A leading member of the ethnic Greek community here on Tuesday praised a recent decision by the Turkish education ministry to to formally register long-closed primary and secondary minority schools.

“Another demand of the Greek community here is being met following a Turkish education ministry decision to formally register the ceasing of operation of minority schools, ones closed for decades," Lakis Vigas said.

The ministry is withdrawing its supervision from more than 15 school buildings, were headmasters were appointed by the ministry despite the fact that the schools were not in operation. “The school buildings in question can now be repaired and utilised to host cultural events or meet other ethnic Greek minority needs,” Vigas stressed.

The Turkish government had maintained, up until recently, that the administrative recording of the real status of the buildings was banned by the Treaty of Lausanne.

Among the school buildings released are those in the districts of Tataoula and Arnavutkoy, as well as the Ioakimion Lyceum in the Balat district.