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Turkish law offers no legal protection for religious entities

Catholic World News - February 07, 2011

Under Turkish law, no religious body has secure legal status, notes Otmar Oehring in an analysis for Forum 18. The country’s fundamental approach to religious bodies must change, Oehring argues, in order to provide real religious freedom.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has won a critical decision in European court, forcing the government to hand over control of a disputed orphanage. But the Turkish government still is not willing to recognize the Patriarchate as a legal body. Other religious bodies complain that they cannot hold legal title to their own buildings, or receive permission to make necessary repairs—although they pay property taxes.

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