He refers to a Thrace that expands from Thessaloniki and Skopje to Istanbul!
By Manolis Kostidis – Istanbul
Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented the region of Thrace as a unified area without borders in one of his speeches, which is expected to cause reactions.
During his speech in Kesan, in his last stop of his three-day tour in Eastern Thrace, the Turkish prime minister emphasized that Thrace is of a unique importance for himself and his government.
“Thrace has a special importance and meaning for us. Thrace is at the same time Thessaloniki, Komotini, Xanthi, Deliorman, Vardar, Kircaali, and if we go further back in time, Thrace is at the same time Skopje, Prinzen, Sarajevo”.
The Turkish prime minister, in his speech to the gather crowd tried to make a point of the presence of the Ottoman Empire in the region.
“Thrace is our alive common history in Europe. It is a representative of our past in this region. Today, in regard to our relationships in the geographic region of the Balkans the focus is on our Thrace, with Edrine, Tekirdag, Kirklareli and of course Istanbul.
Last October, Erdogan had caused a diplomatic incident with Serbia during his visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. In an open gathering in the city of Prizren he had stated that he feels Kosovo as his second country, that “Kosovo is Turkey” and that “the people of Kosovo and Turkey belong to the same country”!
The president of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic had reacted strongly to this and had demanded that the statement be revoked. Nikolic had announced his decision not to take part to the conference between the three countries that takes place every year since 2010, until the Turkish government apologizes.