Religious communities unhappy with Turkey’s new foundations

30/08/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – The Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople has written a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outlining the discontent and frustration of the Armenian Christian community with the newly released foundation regulations. In order to manage their work, non-Muslim religious communities must register as a foundation in Turkey.

After eight years, Turkey issued new regulations allowing Christian communities to elect new leaders and board members. The Armenian Patriarch, Sahak II Masalyan, historically communicates cordially with the Turkish authorities. However, his latest letter describes growing frustration within the Armenian community and threats to boycott the election procedures.

Critics viewed negatively the constituency territories updated for the elections, as well as the health care foundations under the control of the Ministry of Health. Currently, 167 non-Muslim religious foundations are registered, including Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Jewish, Syrian, Chaldean, Bulgarian, Georgian and Maronite communities. These include the management of churches, real estate, cultural centers and health care facilities.

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