Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

European court fines Turkey in Greek Orthodox case

Expand Messages
  • Rev Fr John Brian
    European court fines Turkey in Greek Orthodox case By Ayla Jean Yackley Tue Mar 3, 2009 12:00pm EST ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The European Court of Human Rights
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2009
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      European court fines Turkey in Greek Orthodox case

      By Ayla Jean Yackley
      Tue Mar 3, 2009 12:00pm EST

      ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The European Court of Human Rights Tuesday ruled Turkey
      had violated the property rights of a Greek Orthodox foundation by seizing
      its land and ordered the government to pay damages.

      Judges said Turkey had breached the European Convention on Human Rights by
      barring the foundation from registering its title to a church and
      surrounding lands on the Aegean island of Bozcaada, a statement from the
      court said.

      It is the latest ruling by the Strasbourg-based court against Turkey for
      violating the property rights of its ethnic Greek minority. The European
      Union, which Turkey seeks to join, has called on the government to return
      seized properties to minorities and expand their religious and cultural
      freedoms.

      The European Court of Human Rights fined Turkey 105,000 euros ($131,880) for
      damages and expenses after it ruled authorities had illegally prevented the
      rightful owner of the Kimisis Teodoku Greek Orthodox Church from registering
      its property, the statement said.

      The foundation was denied the right to register its title to three pieces of
      land and a building on the island after the state land registry was
      reorganized in 1991, the statement said.

      Turkish courts had ruled against the foundation because it had missed an
      initial deadline to re-register its deed and had ordered the property be
      turned over to the state Treasury.

      The Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, spiritual leader of 250
      million faithful worldwide, has filed more than two dozen cases with the
      European Court of Human Rights to recover some of the thousands of
      properties it says it has lost.

      In September, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in a separate case
      that Turkey had violated the property rights of the patriarchate by seizing
      a 100-year-old orphanage on an island off of Istanbul and ordered its
      return.

      It has also ruled that Turkey illegally took control of other properties in
      Istanbul owned by Greek foundations.

      About 25 mostly elderly ethnic Greeks live on Bozcaada, part of a community
      of 2,500 Greeks in Turkey, which is 99 percent Muslim. Istanbul, Turkey's
      largest city, is also home to about 15,000 Jews and 60,000 Armenians.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE5224XF20090303?feedType=RSS
      <http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE5224XF20090303?feedType=RSS
      &feedName=worldNews> &feedName=worldNews



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.