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Turkey Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Turkey Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Turkish Translation

Key Findings

While the Turkish government has increasingly restricted a broad range of human rights, especially in the aftermath of the failed July 2016 coup d’état attempt, it has nevertheless taken some positive steps to improve religious freedom conditions in Turkey. The government has returned properties expropriated from religious minority communities, provided dual citizenship to Greek Orthodox Metropolitans so they can participate in their church’s Holy Synod, and revised school curricula. However, due to the Turkish government’s strict interpretation of secularism as requiring the absence of religion in public life, no religious community—including the majority Sunni Muslim community—has full legal status, and all are subject to state controls limiting their rights to maintain places of worship, train clergy, and offer religious education. Additionally, longstanding religious freedom concerns persist pertaining to religious properties, listing of religious affiliations on national identification cards, and education. Based on these concerns, USCIRF again places Turkey on its Tier 2 in 2017.