Visa restrictions of Belgium on Turkish Clerics
The Belgian government was also justified by the judiciary’s decision not to grant a visa to clerics from Turkey.
The Foreigners’ Trial Council told that not giving visas to clerics who are living abroad does not violates the freedom of belief.
The Council also stressed that the rejection of visa request by Turkish clerics does not violate the fundamental right of equality.
Theo Francken , the State Minister responsible for migration and refugees, stated that 12 visa applications from Turkey were refused this year, according to Turkish news site T24.
According to Francken, the clerics who were brought in to Belgium for mosques were not recognized by the government were opposed to long-term visas that would provide settlement in the country.
The Belgian minister, as a justification for this, shows that many of the mosques can not be controlled.
Ten of the 12 imams Belgium refused to grant visas, applied to the Foreigners’ Laws Council, which handled legal issues related to foreigners. However, the Council stated that the allegation of freedom of belief is not right and pointed out that Belgium has no such legislation for clerics from abroad.
“We have to make a distinction when giving visas to ” said Minister Theo Francken.
By Doğu Yalçınkaya