On Greece's rural border with Turkey, a sizeable Muslim minority has lived for decades, regulating their family affairs under Islamic sharia law, a legacy traced back to century-old treaties.

Now, the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced plans to make sharia optional for such disputes, following recurring criticism by rights groups and a looming ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

Tsipras last week said his administration would pass legislation to allow litigants to opt for a Greek court to resolve family disputes, instead of appealing to Islamic jurists known as muftis.

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