The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Journalist Attacked During Live Broadcast

From IFEX (International Freedom of Expression Exchange)

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned about the physical attack on journalist Abdulhalim Dede on 19 February while he was on-air during the morning programme, Kalimera Ellada, broadcast by the Athens, Greece-based Antenna TV.

According to SEEMO’s sources, the Turkish Ziraat Bank had invited, among others, Dimitris Stamatis, Secretary General of the Region of East Macedonia and Thrace, to attend the opening of its first branch in Komotini, Thrace, Greece. Stamatis declined because the letter of invitation was written in English and Turkish, but not in Greek, and because the city of Komotini was referred to by its Turkish name only.

Abdulhalim Dede, publisher and director of the newspaper Trakyanin Sesi and owner of the radio station ISIK FM in Komotini, was invited by the hosts of Kalimera Ellada to express his opinion live from Kamotini on Antenna TV. During the interview, an unknown man approached Dede, shouted at him using obscene language, and physically attacked him. The main studio in Athens immediately terminated the live broadcasting.

Dede, who was hospitalised for several days, is known for his promotion of the rights of the Turkish-speaking population in Thrace, Greece, and has been the target of various attacks over the years. In 2006, he received the SEEMO Human Rights Award.

SEEMO strongly condemns all physical attacks on journalists, which have no place in a democratic society. Attacks like these must be prevented from occurring in the future, said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General. SEEMO notes with concern this increasing trend of assaults against journalists in the entire region. It calls on the authorities to demonstrate their commitment to the protection of journalists, and press freedom in general, by taking active steps to counter these disturbing developments.

From MINA (Macedonian International News Agency)

MHRMI joins the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO) appeal denouncing the attack on Turkish minority rights activist, Abdulhalim Dede, during a live television broadcast on February 19, 2009. See SEEMO’s press release for details (

Greece vigorously denies the existence of any ethnic minorities on its territory and attempts to suppress any voices that advocate human rights. Simply raising the issue of minority rights, and specifically the Macedonian minority, in Greece causes Greek citizens and politicians alike to react in outrage.

Greece’s state-sponsored racism includes Greek politicians publicly calling for the death of Macedonian minority party EFA-Rainbow members, the Greek army entering an ethnic Macedonian village and arresting several inhabitants, and possible treason charges against Greek Helsinki Monitor spokesperson Panayote Dimitras for advocating minority rights.

MHRMI calls on the international community, and specifically the European Union, to finally hold Greece accountable for its persecution of its ethnic minorities and force Greece to abide by all European Court of Human Rights judgements against it.

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  1. Post Disagreement
    March 3, 2009    

    1) the Ziraat bank should have had the courtesy to print their invitation in Greek as well. That shows their gross disrespect for Greece and Greeks

    2) I agree that the journalist should have his rights protected as long as they are not acting as agents of a foreign government.
    *But I still think Greece is being kinder to her Muslim Thracian minority when you compare how Turkey has treated her Greek minority…and this does matter..because the only reason these Muslims in Thrace were excluded from a population exchange was with the agreement that Greeks in Istanbul, Tenedos, and Imbros would be treated respectfully with equal rights…that did not happen. we are down to a few thousand there from 250,000. The Muslims have even elected members to our Parliament.

    So in a away yes, I do say to them SHUT THE F*** UP if someone is beating you or robbing you thats one thing..but you want special rights in Greece and recognition of your Turkishness in Greece…you know you are guests here based on the fact that we were kicked out of Turkey.

    Go back to Turkey and ask turkey to sustain you on the theft of our properties.

    Stop your irredentist propaganda.

    3) Macedonia minority…so some slavs have a the right to exclusive use of the name macedonia and macedonians..thats not a violation of our rights as Greeks.

    I have no issue with them distinguishing themselves from Bulgarians and Serbians but their language is indistinguishable from Bulgarian..and claiming Macedonia identity as a geographic thing is one thing but as an ethnicity it robs Greece and Greeks and is a hold over from Tito’s irredentist visions.

    DIVA PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF on Greek History and about how Greeks have suffered a little bit before you start trying to have us embrace those who want us dead.

  2. March 4, 2009    

    DIVA PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF on Greek History and about how Greeks have suffered a little bit before you start trying to have us embrace those who want us dead

    Please do not patronise me. I am not an expert on Greek history but I have educated myself by reading and talking to people who know more than I do. I do not embrace ANYONE who wants ANYONE dead. That is just wrong. However, I CANNOT understand why anyone would attack a person for speaking up for the rights of others.

    As the second article states

    Greece vigorously denies the existence of any ethnic minorities on its territory and attempts to suppress any voices that advocate human rights. Simply raising the issue of minority rights, and specifically the Macedonian minority, in Greece causes Greek citizens and politicians alike to react in outrage.

    Enough said.

  3. Michael Scowcroft
    March 4, 2009    

    It’s shocking everytime you hear about journalists being attacked and of course it’s completely unnacceptable.

    Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens everday in some parts of the world. In fact, the governments of USA and UK openly fund and support those regimes who perpetrate acts of violence on journalists.

    Journalists under attack from than just fists and feet:

    Not only is my country not embarassed about it’s support for a country which attacks (and often kills) journalists, my country isn’t ashamed of supporting those who attack human rights organisations.

    “I CANNOT understand why anyone would attack a person for speaking up for the rights of others”

    But i notice that it’s easier for us Brits (and Americans) to point the accusatory finger at poor Southern European countries for their poor human rights record whilst completely ignoring the much more serious crimes against humanity which we are supporting, through our policy of unconditional support of Israel.

  4. March 5, 2009    

    Good discussion DD. I find most of us unless we really work at it are pretty weak on our own history. I’ve learned much British history from foreign scholars and realise that the versions of my own that I was taught at formative ages are lovely self-serving and highly selective versions of the messier truth you begin to see, if you are interested, as you mature. I cannot believe that young Greeks (or young Turks or …you name them) are fed any less biased versions of their own country’s history than I was of mine. As adults whether Hellenic or British or American (or whoever) are struggling to tease out the roots of present animosities, endeavouring to do the work of ‘a few good men’ towards peace and conciliation not based on denial or appeasement. It is vexing when people grab your delicate forensic trowel and try to put the results of historical research back into the ground so as not to spoil their prejudices. Over the last decade or so contemporary Greek scholars have been writing history that their government still finds impossible to put into Hellenic primary school texts – so painful are some of their findings to the church and other interests. I’m so Philhellene, and have learned so much in recent years about the suffering of Greek people in the 20th century, especially from the twenties through to the sixties, that I risk catching the old disease ‘my country right or wrong’ even though the country’s not even my own. i find myself sharing in some of the instinctive reflex loyalties that make instant friends but bury truth. The other day, on the train to Thessaloniki from Sofia I showed my passport to a Greek border policeman who smiled and said “Now you are in Hellas” and I punched the air with such evident pleasure that even he was amused. Yes I know the history of Bulgaria and Greece in the 1940s and I know whose ‘side’ I’d take, but for me the continued search for truth is saved by Hellenic scholarship – inside and outside this beloved country.

  5. Oath Taken
    March 5, 2009    

    Dede is a person that stated in a private meeting of the minority figureheads that muslims in Thrace that do vote for the giaour (pejorative term used by the Ottomans for their Christian subjects) should actively have their life become impossible in their village. He complained that currently the Turks of the minority are not emulating the tactics of the PKK that punishes dissent with severe and unquestionable force. Of course in public he kept cultivating the image of the humanist human rights activist. Thankfully for the rest of us all this was captured on video that was leaked and exposed him for anyone with half a brain. This is the sort of person that DD is presenting to us as someone who simply wants to speak up for the rights of others. Speaks volumes of where she really stands. :->

    BTW the “attack” (seemingly a vicious beating from the press releases) was also shown live on TV. A shove to the abdomen and a firm grabbing of Dede’s arm by a man that clearly appeared deranged. Clearly inappropriate (and the TV panel spoke very clearly on that). All Dede has to do is sue him and he is guaranteed to win the trial unless the guy is genuinely deranged and gets sent off to a mental institution. But nothing as dramatic as this thread would have us believe.

    Finally DD if you want to use pro-komitatzi sources without further ridicule stay clear of MINA and MHRMI: The former is a joke of a news agency that has claimed among other things that Karamanlis is 1/3 (yes apparently they believe humans procreate in threesomes) Macedonian of their garden variety. The latter is headed by a personal friend of your pal (the head of GHM) that has stated (and I quote):

    Subject: Greece – Clock ticking to division by 3 nations
    Date: 1998/10/28
    NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 22:50:48 EDT

    Greece will lose Aegean Macedonia to the Macedonians, Thrace and Cyprus to Turkey and Epirus to Albania. What will you so-called Greeks have left? Your little rock called Athens, which is 50% Albanian.

    Bill Nicholov

    Macedonia for the Macedonians

    Congratulations on your wise choice of pals DD. Greece has a lot of things that need fixing in the area of human rights but pandering to the wishes of enemy nationalists will not get it there – even if “objective” 3rd parties like yourself press it to.

  6. March 5, 2009    

    Thank you Oath Taken. Yet again you try and devalue me and others who are trying to make sense of things. And again you fail. I have no patience left. I will continue to post articles addressing issues I care about.

    …And you quote an article from 10 years ago to discredit me and my “pals”. lol

  7. Oath Taken
    March 5, 2009    

    Diva I actually want you to continue posting about things you care about – with some of them I actually agree even if I can see a bias behind them. I just like to keep your facts in check as you seem to like to take liberties with them. If I failed to make you see the obvious I cannot help but wonder whose fault it is. :-)
    a) the part about Dede threatening muslims that do not toe the turkish line is recent (a few years ago). You can find the bloody video online.
    b) the part about MINA claiming Karamanlis is 1/3 “Macedonian” is also 2008 vintage.
    c) the only thing that’s old is Bill Nicholov’s quote – he’s since been hiding behind press releases. Still if you want to be pals with him, that’s fine by me – it does spoil your image but hey, it’s your image.

  8. Post Disagreement
    March 6, 2009    

    Simply raising the issue of minority rights, and specifically the Macedonian minority, in Greece causes Greek citizens and politicians alike to react in outrage


    Enough Said…Why should we not be outraged..they are caliming our land and our history as theirs..they refuse to say or compromise and shed their irredentism by refusing to admit they are SLAVS..If they called themselves SLAV-hyphen-Macedonians that would be one thing…they don…t thats the problem.


  9. ferryman
    March 15, 2009    

    Roma push varcotics all over greece, how about that as a human right ?

    Every common sense person travelling in greece can learn this from local people, go find out you great activists and come back to tell us