Religious freedom conditions in Turkey remain worrisome, with the perpetuation of restrictive and intrusive governmental policies on religious practice and a marked increase in incidents of vandalism and societal violence against religious minorities. The government continues to unduly interfere in the internal affairs of religious communities by preventing the election of board members for non-Muslim foundations and by introducing new limitations on the long-delayed election of the Armenian Apostolic Church’s patriarch. Religious minorities in Turkey have expressed concerns that governmental rhetoric and policies contribute to an increasingly hostile environment and implicitly encourage acts of societal aggression and violence.

Source: A protester holds a banner reading "we are alevi" as he and many others wait to hear the decision of the court in front of a courthouse in Ankara, REUTERS / Bektas

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