Foundations/trusts and religion in Turkey: Altınkaynak

The vexed issue of the registration of religious groups has come up again, this time in Turkey

In Altınkaynak and Others v Turkey [2019] ECHR (no. 12541/06) [French only], the six applicants set up a foundation [vakf[ in September 2004 – Türkiye Yedincigün Adventistleri Vakfı (the Foundation of Turkish Seventh-day Adventists) – for the purpose of meeting the religious needs of Turkish and foreign Seventh-day Adventists living permanently or temporarily in Turkey – and the Turkish courts refused to register it on the grounds that domestic law does not allow foundations to serve the sole interests of members of a specific community.

In their application to register in  October 2004, they relied, in particular, on the relevant provisions of UN statutes, the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention, the Constitution and national legislation and on the principle of secularism. Continue reading