Turkish Foreign Ministry’s Hami Aksoy is pushing Greece to “re-examine” a provision voted by Parliament that expects Muslim religious leaders (muftis) to retire at age of 67.
The muftis have been operating in the Greek border region of Western Thrace under a status of autonomy up until now and have the authority to rule on religious matters.
“Our kin in Western Thrace are concerned over the draft bill aiming to lift the autonomous status of the office of the mufti that was assigned by international agreements,” Aksoy said.
“We expect this amendment regarding the office of the mufti, which serves the religious needs of minorities, to be reconsidered in line with the feedback and requests of minorities,” he added accusing Athens for trying to remove the minority population’s legal experts.
Meanwhile, the United Nations special envoy for Cyprus Jane Holl Lute will be meeting Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Athens today to resume talks regarding the reunification of Cyprus following German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ comments on Monday.
“It is up to Ankara to decide what its relationship with the EU will be,” Maas said.
“Turkey must fulfill all its commitments to the EU and Cyprus and work toward resolving the island’s division.”
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides will also be present in the meeting.