Turkey's religious head calls for worship freedom for Muslims in Europe

Ali Bardakoglu, head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, said that members of different religions could worship according to the requirements of their beliefs.

Turkey's religious head calls for worship freedom for Muslims in Europe

Ali Bardakoglu, head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, said on Tuesday that members of different religions could worship according to the requirements of their beliefs.

"The churches should be open for worship and religious ceremonies. It is their natural right," Bardakoglu said in an exclusive interview with the A.A correspondent.

Bardakoglu said religious minorities in Turkey should not feel themselves as second class citizens and underlined importance of worship and religious education according to their religious rules and principles.

Bardakoglu said restriction of religious freedoms would lead to uneasiness, indicating that freedoms were the main elements of social peace.

Bardakoglu said religious minorities living on this territory had never faced second class treatment throughout the history. "Turkey should not be a country where members of different religions experience problems with religious freedoms. Actually, Turkey is not such a country."

Bardakoglu said worship freedom should also be ensured for Muslims in Europe and in the Balkans. "Mosques of Muslims in Europe and in the Balkans should be protected and respected equally. They should be repaired if they were destroyed," he said.

Munir Karaloglu, the governor of the eastern province of Van, earlier said they would open the Akdamar Church to worship in September 2010.

The Akdamar Church on Akdamar Island on Lake Van was opened in 2007 as a museum after it was restored by the Turkish government between May 2005 and October 2006. The restoration costed 1.7 million USD (2.6 million Turkish liras).

The Akdamar Church was constructed by architect bishop Manuel between 915 and 921 A.D. under the supervision of King Gagik I.

Among the important pieces of Armenian architecture, the church draws attraction with its stone workmanship and the relieves on its walls.


AA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Nisan 2010, 11:30

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE