28 Feb 2009

Controversial 'Leave my cafe' case resolved

3:29 pm on 28 February 2009

The Human Rights Commission says it has resolved a dispute between an Invercargill cafe owner and two Israeli customers.

Mevlana Cafe owner Mustafa Tekinkaya, a Muslim from Turkey, asked Natalie Bennie and Tamara Shefa on 14 January to leave the cafe because he objected to Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Mr Tekinkaya's action evoked both empathy and criticism, and prompting the Federation of Ethnic Councils to suggest that the induction of new migrants should include information on the Bill of Rights and human-rights laws.

The commission says the parties met and reached a mutually satisfactory agreement after an apology was offered and accepted in the spirit in which it was intended.

It says the parties agree that the matter is of public interest but that the details of the agreement will remain confidential.