The Right of Religious or Belief Communities to Acquire Legal Personality in Turkey
This chapter presents an overview of the legislation and legal and administrative practice on legal personality in the context of freedom of religion or belief in Turkey. The nature of the notion of legal personality in the Ottoman Empire stands out in its distinctness from the idea of legal personality in Roman Law. An essential reason for the restrictions may be found in the paradigmatic shift that occurred together with the establishment of the modern Turkish Republic. Vakif institutions are one of the available forms of legal entity status in Turkey. The chapter reviews Turkish legislation and practice on the right of belief communities to acquire legal personality and make an evaluation of their compatibility with Turkey's international law obligations. An appropriate legal entity status particularly drawn up for belief communities must protect the right of belief communities to own property without undue state interference.