Golden Dawn MEPs raid European Parliament event on Turkish minority in Greece

Far right representatives say people in Greece who feel Turkish should leave for "Erdogan's Turkey" · Hungarian MEP faces up to attackers · EFA party argues Greek denial of Macedonian, Turkish minorities "leads to acts of violence"

Left: Foutsoulis points finger at Sógor. Right: one of Golden Dawn MEP backers bearing party symbol.
Left: Foutsoulis points finger at Sógor. Right: one of Golden Dawn MEP backers bearing party symbol.
Two Golden Dawn MEPs yesterday forcefully disrupted a European Parliament event on the rights of the Turkish minority in Greece's Western Thrace. MEPs Lampros Fountoulis and Eleftherios Synadinos, along another three individuals, claimed that no Turkish minority exists in Greece. Anybody considering himself or herself a Turk in Greece, they argued, should flee to "Erdogan's Turkey." The MEP hosting the event, Csaba Sógor (a member of UDMR, a party of the Hungarian minority in Romania affiliated to the European People's Party), faced up to the attackers until they left.

The event was being organized by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and the Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), two European civil society organizations. Event participants had been called to discuss violations of minority rights in Greece, and to seek ways to implement guarantees provided for by international law and European Court of Human Rights rulings.

Sógor asked the attackers to leave if they were not able to act as "decent and civilized" people. Fountoulis and one of his backers interfered, with menacing gestures, in front of Sógor and others attending the event. This is the footage:

Golden Dawn itself posted a note and a video on the incidents on the party's website. The note describes Sógor as a Macedonian and Turkish agent, and warns the party will become a "permanent and insurmountable obstacle" in the face of "anti-Greek plans and aspirations."

In a note, the European Free Alliance called on the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, to "intervene," and demanded from other Greek MEPs a condemnation against "this attack against democracy and pluralism." According to EFA, "Greece must finally realise that the constant denial of its Turkish and Macedonian minorities will only lead to such unacceptable acts of violence."

Republican Left of Catalonia MEP (affiliated to EFA) Josep Maria Terricabras described the attack as an "intolerable fascist behaviour":