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Religion Clause: In Turkey yesterday, the Armenian Christian church filed suit in Turkey’s Constitutional Court seeking to regain ownership of its historic headquarters, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia.
Christianity Today: Shocked viewers across Armenia watching the Azdarar TV news channel on April 11 could hardly believe their eyes and ears.
APD (translated via Google): The valid in Turkey restrictions on Christian churches are “contrary to European law,” said the deputy director of the Vienna ADF offices, Roger Kiska, in an interview with the News Agency “Zenit”. His organization had no hostile intentions against Turkey, it’m only a matter of Christian churches in the country – “that is so rich in Christian history” – to make life easier.
Kathweb (translated via Google): The valid in Turkey restrictions on Christian churches are “contrary to European law,” said the deputy director of the Vienna ADF offices, Roger Kiska, in an interview with the News Agency “Zenit”. His organization had no hostile intentions against Turkey, it concerned only about the churches in the country – “that is so rich in Christian history” – to make life easier.
Religion News Service: Christians and Jews are exempt from compulsory Islamic courses because Turkey recognizes them as religious minorities. But atheists, agnostics and Alevi adherents are unrecognized and therefore come under the state-sponsored Sunni umbrella, religious rights advocates say.
WorldWatch Monitor: The Turkish education system’s mandatory religion classes are not fair to students who do not follow the country’s majority Sunni Islam and must amend its policies, according to a recent verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Robert Ousterhout at The American Conservative: “The Kesik Minare in Antalya faces the same fate, despite public opposition. Recently excavated, the ruin preserves substantial remains from a Roman temple, a Byzantine church, a Crusader church, and an Ottoman mosque. As in so many other sites, its rich history would disappear if rebuilt.”
Permissive Constitutions, Democracy, and Religious Freedom in India, Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey | World Politics
Lerner, Hanna, Permissive Constitutions, Democracy, and Religious Freedom in India, Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey (October 1, 2013). World Politics, Volume 65, Issue 4 (October 2013), pp. 609-655 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2404925
Juicy Ecumenism: “Christian leaders in Turkey are concerned that recent attacks over Christmas and the New Year could be a sign of more severe persecution.”
AP: Erdogan insists the corruption charges are a conspiracy orchestrated by followers of an Islamic movement who he says have infiltrated the police and judiciary. He has vowed to fight back; the government has already removed hundreds of police officers from key posts.
HurryetDailyNews: The president of the Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Mehmet Görmez, has dismissed suggestions that Islam could be used to justify recent attacks on civilians in Kenya and Pakistan, saying terrorism had no place in Islam.
AP: A prominent press freedom advocacy group is asking Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take steps to end what it calls a crisis for journalists in Turkey.
AsiaNews.it: Two other churches in Nicaea and Trebizond that served as museums have already been converted into mosques. With Hagia Sophia in Constantinople as the symbol of Ottoman conquest, Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman plans need such a symbol to cover up Turkey’s economic and social crises. For Bartholomew I, Hagia Sophia could only reopen to worship as a Christian church.
Sam Nunberg at Washington Times: The Turkish criminal courts have increasingly been used to further Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist agenda through hate-speech prosecutions. The May 22 sentencing of Turkish-Armenian Sevan Nisanyan continues this disturbing trend of strangling political and social discourse.
WorldNetDaily: Turkey’s Islamist government is constructing a massive $100 million, 15-acre mosque in Lanham, Md., that is expected to “become the largest and most striking example of Islamic architecture in the Western hemisphere” by October 2014.
Hurriyetdaily News: Turkey’s secular system is the main factor that differentiates Turkey from Arab countries in terms of political Islam, according to a former Turkish foreign minister. ‘Had Egyptians endorsed a secular Constitution, they would have been somewhere else,’ says Yaşar Yakış, a former envoy to Cairo
Forum 18: Yet surprisingly little attention has been paid to an 18 April decision of the Constitutional Court (Anayasa Mahkemesi – AYM) concerning the constitutionality of the controversial 2012 Education Reform Law. The decision goes much wider than simply the field of education in schools: it establishes new jurisprudence on “Turkish secularism” (laiklik). This has important implications for the protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief in Turkey.
Albert Mohler, Jr. at Baptist Press: I criticize President Obama not for stating that America is not at war with Islam but for failing to be honest in clarifying that we do face a great civilizational challenge in Islam. Islam is, in effect, the single most vital competitor to Western ideals of civilization on the world scene. The logic of Islam is to bring every square inch of this planet under submission to the rule of the Quran. Classical Islam divides the world into the “World of Islam” and the “World of War.” In this latter world the struggle to bring society under submission to the Quran is still ongoing.
Middle East Forum: While unrest in Turkey continues to capture attention, more subtle and more telling events concerning the Islamification of Turkey — and not just at the hands of Prime Minister Erdogan but majorities of Turks — are quietly transpiring. These include the fact that Turkey’s Hagia Sophia museum is on its way to becoming a mosque. Why does the fate of an old building matter?
Reuters: Turkey warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday not to play politics with its European Union ambitions as Berlin blocked moves to open a new chapter in Ankara’s EU membership talks next week.
IslandPacket.com: Germany has blocked the next step in the European Union’s membership talks with Turkey over Ankara’s crackdown on anti-government protests, a diplomat from an EU nation said Thursday.
AP: A senior European Union official on Friday criticized the Turkish police’s harsh crackdown on protesters in the last week, telling an audience that included the prime minister that a “swift and transparent” investigation was needed.
AP: The protests are seen as a display of frustration against Erdogan, who has appeared to be increasingly authoritarian and is accused of forcing his conservative, religious Islamic outlook on the lives of secular Turks.
Catholic Culture: Halki seminary, opened by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1844 and closed by the Turkish government in 1971, remains closed despite calls by President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and others to reopen it.
EurasiasiaNet.org: The recent conviction of Turkish virtuoso pianist Fazil Say on charges of blasphemy is sending a troubling message to secular Turks that the Turkish government values religious expression only if it conforms to authorities’ views on religion.
Montreal Gazette: Specialists at Akdeniz University Hospital placed an embryo into Sert’s womb earlier this week in hopes she will become the first woman with a uterus transplant to give birth.
Religion Clause Blog: The court imposed a 10 month suspended sentence on Say, indicating that he would be imprisoned only if he commits a similar crime again within the next 5 years.
NY Times: A court here handed down a suspended 10-month jail term on Monday for Fazil Say, an internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist and composer convicted of insulting Islam and offending Muslims in postings on Twitter.
Catholic Culture: Turkish secularists have regularly voiced concerns about the prime minister’s support for Islam. Since Erdogan took power in 2002, 17,000 new mosques have been built in Turkey.
Hurriyet Daily News: EU Minister Egemen Bağış says Islam is a reality for the EU and Europeans won’t get anywhere by burying their heads in the sand
AsiaNews.it: The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will attend Pope Francis’s inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the first time such an event occurs since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054, an important sign for Christian unity.
Seattle Times: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday joined the United States and Israel in rejecting statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who compared Zionism to fascism at a United Nations meeting aiming to promote dialogue between all faiths.
Christianity Today: Escalating violence in northern Syria is forcing Christians to flee their homeland and take refuge in nearby regions of Armenia and Turkey.
Catholic Culture: Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has staked out his opposition to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Church in Chains: Police in Turkey say they thwarted an assassination plot against Emre Karaali (pictured) on Tuesday 15 January when they arrested 14 suspects, two of whom had been part of his congregation for more than a year.
Religion Clause Blog: In 2011, Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree returning to minority religious groups hundreds of properties that have been seized since 1936
Religion Clause Blog: In Turkey, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK), the national broadcasting regulator, has fined Turkish broadcaster CNBC-E the equivalent of $30,000 (US) for broadcasting an episode of The Simpsons found to be insulting to religious beliefs.
OnIslam.net: Turkey has lifted a decades-long ban on wearing hijab in Islamic schools, to the outcry of secularists who see the move as new evidence on government efforts to “Islamize” the country.
Bloomberg: Four Turkish women went on trial today for staging an unauthorized protest outside the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against government plans to curb abortion, the Halkevleri activist group said.
Baptist Press: A cloud has been cast on the Turkish courtroom where proceedings began Sept. 3 against 19 suspects in the murder of three Christians in 2007.
Sacramento Bee (AP): A Turkish court issued an order on Wednesday allowing authorities in the country to block Internet access to the anti-Islam movie that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, an official said.
Catholic Culture: Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that 120 churches have become mosques, museums, or storage facilities and that Turkey is attempting to eliminate Christianity in the area.
Cyprus Mail: HE EUROPEAN Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has agreed to examine a legal challenge against Turkey for the north’s continued failure to repeal a law banning homosexuality.
World Net Daily: Russian intelligence has information that U.S. troops are in Turkey near the country’s border with Syria, a senior Syrian official told WND today.
Catholic Culture: The world’s oldest functioning Christian monastery faces a clouded future, after an appeals court in Turkey ruled that the building sits on land not owned by the monks.
BeliefNet.com: Turks are being prosecuted for publishing “tweets” on Twitter that are “insulting to Islam,” despite the Turkish constitution’s guarantees of religious freedom. Christians are increasingly marginalized. Bureaucrats routinely block the building of churches.
UPI: A proposed abortion bill to be submitted to Turkey’s cabinet seeks middle ground between a woman’s right to choose and a fetus’ right to life, officials said.
NY Daily News: British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his plans to make forced marriages a crime, and parents who coerce their children could face prison terms. British government provides advice and suport to approximately 600 forced marriage related cases every year – half of which are for families form Pakistan and the rest from India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Middle East Forum: Ostensibly dealing with a building, a recent report demonstrates how Turkey’s populace—once deemed the most secular and liberal in the Muslim world—is reverting to its Islamic heritage, complete with animosity for the infidel West and dreams of Islam’s glory days of jihad and conquest.
AP: A Turkish court has formally charged an internationally known Turkish pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.
GMANetwork: Thousands of devout Muslims prayed outside Turkey’s historic Hagia Sophia museum on Saturday to protest a 1934 law that bars religious services at the former church and mosque.
AP: Turkey’s health minister said Tuesday that the government wants to reduce the number of abortions, days after the prime minister likened the practice to murder.
The Atlantic: The schools, part of a network of hundreds around the world, aim to create a “golden generation” of educated Muslims by emphasizing science and technology, but some regional governments are worried.
Washington Times: Turkey’s top imam blasted the Saudi grand mufti’s call to “destroy all the churches” in the Gulf region, saying that the announcement is in total contradiction to the peaceful teachings of the Muslim religion.
Religion Clause Blog: Reuters reports that Turkey’s ruling AK Party on Friday pushed a controversial school reform bill through Parliament that critics say furthers an Islamic agenda and lowers education standards.
Reuters: Thousands of Turkish opposition supporters demonstrated in the capital Ankara on Tuesday against a government attempt . . . to promote Islamic schooling.
Religion Clause Blog: Today the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom released and transmitted to the President its 2012 Annual Report (full text)(appendices) reviewing religious freedom abuses in 25 countries around the world.
Armenian Weekly: We must commend Acting Patriarch Aram Ateshian and the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul for making the bold move of suing the Turkish government for the return of historically significant Armenian properties.
Religion Clause Blog: A Turkish military court last week handed down an important decision on the rights of conscientious objectors.
News from The Associated Press: The spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians said Monday that Turkey’s new constitution should grant equal rights to minorities in the country and safeguard religious freedoms.
Education News: The often-charged debate about the origin of life pitting the science community against doctrinal conservatives is not just a U.S. phenomenon but one the Muslim world is increasingly engaged in, a visiting professor said Thursday evening at Trinity University.
Religion Clause: Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution urging the Secretary of State to pressure Turkey on issues of religious freedom. House Resolution 306, adopted by voice vote on Dec. 13, is summarized by the Congressional Research Service. The resolution . . .
FT.com: Iran has criticised Turkey’s secular system of government as an unsuitable example for countries in the Arab spring, in the latest sign of growing tension between the two regional powers.
Hurriyet Daily News: After a visit to jailed deputies in Silivri Prison, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party, says the judicial system in Turkey is ‘under the control of the political authority, and the prison in Silivri is a ‘concentration camp’
Todays Zaman: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has found the Turkish government guilty of failing to carry out an effective investigation in the case of a transgender woman who was harassed by a police officer.
The Volokh Conspiracy: So held the European Court of Human Rights in Altuğ Taner Akçam v. Turkey (Oct. 25, 2011), a case brought by a professor who had been subject to prosecutions (brought by individuals) under the law based on his work on the Armenian genocide. An excerpt from the court’s reasoning . . .
Reuters: Tunisia’s new political order will show that Islam and democracy can co-exist just as they have in Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
Religion Clause: The New York Times reports that on Saturday, Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree returning to minority religious groups hundreds of properties that have been seized since 1936.