ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey's deputy prime minister has criticized as "unacceptable" an Israeli proposal that would make mosques reduce the volume of loudspeakers issuing their call to prayer.
Speaking following a Cabinet Monday, Numan Kurtulmus told reporters the proposal was contrary to religious freedoms and went against Jerusalem's historic multi-religious culture.
Kurtulmus said: "Bringing the restrictions on the call to prayer at Al-Aqsa and other mosques on the agenda is in no way acceptable." He was referring to the main mosque in Jerusalem.
Supporters of the Israeli bill have painted the issue as a matter of quality of life. The bill however, has deepened a sense in the Arab minority that it being marginalized.
Kurtulmus' comments come as Israel and Turkey are preparing to exchange ambassadors as part of a reconciliation deal.