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.
Addressing Turkey’s Alevi communities in his speech at a Hacı Bektaş Veli Ashura event over the weekend, the PM Davutoğlu called for unity and vowed to tackle the problems faced by Alevis.
The initiative will concern not only the Alevi community with which the government has long been in conflict, but also other minorities who are reluctant to be attached to the Directorate of Religious Affairs. The establishment of a "regulative and controlling council," which will embrace every section of society refusing to be linked to the ministry, is expected to be part of the reforms that will be introduced by the government.
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.
Turkey is not a theocratic or confessional state. It is a secular state with significant human rights commitments in the sphere of freedom of religion or belief. However, Turkey is struggling with protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief fully for all, to comply with the principle of state neutrality and to ensure pluralism, Mine Yıldırım, Head of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Turkey, said at a seminar on religion and state in Turkey arranged by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee on 12 March 2014.
The return of the land of the monastery marks the largest property restoration in the history of the Turkish Republic in terms of size.
Contrary to Turkey's international human rights obligations, the country does not fully protect freedom of religion or belief. This would require drastic changes to both domestic law and official actions. Piecemeal and selective changes have proved inadequate as a way of protecting freedom of religion or belief.
The outcome of the legal process remains to be seen, but such prosecutions usually lead to self-censorship.
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.
YILDIRIM: "A major problem with the package is, however, that it does not include legislation which could prevent violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief similar to those which have been found by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in cases concerning Turkey."