(AFP) – Dec 2, 2009
ANKARA — A Turkish minister said he expected Muslims to withdraw their money from Swiss banks in response to a referendum vote that banned the construction of minarets in the country, in remarks published Wednesday.
"I am certain this (the vote) will prompt our brothers from Muslim countries who keep their money and investments in Swiss banks to review their decision," State Minister Egemen Bagis, who is also Turkey's chief negotiator in EU accession talks, was quoted as saying in the mass-selling Hurriyet daily.
"The doors of the Turkish banking sector... are always open to them," he added.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-president of the Greens in the European Parliament, has also called on rich Muslims to empty their bank accounts in Switzerland in retaliation for Sunday's referendum.
Turkish leaders on Tuesday harshly denounced the ban, calling it a reflection of growing Islamophobia in Europe and urging Switzerland to "come back from this mistake as soon as possible."
Sunday's vote saw more than 57 percent back a proposition by a right wing party for a constitutional ban on the construction of new minarets, overriding opposition from the government and the bulk of Switzerland's political parties.
The outcome was welcomed by right wing parties across Europe, with some calling for similar votes in their countries.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »