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Newspapers on Wednesday dedicated their front pages to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s military service exemption announcement, and the European Court of Human Rights decision on Alevi community's houses of worship in Turkey.
AKSAM headlined: “Good news for 611,000 families,” referring to the prime minister’s announcement. The paper said over 600,000 people will take advantage of the new regulation allowing payment for exemtpion to military service. It noted that the income from the regulation is expected to reach 11 billion Turkish Liras ($4.9 billion).
Davutoglu announced on Tuesday that men who are over 27 years-old will be eligible to pay for an exemption to military service as of Jan. 1, 2015. They will be required to pay 18,000 Turkish Liras ($8,145) for the exemption, he said.
HABERTURK runs with the headline: “The cheapest paid military service exemption.” The daily reported that it is the lowest payment demanded compared with previous regulations within the last 15 years. The cost of a paid military service exemption in 2011 was $16,667.
“Military service in exchange for 640 Turkish Liras monthly,” VATAN said on its front page referring to a 36 month payment term for loan takers. “Banks compete for giving credit to those who are to do military service.
The decision of the European Court of Human Rights on Alevi community's houses of worship in Turkey was another news item to which many newspapers gave important coverage. The court ruled Tuesday that Turkey had discriminated against the Alevi community's houses of worship, known as cemevis.
“Cemevis are facing discrimination,” VATAN said.
The Foundation of Republican Education and Cultural Center, which manages a number of cemevis in Turkey, had filed the case with the European court, accusing Turkey of discrimination after Turkish authorities refused to exempt cemevis from electricity bills.
Turkish courts had dismissed the foundation's application, giving the opinion that cemevis are not places of worship, rather places of assembly in which spiritual ceremonies are held.
But the European court ruled in favor of the group, and asked the Turkish government to send a proposal regarding the cemevi in question. European judge Andras Sajo also called for the recognition of cemevis as places of worship with status equal to that of mosques and churches.
Turkish officials said the country is already working to eliminate discrimination against the Alevis, who are the second-largest religious community in Turkey after Sunni Muslims. "It will not affect our efforts," Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in response to the court decision. "We will proceed in the same way."
Davutoglu pledged to build roads to all cultural and religious venues in Tunceli, a province in eastern Turkey, and restore Alevi gathering and worshipping places with a budget of 11 million Turkish liras ($4.95 million). He also said the name of Tunceli University would be changed to Munzur University, renaming the institution after Alevi religious leader Munzur Baba.
MILLIYET said: “ECHR considered cemevi as house of worship,” while HABERTURK used the title on its front page, “ECHR: There is discrimination against Alevis.”
Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Aralık 2014, 12:28