Turkish cafe owner in New Zealand refuses to serve Israelis

January 16, 2009 16:14


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An Israeli woman who was refused service at an Invercargill cafe has laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, The New Zealand Herald reported Friday. Sisters Natalie Bennie and Tamara Shefa Mevlana were asked to leave by cafe owner Mustafa Tekinkaya, a Turkish Muslim, as they waited to place an order yesterday. "He heard us speaking Hebrew and he asked us where we were from. I said Israel and he said `get out, I am not serving you'. It was shocking," Mrs Bennie was quoted by the paper as saying. Mr Tekinkaya told the paper he was making his own protest against Israel following its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. "I have decided as a protest not to serve Israelis until the war stops," he said. Commission spokeswoman Kat Ryan told NZPA the complaint was laid by Mrs Bennie and the next step would be mediation. Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres today said refusal to serve someone based on their nationality was a clear human rights breach.

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