Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan walks by an honor guard at the Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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Turkey's Alevi community Tuesday hailed a Supreme Court ruling on the funding of their prayer houses as a historic decision bringing Turkey's biggest minority faith more closely in line with other beliefs.The decision followed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which said last year that Turkey's failure to exempt cemevis -- Alevi places of worship -- from paying their utility bills was discriminatory.Following the ECHR decision, the Cem Foundation in Istanbul, a leading Alevi organization, decided not to pay the bills in protest at the government's refusal to implement the ruling, prompting a lawsuit by Turkey's main power distribution company.Alevis -- who make up around a quarter of Turkey's 76 million-strong population -- are a moderate Islamic sect related to Shia Islam, in a country where Sunni Islam is the dominant faith.
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