Saturday, 22 September 2007

‘Don’t vote for the infidel’

Here’s an interesting video, shot at a pre-election rally in Xanthi, northern Greece. It shows candidates and other luminaries from the 100,000-strong Muslim minority of Thrace arguing that ‘Turks must vote for other Turks’ and suggesting beatings for those who ‘dare vote for the infidel’.

This is a summarised translation of what the speakers said:

Cetin Mandaci, Pasok candidate, former president of the Turkish Union of Xanthi: ‘I want to stress that whatever the outcome [of the national elections] at least one Turkish MP must be elected.’

Orhan Haciibram, New Democracy candidate: ‘I’ve been involved in Turkish minority issues for 24 years and [most recently] have been fighting for recognition of the Turkish Union of Rodopi Women, representing the women and the Turkish Union of Xanthi at the European Court of Human Rights.’

Ahmet Mete, unofficial mufti of Xanthi: ‘I’ll tell you something that pains me. In Komotini today, a Western Thrace official told me we’re never going to elect a Turkish MP. It pains me that we have become so predictable. It’s not enough that the giaours (infidels) have figured us out, but even our own are making fun of us. We must stop supporting Christian candidates. Vote for a Turk even if he’s the worst candidate available. Don’t deride other Turkish candidates. [Ask yourself] what has the real enemy ever done for you – the Christian candidate? What you must keep in mind is that a Turk has no friend other than a Turk.’

Orhan Ahmetoglou, president of the Turkish Union of Xanthi: ‘I’d like to close with this one phrase, which must become our banner: A Turkish vote to a Turk.’

Abdularif Dede, journalist, broadcaster: ‘In 2004, we [the Muslims] gave 12,000 of our 33,000 votes to our minority candidates. We gave 21,000 votes to the Romious (Greeks). For 30 years, we’ve been doing the same thing. [Calling for] a Turkish vote to a Turk, but when we go to vote, we vote for a giaour… For years we’ve been voting for Romious and, indeed, to whom have we been giving our votes? To [Pasok MP Panagiotis] Sgouridis, who was involved in the protection of Turkey’s biggest enemy, PKK leader [Abdullah] Ocalan. Damn the Turk who votes for a Christian… I admire the PKK. You know why? Because it sets itself an aim and pursues it faithfully, and when a [PKK] member steps out of line, they give him a beating. In our villages, we know who votes for the giaours, so why don’t we isolate them socially to see if they’ll dare speak about Sgouridis, [New Democracy MP Alexandros] Kontos or their mother’s c----.‘

Saif Husseinoglu, member of the Turkish Union of Xanthi: ‘We are all one. How happy I am to say I am a Turk.’

For the record, two minority candidates were elected to the national parliament in last Sunday’s poll, both from Pasok; the aforementioned Cetin Mandaci for Xanthi, and Ahmet Hacıosman for Rodopi.


Anonymous said...

Unbelievable...meanwhile, Pontian Greeks who visit Turkey to make a pilgrimage to Sourmela Monastery a are forbidden to even light a candle there!

john akritas said...

And if we're not careful – and we're not being careful – Thrace will become another Pontos.