Turkish Alevis demand respect for European court ruling
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 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.
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.