Tag Archives: European Court

Turkey Fined For Failing To End Women Abuse

The European Court of Human Rights issued an historic decision which fined Turkey 36,500 eruos for failing to protect one of its citizens from domestic violence. Nahide Opuz, told the court that she had asked for assistance from Turkish authorities from her husband who wound up killing her mother. Despite her evidence of constant physical abuse, death threats, and physical injuries, nothing was done. The Turkish response to her claim is Ms. Opuz and her mother would make charges against the husband but then withdraw them which, of course, is natural when a woman fears for her life and doubts if the police will protect her.

The court decision noted: “a culture of violence has developed in Turkey and violence is tolerated in many areas of life.” A government should at least understand that women are vulnerable in Turkey to physical violence from their husbands and they need more support than merely filing papers.

Headscarf War Continues Raging In Turkey

Turkey’s Constitutional Court will announce in the coming days its decision on a case regarding the right of Muslim women to wear a headscarf while attending a university. The opposition Republican People’s Partty has urged the court to rule against such a right on grounds to do so violates Turkey’s secular concept of government. The Constitutional Court has three options regarding the case, it can reject the challenge to the constitutional change which allows wearing the headscarf, it can claim the amendment violates article 2 of the Constitution or it can cite prior court cases which indicate wearing a headscarf is in violation of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that two Muslim women who were teaching at a religious school do not have the right to wear a headscarf while at work on grounds they were working in a state secular institution and had to abide by its rules and regulations.

European Court To Rule On Religious Classes In Turkey

Two Alevi Turks have brought a case before the European Court against compulsory religion lessons in Turkish schools. They claim the religion courses they must take have a distinctive Sunni Muslim perspective and this violates articles of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing liberty of faith in education. They also seek removal of all compulsory religious classes since they violate the rights of non-Sunni Muslims. The Turkish government argues the classes are no about religion, per se, but simply provide information about culture and morals. It is expected the court’s decision will have an impact throughout the European Union.

Hopefully, the court will strike a blow for the right of atheists and those who are not of a dominant religious group. The case also highlights how within the Muslim religion there are many groups and sects.