Minority Legal Rights to Be Discussed at Istanbul Conference

Minority churches, including the Armenian Apostolic Church, lack legal entity in Turkey

ISTANBUL (Hürriyet Daily)—The legal entitlements of minorities in Turkey will be discussed in Istanbul on Jan. 30 at a conference hosted by the Istanbul Bilgi University School of Law, in partnership with the Community Foundations Representative’s Office and with the assistance of the Venice Commission.

The conference, titled “Legal Entities of Non-Muslims: Problems and Rights II,” will start at 9 a.m. at the university’s law school building in the Dolapdere neighborhood.

The conference will open with speeches by Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı, the dean of the law school, and Laki Vingas, the Minority Community Foundations representative.

On May 13, 2013, problems regarding minority communities in Turkey were discussed at a conference held at Ankara University and the Minority Community Foundations’ office in Ankara.

Many institutions belonging to religious or ethnic minorities such as churches, cemeteries, and hospitals are deprived of legal personalities, meaning they are incapable of having legal rights and duties such as entering contracts or suing. These include the Fener Greek Patriarchate, Turkey’s Armenian Patriarchate, the Jewish Chief Rabbi’s Office, and various Catholic institutions.

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