Eu Report Says Non-Muslim Communities Face Problems In Turkey

October 10, 2012 | 18:22

EU issued draft Enlargement Strategy Report on Turkey expressing
concern about country’s progress in meeting political criteria for
full membership in the Union.

The report points out problems with the freedoms of expression,
assembly and seeking a political solution to the Kurdish issue.

Several provisions are related to the rights of the Armenian community.

The document says non-Muslim communities of Turkey face several
problems, including restrictions on the training of clergy.

The report said the Armenian Patriarchate’s proposal to open a
university department for the Armenian language and clergy remained
pending for a fifth year. Personal documents such as identity cards
include information on religion, leading to some discriminatory
practices or harassment by local officials of persons who converted
from Islam to another religion and thereafter sought to amend their
ID cards.

“The Ministry of National Education approved a new regulation allowing
children from Armenian, Greek and Jewish minorities who are not Turkish
citizens to be educated in minority schools. However, children who
are not Turkish citizens do not receive official graduation papers,”
the report said.

“The commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Khojaly massacre
(in Azerbaijan) on 26 February in Istanbul’s Taksim square was marred
by racist and anti-Armenian slogans and degenerated into an attempted
march on the Armenian Agos newspaper.

Rhetoric against missionaries or minorities remains in a number of
compulsory schoolbooks. Several important buildings in the Armenian
cemetery in Malatya were demolished by the Malatya municipality on
2 February.”

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