The house was in a sprawl of cinder-block shanties on the eastern edge of the town. Two Greek flags hung near the approach. Beyond them lay the Muslim cemetery. The women served coffee, accompanied by the usual jokes about whether to call it Greek or Turkish. The correct term, of course, depended on where you happened to be.

We were in the north-eastern tip of Greece, in the settlement of Alan Koyu in Western Thrace. The only region of Greece that shares a land border with Turkey, Western Thrace is also home to the country’s only officially recognised minority.

The name by which this minority is known varies, like the coffee, according to where one happens to be. In Ankara, it is known as the “Turkish minority” of Greece, emphasising ties of language and ethnicity that date back to the Ottoman era. Athens rejects that term, saying that it implies a Turkish claim to the region. The Greek state refers instead to the “Muslim…

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