Turkish deputy-Prime Minister accuses Greece of oppressing religious minorities in latest Turkish tirade against Greece

17 November 2017
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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag accused Greece of imprisoning Muslim Imams, despite the country being a member of the EU which “in theory” upheld the notion of religious freedoms. The latest provocative statement was made by the Turkish official during a speech at a university conference called “Higher Religious Education in Other Countries” where he referenced the death of a Muslim man in the region of Ksanthi in northern Greece. “Religious freedom exists even in countries that are not members of the EU,” he said, claiming, incredibly, that the west did not even have 10% of the religious freedoms compared to Turkey. The politician alleged Greece was oppressing the religious rights of Muslims in western Thrace.

“In Greece, they do not allow for a religious prayer to be delivered at a funeral of a Turkish expat, a Turkish brother, despite the provisions in the Lausanne Treaty”, he said. “They even imprison Imams. Where is religious freedom?”, he added. He also expressed his complaints that a Greek flag was placed on the casket of a Greek soldier who was Muslim.

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