11/04/2021 United Kingdom (International Christian Concern) – This week, the British Parliament held a discussion with the Minister of State regarding religious freedom conditions in Turkey and in its foreign engagements. During the discussion, British MPs questioned the Minister of State on how she had worked to address human rights violations in Turkey.
“We support freedom of religion or belief for all minority faith groups in Turkey, including the Alevi community, Jews and Christians,” Minister of State Amanda Milling told Parliament. “We have urged the Turkish authorities to safeguard their welfare and respect their human rights, in line with provisions in the Turkish constitution to protect the rights of all religious minorities. Our missions in Turkey regularly engage with minority religious groups and discuss their concerns.”
Among the human rights violations referenced by Milling was the continued detention of Osman Kavala, a human rights activist arrested in 2017 by Turkish authorities. The UK was among a group of ten countries that wrote a joint letter condemning his detention, for which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by threatening to expel their ambassadors.
Religious freedom conditions in Turkey have continued to deteriorate in recent years with many of Turkey’s Western allies condemning their abuses. The United States and United Kingdom have recently increased pressure on their NATO ally to address these human rights violations, resulting in a low point for Turkey’s relationship with the West.
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