Greek opposition calls for ban on Turkish opposition rally in Thrace

Greek conservative opposition party New Democracy called for a ban on a rally this week in Greece’s northeastern Thrace region by the Turkish main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce in the run-up to Turkey’s June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.

With polls predicting a closer race than in previous years since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Islamist party came to power in 2002, Turkey’s political parties are anxious to secure the votes of the millions of Turkish voters living in Europe. But the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany – which are home to the largest Turkish populations – have banned Turkish election rallies.

“New Democracy is against shifting [Turkey’s] campaign rivalry to Thrace,” Kathimerini quoted New Democracy’s shadow defence minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos as saying.

“We call upon the government to take the necessary measures, similar to other European Union member states,” he said.

One third of the population Greece’s Thrace region are Muslims, half of them are of Turkish origin and also have Turkish citizenship.