Turkish FUEN Member Organisations raised their problems at OSCE meeting in Warsaw

- Press releases

Representatives of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace, Meskhetian Turks and Crimean Tatars who are members of FUEN attended the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, organised by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 19-30 September 2016 in Warsaw. FUEN Legal Adviser and FUEN Brussels Office Manager Frank de Boer also participated in the meeting, where civil society representatives raised the problems of human rights issues and discriminatory practices they face in their homelands.

ABTTF (Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe) and WTMUGA (Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association) represented the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace at the meeting. The Meskhetian Turks were represented by International Society of Meskhetian Turks VATAN and the Crimean Tatars by the Crimean Tatar Society.


Western Thrace Turks strongly criticised Greek minority policies

Representatives of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace criticised the non-recognition of ethnic Turkish identity by Greece in their interventions at different sessions and further explained the substantial problems they face in the fields of education and religion. The representatives drew attention to the rise of hate speeches in the country and questioned the constant failure of the state in finding the perpetrators of hate-motivated crimes against the minority.

The fundamental problems that the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace faces regarding the issue of their foundations were highlighted during a side event organised by FUEN member organization WTMUGA in partnership with the Muslim Denomination in Bulgaria where the issues confronted by Western Thrace Turks and the Turks in Bulgaria on religious freedom, mufti office and foundations were put on the table.


Meskhetian Turks underlined the fact that the repatriation process to Georgia hasn’t been successful

FUEN-member International Society of Meskhetian Turks VATAN’s press secretary Ansar Usmanov declared at the OSCE meeting that Georgia,  being responsible for finalising the repatriation process of Meskhetian Turks, has not fulfilled its obligations.in regard to this process. Usmanov clarified their demands of amending the regulations in order to successfully implement the repatriation process.

The Council of Meskhetian-Turk American Associations, which is the umbrella organisation of Meskhetian Turks in the USA, delivered a presentation at the meeting where they raised the challenges faced by Meskhetian Turks living in Russia.


The problems of Crimean Tatars were at the top of the OSCE agenda

The invasion of Crimea by Russia and the developments that happened afterwards have been discussed many times during most of the OSCE sessions. State officials and NGO representatives severely criticised the unlawful practices committed against the local people in Crimea following the invasion.

Refat Chubarov, who used to be president of Crimean Tatar National Assembly (Mejlis), which was the highest representative body of Crimean Tatars before it was banned by Russia on the grounds that it was a radical institution, attended the meeting this time as a Ukrainian deputy and delivered his official speech where he provided first-hand information about the problems of Crimean Tatars.

Crimean Tatars were represented by many civil society organisations at OSCE and organised two side events. Two lawyers of the Crimean Tatars, namely Emil Kurbedinov and Edem Semedlâyev, informed the audience about the injustice, arbitrary detentions and arrests of Crimean Tatars after the Russian invasion. The coordinator of Crimean Tatar Society Elvin Kadyrov delivered a speech during a side event where two members of the Crimean Tatar National Assembly, Eskender Bariyev and Gayana Yüksel talked about the latest issues in Crimea including problems with the freedom of speech and media while listing their proposals aimed at increasing international support for Crimean Tatars.

Additional to the member organisations of the Turkic Working Group inside FUEN, also the Ecumenical Federation of Constantinopolitans attended the OSCE meeting. They called on the Republic of Turkey to take measures to revive their community in Istanbul and to prevent hate publications against them.




Key Topics

  • Political Participation
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Solidarity with the Roma
  • European Citizens' Initiative
  • European Network
  • Forum of the European Minorities / House of Minorities


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