Registering religious property: Mor Gabriel Monastery

In Midyat Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation v Türkiye [2023] ECHR 729 (in French), the applicant, a foundation (vakfı) established under Turkish law, was a religious institution and legal entity created during the Ottoman Empire which managed Saint Gabriel’s Monastery, built in the fourth century.

The issue before the Court was the domestic judicial authorities’ refusal to register land in the Foundation’s possession. Under Turkish law, the Foundation had been obliged to register its landholdings. It did so, but it had failed to mention several churches and cemeteries in the registration document that it submitted, including the property which was the subject of the present application and the cemetery which adjoined it. Continue reading