FEP PARTY HEADQUARTERS OPENED WITH WELL ATTENDED CEREMONY





A crowded opening ceremony was held for the new headquarters of the Friendship Equality and Peace (FEP) Party on January 7th, birthday of the party founder Dr. Sadýk Ahmet.The ceremony was attended by FEP Party Chairman Mustafa Ali Çavuþ and party members, Iþýk Sadýk Ahmet, wife of the late Dr. Ahmet Sadýk and FEP Honorary President, son businessman Levent Sadýk Ahmet and daughter lawyer Funda Sadýk Ahmet.
Among other attendees of the ceremony were, Turkey’s Consul-General in Gümülcine Ali Rýza Akýncý, Deputy Consul Murat Ertaþ, MP for Rodopi Ýlhan Ahmet, Gümülcine Elected Mufti Ýbrahim Þerif, Ýskeçe (Xanthi) Elected Mufti Ahmet Mete, Kozlukebir Mayor Rýdvan Ahmet, Yassýköy Mayor Ýsmet Kadý, Mustafçova Mayor Cemil Kabza, members of the State Parliament of Eastern Thrace, representatives of minority organisations and thousands of minority members.
The opening ceremony began with a minute of silence in memory of party founder Dr. Sadýk Ahmet, which was followed by speeches.
MUSTAFA ALÝ ÇAVUÞIn his speech FEP party Chairman Mustafa Ali Çavuþ said that Dr. Sadýk Ahmet was a martyr for the cause of the minority. Emphasising that the Turkish minority had felt lost following the death of Dr. Sadýk Ahmet, Ali Çavuþ said that following the reorganisation of the FEP, the minority had won a historical victory in the European Parliament elections held on May 25th 2014. Thanking the entire minority for their attendance to the ceremony and the success they achieved in the European Parliament election, Ali Çavuþ said “Sadýk Ahmet became a martyr for us. May he rest in peace. You have brought together thousands of votes for the European Parliament elections. We have to put this party on solid foundations. We the FEP is just as strong as any other party in its region.”
“WE HAVE ONLY ONE BULLET LEFT TO FIRE: OUR HISTORICAL TOLERANCE”Regarding the theft of Dr. Sadýk Ahmet’s car from the part headqaurters, Ali Çavuþ said “Unfortunately, a shadow was cast on our democracy when people who could not tolerate this took away the car. The organisation responsible has distributed some flyers in Gümülcine (Komotini). I want to tell them that what they are doing is harming Greece. It is a shadow cast on democracy. We will continue towards our end. If they want to do good by the country, let them give us our rights arising from the Treaty of Lausanne. Let them see us as equal citizens. Then good will be done for Greece and for democracy. Such actions cannot separate us from our cause. When we set out with our friends we accepted that we are ready to pay any price. We will stand by our cause until we get results. Our greatest strength is our people.”Finally thanking all members of the Western Thrace Turkish Minority Consultation Board (BTTADK), Ali Çavuþ said “I can only Express the greatest gratitude for members of the BTTADK, all supporters of our cause, the family of Dr. Sadýk Ahmet and our upstanding people. We are under pressures here. We have only one bullet left to fire, and that bullet is our historical tolerance.”
IÞIK SADIK AHMETStating that she was greatly surprised to see Dr. Sadýk Ahmet’s car at the party headquarters, wife Iþýk Sadýk Ahmet said she had reminisced about the days in which they had travelled in the car as a family. She said “We learned courage, perseverance, honesty and struggle from him. When I look out to you today, when I see that our people are with us, I, like Sadýk, say that we should struggle ceaselessly.”
“THAT CAR CONTAINED OUR MEMORIES, HIS BLOOD AND OUR TEARS”Regarding the theft of the car from the party headquarters Iþýk Ahmet said: “The most precious memento of Sadýk has been taken from us. This is breaking and entering. We want the Greek state, even the prime minister personally, to take an interest in this problem and for the car to returned as soon as possible. That car contained our memories and the blood and memories of Dr. Sadýk Ahmet and our tears. They cannot make us abandon our cause by showing us what they can do. We will continue our struggle in Western Thrace. As a party we will continue to serve humanity, friendship and peace. Western Thrace Turks have never caused any harm here. Therefore we wish no harm to be done to us.”MUSA YURTWestern Thrace Turks Solidarity Association (BTTDD) Organisational head Musa Yurt who attended the ceremony travelling from Turkey to represent the BTTDD said that the Western Thrace minority had signalled the Turkish presence in the region at the European Parliament elections held on May 25th and that they would not give up the struggle. He said “We are not a minority, we are the natives of the land and I do not accept the word ‘minority’”.
ÝLHAN AHMET“I HAD SEEN THE PARTY AS A CENTRE OF THOUGHT FOR THE MINORITY AND A CENTRE FOR DEMOCRACY”Potami Party MP for Rodopi Ýlhan Ahmet said that he had closely followed the work of the FEP party and of Dr. Sadýk Ahmet and added “I had seen this party as a centre of thought for the minority, a centre for democracy and the first step towards communicating with the rest of Greece. This party has put behind partisanship in favour of the entire minority. I congratulate you on your success in the European Parliament elections. Although the Democratic Left Party had made me an offer then, I supported the FEP. I made an official statement. I have not lost anything by doing so and stand to lose nothing. That is a fact. I hope the new building will do good. May this great structure be a place for great work and great ideals and function as the memory of the minority. I hope the building will accumulate the history, consciousness and culture of the minority and transmit it to the coming generations.”
ÝBRAHÝM ÞERÝFStating that they had sat around the same table with Dr. Sadýk Ahmet in 1984, Elected Mufti for Gümülcine Ýbrahim Þerif said that he had first cooperated with Sadýk Ahmet in the administration of Higher Education Graduates Association of the Western Thrace Minority. Saying that they had sent letters to Europe back in the day, they had let Europe know the status of Western Thrace Turks. Þerif said they had continued their struggle in the Greek Parliament and that the election of muftis had been carried out as a result of the struggle of Dr. Sadýk Ahmet.
“WESTERN THRACE TURKS ARE KNOWN ABOUT AROUND THE WORLD, THIS FLAG WILL STAND”Expressing the sorrow of the Western Thrace Turkish minority at the death of Dr. Ahmet Sadýk, Þerif said “Some believed that the flag would never be unfurled. But we saw that it was lifted, especially by the Ahmet family. The new generations have begun to realise Sadýk Ahmet’s and our dreams. We have taken our place in Europe. Our voice is heard in Europe. Western Thrace Turks are known about around the world and our flag will never fall.”
AHMET METEBTTADK President and Elected Mufti for Ýskeçe Ahmet Mete said it was an honour to attend the opening ceremony. Saying that he was not a close associate of Dr. Sadýk Ahmet, Mete said he knew about Ahmet from his struggle. Mufti Mete said “I know about Sadýk Ahmet from his struggle. I know about his speech in court. I know him through his saying ‘I am Turkish’. I know about him through his courage and his standing up to injustice. That is how I know about him and that is why I like him. May God bless his soul and may he be in heaven.”
“BOTH THE PROBLEMS AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE TURKISH MINORITY ARE APPARENT”Congratulating the FEP Party for its work, Mete finished by saying: “Both the problems and the institutions of the Western Thrace Turkish minority are apparent. If you forget the problems of the Western Thrace Turkish minority, the minority itself will disappear. If the institutions of the Western Thrace minority are ignored or erased, if the FEP party is ignored, the community’s wings will have been broken. Therefore the moment the Western Thrace Turkish Minority Consultation Board and all the organisations under it say ‘This is our cause’, its voice will be hear in Europe, in Africa. The cause will be successful.”SYRIZA Party MPs for Rodopi, Ayhan Karayusuf and Mustafa Mustafa, who did not attend the ceremony sent a joint message which read “We hope that the opening of the new headquarters of the FEP Party will mark a turning point for the party’s contributions to dialogue, peace, regional and national democracy.”Following the speeches, the opening ceremony for the new headquarters ended with a prayer by Ýbrahim Þerif, elected mufti of Gümülcine. Refreshments were served to attendees after the ceremony.
REPORTER: ÖZCAN ALÝOSMAN