By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's main opposition leader criticized a “racist threat message” Tuesday in northeastern Greece written on an elevator of an apartment building that is the residence of Mufti Ahmet Mete of Xanthi.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu said the threat would remain inconclusive.
"If they choose a Mufti to punish Muslims ... they cannot accomplish any result," he told the Republican People's Party's (CHP) parliamentary group. "These threats cannot browbeat us and our Muslim cognates there."
Kilicdaroglu noted that the CHP would stand by Muslims living in the Western Thrace region in Greece.
Xanthi (Iskece) is part of Greece’s Western Thrace region, which has a population of 150,000 Muslim Turks dating back centuries.
The election of muftis, or Islamic clerics, is regulated by the 1913 Treaty of Athens, a Greek-Ottoman Empire pact that was implemented by Athens in 1920.
But in 1991, in violation of international law, Greece annulled its law regarding the treaty and unlawfully started to appoint muftis.
The muftis appointed Greece have since usurped local Muslims’ right of jurisdiction on family and inheritance matters.
The majority of Muslim Turks in Western Thrace do not recognize muftis appointed by Greece and instead rightfully elect their muftis.
Greece, however, has refused to recognize elected muftis since 1991 and authorities have even placed clerics on trial.