The Dutch Christian Democrats (CDA) are outraged at a ruling by Turkey's Supreme Court authorising the expropriation of lands belonging to a Syrian Orthodox monastery. The CDA says Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal should summon the Turkish ambassador to lodge a formal protest.
Two rulings by Turkey's Supreme Court mean that municipalities near the 1600-year-old Mor Gabriel Monastery can legally seize 50 of its hectares. The monastery is the oldest and most important monastery of Turkey's Syrian Orthodox minority.
While Turkey keenly defends religious freedom for Muslims in Europe and even sends imams to the Netherlands, the CDA argues that, at home, the Turkish government flouts all international agreements regarding religious freedom. The controversy comes a year after the European Council called on Ankara to stop the expropriation of the monastery's lands.
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