Greek Minister Delegate for European Affairs Nikos
Xydakis was referring to a recent ban on the celebration of mass at the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, the decision of the Turkish authorities to authorize the reading of the Koran in Aghia Sofia in Istanbul and the change of position towards the Kurds.
On Tuesday, Pavlopoulos said Turkey must apologize for the genocide of the Pontic Greeks and denounced the arbitrary decision of the Turkish authorities not to allow mass at the Sumela Monastery this year. In response, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that these statements had no historical or legal consistency.
Xydakis said Turkey has constantly and continuously denied recognize the genocide and is even outraged when the question of the Armenian or Pontic genocide is raised, creating diplomatic tensions. “We rightly highlight these issues that have been historically recorded,” he said.
He said Pavlopoulos was right to respond to the unusual, but an explainable ban on masses, which is part of Erdogan’s overall plan for the Islamization of the regime and a worrying trend, because it violates religious freedoms and endangers good neighborly relations. Xydakis also noted that political and diplomatic channels of communication exist and that the two countries agree on some issues and disagree on others.
Asked about the eight Turkish soldiers who requested political asylum, the minister said the matter was in the hands of the judicial authorities who would decide on their extradition and noted that the country would respect European and international law.
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