13 September 2018 Thursday

Sürekli Vakıflar Tarihi Eserlere ve Çevreye Hizmet Derneği (no. 2015/14747, 13 September 2018)

The Facts

The applicant is a legal person; an association serving the purpose of advancing the historical districts and the environment. The request submitted by the applicant for opening the Hagia Sophia Museum to religious practices one day in a year was rejected by the incumbent administration.

The annulment action brought by the applicant against the decision of the administration was dismissed by the administrative court. Upon the applicant’s appeal, the Council of State upheld the first instance court’s decision. The applicant’s request for rectification of the decision was rejected by the same Chamber of the Council of State, the applicant subsequently lodged an individual application.

The Applicant’s Allegations

The applicant maintained that its freedom of religion was violated due to rejection of its request for opening the Hagia Sophia Museum to religious service one day in a year.

The Court’s Assessment

It is set forth in the Code on Establishment and Rules of Procedures of the Constitutional Court that legal persons of private law can make individual application only on the ground that their rights the capacity of legal personality have been violated.

The applicant alleged that its freedom of religion was violated. However, it has been understood that the legal personality of the applicant was not affected by the public action which allegedly led to a violation.

Consequently, the Constitutional Court declared the alleged violation of the freedom of religion inadmissible for being incompatible ratione personae.