The Party of Friendship Equality and Peace (FEP) aims to garner strong support from ethnic Turks in Greece for the European Parliament (EP) elections on May 26, the party’s leader said Thursday.
“The votes that will be cast for the FEP will be a proof of Turkish identity in Western Thrace,” Cigdem Asafoglu told Anadolu Agency.
Western Thrace region of Greece is home to around 150,000 Muslim Turks.
The FEP has nominated 42 candidates for the EP elections, of which 18 are women.
Asafoglu said each vote her party received in the polls would send a strong message against the Greek government’s policies on the Turkish minority.
“The more votes we represent, the louder our voices will be heard in Athens and in Europe,” Asafoglu said.
Ozan Ahmetoglu, one the party’s EP hopefuls, said problems of ethnic Turks of Western Thrace have been awaiting solution for years.
The FEP participated in the EP elections for the first time in 2014, receiving the majority of the Turkish votes in the provinces of Rodopi and Xanthi, where a large population of ethnic Turks lives.
However, the FEP’s chances of sending MPs to the European Parliament are slim due to relatively lower numbers of Turkish minority voters.
* Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet.