Bishop of Southwark asks about human rights and religious freedom in Turkey

On 19th July 2016 the House of Lords heard a Government statement repeated about the attempted coup in Turkey. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

BishSouthwarktaxcreditsThe Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I too congratulate the noble Baroness on her appointment and I share the deep regret expressed by Her Majesty’s Government at the loss of life in Turkey. Is the Minister aware that on Saturday the three leaders of the main faith communities in Turkey—Jewish, Christian and Muslim—released a joint statement condemning the attempted coup and urging peace? Many religious minorities in Turkey opposed the coup. I welcome what the Minister has said about religious liberty, but what conversations are Her Majesty’s Government having with the Turkish Government to encourage them to resist using these events as an opportunity to curtail basic human rights and the right of freedom of religion and belief?

Baroness Goldie: I thank the right reverend Prelate not only for his kind remarks but for raising an important issue. It is the case that at the forefront of all the diplomatic discourse and dialogue currently taking place not only between the UK and Turkey but also between other countries and Turkey, there is a desire to emphasise the need to protect these fundamental rights of freedom of religion and freedom of expression, and that will continue to be prominent in all the diplomatic discourse and exchange.