ISTANBUL — Daily News with wires
DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
A sit-in organized by an Alevi group to protest against mandatory religion classes Saturday will continue for another 24 hours in the Turkish capital, daily Hürriyet reported on its website.
Around 2,000 people took part in the sit-in protest led by the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Institution in Ankara's Kızılay Square, where group leaders spoke out against a Constitution-mandated "religious culture and moral knowledge" class for primary and secondary schools.
Multimedia 2,000 gather for Alevi protest in Turkish capital Fevzi Gümüş, the head of the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Institution, said Saturday that the religious classes were a result of the 1980 coup and that they aimed to isolate Alevi children from their own beliefs, labeling it part of a state-sponsored assimilation process.
Gümüş also cited examples of EU Human Rights Court decisions in which the court ruled against mandatory religion classes.
Pir Sultan and other Alevi organizations took the matter to the European Court of Human Rights in 2004.
The court ruled in 2007 that Alevi children being required to attend mandatory religion classes is against human rights.