Friday, July 22, 2005

Non-Muslim foundations in Turkey on European court’s agenda

The Strasbourg-based body finds a complaint filed by the Yedikule Surp Pirgiç Armenian Hospital Foundation to be worthy of consideration

The European Court of Human Rights has decided to consider a complaint against Turkey over the violation of property rights and discrimination.

The decision is considered to be important since it is expected to yield critical results vis-à-vis the situation of non-Muslim foundations in Turkey.

The court decided to deliberate on substantive grounds a petition filed by the Yedikule Surp Pirgiç Armenian Hospital Foundation, which was established in 1832, reported NTV yesterday.

The foundation argues in its complaint that current legislation governing foundations' right to possess property in Turkey contradict the European Convention on Human Rights protocols that are concerned with discrimination and property rights.

The Treasury in 1992 had invalidated two title deeds of as many buildings in Istanbul that were donated to the foundation in 1943 and 1967.

Property acquired after 1936 either through purchase, gift or inheritance is considered an illegal transaction and must be returned to the former owners. If the former owner of the property cannot be ascertained, the property shall then fall to the state.

Read the rest of the article on Turkish Daily News

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