Turkey criticizes ban on Quran courses in N Cyprus
Turkey’s communications director reacted on April 15 to a court ruling on the closure of Quran courses in North Cyprus, saying the decision “is the product of an ideological and dogmatic mind.”
“To interpret secularism in such a shallow and wrong way is a step towards abolishing fundamental rights and freedoms,” Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter, referring to the Constitutional Court of North Cyprus’ objection regarding the authority of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) concerning education of the Quran.
He went on to say that secularism guarantees freedom of religion and cannot be used as a means of banning religious education.
The “wrong decision” is a threat to the existence of the Turkish Cypriots and unity, Altun noted.
Defining the decision as a “judicial coup against the freedom of religion and belief,” he stressed that it is the duty of everyone who respects democracy to react to this decision, which is “unacceptable.”
Altun added that Turkey will continue to be with the Turkish Cypriots with all its might and power and spoiled the dangerous game being played on Turkish Cypriots.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the decision on April 16, saying, “It is impossible for us to accept this. The head of the Constitutional Court should learn secularism.”
Making a call to the head of the Constitutional Court to correct the mistake, Erdoğan noted, “North Cyprus is not France. They have implemented the practices in Turkey.”
Separately, North Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner dismissed the allegations that the Quran courses would be closed.
“The essential legal regulations will be made and the courses will continue,” said Saner in a written statement.