Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli voiced his support for the revision of the Lausanne Treaty, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently brought to the agenda.
Delivering a speech addressed to MHP mayors and members in the southern province of Antalya on Saturday, Bahçeli said that it is his party's desire that overlooked articles of the Lausanne Treaty be revised to gain effectivity.
"The Lausanne Treaty, signed 94 years ago, must be evaluated appropriately according to the needs and expectations of the present day. In this regard, a commission composed of valuable historians and scientists who work in the history departments of our universities can deepen the issue with their work," the MHP chairman said.
Despite stressing that the MHP recognizes the Lausanne Treaty as the foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey, he underscored that his party is full in favor of putting some unimplemented articles into action.
"The social, economic and political consequences of the last century and our needs and quests for the time being are evidently changing, and in some cases they contradict each other. It is urgent to get the blurry areas of the Lausanne Treaty lifted," he said.
Last week, President Erdoğan said that Muslims in [Greece's] Western Thrace "have not even been allowed to choose their own mufti from their community; efforts to appoint a mufti are ongoing, but this is not the case for the patriarchate in Turkey."
"You cannot find any discrimination against Turkish citizens of Greek origin in Turkey. However, in Western Thrace, even writing the word ‘Turkish' is not allowed," he said.
The Lausanne Treaty guarantees the religious freedoms of the Muslim minority in Greece. However, Greece annulled the Greek Act in 1991 and started appointing muftis itself.
Signed on July 24, 1923, in Lausanne, Switzerland, the treaty officially ended hostilities between the Allies and the Turkish state led by Parliament and marked Turkey's current borders with the exceptions of Hatay, which joined Turkey from Syria in 1939, and the border with Iraq, which was a British mandate at the time.