Members of the Christian community in Turkey have called on State Minister Faruk Çelik to make an apology over his remarks which they said had insulted their religion.
“The minister has scorned Christians just to suppress rightful demands of the Alevis in Turkey,” Yuhannas Aktas, head of the Syriac Culture Association in Midyat, who was referring to Çelik’s labelling of Christianity as the religion of the ‘gavur’ (‘kafir’), a word meaning “infidel” in Turkish, which is often regarded as a degrading expression by non-Muslims.
Maybe you’re still a little unsure of what Turkish ruling élites really think of us infidels, after the smear campaign to delegitimise Israel, currently being waged by Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdoğan and President Gül?
Or unswayed after hearing that they had recently set up the headquarters of Turkey’s EU Membership bid campaign in a church confiscated from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate?
Somewhat on the fence after seeing the substantial (and growing) evidence of systematic persecution and harassment of Christians in Turkey?
Well now you can relax. Minister of Work and Social Security Çelik has just made it abundantly clear for you.
I’m delighted with the Alliance of Civilizations. It means that Mr. Zapatero can say to the Arab League that “Islam is a pacific and tolerant element of identity” and someone from the same Alliance calls Christians kuffar. What was tolerance then?