Wednesday, November 14, 2007

European Union: Turkey Fails to protect Christians

European Union: Turkey Fails to protect Christians - Catholic Online
As the European Union prepares for a summit in December, its governing commission has criticized Turkey for failing to protect its Christian minorities.

"Attacks against clergy and places of worship of non-Muslim communities have been reported. Missionaries have been portrayed in the media or by the authorities as a threat to the integrity of the country," said a commission report published in early November.

"To date, use of language that might incite hatred against non-Muslim minorities has been left unpunished," it said, adding that non-Muslim religious communities continue to face a lack of legal norms "and restricted property rights."

Most of Turkey's more than 70 million citizens are Sunni Muslims. Christians, who make up less than 1 percent of the Turkish population, often have complained of discrimination in Turkey.

The report said non-Muslims were presented routinely as "not being an integral part of Turkish society," and faced problems managing foundations, recovering property and obtaining construction permits for places of worship.

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