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2006-10-17 - Commission for Protection against Discrimination, n. 44

State support · Bulgaria · Public funding

Agreement on the funding of premises for a Turkish cultural centre

Key facts of the case - The management of the Turkish community centre complained that it was not equally treated on religious grounds. According to the centre’s members, they met problems when trying to find adequate premises and develop their cultural program.
The complainants claimed that the discriminatory attitude towards them was manifested by the municipality of Kazanlak, which appears as a defendant in this case. Nevertheless, during the proceedings, constructive and well-intentioned talks were conducted and both sides came to the conclusion that the problems are within the competence of both parties and will be solved through reaching an agreement. The written agreement, that was concluded, was given to the court members, both sides willing to approve the agreement and put an end to the proceedings.

Reasoning of the court - The Commission approves of the agreement concluded between the chairperson of the Turkish community centre and the mayor of the Kazanlak municipality on case No 60/2006 from the register of the Commission for protection against Discrimination stating :
1. The word ‘discrimination’ on the basis of religion does not define the attitude of the Kazanlak municipality towards the activity of the Turkish community centre. The ‘feeling’ of the management of the community culture centre for such an attitude is the result of a lack of normal and regular dialogue between both parties rather than a demonstrative attitude.
2. In due time the municipal administration shall submit a written proposal to the Ministry of Culture to increase the subsidized units for all culture centres in the municipality including the Turkish community centre with one subsidized unit for 2007.
As soon as possible but not later than 2007 the municipal administration shall propose the Kazanlak municipal council to provide the centre for free with adequate premises.
The Commission terminates the proceedings.