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POLITICS > ‘Even’ atheists’ rights to be protected: Turkish PM

VAN – Anadolu Agency

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'We said we would protect the Muslim’s law, the Christian’s law, the Jew’s law, and even the atheist’s law,' PM Erdoğan said while addressing the public at a mass opening ceremony in the eastern province of Van. AA photo

'We said we would protect the Muslim’s law, the Christian’s law, the Jew’s law, and even the atheist’s law,' PM Erdoğan said while addressing the public at a mass opening ceremony in the eastern province of Van. AA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said his government will “even” protect the rights of atheists, vowing to avoid segregation based on both religion and ethnicity.

“We have said we will maintain the same distance from all ethnic groups; we will serve them at the same level,” Erdoğan said Oct. 27 while addressing the public at a mass opening ceremony in the eastern province of Van.

“We also said we won’t do religious nationalism. In other words, we said we will protect the Muslim’s law, the Christian’s law, the Jew’s law, and even the atheist’s law,” he said, claiming the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had started its political life with these objectives.

The prime minister said serving all parts of the country, whatever their religion or ethnicity, was the duty of the government.

“This means that whatever we are doing for the east we will do the same for the west, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, the Aegean or the Marmara. There won’t be any segregation. We said we will maintain the balance with the help of God,” he also said.

Touching on the province’s Akdamar Armenian Church, which was re-opened with limited permission for worship in 2007, Erdoğan also said it was the government’s duty to make sure every group within the nation could perform the duties of their religion.

“To maintain the opportunity for worship is your [state’s] duty. I do this as an Islamic, humanitarian, conscientious and legal duty,” he said.

October/27/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Harry Foundalis

10/28/2013 11:18:59 PM

Perhaps all dictators should be judged only after they are deposed: Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, and *even* Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

mara mcglothin

10/28/2013 6:55:41 PM

In jail CAROLINE CHARLAMBIDES In jail!

Thessalonian

10/28/2013 4:52:42 PM

Did he really use the word "even?" How generous, gracious and liberal of him... Regards

american american

10/28/2013 12:40:22 PM

he is only 'protecting' atheists at the moment because god 'wills' it (i'd use allah, but copyright prevents me). as soon as that interpretation changes, or he gets a new broadcast from whvn - those protections may no longer be allowed

Ramazan Siracoğlu

10/28/2013 11:34:00 AM

İt is very good that you respect to the belief of your neighbors . But one of your neighbors, always violates Islamic faith, destroying mosques.

An Observer

10/28/2013 11:15:18 AM

He really is scratchimg around for votes. Perhaps he sees the writing on the wall...

Brit in Turkey

10/28/2013 10:21:19 AM

The PM may even be a little rattled by recent criticism.

Misses Ataturk

10/28/2013 9:46:58 AM

Talk is cheap RTE. I didn't hear you condemn AKP official Mahmut Macit when he said all 'atheists should be annihilated!' Really? We atheists 'even' have the same rights? Are the children taught freedom of belief in schools? Are they taught a fraction of atheism at all? Or evolutionally science? Or thinking based on evidence? Do I have the right to not want my tax money to not go to the Diyanet? Does Fazil Say have the right of freedom of expression? Your false words do not fool me..

Soap box

10/28/2013 9:36:48 AM

@Dr Bob: don't be fooled by Strömungs maschine alter-ego. He should probably be called Strömungs makinesi. He is a Turk. He made a grammatical feaux pas the other day that only a Turk would make.

Mork

10/28/2013 4:14:57 AM

Just a minor point as everyone seems to be focusing on the "even". For all of you AKP supporters this is the latest admission that he aims to establish an Islamic state. "We said we will maintain the balance with the help of God,” and “To maintain the opportunity for worship is your [state’s] duty. I do this as an Islamic, humanitarian, conscientious and legal duty,” so please stop denying it.
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