Written question HL236: The Lord Bishop of Southwark 28-06-2017

Asked on: 28 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent reports that the Turkish Governor of Mardin has confiscated some 60 properties, including churches, monasteries and cemeteries.
A
Answered on: 11 July 2017

​Our understanding of the situation is that legal changes to local government structures in Mardin, where many important Assyrian religious sites are found, resulted in 2012 in the transfer of the title deeds to some religious sites from local bodies to central government, and eventually to the Government's Directorate for Religious Affairs. Assyrian organisations are making legal appeals against these decisions. The British Embassy in Ankara will be closely following this process. We strongly support religious freedom in Turkey and have supported civil society organisations working in this area.

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