“There are legitimate muftis in accordance with the Greek laws and international treaties,” government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis emphasised on Wednesday, adding that the Greek government has specific positions and proposals as regards the issues concerning the Muslim minority in Thrace, NE Greece.

Petalotis commented on statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who claimed that the Greek government has not kept its word in accepting the demand for elected muftis.

However, the government spokesman underlined that “we should know the exact statement made by Mr. Erdogan to know the time period to which he refers”.

He added that “safeguarding the rights of the minority in terms of religion, exercising religious rights, education and relations with the majority, the local Christian population, are of great interest to us”.

“There is always a need to adjust the policies… and the government decisions will be announced ... The daily life of the Muslim minority in Thrace is the daily life of Greek citizens on Greek territory,” he said, adding that this is a “general characteristic that could serve as a response to Mr. Erdogan”.