In the 52nd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the problems of the Turkish community in Western Thrace were expressed by the ABTTF.
At the 52nd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, it was stated that the Turkish community in Western Thrace was seen as a threat and thus became a target for hate speech in politics and the media.
The European Western Thrace Turkic Union (ABTTF), which represents the Turkish Western Thrace Community at the United Nations, participated in the 52nd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN) held in Geneva from 27 February to 4 April 2023.
ABTTF, which has a special consultative status of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, constantly expresses the problems of Turkish society in Western Thrace in the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is held three times a year and is attended by representatives of all members of the United Nations. current on the agenda.
In this context, Director of International Relations Melek Kırmacı Arık attended the first meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council this year, representing the ABTTF. Participating in the agenda items titled UN Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms with the session in which UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Fernand de Varennes presented his report on 23-24 March 2023, the ABTTF raised stigmatization, targeting and hate-based rhetoric against Turkish society in western Thrace.
On March 23, 2023, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, where Fernand de Varennes, the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, participated for the last time as Special Rapporteur, Varennes said it was too late to take concrete steps to protect minorities. their human rights and identities. The Special Rapporteur called on all states to put an end to negligence and inaction in the field of minority rights, calling for the establishment of a permanent forum for minority rights and a new treaty.
In its speech on 24 March 2023, the ABTTF recalled that, as discussed at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues in December 2022, human rights defenders cannot be stigmatized, targeted or subjected to any form of hate speech due to their statements and activities in defense of human rights. rights of a minority group; He stated that the Turkish community in Western Thrace is seen as a threat in Greek politics and media.
Noting that there is systematic and structural discrimination against the West Thracian Turkish community in Greece, the ABTTF said that representatives of the West Thracian Turkish community have been targeted because of hate speech entrenched in politics and the media. Criticizing the stigmatization and targeting of community representatives by some media outlets, the ABTTF noted that images of representatives of the Turkish West Thrace community had become an open target through its publication. Referring to the presence of hate speech against Turkish MPs in politics, the ABTTF said that SYRIZA Xanthi Member of Parliament Hüseyin Zeybek was threatened with death by an audience during a local TV broadcast in Xanthi.
Drawing attention to the impact of politics on discourse and language in the mainstream media, the ABTTF said that the media should be prevented from being used as a means of provocation and manipulation that could lead to hostility towards members of a particular group.
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