Turkey cries fowl on Swiss ban while Churches denied permits

From The Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey

Turkish Parliament speaker speaks out against Swiss ban

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin says he opposes the minaret ban passed in Switzerland on Sunday, adding that basic freedoms cannot be put to a vote.

Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin voiced his opposition to the Swiss ban on minarets on Wednesday, saying that it was wrong to put a basic freedom to a vote.

His remarks came during a meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinistö, in Parliament.

“In fact, it should have been expressed more loudly before the referendum that such a basic right cannot be the focus of a referendum. What were we going to discuss if the ‘yes’ vote emerged from the referendum instead of ‘no’ vote?” Sahin said. “Were we going to say, ‘Such a basic right cannot be the focus of a referendum’? I believe it is necessary to pursue a consistent policy toward this issue.”

The referendum put forth by the nationalist Swiss People’s Party labeled minarets as symbols of rising Muslim political power that could one day transform Switzerland into an Islamic nation. The initiative was approved 57.5 percent to 42.5 percent on Sunday.

“As far as I can see, Swiss government officials are also uneasy. The [Swiss] justice minister pointed to the European Court of Human Rights,” said ?ahin, hoping the situation, which worries Muslims living in Switzerland, would be corrected in the future.

The Finnish parliament speaker said this was not a usual issue for Finland, which believes that human rights and the freedom of expression should be respected. Such an issue cannot be submitted to a vote in Finland, he said.

In an interview with private broadcaster NTV, Swiss Ambassador to Turkey Raimund Kunz said the referendum result was a decision made by the Swiss people, not by the state. He made clear that the Swiss government was against the initiative and called on voters to say “no” in the referendum.

“This is not a vote against Islam and Muslims,” he was quoted as saying. “This is not a vote against their religion and praying. There are mosques in Switzerland. Muslims will be able to perform what their religion requires. This will not change in the future.”

The ambassador said the reactions would not cause the Swiss government to change its foreign policy, making clear that their policy of dialogue with Muslim countries would continue.

“I understand Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reactions,” he said. “I hope we’ll continue our dialogue with Turkey.”

On Tuesday, Erdogan spoke out against the ban, calling it a reflection of increasing racist and extreme nationalist waves in Europe.

Meanwhile, as the Turkish Prime Minister likens the ban to European intolerance and extreme nationalism…………

Churches Impossible to Build or Restore in Turkey

3 Replies to “Turkey cries fowl on Swiss ban while Churches denied permits”

  1. The elites of Europe have nothing but contempt for democracy and the people they govern. No voting here! No way! They plan to force islam down Europe’s throat.

    However, note this: The Swiss are the indigenous people of Switzerland, and thus islamization violates Article 8 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Switzerland signed in 2007.

    “Article 8: 1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.

    2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
    (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;”

  2. When Turkey allows the Hagia Sophia to be turned back into a Church they can talk about the Swiss ban. Till then, I have an idea about what they can do with those minarets.

  3. Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin says he opposes the minaret ban passed in Switzerland on Sunday, adding that basic freedoms cannot be put to a vote….“In fact, it should have been expressed more loudly before the referendum that such a basic right cannot be the focus of a referendum.”

    Hmmm. So Sahin would like Turkish governments to renounce all zoning powers, then? Just asking.

    As it happens, the Swiss have acted on a constitutional principle:
    1. A Constitution is necessarily the Supreme Law of the Land;
    2. The Swiss Constitution gives the Swiss the privilege of voting on a referendum on any subject;
    3. If a sufficient percent of the cantons vote in the affirmative, the proposition becomes part of the Swiss Constitution.

    “Basic freedoms,” a formulation with which I have some quarrel, would have to be enumerated explicitly in the Constitution, and declared un-amendable, for this procedure to be invalid. Otherwise, it’s all perfectly correct, well supported by precedent, and legally enforceable.

    Perhaps Mr. Sahin should reserve his energies for the governance of his own, rather repressive country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*