18 February Conference: Freedom of Expression & Freedom of Religion or Belief - The Case of Turkey

This event seeks to explore the legal issues at the core of the intersection of freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief as well as the implications of international human rights law and Turkey’s national law. Members of religious or belief communities, non-believers, legal experts and thinkers come together to present and analyze problems, patterns and ways of moving forward.

Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey 2015 is published

The new AK party government, taking power after the 1 November 2015 Parliamentary elections, should be aware of the need for reform and make changes to both the letter and practice of the law in a way that is inclusive, transparent, and places human rights norms at the center. Otherwise, it is not difficult to predict that various religious or belief communities, so negatively affected by the extant restrictions and discrimination, will become ever more vulnerable as they continue to face their struggle to survive.

Launch Event: ODIHR / Venice Commission Guidelines on Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities in the Turkish Language

The Joint Guidelines have significant implications for Turkey, in particular for the protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief in its collective dimension.

Türkiye'de İnanç Özgürlüğü Hakkını İzleme Raporu Yayınlandı

Uluslararası insan hakları koruma mekanizmaları ve ulusal mahkeme kararları da Türkiye’nin yasa ve uygulamalarını din veya inanç özgürlüğüne ilişkin insan hakları standartlarıyla uyumlu hale getirmesinin gerekliliğine işaret etmektedir. Yeni hükümeti bu alanda gerçek bir değişim sağlama görevi beklemektedir.

New Report: IN NEED OF A PRINCIPLED APPROACH Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey, July 2013-June 2014

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) Freedom of Belief Initiative outlines in this report, covering the period from July 2013 to June 2014, that Turkey needs to take comprehensive steps in order to bring legislation and practice in line with international human rights law.

Turkey's top court rules against headscarf ban

Turkey's Constitutional Court says university student's right of education, freedom of religion was violated with ban

Turkey’s appeals court rules Alevi minority’s cem houses are places of worship

While the judgment is positive, there is urgent need for putting inlace necessary legal measures.

Lachiri v. Belgium: Headscarf ban imposed on a civil party in a courtroom in violation of religious freedom

The Court’s ruling in Lachiri is to be welcome for its main finding, namely that prohibiting a private person from wearing a religious dress in a courtroom cannot be justified by the protection of public order and violates the right to religious freedom. However, this judgment remains focused on the specificities of the case and does little to clarify to what extent and in what circumstances religious dress prohibition may be deemed compatible with the Convention in other situations.

Criminal fine for discussion of Mohamed’s wives did not interfere with freedom of expression – Strasbourg

The Strasbourg Court concluded that the Austrian court had acted within its margin of appreciation by finding that "the impugned statements as going beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate and classifying them as an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam".

Turkey’s Christians divided over 'freedom' declaration

“Lo and behold, we have been free but we didn’t know it.”

Buldu and Others v. Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey 57,650 euros for prosecuting and convicting four Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused compulsory military service, according to a statement from the Court on June 3. 

Otto-Preminger Institut v. Austria

The Otto Preminger Institut v. Austria case remains an important case concerning the intersection of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief.

International Law

International Standards Pertaining to the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief

The EU adopted the Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief on 24 June 2013.