Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag expressed his concern Tuesday about thousands of Turkish children in Europe being given for adoption to Christian families.

Bozdag told the daily Hurriyet that 4,000 children of emigrant Turkish families with social problems have been given to Christian families in what he described as inappropriate cases of cultural and religious assimilation.

"In Europe, either because the family has broken up or for other reasons, some 4,000 Turkish children taken from their families have been given to Christian families. We are seeing a huge drama and large-scale assimilation," Bozdag told Parliament during a debate on the budget for the Office of Religious Affairs.

Though Bozdag did not specify any countries in particular, nor the time frame in which these 4,000 adoptions of Turkish children took place, officials told Hurriyet that they were organized by social services in several European nations.

Turkey wants these children to be adopted by Turkish families or by families chosen by the youngsters' parents, Bozdag said. EFE