Short title

1. This Law may be cited as the Turkish Religious Head (Mufti) Law.


2. In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires-

"Presiding Officer" means the person appointed by the Governor as provided in sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 1 of the Schedule and includes any person nominated by him as provided in sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 1 of the said Schedule;

"quarter" means a quarter of a town or village.

Election in accordance with Schedule

3. The election of a Religious Head of the Turkish Community (in this Law referred to as "the Mufti"), shall take place in accordance with the provisions set out in the Schedule.

Qualifications for election as Mufti

4.-(1) No person shall be eligible for election or shall be elected as a Mufti unless he is a moslem of Turkish race who has attained the age of forty years and possesses an Ijazet diploma or a degree in theology from the Istanbul, Ankara or El Azhar universities.

(2) For the purposes of this section "Ijazet diploma" means a certificate of competence granted by a former "Medresh", that is to say, an authoritative high school of religion functioning at the time, in the presence of religious dignitaries, to those who had completed their studies therein on the following subjects:-

Arabic language and literature,

Sheri law and jurisprudence of Islam,

Traditions of Mohammed and commentaries thereon,

Interpretation and commentaries on Koran,

Theology, Logic, Philosophy, and

The Moslem Sacred Law of Inheritance.

Notification of election to Governor for his approval

5. Upon the election of a Mufti, the Presiding Officer shall notify the name of the person elected to the Governor for his approval, and, upon such approval being signified, the person elected shall be the Mufti invested with all duties and powers as in this Law provided: Provided that no approval shall be given unless the Governor is satisfied that the person elected possesses the qualifications set out in subsection (1) of section 4.

Duties and powers of Mufti

6. The Mufti shall have and exercise the following duties and powers with regard to matters concerning persons of the Turkish Community in Cyprus, that is to say:

(a) to appoint, due regard being had to the funds available, Muderris, the Mussevit, Imams, Muezzins, Preachers and such other personnel as may be required to assist in religious functions and prescribe their training and duties, exercising such supervision over them as may be necessary to secure proper compliance, with power to suspend or dismiss them if they fail to carry out their respective duties in a satisfactory manner;

(b)to pay periodical visits to towns and villages, to deliver sermons in the Mosques and, generally, to advise the members of the Turkish Community on religious matters;

(c)to issue "Fetvas" defining religious principles and prescribing the religious holidays, the time for prayers, and the fasting hours;

(d)to direct and supervise the distribution to the poor of alms and "Zekats" contributed by moslems;

(e)to authorize the erection of new Mosques and major repairs to existing Mosques and to supervise the running of Mosques, Tekkes, Shrines and Moslem Cemeteries, due regard being had to the funds available.

Vacancy in the office of Mufti

7. If for any reason the Mufti ceases to hold office the senior Mudderis shall exercise all the duties and powers of a Mufti until a Mufti is elected.

Retiring age

8. Subject to the provisions of section 9, a Mufti shall retire on attaining his seventy- fifth year.

Compulsory retirement and removal of Mufti

9.-(1) If at any time a representation is made to the Governor that a Mufti-

(a) by reason of physical or other disability is unable to attend or perform the duties of his office; or

(b) has been guilty of conduct unbecoming to the office of Mufti as by this Law established or of serious, persistent or continuous neglect of duty,

the Governor may appoint a committee consisting of four moslems of Turkish race under the chairmanship of a Turkish judicial or legal officer of moslem faith to inquire into the matter.

(2)An inquiry under this section shall be conducted in such manner as the Governor may direct and, at every such inquiry, the Mufti shall have a right to be present or be represented.

(3) If, after inquiring into the matter, the committee is satisfied as to the truth of any representation made under this section, it may require the Mufti to retire or may advise him with regard to his future conduct in the matter forming the subject of the inquiry.

(4) Any decision of the committee shall be subject to appeal to the Supreme Court, whose decision shall be final and conclusive. The Rules of Court relating to civil appeals in force for the time being shall be applicable to any such appeal.

(5) Any decision which involves the removal of the Mufti shall be published in the Gazette and, thereupon, the Mufti shall cease to hold office and the office of the Mufti shall become vacant.


10. The emoluments of the Mufti, the Muderris, the Mussevit, the Imams, the Muezzins, the Preachers and of any other personnel appointed by the Mufti shall be such as the Governor may approve and shall be chargeable upon the revenue of the Evcaf Department.

The words "Fetva Emini" to be substituted by the word "Mufti"

11. Upon the coming into operation of this Law, the words "Fetva Emini" in any Law or public instrument shall be substituted by the word "Mufti".



(Paragraph 4.)


Notice of nomination of candidates.


(a) Any person who wishes to be considered as a candidate for election as a Mufti must be nominated in writing on a nomination form supplied at

(b) Each candidate must be nominated by a separate nomination paper subscribed by ten persons, out of whom one shall subscribe as proposer and another as seconder, whose names appear in the final and conclusive lists of voters for the election of special representatives. Nomination papers must be handed to ……….at…………… by one of the signatories not later than the ……………….a.m. on the……………


Presiding Officer.

NOTE.-No person shall be nominated or shall be eligible for election as a Mufti unless he is a person who attained the age of forty years and possesses an Ijazet diploma or a degree in theology from the Istanbul, Ankara or El Azhar universities.



(Paragraph 8).


Notice of election of special representatives.


an election of special representatives to take part in the electoral assembly for the election of a Mufti shall be held at …………….on………………. in accordance with the provisions of the Turkish Religious Head (Mufti) Law, Cap. 340.


Presiding Officer.