, Turks have got to vanishing point. If the assimilation policy of Greece is not “stopped”, in a short time, it will be impossible to mention Turks in the Dodecanese.
Turks in Rhodes and Kos require Greece to:
- Accept Turkish identities
- Provide Turkish children with right of learning Turkish language in the basis of bilingual education
- Protect cultural works remaining from Ottoman Turks
- Enable members of Board in Rhodes and Kos Foundation Inventories to be elected by Turks
- Finalize the hate and pressure environment arising time to time
- Remove the Turcophobic opinions from the lesson books in Greece.
As a member of European Union, Greece should fulfil the responsibilities related to human rights stipulated in Constitution , European Convention on Human Rights and other human right conventions.