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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Annual roundtable event on the right to freedom of religion or belief was organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Istanbul on November 11, 2014.
The letter provides recommendations based on human rights principles, including principles of state neutrality and impartiality with regard to specific religions, both related to the content and the mechanism of exemption of the DKAB courses.
The right to acquire legal personality remains a key right for belief communities in Turkey. Its recognition will certainly contribute to Turkey's democratisation.
The refusal to recognize the cemevi [Alevi houses of worship] as a place of worship remains a serious infringement on the right to freedom of religion or belief and the identity of the Alevi, who constitute Turkey’s largest religious minority. While the right to establish places of worship is a fundamental human right, which Turkey has undertaken to protect in accordance with international human rights law, the current policies and decisions pertaining to cemevis are framed with reference to theological legitimacy, national unity and security concerns. As Turkey finds its way back to reform processes the Norwegian Helsinki Committee: Freedom of Belief Initiative would like to contribute to the public discussion from a human rights perspective.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee: Freedom of Belief Initiative’s report “The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey - Monitoring Report January- June 2013” has been published in English. The Report provides a human rights based systematic review of the right to freedom of religion or belief for all in Turkey.