Politician "shocked" at Turkey's minority policy

22nd January 2008, Comments 0 comments

A prominent CDA politician said on Tuesday he was "shocked" to see how Turkey deals with its minorities.

22 January 2008

AMSTERDAM - A prominent politician from the biggest Dutch government party said on Tuesday he was "shocked" to see how Turkey deals with its minorities.

Speaking on Dutch radio the leader of the Dutch Christian Democratic faction Pieter van Geel spoke about his recent visit to Turkey.

He said that "if Turkey ever wants to be part of Europe," it has to improve its record concerning the freedom of religion and expression.

Van Geel also denounced the recent ruling of a Turkish court to block access to YouTube because the website would include films that were possibly "offensive" to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

The Dutch Christian Democrats, who have led four government coalitions since 2002, support Turkish membership of the European Union "in principle," but have traditionally made that conditional on Ankara's human rights record.

In September 2007, the Christian Democrats succeeded in getting broad support in the European Parliament for a resolution "encouraging" Turkey to improve its record in light of continued negotiations about European Union membership.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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