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URGENT ALERT: TURKEY

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A BBC Monitoring report (p.143 Ceefax) on 9 April 2001 reported that Mustafa Demir, Imam of Mahmutpasa Mosque had been arrested by Turkish security agents, specified by Anatolia News Agency, as being those affiliated with the Security Directorate. Islamic Human Rights Commission

URGENT ALERT: TURKEY
12 April 2001


Background

A BBC Monitoring report (p.143 Ceefax) on 9 April 2001 reported that Mustafa Demir, Imam of Mahmutpasa Mosque had been arrested by Turkish security agents, specified by Anatolia News Agency, as being those affiliated with the Security Directorate. This occurred following comments he had made about the country's current economic situation.

According to the report he had " linked the country's economic crises in the country to restrictions on women wearing headscarves”. He had also said at a Friday prayers gathering, "the locking-up of places of worship had added to the crises”.

It is well known that the Turkish government is extremely Islamophopic, doing anything possible to keep Islamic opinions silent. The arrest of Mustafa Demir follows the arrest over the years of many Islamic journalists and activists. IHRC are particularly concerned with this latest breach of human rights as it is clearly showing that the human rights situation in Turkey is, instead of improving, gradually deteriorating.


Suggested Action

Please write to the following expressing your extreme regret at the way the situation is being handled. Remind the Turkish Ambassador and Foreign Minister that yet again the Turkish authorities have violated freedom of speech and have again showed a complete disregard for human rights.

His Excellency Mr Korkmaz Haktanir
69 Portland Place
W1N 3AG

Tel: 020 7393 0202

H E Ismail Cem
Foreign Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Balgat 06100
Ankara
Turkey

Tel: 0312 287 35 56
email: Webmaster@mfa.gov.tr




Please also send letters to the following stating the Turkish authorities lack of respect of human rights and urging them to apply pressure on Turkey to free all prisoners of faith.

Mrs Mary Robinson
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Office of the UNHCHR
Geneva
Switzerland

Fax no: 00 41 22 917 0092

Mr Robin Cook MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AA


email:labourparty@geopoptel.org.uk
Fax No: 020 7270 3539

Commissioner Chris Patten
European Commission
Directorate General for External Relations
200 Rue de la Loi
B-1049 Brussels
Belgium

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IHRC
PO Box 598, Wembley, HA9 7XH, United Kingdom
Telephone (+44) 181 902 0888 Fax (+44) 181 902 0889
e-mail: ihrc@dial.pipex.com
web: http://www.ihrc.org/

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