Non-muslim Minorities In Turkey

Tiflis Büyükelçiliği 13.05.2010

Unofficial Translation

Official Gazette, No: 27580

Subject: Non-Muslim Minorities

13 May 2010

CIRCULAR OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

2010/13

In line with the principle of equality enshrined in the Constitution, the Turkish citizens belonging to non-Muslim minorities in the country, like all Turkish citizens, have the right to enjoy and to maintain their own identities and cultures in parallel to the national identity and culture of Turkey of which they constitute an indivisible part.

Protecting these citizens from needless impediments in their official dealings and transactions with any government institutions and preventing any infringement of their rights are not only a legal requirement but also of great importance in order to make them feel that they are part of the Turkish nation and the State.

In spite of the measures taken in recent years in addressing matters related to the non-Muslim minorities in the country within the framework of democratization efforts, it seems that some issues could not have been completely resolved due to problems in implementation.

It is therefore essential to act on the basis of the above-mentioned principles in all official transactions involving the non-Muslim minorities such as paying utmost care in the protection and maintenance of the non-Muslim cemeteries which have been put under municipalities’ control, to ensure the strict implementation of court rulings in favor of non-Muslim community foundations by land registry offices (and) to prevent of any injustices in the collection of concession fees, to accord to non-Muslim community leaders who are citizens of the Republic of Turkey their rightful place in order of protocol and to initiate in a timely manner legal action against publications inciting hatred and enmity against non-Muslim communities.

Within this framework, I urge all related government institutions and offices to act with utmost diligence on this matter for the absolute elimination of problems in implementation.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Prime Minister of Turkey

Atatürk

Rıza Kağan Yılmaz Consul General
Monday - Friday

09:00 - 18:00

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