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Turkey: Israeli ban on call to prayer ‘insult to Jerusalem and its history’

A general view from the tower of the Church of Redeemer shows the Dome of the Rock mosque and the cross of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of Jerusalem, on February 17, 2014 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]
A general view from the tower of the Church of Redeemer in the old city of Jerusalem on 17 February 2014 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]

Israel’s ban on the call to prayer is an “insult to Jerusalem and its history”, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said yesterday.

“This is something on which there can be no compromise,” Kurtulmus, who is chief government spokesman, said after a cabinet meeting. “It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

“It’s an insult to the culture, past and history of Jerusalem. It makes no sense and is contrary to freedom of belief.”

“Bringing the restrictions on the call to prayer at Al-Aqsa and other mosques on the agenda is in no way acceptable.”

He said such a law could not be put in place “because its implementation will push a wide range of defenders of freedom of faiths and beliefs around the world to protest against it.”

On 13 November the Israeli government approved a bill banning the athan via loudspeakers in Jerusalem’s mosques.

The Israeli Knesset put off voting on the bill after pressure from Jewish rabbis who fear it may affect Jewish religious rituals in the city.

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