In a greeting addressed to the online ceremony for the cutting of the Imbrian Association’s vasilopita, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, called on Turkey to fully respect the rights of the Greek minority in Imbros, Tenedos and Constantinople, and stressed that this remained Turkey’s international obligation in accordance with Lausanne Treaty.
“Turkey must finally understand that the Greek minority in Imbros, Tenedos and Constantinople is not an enemy to the rest of Turkish society. On the contrary, it is an integral part of its historical course and a point of reference for the friendship and the peaceful coexistence between our two peoples,” said Nikos Dendias.
The foreign minister recalled the provisions of Article 14 of the Treaty of Lausanne, on the guarantee for the native non-Moslem population in so far as concerns local administration and the protection of persons and property.
“The protection of the Greek minority in Constantinople, Imbros and Tenedos has always been Turkey’s international obligation under the Treaty of Lausanne,” he stressed.
The foreign minister also referred to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who also comes from Imbros.
“His bright example and his constant activity for the benefit of the Greek Diaspora on the island ensure that your efforts are successful,” he noted.
He also expressed certainty that “Metropolitan Kyrillos of Imbros and Tenedos will manage to unite the Imbrian Greek community there.”
“We have a strong and continued interest in you,” said Nikos Dendias, “Until the neighboring country lives up to its commitments, we will continue to use all available legal and diplomatic tools at our disposal to meet the expectations and historical rights of the Imbrians.”