Sharia and inheritance in Western Thrace: the Grand Chamber judgment in Molla Sali

Background

Ms Chatitze Molla Sali, a Greek national born in 1950, lives in Komotini in Western Thrace. When her husband died, she inherited his entire estate under a will drawn up by him before a notary; however, his two sisters contested the will, arguing that because he had belonged to the Muslim minority in Western Thrace, matters of succession in his case were therefore subject to sharia and to the jurisdiction of the mufti rather than to the provisions of the Greek Civil Code. They relied in particular on the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which provided for Islamic customs and Islamic religious law to be applied to Greek nationals who were Muslims. Continue reading