European Court Rules On Faith, Names On Turkish ID

February 2, 2010

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Today's Zaman

Wire Service: Reuters

A Turk who was not allowed to give his religion as Alevi rather than Islam on his identity card suffered a violation of his right to religious freedom, a European court ruled on Tuesday.

In another closely watched case that gauged respect for human rights in European Union candidate Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against eight Kurds asking to use Kurdish names on identity cards.

In 2004, Sinan Işık asked that his card give his religion as Alevi, a faith influenced by Sufism as well as pre-islamic beliefs. Some scholars see it as a religion while others describe it as a branch of Islam.

"For the court, the violation in question does not lie in the rejection of the plaintiff's demand to specify his Alevi faith on his identity card, but in the mentioning, obligatory or optional, of religion on the cards," the ruling on the first case read.