Turkey’s Religious Minorities Restricted by Authorities

11/14/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Minority religious communities are fighting imposed restrictions and discrimination in Turkey. Member of Parliament Armenian Garo Paylan submitted a proposal to allocate educational funding to Armenian, Greek, Jewish, and other minority communities. Foundations linked to religious communities are also an upcoming subject of conversation for authorities.

Unfortunately, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rejected Paylan’s motion. He argued that the minority communities were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and that students attending minority schools should receive additional funding to “represent a simple measure of justice, in accordance with the declared intention. Turkish authorities not to encourage discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds.”

Foundations linked to religious minorities struggle to renew their boards and governing bodies. Non-Muslim places of worship and initiatives are regulated by the Turkish authorities and the ability to renew governing bodies interrupts the faith activities of minority communities. Turkey is thus unwilling, or unable, to protect the rights of religious communities and religious freedom.

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