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Turkish PM urges stand against religious discrimination

Davutoglu invites minority religious leaders for New Year's meal at prime ministry's office

Baku. 2 January. REPORT.AZ/ Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called for standing up to Islamophobia and discrimination against different beliefs in a meeting with minority religious leaders Friday in Istanbul.

Davutoglu invited the religious leaders for a New Year's meal at the prime ministry's office.

“The rights of all our citizens’ beliefs are sacred to us,” Davutoglu said during the meeting, which was attended by Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Phanar Bartholomew I, Turkey’s chief Rabbi Isak Haleva, chairman of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Department Mehmet Gormez and the Vicar of the Armenian Orthodox Church Aram Atesyan.

Report informs citing Turkish media, Reforms in 2008 allowed minority groups to buy and renovate property. In June 2014, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the AK Party government returned confiscated assets worth $2 billion to Turkey’s ethnic and religious minorities.

“Returning the assets of minority foundations is the most concrete step we have taken,” Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu also called on people of all faiths to stand up against Islamophobia, after a number of anti-Islam incidents in recent weeks, most notably in Germany and Sweden.

"If we raise our voices altogether against Islamophobia, that would mean raising our voice against all discrimination that targets religious identities," he added.

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