15 Jan 2009

Israeli women refused service at Invercargill cafe

4:53 pm on 15 January 2009

Two women were asked to leave a cafe in Invercargill on Wednesday because they come from Israel.

Sisters Natalie Bennie and Tamara Shefa were told to leave the Mevlana Cafe by the owner, Mustafa Tekinkaya, a Turkish Muslim.

Mrs Bennie says they were talking in Hebrew and the owner asked them to leave, referring to the war in Gaza.

Mrs Bennie, who is a New Zealand citizen, says she felt sick to the stomach at such treatment.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says Mr Tekinkaya's actions are against New Zealand law and the commission will follow the matter up.

Mr Tekinkaya's wife says however that she and her husband stand by his action.