Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
|Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Περιφέρεια Ανατολικής Μακεδονίας
|Administrative region of Greece|
|• Regional governor||Giorgos Pavlidis (New Democracy)|
|• Total||14,157.76 km2 (5,466.34 sq mi)|
|• Density||43/km2 (110/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||GR-A|
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (Greek: Ανατολική Μακεδονία και Θράκη, formally Περιφέρεια Ανατολικής Μακεδονίας και Θράκης) is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It consists of the northeastern parts of the country, comprising the eastern part of the region of Greek Macedonia along with the region of Western Thrace, and the islands of Thasos and Samothrace.
The region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace was established in the 1987 administrative reform. With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, its powers and authority were redefined and extended. Along with Central Macedonia, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace based at Thessaloniki. The region is based at Komotini and the largest city is Kavala. It is divided into the Macedonian regional units of Drama, Kavala and Thasos and the Thracian regional units of Xanthi, Rhodope and Evros. Before the Kallikratis reform, the regional units (except Thasos, which was part of Kavala) were administered as separate prefectures. Since 1994, they were grouped into the Drama-Kavala-Xanthi and Rhodope-Evros super-prefectures.
The region's governor is Georgios Pavlidis, who was elected in the May 2014 local administration elections.
The region is home to Greece's main Muslim minority, made up mainly of Pomaks and Western Thrace Turks, whose presence dates to the Ottoman period. Unlike the Muslims of Greek Macedonia, Epirus, and elsewhere in northern Greece, they were exempted from the Greek-Turkish population exchange following the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. According to the 1991 census, the Muslim minority numbered around 98,000 people or 29% of the population of Western Thrace, of which about half were Western Thrace Turks and the rest (35%) Pomaks and Muslim Romani people (15%). In the 2014 European elections in Greece, 42,533 people from Eastern Macedonia and Thrace voted for the Party of Friendship, Equality and Peace, which represents what it regards as the Muslim minority in Greece. These Muslim minority populations are completely distinct from the Ottoman-era Greek Muslims, such as the Vallahades of western Greek Macedonia, who were almost entirely expatriated to Turkey as part of the 1923-24 Population exchange between Greece and Turkey.
- Alexandroúpoli (Αλεξανδρούπολη) - 65.894 people
- Dráma (Δράμα) - 56.062 people
- Kavála (Καβάλα) - 74.186 people
- Komotiní (Κομοτηνή) - 66.580 people
- Xánthi (Ξάνθη) - 55.360 people
Major cities and towns
- Nea Orestiada
- Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The Muslim Minority of Greek Thrace". Retrieved 2014-06-13.
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