The mayor Yiannis Boutaris was injured during the ceremony to mark the killing of ethnic Greeks by Turks in World War One. The 75-year-old man has been treated in hospital after being beaten up by about a dozen people, BBC reported.
Yiannis Boutaris, a liberal and anti-nationalist, was attacked while attending a ceremony on Saturday commemorating the massacre of Greeks by Ottoman Turks during the First World War. This sad date is known in Greece as the “Pontic Genocide” but far-right party’s members decided to make that Saturday a real mess.
A dozen people approached the 75-year-old Boutaris demanding he leaves a flag-lowering ceremony in Thessaloniki, a city council president Calypso Goula said. She was also attending the event, described seeing several men throw bottles at Mr Boutaris and kicking the mayor in the head and legs after he had fallen down.
According to Mr Boutaris, it was a nightmare, The Greek Reporter website cited mayor’s words:.
“There were several people that attacked me. They were hitting me everywhere.”
The mayor’s aides helped to get him away from the attackers and take him to the hospital where he was reportedly kept in overnight.
Thessaloniki-based photographer witnessed the attack while covering the flag-lowering ceremony during Saturday’s commemoration.
“A group of people started to shout at him for his opinion on the Macedonian dispute, the LBGTQI community, Turkey, and [nationalist] football clubs,”
Kostas Tsakalidis told Al Jazeera, adding that he had seen many of the assailants at “extreme right protests” in recent months. According to the photographer who made several shots, some people were shouting about Jews because mayor Boutaris has had a close relationship with the Jewish community over the years.