A Call to Move from Wish to Action – Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey Monitoring Report 2022 covers important legal, judicial and administrative developments in the field of freedom of religion or belief in Turkey between April 2019 and December 2021. The report highlights points that are not in line with international human rights standards and offers recommendations to authorities to address them.
While the report written by Dr. Mine Yıldırım was preparing, interviews were held with more than 50 people, ranging from various religions or belief communities to atheist and deist groups; from relevant non-governmental organizations to human rights defenders from Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Malatya, Elazig, Mardin and Diyarbakir. In addition, in the section titled “Women and freedom of religion or belief”, which was prepared by interviewing women of various religions or beliefs, from different age groups and from different professions, freedom of religion or belief was discussed through the lens of gender.
The main topics are:
- Continuing issues in the field of freedom of religion or belief still await resolution
- Place of worship problem continues, ECHR decisions are ignored
- Remarkable inequality in the education of religious officials and religious services
- Drawing reaction by both secular and religious circles, women are forced to live a double life.
- The right to organize is suspended
- Disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on some religious or belief communities
- Freedom of religion or belief in education is restricted
- Many confiscated properties are still not returned to religious or belief communities