Religious minorities face increasing threats of physical violence in Turkey. Indeed, violent assaults against religious minority leaders (including murder) have been increasing dramatically...and with no end in sight.
A highly influential source of the persecution seems to be an over-the-top intolerance of non-Muslim minorities promoted by the Turkish media. And local observers are convinced that unless this incitement is stopped soon, the numbers of murder victims will continue to climb. Politicians have made no serious attempt to tackle this serious threat to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. And the upcoming elections do not present much hope for change.
Here is a discussion of this tragic state of affairs in Turkey, ostensibly an ally of the United States.
U.S. State Department -- when will you begin to effectively require basic standards of freedom and human rights of those countries that take so much of our military and financial aid?
If you'd like to ask that question of our government, please use this contact page (for e-correspondence) or go the old-fashioned route by writing or calling the U.S. State Department at:
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Please do so today. Use the article I link to for details to put in your letter/call/e-mail, or remind the agency of this Condoleezza Rice quotation from this spring: "We are recommitting ourselves to help new democracies deliver on their people's aspirations for a better life. We are recommitting ourselves to stand with those courageous men and women who struggle for their freedom and their rights. And we are recommitting ourselves to call every government to account that still treats the basic rights of its citizens as options rather than, in President Bush's words, the non-negotiable demands of human dignity."
Or simply use the basic question I ask above and mention a couple of the worst offenders: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan.
Let's do what we can to urge our government to actively, boldly, uncompromisingly work to secure human rights...at least before we hand out the goodies.