Erdogan regime attempts to gloss over ethnic cleansing of Imvros, Tenedos
The Erdogan regime took umbrage this week to statements by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, after the latter’s address, via a remote connection, to the annual New Year’s pie-cutting ceremony held by the Athens-based Society of Imvros natives.
Dendias made a particular reference to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, himself a native of the northeast Aegean island, while he also directly pointed to decades of violations by official Turkey of the rights of the islanders.
Coming just days before exploratory talks between Athens and Ankara resume after nearly five years, a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman merely claimed that many productive steps have been taken over recent years to resolve problems faced by the Greek Orthodox minority in the predominately Muslim country.
Imvros and Tenedos, home to an autochthonous Greek population for millennia, were granted to the newly founded Republic of Turkey in 1923.
Various administrative and discriminatory measures by the Turkish state since, along with outright persecution, caused the near total displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Hellenic population on the two northeast Aegean isles.