PACE approves preserving Greek-origin citizens’ rights on Turk islands

PACE approves preserving Greek-origin citizens’ rights on Turk islands

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) approved a report for preserving the bicultural character of two Turkish islands, Gokceada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) as a model for cooperation between Turkey and Greece in the interest of the people concerned.

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The report on the situation of the Turkish Greek minority living on Bozcaada and Gokceada was discussed and approved at a PACE session on Friday with 32 votes in favor, 11 against and two abstentions.

The related draft resolution, based on the report by Swiss parliamentarian Andreas Gross, had been approved by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of PACE on June 2. 

In the resolution the committee urged Turkey to take “a positive attitude” to the small number of ethnic Greeks still living on the Turkish Aegean islands of Gokceada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) and their descendants.

The committee has also welcomed a number of positive gestures already taken, but called for the fair settlement of education and land issues concerning ethnic Greeks, and steps to repair the damage done to the natural and cultural heritage of the islands.

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"The population of the islands had “suffered too long” from the consequences of the different crises in relations between Greece and Turkey... A positive attitude ... would also be an excellent example of Turkey’s willingness to overcome outdated nationalist attitudes and to embrace European values of good neighborliness,” the committee said in the resolution.

PACE also invited Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias to address general assembly meetings this fall, the Anatolian Agency reported.

 

PACE had approved Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians to attend meetings the PACE general assembly and committees after the Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N.-brokered settlement plan in a referendum in April 2004.

 

 

 

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