18 January 2007
TURKEY: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VIA STRASBOURG, NOT ANKARA OR BRUSSELS?
There are now two major questions in the struggle for full religiousfreedom in Turkey, Otmar Oehring of the German Catholic charity Missio <http://www.missio-aachen.de/menschen-kulturen/themen/menschenrechte> notes. Firstly, will the controversial Foundations Law be adopted, and ifso in what form? Secondly, will the Turkish authorities move towards fullreligious freedom after a recent momentous ruling by the European Court ofHuman Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg? The ECHR did not accept the Turkish state's argumentation over the seizure of non-Muslim minorities' property,and even the Turkish judge at the Court had no objections to the ruling. In this personal commentary for Forum 18 News Service<http://www.forum18.org>, Dr Oehring suggests that, as Turkish accession negotiations with the European Union have gone quiet, the ECHR may now be the best route for Turkey's religious minorities to assert their rights.