By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) - Greece does not recognize the Turkish community living in Western Thrace as an ethnic minority, thus violating a major international treaty, Türkiye's top diplomat said on Thursday.
"Greece persistently continues to violate the Lausanne Treaty and basic human rights of Turkish minority. Our brothers in Western Thrace were never and shall never be alone!" Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
Cavusoglu's remarks came after he met with members of the advisory board of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace in Türkiye's capital Ankara.
The Western Thrace region -- located near Greece's northeastern border with Türkiye -- is home to a substantial, long-established Muslim Turkish minority numbering around 150,000.
Cavusoglu also shared a list of discriminatory practices Greece has perpetrated against the Turkish community, including preventing them from using the words "Turk" or "Turkish" in the names of their schools and foundations, as well as barring them from electing their own religious representatives.
The rights of Turks of Western Thrace are guaranteed under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. But over the decades, the situation has seriously deteriorated, with Greece refusing to carry out rulings by the European Court of Human Rights.
Türkiye has long criticized Greece for depriving the Muslim Turkish minority of their basic rights and freedoms.