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ICC Note:
“Turkey’s new Constitution drafting process offers many possibilities for the protection of freedom of religion or belief… [however] the constitutional legal framework will determine how far religious freedom will be protected,” Forum 18 News Service reports.
By Mine Yildirim
11/30/2011 Turkey (Forum 18 News Service) – Turkey’s new Constitution drafting process offers many possibilities for the protection of freedom of religion or belief. Forum 18 News Service notes that the constitutional legal framework will determine how far religious freedom will be protected. Questions that remain to be answered include: Will the Diyanet, or Presidency of Religious Affairs under the Prime Minister, continue to be identified as a constitutional body? Will manifestations of religion or belief in worship, practice, teaching and observance be explicitly protected? Will “laiklik”, often perhaps misleadingly translated as “secularism”, be maintained in the new Constitution? Will Article 174 (“Preservation of Reform Laws”) of the current 1982 Constitution be deleted or re-interpreted? Recent developments on conscientious objection and ongoing problems resulting from legislation and practice suggest that, unless these issues are addressed, there may not be significant improvement in the constitutional protection of freedom of religion or belief for all.

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