Tag Archives: Freedom of religion or belief in Turkey @en

Gov’t prepares to tackle Alevi Issue as Alevi Dede praises reforms


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.

Buldu and Others v. Turkey

International Law

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. 

Turkish Court: Headscarved Lawyer’s Rights Violated


Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that rights of a female lawyer wearing headscarf were violated when she was not allowed into a trial. A female lawyer filed a case after she was barred from a trial because of her headscarf.

NHC:İÖG Policy Paper / Alevi Cem Houses / Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

Policy Papers

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.

NHC:İÖG Seminar in Oslo


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.