EU will lose Turkey if it hasn’t joined by 2023, Erdogan says

The Turkish republic will mark its centenary in 2023. Asked during a panel discussion in Berlin on Tuesday night if Turkey would be an EU member by that year, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan answered, “they probably won’t string us along that long. But if they do string us along until then the European […]

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Turkish EU minister: No global peace without Turkey accession

In a speech regarding relations between Turkey and the EU at the Catholic University of Portugal last Wednesday, Turkey’s European Union Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said that the EU project would not be completed without Turkey. “Although we think that the EU is the most successful peace project of the history of humanity, […]

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Germany: Turkish Muslims hope to win the “war of cradles”

A 103-page study, “German-Turkish Life and Values,” jointly produced by the German INFO polling institute and the Turkish Liljeberg research firm, was released to the public on August 17, as a follow-up to similar studies conducted in 2009 and 2010. It aims to determine just how satisfied the estimated 2.7 million Turks living in Germany […]

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Ancient monastery in Turkey faces destruction in anti-Christian lawsuit

As we informed in previous posts (see here and here), the existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, the fifth century Mor Gabriel Monastery in the Tur Abdin plane (the mountain of God’s servants) near the Turkish-Syrian border, is at risk. Founded in 397 by the monks Samuel and Simon, Mor Gabriel […]

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Christian clerics alarmed at growing threats, persecution in Turkey

On the night of April 7, immediately after an Easter service, three unidentified individuals attacked and beat Pastor Semir Serkek of the Protestant Church in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district. “They were three people around the age of 18. They wore [prayer caps] on their heads. They forced the door open and said they were going to […]

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Turkish TV ad features Hitler to sell shampoo

Following a controversial trend among firms to sell their wares with supposedly humorous references to the Nazi era, a Turkish TV commercial has sparked international criticism for featuring Adolf Hitler to praise the virtues of a “hundred percent men’s shampoo.” Despite widespread outrage, Turkish state television has so far declined to remove the 12-second commercial. […]

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Turkey identified by US report among world’s religious freedom violators

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal government commission that monitors global religious freedom, released last Tuesday its 2012 Annual Report and recommended that the Secretary of State name the following nations “countries of particular concern” or CPCs: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, […]

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Turkey: journalists freed after 375 days behind bars

Four Turkish journalists detained in a top-security prison outside Istanbul on charges of links to Ergenekon, a shadowy network believed to have plotted to topple the government, were released last Monday. The court based its decision on the length of time the defendants had already spent in prison and the low risk of them being […]

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ECHR judge warns Turkey on free press and long jail terms

In a briefing to 17 government institutions, the first female Turkish justice at the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg) has urged Ankara to maintain a balance between freedom of expression and anti-terrorism measures. “All states take measures while fighting against terrorism, but the freedom of expression ought to be protected,” Justice Isil Karakas said, […]

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Turkey: Greek Patriarch requests equal treatment for non-Muslim minorities

During a presentation at the Turkish Parliament’s constitution-making commission last Monday, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew demanded equal treatment for non-Muslim minorities, including an equal share of public funds for religious services and education. “We don’t want to be second-class citizens,” the patriarch told reporters after the meeting. The patriarch stressed his community’s biggest problem was […]

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