Four Turkish lawmakers enter Greek parliament

Four Turkish lawmakers from Western Thrace have entered the Greek parliament in the May 21 election, according to the unofficial results.

Duvar English

Four Turkish-Greek lawmakers entered the Greek parliament in Greece’s May 21 election, according to the official results. 

Two MPs -- Özgür Ferhat and Hüseyin Zeybek -- represent the left leaning Syriza, led by ex-PM Alexis Tsipras. İlhan Ahmet and Burhan Baran, on the other hand, were elected from Syriza's socialist rival Pasok.

According to reporting by Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, this is the first time that Ferhat entered the Greek parliament, whereas the other three had served as MPs before.

Ferhat and Ahmet were elected in the city of Rhodope (Rodop), while Zeybek and Baran in Xanthi (İskeç). Both cities are in Western Thrace where a significant number of Turkish community resides.

Ferhat said that the victory they won in the city of Rhodope is more than symbolic. “We have come number one in this election in which our people’s free will was reflected and our (Turkish) minority gave us the support,” he said, adding that he will do his best “to represent our minority” in the Greek parliament.

Baran said that two Turkish lawmakers were elected in the city of Xanthi once again in this election, which they were proud of.

Zeybek said that although Syriza did not receive the outcome that it had desired throughout Greece, the Turkish minority trusted them in Xanthi. “As we expected in our own city, our minority trusted us once again. Let it be for the best for our minority. As we have done until today, we will continue to defend our minority in the parliament,” he said.

Greece’s ruling New Democracy party scored a crushing victory in the May 21 parliamentary election but fell short of winning an outright majority in a vote dominated by the cost-of-living crisis, a wiretapping scandal and anger over the country’s deadliest-ever train crash.

With more than 99% of votes counted, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s ruling center-right party surpassed all expectations by garnering more than 40% of the vote.

His main opposition, former PM Alexis Tsipras’s centre-left Syriza party, suffered major losses, coming in second with just over 20% of the vote.

But Mitsotakis did not win enough votes to secure a single-party government. Mitsotakis said on May 22 he will reject the mandate to form a coalition government, hoping for a new election by the end of June.