Fwd: Minorities and EU


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Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 10:04:10 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Fwd: Minorities and EU

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Original sender: TURKISH FORUM <grassroots@hosting4us.com>

Fwd: Minorities and EU


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: nakratzas <g.nakratzas@wxs.nl>

Dr Georgios Nakratzas
Physician - Author
Postbus 5159
3008 AD Rotterdam
The Nederlands
e-mail : g.nakratzas@wxs.nl

                                  The Scientists' Association
                                  of the Ethnic Turkish Minority
                                  of Western Thrace
                                  KOMOTINI
                                  Greece

                                  Rotterdam  24 Augustus 1999
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
>From the Greek Helsinki website I have learnt of the open letter sent
by the parliamentary representatives of the Turkish minority in
Western Thrace and the non-governmental organisations to the Greek
Parliament concerning the recognition of the ethnic Turkish and the
ethnic Macedonian minorities in Greece.

The step you have taken shows that the ethnic Macedonians and the
ethnic Turks crossed the Rubicon.

Minister Reppas's reply is symptomatic of the ideological backwardness
of Greek society, and indeed of all Balkan societies.

It seems that the Greek political world has not learnt from the EU and
NATO's recent deplorable and essentially unwished-for punishment of
Serbian nationalism, for it has not realised that Europe is now in its
postnational period, when national boundaries are being abolished and
human rights (which were first philosophically asserted by Erasmus in
Holland in the sixtheenth century) are being defended in every way.

Mr Reppas states that, while Greece is a democracy that respects human
rights and individual freedoms, it is not prepared to recognise the
existence of "unrealistic ethnic minorities with no knowledge of
history ".

The realisation has not yet dawned that it is not the majority that
decides whether a minority exists or not, but the minority itself.

What everyone needs to realise is that Europe's centre of power is not
Athens or Ancara but Brussels; and you as Greek nationals, are first
citizens of Europe with all the obligations and rights that that
entails.

You probably know that Rainbow is a member of the Minorities Party in
the European Parliament and has the right to speak at the party's
plenary sessions in the small parliament in Brussels. The cost of one
Rainbow representative's attending for six months comes out of
Community funds, which means that the party de jure recognises the
ethnic Macedonian minority and its rights. A few weeks ago, the
Euro-MP Nely Maes submitted a question to the speaker of the European
Parliament concerning the recognition of the Macedonian language and
its introduction into the Greek educational system and the local mass
media - which means that the European Parliament is moving into action
regard to the preservation of the so-called less-spoken languages in
the EU.

What is more important, however, is the need for the ménorities in
Greece to have their own Euro-MP, who can monitor and promote the
issues that concern them.

As far as national elections are concerned, it would be beter for
things to stay as they are, for the simple reason that a left-wing
voter in the minority has different ideological preferences from a
right-winger.

For the European elections, however, there could be a coalition party
comprising basically the Macedonian Rainbow and the Turkish Rainbow: I
am certain that it would be supported by many Pomaks, many Christian
Gypsies, many Moslem Gypsies, many Vlachs, many ethnic Albanians, a
good many ecologists, the OAKKE, and many other oppressed religious
groups, together with many progressive Greeks. Only this sort of
co-operation is likely to give the coalition the 200.000 votes that
will bring it close enough to 3 per cent to enable it to sent one or
two Euro-MPs to Brussels in five years's time, where they will be able
to present the oppressed groups' problems from a position of
influence.

A prerequisite would be to create a minority Turkish party with a
published manifesto, just like Rainbow, that would emphasise EU
principles and support for human rights and the rights of minorities,
not excluding the Kurdish minority in Turkey. The manifesto could -
indeed must - condemn all violence, whether by Ocalan's PKK or Taci's
KLA in Kosovo.

I do assure you that the minority representatives in the European
Parliament today abhor the violence of people like Ocalan and Taci and
refuse membership to parties that do not repudiate armed violence. The
fundamental political philosophy of the minority Euro-MPs is that the
struggle must be exclusively political, within the framework of the
European Union.

We could share more detailed information at a private meeting of those
interested, in Komotini.

Yours sincerly
 
Georgios Nakratzas
 
Copies to :
1. Abdullhalim Dede, journalist and member of the Turkish minority
2. Pavlos Voskopoulos, member of the political secretariat of Rainbow
3. Ibram Onsunoglou , Phycisian and member of the Turkish minority

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