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Muslims should `empty` Swiss accounts: Turkish minister

Last Updated: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 13:05

Ankara: Muslims should consider withdrawing their money from Swiss bank accounts in response to the country`s ban on construction of minarets, a Turkish minister said.
"I am certain this (vote) will prompt our brothers from Muslim countries who keep their money and investments in Swiss banks to review their decision," said Egemen Bagis, cited by Turkish daily Zaman.

Bagis is the chief negotiator for Turkey`s European Union accession as well as Minister for European Affairs.

"In 2008, when banks around the world were falling, no bank was affected in Turkey, and the door of Turkey`s banking system is open to them," said Bagis.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday that Switzerland`s vote was contrary to fundamental rights and freedoms.

His comments were echoed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who added that it was a bad decision for Switzerland to hold the referendum.

At the weekend a majority of Swiss voters endorsed a ban on mosque minarets in the country.

More than 57 percent of voters, as well as 22 out of Switzerland`s 26 cantons voted in favour of the ban, despite the government`s opposition to such a move, saying it would harm the country`s image.


First Published: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 13:05
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