Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 20, 2015

Questioning Non-Discrimination, Equality, and Human Rights in Contemporary Turkey from the Perspective of the Alevi Religious Community

Melih Uğraş Erol

Abstract

For several decades, the international community has criticized Turkey for failing to uphold the human rights and freedoms of its citizens and for not realizing the principles of non-discrimination and equality within its borders. As Turkey’s European Union (EU) candidacy proceeds, religious groups such as the Alevis claim to face discrimination and violations of their human rights and freedoms by the Turkish state. The Justice and Development Party (JDP, AKP) debated the Alevis’ problems and structured the Alevi Initiative, which conducted relevant workshops and discussions. Alevi arguments regarding their places of worship and the state’s religious education policy were identified as their main challenges. Alevis argued that the state’s policies on religious education and places of worship discriminated against them and violated their human rights. Through several human rights law cases before domestic and international tribunals, Alevis requested fulfillment, protection, and assurance of their human rights and freedoms. Several court decisions agreed that Alevis’ human rights and freedoms were being violated. However, the challenges and demands of Alevis still persist, as they contend that they have not succeeded in gaining the human rights and freedoms as required in contemporary Turkey under the JDP government.

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Published Online: 2015-8-20
Published in Print: 2015-6-1

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