European Council Tells Turkey To Bring Back The Migrated Greeks
After its decision that Turkey may go back to being monitored regarding human rights and democracy because of the closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) ratified another decision yesterday this time about Gökçeada and Bozcaada, the only major Turkish islands in the Aegean Sea.
The decision that passed with 32 votes against 11 stated that many ethnically Greek citizens of Turkey had to leave these islands because of the policies of the Turkish governments and the council told Ankara to show a “positive attitude” towards the Greek minority.
“While expressing its pleasure over the steps Ankara took to maintain the Greek cultural existence in these two islands, the decision wants Turkey to guarantee the property rights of the Greek citizens of Turkey who had to leave the islands in the second half of the 20th century and to provide the conditions for their return.
According to NTVMSNBC, the report, which states that there are about 300 Greeks in both islands combined, mainly the old people, makes the following demands that a school for Greek kids is built, the real estates taken from Greeks are returned and the churches are fixed. If returning the property is not possible, then it asks for reparations.
The decision asserts that protecting the bicultural nature of the island may be a model for the cooperation between Turkey and Greece.
The first time today’s decision was proposed by some Greek deputies a few years ago.
In today’s general meeting, deputies from Turkey and Greece proposed motions.
Rejecting that the islands are referred to by their Greek names systematically in the report, the Turkish commission proposed a motion that the according to the UN conventions, each country can name the land under its sovereignty the way it wants and this motion was accepted by majority vote. (BIA, June 29, 2008)