Foreign ministry responds to Turkish criticism over new Sharia-related law

The new regulation related to Sharia law “is an internal affair of Greece,” and Turkey’s Foreign ministry “would do best to focus on its own issues,” the Greek Foreign ministry warned in a statement on Thursday.

The Foreign ministry’s response was prompted by Turkey’s criticism over an amendment passed in Parliament on Wednesday. The new law gives the Muslim minority in northern Greece the option of going to a Greek court to settle differences instead of to a mufti, defaulting in certain cases to a Greek court of law.

In full, the ministry’s announcement is as follows:

“The Hellenic Parliament took a historic step approving the draft law for Sharia, which strengthens the equal treatment before the law for all Greek citizens, male and female.

It is a regulation that enforces the status of legal guarantees and civil liberties, ultimately upgrading the quality of life for all members of the community.

The regulation for the Muslim minority of Thrace is a domestic Greek issue, and any external interventions are unacceptable. It would be best if Turkey focuses on its domestic affairs and its own serious internal issues.

Further, we would like to note that individuals being prosecuted for unlawfully impersonating religious authority, or who are on trial for other offences, cannot be promoted as self-appointed and reliable interlocutors on any issue and in any European state operating under the rule of law and guided by democratic ideals.

As a member of the European Union, Greece has voluntarily committed to specific treaties, like the European Convention of Human Rights.”