Sunday, August 10, 2014

U.S. Govt. repeats request to reopen Halki Seminary

(Foreign Policy Association) - In an annual report released by the Department of State this week, the Obama administration has yet again pressed Turkey to live up to its commitment as a democracy to ensure religious freedom, citing the need to reopen an Eastern Orthodox seminary that’s been closed for decades.

Turkey is a “tier 2″ country according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), meaning it’s not a “country of particular concern” (i.e., a country, according to the Department of State, “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom” that are “systematic, ongoing and egregious”) but there are certain worrisome tendencies. According to USCIRF, these include: listing one’s religion on ID cards, the troubled religious freedom climate in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, a failure to officially recognize certain minority groups such as the Alevis, rising anti-Semitism, and an overall deterioration of both online and off-line privacies and freedoms throughout the past year.

In other words, Turkey is no Burma, but it’s not behaving well either...
Complete article here.

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