President of Turkey Berates Greece, Praises Boyko Borisov

During his visit to Greece, the President of Turkey Recep Erdoğan pointed to Boyko Borisov, Bulgaria’s PM, as a good example of tolerance towards Turkish minorities. The remark was a part of a criticism of the alleged mistreatment of Greece towards Turks and Muslims.

 Turkey berates Greece

Erdoğan was the first Turkish head of state in 6 decades to visit Greece. During his visit, he criticized the host country for mistreatment of the Turkish minority in West Thrace. He specifically mentioned that Greece had state-appointed muftis instead of them being chosen by the Muslim community. Erdoğan gave Boyko Borisov as a positive example of cooperation and was quick to brag about the good treatment of the Orthodox Christian community in Turkey.

Erdoğan said: “In Turkey, we don’t have a problem with Christian churches. The Bulgarian Orthodox community in Istanbul has a unique church known as the Iron Church. The restoration of the church is coming to a close. On 7 January 2018, together with Boyko Borisov, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, we’ll make a celebratory opening.” Erdoğan further added: “We don’t fear religious freedoms, on the contrary, we respect them.”

 Erdoğan also suggested a reformation of the Treaty of Lausanne, which was met with disdain from the Greece authorities. The Greek President and Prime Minister publically rejected to discuss or change the treaty.

The confrontational tone of the visit clashed with the initial hopes that Turkey and Greece may start a new chapter in their relationship.




Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a writer, editor, and weapons master for

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