Turkey promises legal status to minority Muslim community

ANKARA: Turkey's prime minister has announced a series of reforms his new government aims to implement within the next three and six months, including granting legal status to the minority Alevi Muslims' places of worship.

Turkey's Alevis, who follow a brand of Islam that is rooted in Shiite beliefs, have long complained of discrimination in the mostly Sunni country, including the non-recognition of their "cemevi" houses of worship.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday the cemevi would be given legal status, but did not elaborate. Other reforms announced include improvements to the Roma community's rights, strengthening civic society groups and an increase to the minimum wage.

Davutoglu also sought opposition parties' support for a new constitution that would replace the current charter, which is a legacy of Turkey's 1980 military coup.