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Turkey arrests and deports chairman of Pan-Pontian Federation of Greece

Turkish authorities deported on Friday the head of the Pan-Pontiac Federation of Greece (POE), Giorgos Varythymiadis, who had travelled to the country to attend a special service performed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Panagia Sumela Monastery in Trabzon on Saturday.

The federation had announced earlier that Varythymiadis had been detained in the transit area of Istanbul’s international airport and was not allowed to enter Turkey.

Other members of the group Varythymiadis was travelling with, including the president of the Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA), Maria Antoniadou, were allowed to continue on their journey, the federation said.

The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a verbal and later a written demarche protesting the “abusive detention and deportation order” against the POE chairman.

The demarche was delivered by the Greek Embassy in Ankara to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

According to some Pontiac media, Turkish authorities consider Varythymiadis as “persona non grata.”

After being held at the airport for several hours, he was reportedly released and had to go onboard of a flight to international airport of Athens.


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