Monday, May 07, 2012

There is only one religion in Turkey and it is not Christianity

Erdogan verprellt Griechen mit Bekenntnis zum Islam | Nachrichten -

Erdogan rebuffs Greeks with commitment to Islam
A commitment by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to a "single religion" to be protected by the State rigging has triggered criticism from the Greek minority and the opposition. If it were the case, as Erdogan says, then the ethnically Greek Turkish citizens may as well leave the country, said the spokesman of the Greek community, Laki Vingas, to the newspaper "Taraf" (Monday). He was very surprised by Erdogan's statement,  Vingas stressed, in view of the reforms of the government in favor of the non-Muslim minorities in recent years. The secularist opposition party CHP criticized Erdogan. Religion was not a matter for a state, but its citizens, CHP deputy leader Sezgin Tanrikulu said in "Taraf". Criticism also came from the Alevis, whose members hold liberal beliefs about Islam, which is not recognised in the majority Sunni Turkey as a separate denomination. Erdogan had rejected over the weekend at a party meeting in the southern Turkish City of Adana criticism of Kurdish politicians about alleged statements against more freedom for the Kurdish language. He had not spoken of a "single language" - in Turkish: "tek dil" - as worthy of protection, but a "single religion" - "din tek". The text of the speech was published in an editorial on the website on the AK Party government. The citizens of Turkey are approximately 99 percent Muslim. Erdogan, who is a practicing Muslim, rejects religious intolerance and "religious nationalism". He said that was out of his respect for non-Muslims which was as great as his respect for Muslims. "They may be Christians, Jews, atheists, or whatever," said Erdogan: "It is our job to protect them." His government had in recent years considered a possible return of expropriated property to the Christians in Turkey.

Erdogan has a habit of causing trouble- details of speech that he gave to a rally in Cologne in 2008. Strange words for someone who is committed to Turkish membership of the EU, an organisation which would certainly not allow a member state to recognise Christianity as the official religion to the exclusion of all others.

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