The Greek Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the Xanthi Turkish Union (İTB) to be able to use the word “Turk” in its name, in spite of a case the İTB won at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Greece.
Commenting on the Greek ruling, İTB president and lawyer Ahmet Kara said the court’s decision was unexpected. “We will be able to say more once we see the ruling in writing.”
In 1986, İTB was closed down after the Xanthi governor filed a complaint against the union, saying the use of the word “Turk” in the association’s name was a threat to Greece’s national security. The İTB has been waging a legal battle for the past 20 years to be able to use the word “Turk” in its name. After exhausting all legal remedies available in Greece, the union petitioned the ECHR, which on March 27, 2008, ruled that Greece had to allow minorities to use their ethnic names for their associations. The European Court found Greece guilty of violating several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.