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European Council calls for religious reforms in Turkey
The Turkish government is opposed to the European Council report on issues of the Kurdish question being covered in the weak groups section and to Jewish animosity in Turkey.
February 15— A report prepared by the European Council on religion in Turkey has called on Ankara to implement a series of reforms to bring the country’s standards into line with those of Europe.


  The report said that the identity cards issued to all Turkish citizens at birth should have the religion section removed and that schools should abolish compulsory religious classes.
       It also warned that it was the best to not force the religious classes, especially if they were only to focus on the teaching of Islam.
       The report also said that although the rights of religious minorities were covered under the Lausanne Treaty, further freedoms should be granted and warned that the public and the media in Turkey held an attitude that looked down upon minorities.
       In Turkey’s schools books, especially those referring to the Armenians and Greeks, had humiliating and slanderous statements in them, the report said, adding that Turkey should see these elements of society as being part of its cultural wealth.
       The report also cited instances of some people being attacked for being Jewish and that some parts of the Turkish media made anti-Semitic statements.
       Referring to the issue of the Kurdish question the report said that many of Turkey’s 10 to 15 million Kurds who had lived in south eastern Turkey had moved either to urban areas or left the region due to the armed conflict between the state and the terrorist group the PKK. It said that there were now problems being faced by those citizens trying to return to their home villages. The report said that some of these persons had been killed by the state village guards when they had tried to return to homes which was occupied by the village guards.

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