02:58 GMT +322 August 2018
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    European Court Rejects Turkey’s Appeal in Anti-Alawi Discrimination Case

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    The European Court of Human Rights has rejected Turkey's appeal to a ruling that Ankara’s actions in regard to Alawi community constitutes a violation of the discrimination clause in the European Convention on Human Rights, an Alawi organization official announced Friday, according to the local media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In September 2014, the court ruled that Turkey's compulsory religion course at schools violates the convention's right to education article and urged Turkey to change the education system. The court also ruled in December 2014 that Turkey's failure to exempt Alawi places of worship from paying electricity bills constituted discrimination.

    Izzettin Dogan, the president of the Cem Foundation, said Friday that Turkey appealed both of the rulings in 2015; however, the court rejected the appeal in a clear acknowledgement of Turkey's discrimination against the Alawi community, Today’s Zaman newspaper reported.

    Alawites comprise up to 25 percent of the Turkish population. Unlike Muslims, Alawi men and women pray together in cemevis and do not keep the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The status of the cemevis has been an issue of contention in Turkey, not being recognized as houses of worship by the state.

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