Turkey: Minority groups hail Human Rights Action Plan
New Human Rights Action Plan announced Tuesday includes reforms to protect legal minorities
Minorities in Turkey on Wednesday welcomed legal changes to protect and strengthen freedom of expression, association, and religion in the nation’s new Human Rights Action Plan.
Under the plan, announced on Tuesday, all public and private sector employees and students of all faiths would be allowed to take leave during their religious holidays. The plan also proposes legal changes governing the election and composition of the boards of directors of non-Muslim community foundations.
“We’ve long raised the issue of children being able to take leave during [religious] holidays,” said Sait Susin, head of the Virgin Mary Syriac Orthodox Church Foundation in Beyoglu, Istanbul.
He thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials for considering their wishes and including them in the plan.
Also expressing approval for the legal changes on the boards of foundations, he said: “This is good news … both for us minorities and for our country.”
Representing Turkey’s Jewish community, the Turkish Chief Rabbinate Foundation said on Twitter: “We welcome the Human Rights Action Plan announced today, which is closely related to our community, with satisfaction and hopeful excitement, wishing it to be implemented as soon as possible.”
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin