Turkey uses a convicted Greek citizen to religiously blackmail Muslims of Thrace

On August 3, 2014, in the village of Glafki in Xanthi prefecture, the self-appointed pseudo-mufti of Xanthi, Ahmet Mete, while participating in a philanthropic benefit organized by the Turkish Consulate through its network in order to fundraise for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s attack against Hamas in 2014, said:

“Curse to Israel! Because the Germans made them into soap, but Hitler proved right when he said that now you will get angry at me, but one day I will be vindicated for the Jews. Our curse now goes to them and our prayers to our brothers”. This hate speech in front of moderate Muslims was condemned with an announcement by the Central Board of the Jewish Communities in Greece, as well as the U.S. State Department. In turn, the Greek justice system convicted him. He was sentenced irrevocably to eight months’ imprisonment with a three-year probation period. His defense line maintained that the self-appointed pseudo-mufti of Xanthi did not cause any problems with his speech, and mainly that afterwards he apologized publicly for what he had said.

Yet, Ahmet Mete did not stop there. In 2018, inside a mosque, he unleashed a new verbal attack of hatred and racism against the Jews. In February 2019, he was taken to the Thessaloniki Court of First Instance and was brought to trial for breach of Article 192 of the Penal Code, of antiracial law. Once more, the accused did not appear in court and was tried via his attorneys-in-fact Yiannis Barkas and Ahmet Kara who pointed out that their client had referred to the actions of the Israeli government, and what he had said during the sermon to faithful Muslims was misconstrued.

In July 2016, Ahmet Mete, who is a “collector of convictions,” and the Imam in Glafki village were accused of disrupting the funeral of a Greek Muslim soldier. The funeral would take place as the Muslim religion requires, however his family had asked for army representatives to attend so that they pay tribute. Ahmet Mete and the village’s Imam kicked the official mufti out during prayer while they even purportedly disrupted the funeral, as they appeared annoyed that the Greek flag covered the coffin. For this incident, Ahmet Mete was found guilty in the second degree for unlawful impersonation of an authority and was sentenced to four months in prison with three years’ probation.

Apart from hate speeches, Ahmet Mete is involved in politics as well, participating in everything that the Turkish Consulate organizes, while, he not only pushes Ankara’s politics, but also, issues of concern for Greece’s National Security. In a conference held in Komotini, he wished for the president of DEB (Friendship, Equality and Peace Party) Mustafa Ali Cavus to become “the Denktash of Thrace” someday, indirectly implying occupation of Thrace by the Turkish Armed forces and creation of a new state.

For that statement, he was sentenced in the first degree to 15-month imprisonment, with three years’ probation. The District Attorney suggested a sentence of 18 months for Ahmet Mete, who was already convicted for unlawful impersonation of an authority, disrupting a religious ceremony and hate rhetoric. (Section 184 – Penal Code (Law 4619/2019) – Incitement to crime, violence or dissension)

Why does Turkey support a person convicted of hatred?

ViaDiplomacy Newsroom