Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey steals land from Christian monastery

Article by Marc Aupiais

A group of Christians, who have lived in a monastery for 1,600 years: pre-dating Islam, and the Turkish republic, have decided to approach the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

The government of the Turkish nation claims that agricultural land not used for agriculture belongs to the state. The Christians, in the minority in the strange secularist nation, face a strange situation. Those owning the land the government declares to belong to it: say they have the documents to prove their ownership to the European court.

It is common for laws to regulate land needs be controlled and used to be owned. In South Africa, it allows land to be transferred after 30 years of uninterrupted use and enjoyment as though owner. There is a marked difference however between allowing those who have been maintaining land to use it indefinitely, and become bona fide owner, and taking land because it is not being used to farm.

In Vietnam a similar situation exists: where the Catholic Church owned many lands. These were taken by the Vietnamese government, despite the Catholic Church being the just owner.

Legislation, has often been used throughout the world to weaken Christian churches. From MYANMAR to the South African Apartheid regime: defunding churches and hospitals.

The results of this case will certainly be noteworthy.

The Council of Europe is older and has more nations than the EU. Some of its decisions have been highly controversial.

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