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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



"Мы никуда не уйдем". К чему готовятся православные Косова

МОСКВА, 13 апр. 2018 — РИА Новости, Сергей Стефанов. В СМИ и блогосфере заговорили о возможности создания албанцами независимой Косовской церкви, и ситуация в мятежном крае вновь обострилась. 

Read more: "Мы никуда не уйдем". К чему готовятся православные Косова

Turkey: Religion

Executive Summary

The constitution and other laws and policies generally protect religious freedom, although there are some constitutional provisions, laws, and policies that restrict religious freedom. There were reports of abuses of religious freedom.

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Serbia: Religion

Executive Summary

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, but some laws and policies place restrictions on religious freedom. These restrictions stem from the law’s special treatment of the seven “traditional” religious groups. In practice the government generally respected religious freedom; however, the government imposed some restrictions affecting members of minority religious groups.

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Macedonia: Religion

Executive Summary

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. Almost all religious groups asserted that the government favored the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric (MOC-OA). Some groups stated that the government inconsistently implemented regulations for the registration of religious groups and the ownership and use of property by religious groups, favoring some, including the MOC-OA, over others. 

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Croatia: Religion

Executive Summary

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. Three Protestant religious communities did not accept the government’s offer to conclude agreements supplemental to registration, stating the interim nature and the terms of the agreements were discriminatory. There was no progress on restitution of Jewish and Serbian Orthodox religious properties.

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Bulgaria: Religion

Executive Summary

The constitution and other laws and policies generally protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government mostly respected religious freedom. The constitution designates Eastern Orthodox Christianity as the “traditional” religion, exempting its branch in the country, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC), from the court registration required for all other religious groups. Members of some minority religious groups expressed concern that the government did not proactively intervene to prevent societal abuses. Reports of intolerance by security services and local authorities continued.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religion

Executive Summary

The constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the entity constitutions of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Federation), and the Republika Srpska (RS), and other laws and policies protect religious freedom. In practice, the government generally respected religious freedom, although entity and local governments sometimes did not enforce legal and policy protections for religious freedom, and weak administrative and judicial systems often posed major obstacles to safeguarding the rights of religious minorities.

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Albania: Religion

 

Executive Summary

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. The government made little progress in addressing claims from religious groups for the return or restitution of property seized during the former communist era, and many of the property claims remained unresolved.

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Kosovo: Religion

Executive Summary

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. Religious leaders stated the lack of a mechanism for religious groups to register and obtain legal status created a number of practical challenges in carrying out daily activities. Protestant and Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) officials reported ongoing problems with municipalities related to property rights and religious use of property.

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Felicity Party can ‘strike a blow against AKP–MHP alliance in Turkey’s 2019 elections’

The Felicity Party (SP), which “represents the ‘National View’ of political Islam,” has become a key party for Turkey’s 2019 general elections, according to Behlül Özkan, an associate professor at Istanbul’s Marmara University.

Read more: Felicity Party can ‘strike a blow against AKP–MHP alliance in Turkey’s 2019 elections’

Turkish Republic is continuation of Ottomans: President Erdoğan

The Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 10, 2018.

Read more: Turkish Republic is continuation of Ottomans: President Erdoğan

New book

Adults In The Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment

Author: Yanis Varoufakis

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The Gulen movement past and present

The damage caused by the Gülen movement to institutions and trust in Turkey is enormous. It’s easy to forget amid the fog of the government’s merciless post-coup attempt crackdown, but the opposition should be just as angry with the Gülenists as it is with the government for the deteriorating situation in the country. 

Read more: The Gulen movement past and present

Bulgarian Orthodox Church formally rejects Pan-Orthodox Council

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body, the Holy Synod, has formally rejected the Pan-Orthodox Council and its conclusions, it emerged from an announcement in Sofia on November 29, 2016.

Read more: Bulgarian Orthodox Church formally rejects Pan-Orthodox Council

So, Istanbul is a Greek city?

Some observers have lately been advising foreign governments not to worry too much about Turkey’s (President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s) increasingly aggressive irredentist rhetoric because it is largely targeted at domestic consumption rather than addressing the relevant foreign audience. Well, yes and no. 

Read more: So, Istanbul is a Greek city?

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