Saturday, January 13, 2007


"The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Turkey violated the property rights of an Istanbul based non-Muslim foundation, a decision likely to set a precedent on how Europe views the treatment of non-Muslims in Turkey. The Fener Greek Higher Secondary School Foundation is a foundation under Turkish law whose role is to promote education in the Greek high school of Fener, in Istanbul. The foundation, in its complaint filed to the court in 1997, relied on Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights covering the "protection of property" and Article 14 covering the "prohibition of discrimination."

"The court ordered Turkey to return two title deeds of two properties -
which had been invalidated in 1996 by a decision made by a Turkish
court - to the foundation. If Turkey fails to reregister those two
properties under the name of the foundation, then it will have to pay
890,000 euros to the foundation instead.

Experts say the
decision means that Turkey needed to ensure domestic remedy in order
not to face a high cost that could arise from similar cases.

Rights of non-Muslim foundations are critcial issues in Turkey’s EU
membership bid. EU officials say that the issue is a vital indication
of whether Turkey has fully implemented EU-inspired reforms."

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