Erdogan Asks President Rivlin to Reconsider Mosque Loudspeakers Bill

The Israeli president had called his Turkish counterpart to thank him for Turkey's assistance in putting out the wave of fires raging in Israel.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (L) and Turkish President Recip Tayyep Erdogan (R).Credit: Reuters / Amir Cohen | AFP / Turkish Presidential Press Office / Yasin Bulbul

During a phone call between Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Turkish President Recip Tayyep Erdogan Sunday, the Turkish leader brought up the so-called "Muezzin Law" banning the use of loudspeakers to call Muslims for prayer during late night and early morning hours.

Erdogan asked that Israeli legislation concerning Muslim prayer be "considered with sensitivity, as appropriate for such matters of freedom of expression and freedom of religion."

Rivlin told Erdogan that Israel will continue to grant every person freedom of worship, whether they are Muslim, Christian or Jewish.

Rivlin had called Erdogan to thank him for the aid Turkey provided in fighting the wave of fires in Israel.

Rivlin told Erdogan he met the Turkish pilots who came to fight the fires on Sunday, the President's Office said. "They are doing wonderful work and we very much appreciate what they are doing," said Rivlin.

"I would like to thank you from the depths of my heart for your decision to send us aid that we needed in fighting the fires. With their bravery and abilities, your pilots helped us greatly," said Rivlin.

Erdogan thanked Rivlin and said that as soon as he learned of the spreading fires he asked to send helicopters and crew to help, and he hoped and prayed the operation would end in the best possible way.

Erdogan said the two countries were in the midst of a process of renewing their relations and the new Turkish ambassador to Israel would begin work soon. Normalization of relations between Turkey and Israel is of great importance to the entire region, he said. I know we can continue to cooperate on natural gas matter, and the talks between the two energy ministries will bear fruit, said Erdogan.

Near the end of the call, Rivlin once again thanked Erdogan for the conversation and asked him to do all he could to aid in returning the bodies of the Israeli soldiers held in Gaza missing since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

The two ended their phone call on the hope they would meet soon.

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