Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Is Turkey doing enough to protect its Protestants?"

Ozbek told Al-Monitor that the snub by the state began after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power in November 2002.

“During AKP rule, we have never been treated as interlocutors by government officials and presidents. During the terms of previous governments, however, we used to have meetings with officials.We are being threatened. There are serious obstacles that keep us from expressing ourselves. We live in difficult conditions. We are unable to open places of worship and [properly] perform our religious rituals. ‘You cannot live here,’ is the message we are being sent. The problems we face both in daily life and in terms of representation leave us with a sense of entrapment. The country is already going through a difficult period amid armed conflict, political tensions and uncertainty. Under these conditions, things become even more difficult for us.”

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