Qa-42, 30 May 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding Turkey Chapter Of The “international Religious Freedom Report For 2017” Published By The Us Department Of State

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 30.05.2018

The sections of the “International Religious Freedom Report for 2017” of the US Department of State concerning Turkey have been viewed. This annually published report is a routine study prepared by the US Department of State in line with its own perspective.

Most parts of the text in connection with Turkey constitute a repetition of the certain baseless claims already raised in previous years. The citation of FETÖ/PDY as a terrorist organization only in reference to our Government, and the deficient allusion to the terrorist coup attempt of July 15th 2016 and the damages inflicted on our country and our nation by the said terrorist organization are grave and serious flaws.

On the other hand, as we have reiterated on various occasions, it is certain that in Turkey no individual is subjected to any legal or administrative action on grounds such as religion or ethnic origin. Therefore representing ongoing legal procedures about certain individuals charged with connecting to terrorist organizations as such is unacceptable. In fact, all these points were relayed several times to the relevant US official who is in charge of the preparation of the said report, during his visit to Turkey in April 2018.

Moreover, it is noted that the said report also includes claims concerning certain demands of our Assyrian citizens related to immovable property issues. As is known, the Law on the Amendment of Tax Laws and Certain Laws and Decree Laws enacted on 21 March 2018, legally enabled the transfer of 56 pieces of immovable property from the General Directorate of Foundations to the Assyrian foundations. With this step, Turkey has affirmed once again its constructive and open-minded attitude regarding freedom of worship and religion.

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