ASIA/TURKEY - Religious minorities: salaries for the clergy are to be paid directly by the State

Thursday, 14 January 2016 religious minorities  

Ankara (Agenzia Fides) - A request to pay salaries to religious minority communities directly by the State was made to Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. This was reported by Agos magazine, the bilingual newspaper written in Armenian and Turkish.
The initiative - says Agos – was taken by the president of the Foundation of the Armenian Church of Boyacıköy, Yerits Mangants, who on this argument appealed to the Turkish Chief Ombudsman’s Office.
In Turkey, Christian religious and pastoral workers receive their salary from Foundations linked to their respective churches and communities.
A complicated and inefficient system, which often creates inconvenience. For this reason, and by appealing to the rights of equality among citizens, the president of the Armenian Foundation Boyacıköy, Yerits Mangants, urged in a letter to Prime Minister Davutoglu to find a solution.
The Prime Minister, in order to respect the terms of the law, will have to respond within 30 days. Ombudsman’s office has enclosed a Dossier containing also the joint statement of the Armenian, Jew, Assyrian and Greek-Orthodox religious leaders, who say that the wage distribution of religious and pastoral workers has to be taken from the Foundations.
There is a fear that paying salaries to the churchs' servants of religious minorities can increase the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) interference in the internal affairs of these communities. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 14/01/2016)