FUEN TAG 4th Annual Meeting Executed in İzmir
4th Annual Meeting of the Working Group of Turkic Minorities/Communities(TAG) within the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) was held on 24-27 October 2017 hosted by FUEN member Rhodes, Kos and Dodecanese Turks Culture and Solidarity Association (ROISDER). Laszlo Bodor, Director of the Campaign of “Minority SafePack Initiative (MSPI)” also participated at the meeting in leadership Halit Habip Oğlu, FUEN Vice-President.
Macedonian Turks and Gagauz Turks participated at the meeting for the first time
At the meeting where thirteen organizations from nine different countries of Europe participated, representing Western Thrace Turkish Minority Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), Friendship Equality and Peace (FEP) Party and Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association (WTMUGA); representing Ahiska Turks International Society of Meskhetian Turks “VATAN” and “Vatan" Public Union of Ahiska Turks living in Azerbaijan; representing Karachay-Balkar Turks, Bars El: Social Organization for Fostering and Development of the Karachay-Balkar Traditions, representing Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatar Community on behalf of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people attended the meeting. In addition, the Kosovo Youth Union and the Kardzhali Turkish Culture and Art Association from Bulgaria which yet are not members of FUEN however attended FUEN TAG meetings in the past and Moscow Qumuq Organization “Qumuqlar" from Moscow which was also present this year. And, representing Turks in Macedonia “Yeni Yol” Culture and Fine Arts Association and representing Ukrainian Gagauz people, Ukrainian Gagauz Union participated at the meeting for the first time.
During the cultural programme executed and hosted by ROİSDER delegation met with the Mayor of T.R Karşıyaka Municipality
Within the framework of the cultural programme and visit on 25 October 2017, a historical and cultural tour was realized with contribution of T.R. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. In the afternoon delegation of FUEN TAG visited Mayor of T.R. Karşıyaka Municipality Hüseyin Mutlu Akpınar in his office. At the Mayor’s Office while FUEN Vice-President, Halit Habip Oglu presented FUEN TAG, members of the delegation introduced themselves and had the opportunity to convey their problems. During the dinner organized with contributions of T.R. Karşıyaka Municipality and ROİSDER the delegation met with the municipal administrators.
MSPI Campaign Director Laszlo Bodor explained the campaign that has the potential to change the destiny of the minorities in Europe
The welcoming speech of FUEN TAG 4th Annual Meeting held on 26 October 2017 was made by FUEN Vice-President Halit Habip Oğlu. Afterwards Campaign Coordinator Laszlo Bodor made a presentation regarding the European Citizens Initiative “Minority SafePack Initiative (MSPI)” that was launched by FUEN to form a protection mechanism for national minorities in Europe-wide and strengthen religious and cultural diversity in Europe. Bodor also provided significant hints about the campaign strategy and management to be followed in case the campaign is conducted in Greece and Bulgaria.
The host ROİSDER conveyed the problems of Rhodes and Kos Turks
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kaymakçı President of ROİSDER, the host for the meeting in İzmir, made a presentation on the problems of Turks living on the island about citizenship, education and learning Turkish, religion and prayer, foundations and cultural heritage left from the Ottomans. Kaymakçı, asked that Rhodes-Kos Turks who are forgotten Turks of Aegean should be protected.
The participants shared the recent developments regarding Turkish minorities/communities within the last one year in their countries
In continuation of the meeting Halit Habip Oğlu, and on behalf of FUEN TAG Secretariat Melek Kırmacı provided information about the visits paid by the FUEN Vice-President within the last one year in the framework of FUEN TAG studies and the works carried out by FUEN TAG. Afterwards Western Thrace Turks, Ahıska Turks, Crimean Tatars, Karachay-Balkar Turks, Qumuqs, Kosovo Turks and Bulgarian Turks articulated the developments and the current problems they experienced within their own communities in the last one year.
Macedonian Turks and Gagauz Turks conveyed information about works of their communities and associations
Macedonian and Gagauz Turks who attended the FUEN TAG meeting for the first time within the scope of the motto “Know your sibling” introduced their communities. Şeval Nuredin, Secretary General of “Yeni Yol” Culture and Fine Arts Association, the oldest association of Macedonia established in 1947, made a presentation on the history of Macedonia and position and problems of Turks in Macedonia today. And secondly Vasiliy Kelioğlu, President of Ukrainian Gagauz Union made a presentation on the history of Gagauz Turks and lives and problems of Gagauz today living in Ukraine.
2018 road map was developed with the views and recommendations of the participants
At the meeting where FUEN TAG 2013-2017 activity report was presented and media-promotion works including FUEN TAG brochures were promoted, international activities of FUEN TAG executed in 2017 were discussed. A joint road map was identified through discussion of 2018 activities with the participating organizations.