A court in northern Greece has postponed the trial of a religious leader of the country's Muslim Turkish minority elected in defiance of Greek authorities who have sought to appoint the holder of post.
Ibrahim Serif, the elected mufti of Komotini (Gumulcine) in northeastern Greece, had been sued by Greek authorities in March 2018 on charges of usurping authority after he attended a circumcision ceremony in 2016 and was to stand trial on Thursday.
Serif's lawyer, Ercan Ahmet, and 11 other attorneys from the Istanbul-based International Jurists Union (UHUB) attended the trial in Thessaloniki, while the court announced that it would be postponed until Dec. 8 after a police officer who was to serve as the prosecution's witness did not show up.
UHUB's secretary general, senior legal expert Refik Korkusuz, has been following Serif's case and has stressed that it contradicts the rulings of the European Court of Human Right (ECHR).
- We expect Greek judicial authorities to respect the ECHR's decisions - he said, expressing worry that the case was intended to suppress the Muslim Turkish minority in Greece.
Yasin Sanli, the chair of the 2nd Istanbul Bar Association, on the other hand, underlined that such cases were in obvious violation of international treaties and basic rights.
Such cases are akin to threating Muslim Turkish minority in Greece, he remarked, while another lawyer who followed the case, Abubaker Siddiqe of the London Bar Association, agreed that the case opposes ECHR decisions.