Dutch shock at seizure Turkey convent
- The Dutch Christian Democrats have voiced outrage at a ruling by Turkey's Supreme Court authorising the expropriation of a Syrian Orthodox monastery and want Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to 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, at home the Turkish government flout all international agreements regarding religious freedom. The move comes a year after the European Council called on Ankara to stop the expropriation of the monastery's lands.
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