Stay of execution for compulsory religion course

In Antalya, an Alevi family filed a lawsuit for the exemption of their child from the compulsory religion course. Antalya 4th Administrative Court ruled for stay of execution.

According to report by Mahir Erdoğan from Evrensel daily, the family applied to the district governor's office on October 7, 2016 for exemption, but the office replied that the course is compulsory. 

After that, the family filed a lawsuit to Antalya 4th Administrative Court, demanding stay of execution and exemption of their child from the course. Stating that the course is not taught with an objective and pluralist approach, the family pointed out that the course is focused on a single religion and not impartial and added that teaching a religion course that is against their belief and philosophy violates European Convention on Human Rights. 

Making the final judgment, Antalya 4th Administrative Court stated, “Teaching this course might lead to irreparable damage to the complainant party.” The court also stated that compulsory religion course is clearly against the law. 

ECHR also convicted Turkey

Turkey has been also convicted by ECHR in the cases against compulsory religion courses. Given the conviction in “Mansur Yalçın and other” and “Hasan and Eylem Zengin” cases, Turkey has to remove compulsory religion course. However, the course is still in the curriculum.

Last year, CHP Istanbul MP tabled a parliamentary question, asking why Turkey hasn't obeyed the decision of ECHR. Replying the question, Minister of Education İsmet Yılmaz said that they will plan a course of action. Yet, nothing has been done for this.