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Ed Webb

Turkey to return properties confiscated from Christian, Jewish minorities - The Washing... - 0 views

  • Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government seeking to promote religious freedoms has pledged to address the problems of the religious minorities. In the past few years, it amended laws to allow for the return of some of the properties, but restrictions remained and the issue on how to resolve properties that were sold on to third parties was left unsolved.The decree overcomes those restrictions and helps scupper further court rulings. “There was huge pressure from the European Court of Human Rights which has already ruled against Turkey,” said Orhan Kemal Cengiz a human rights activist and lawyer who specializes in minority issues. “It is nevertheless a very important development,” he said. “With the return of properties and the compensations, the minority communities will be able to strengthen economically and their lives will be made easier.”
  • Turkey is also under intense pressure to reopen a seminary that trained generations of Greek Orthodox patriarchs. The Halki Theological School on Heybeliada Island, near Istanbul, was closed to new students in 1971 under a law that put religious and military training under state control.
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