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Two Generations of Debate on Freedom of Religion in Turkey

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AbstractWithin the debate on freedom of religion in Turkey, we can identify two distinct generations, both of which are alive with an oscillating degree of vibrancy. The first generation of debate has evolved around the question on the proper place of Islam in the secular nation-state; while the second one has encompassed the plural concerns of protecting the rights and freedoms, pertaining to religion or belief, of a diverse multitude, under the rule of law. The first generation of debate resulted in a dual deadlock: Freedom to religion versus freedom from religion. The second generation is informed by a pluralisation of parties and concerns. The first generation has produced well-established results in jurisprudence, where the effect of the second generation is far from being significant. Yet, as this paper will explain in conclusion, we have good reasons to expect the second generation to prevail over the first one.

Affiliations: 1: Ankara UniversityAnkaraTurkey


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