Ruijten hails AKP government's achievements
In an interview with the Dutch daily Nederlands Dangblad, European Parliament' rapporteur for Turkey Ria Oomen Ruijten said that religious freedoms of Christians have been boosted day by day in Turkey under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and criticized the opposition parties for hindering the democratization process. Stating that the organizations and institutions with which she has been contacting have also confirmed the situation, Ruijten said that the AKP has been left alone in its democratic reforms. "Kurdish people have not gained the rights that they have gained in the last couple of years. But the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP) are trying to hinder this democratization process. The MHP is still in favor of death penalty and these two parties have an opponent approach in the negotiations which are underway with regard to the definition of citizenship. In principle, the AKP accepts replacement of the term ‘Turkish citizen' with the ‘citizen of the Turkish Republic.' This way Kurdish people won't have to call them as Turkish. But neither the MHP nor the CHP supports this change," said Ruijten, who has also cited the Greek Orthodox community, including Patriarch Bartholomew, as Christians who have positive opinions about the AKP government.