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European court rules in favor of religious order in Turkey
("Daily News," February 23, 2010)

Istanbul, Turkey - The European Court of Human Rights approved a complaint by a Turkish religious group regarding clothing regulations during hearings in Turkish courts.

The case was filed by Müslüm Gündüz and 126 other members of the Aczmendi community, which describes itself as an Islamic order, reported broadcaster CNNTürk on Tuesday.

The groups’ special attire consists of wearing black robes and a black turban, while males in the community have long beards.

The court had already ruled in favor of Gündüz in two instances against Turkey, both in 2003 for violations of his freedom of expression, and in 2005, for violations of his right to a fair trial.

The European court has now ruled that Aczmendis can attend court hearings in the outfit of their choice.

Gündüz, who founded the Aczmendi community, graduated from an Elazığ evening school 1985 and is an alleged member of the Islamic Nurcu movement.


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