Thursday, February 21, 2008

Turkish Parliament Passes Bill Returning Properties To Religious Foundations

On Wednesday, Turkey's Parliament by a vote of 242-72 approved a law to allow foundations belonging to the Christian and Jewish communities to reclaim property seized by the government around 1974, so long as it is still owned by the government and has not been transfered to third parties. The International Herald Tribune reports that the law was enacted in response to pressure from the European Union. The law also allows Muslim foundations to receive aid from foreign countries. A similar foundations bill was approved in November 2006, but it was vetoed by then Turkish president Ahmet Necdet Sezer. (See prior posting.) This time, President Abdullah Gul is expected to sign the measure.