US Commission Slams Turkey On Religious Freeedom

March 20, 2012

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The Turkish republic, currently led by Islamist Recip Erdogan has been cited by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom as being a particularly egregious violator of the religious freedom of its citizens. Despite Turkey officially being recorded as being a United States ally, the designation by the American human rights body is the first time a NATO ally has received the dubious distinction of being cited for religious freedom violations.

It should be remembered that Greece was once a part of Turkey, and that before the secular revolution of Kemal Ataturk, Greek Christians lived in Turkey among Turks. A remnant of this once formidable Greek  presence in Turkey is, of course the Halki island seminary, a centuries old seminary for training Greek orthodox priests that the Islamists refuse to allow the seminary to function, allowing to stand a number of cumbersome regulations that prevent the free operation of the seminary.

Although Muslims are the overwhelming majority in Turkey, there are minority sects of Islam that exist in Turkey, as well as Jews and Christians. The government of Recep Erdogan inherited a poor human right record from the secularists in Turkey that preceded it. Despite this, Recip Erdogan and his Islamists have had since 2003 to improve the treatment of Muslim and non Muslim religious minorities in Turkey. With Muslims constituting a solid majority in Turkey, some belated magnanimity to the Greek, Assyrian and Armenian remnants that remain in Turkey is in order.

Times of Israel article

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