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Reimagining Minorities in Turkey: Before and After the AKP

This article analyzes the changing concept of “minority” in today’s Turkey. Minorities have been historically conceived as a “problem” by the Republican regime and a threat to the “purity” of the nation. For a long time, the term “minority” was commonly associated with the non-Muslim communities of Lausanne. Still now, non-Muslim communities are seen as passive elements in nation-centric conspiracy theories. However, the age-old definition of minority in Turkey is being challenged by a transformation on a global scale. Within this process, not only are political regimes, bureaucratic structures and nation-states being re-shaped, but social and cultural perceptions, and values and norms are also transforming. Given this context, it is insightful to focus on the AKP to understand the changing face of Turkey and vice versa. In this new setting, to what extent can the AKP, so far a reluctant reformer, satisfy the demands of non-Muslim citizens and address the problem of democracy? Turkey, it seems, is on the brink of another wave of change and the non-Muslim minorities are located at its center.

Reimagining Minorities in Turkey Before and After the AKP
From Lausanne onwards, one can claim that minorities have been commonly perceived as the “symbols of Ottoman dependence to the West”, “abnormal elements endangering the purity of the nation” or “the pre-modern reminiscent of a forgotten past”.

What makes some plants into ‘weeds’ which we mercilessly poison and uproot, is their horrifying tendency to obliterate the boundary between our garden and wilderness. The ‘weeds’ are often quite nice looking, fragrant and pleasing; we would certainly admire them as adorable specimens of wildlife if we found them while walking through woods or a meadow. Their ‘fault’ is that they have come, uninvited, to a place which ought to be neatly cut into lawns, rose garden, vegetable plot and flower borders. They spoil the harmony we envisaged, they play havoc with our design.

Zygmunt Bauman1

The aim of this article is to analyze how the concept of minority is “wearing off” as a result of recent socio-political transformation in Turkey. Having provided a pretext for Turkish nationalism and constituted the background of conspiracy theories, the concept now operates within a multitude of discourses. My specific concern will be to comprehend the position of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) as a political actor struggling to survive between a political agenda whose cultural setting was determined by the nation-building parameters of the Republic on the one hand and an increasingly global context imposing a new definition of minority as part of a civil rights and liberties perspective on the other. 

Inherited from a past embedded in fear and paranoia, minorities have been mainly recognized and conceived by a national frame of mind; hence it is necessary to research them in connection with the history of Turkish nationalism. In the first section, I will try to describe the linkage between minorities and nationalism in relation to past experiences. Non-Muslim minorities have had an oscillating relationship with the law in Turkey. While they have been equal citizens on paper, in Republican history they have suffered from discrimination on numerous occasions as a result of disputable legal orders and court decisions. At other times laws were misused by the regime in order to suppress minorities in Turkey. The nationalist mindset coupled with a conspiracy mentality cultivates a collective state of paranoia, particularly at times of crises. This conspiracy mentality has had a widespread influence in society and has inspired intellectuals from both ends of the political spectrum, plus policy-makers, ordinary citizens, the bureaucratic and political elite, the media and the judiciary. 

In the second section, I will focus on the way in which the conspiracy mentality continues to exist in today’s Turkey. In an era of increasing global interdependence, to what extent can minorities in Turkey be conceived of independently from the old Republican agenda and the national imagination paradigm? What role can the AKP play as a political actor in implementing reforms and reshaping social mind-sets, perceptions and ethical codes in Turkey? Thus, in the third section, the article ends with an attempt to address the question of what lies beyond and reflects on the possibility of an intercultural vision of minorities in Turkey.



Minorities in the Nation: Existing on the Fringe

Historically, the Republic declared the importance of civic citizenship with an emphasis on universal values in which “Turkishness” was deemed as the general identity of the nation. However, more than once throughout Republican history non-Muslim minorities have been denied access to citizenship rights. In fact, Republican nationalism in Turkey has had two faces: “a cultural nationalism which is defensive in foreign policy and an ethnic nationalism which relies on chauvinistic and racist motives suppressing cultural plurality”.2 In practice, this seemingly paradoxical attitude embedded in nationalism enabled a rhetoric shift between the two positions in different contexts.

Therefore, researching nationalism using discourse analysis carries the potential to take us beyond social stereotypes and familiar categorizations. Political, philosophical or even sometimes sociological cleavages may have little to say in the presence of the unique, inconsistent, and particularistic structure of the discourse. Thus, binary oppositions such as the French and German style nation-building models of blood-tie versus citizenship, assimilation versus racism, and integration versus discrimination,3 may be less remote and isolated from each other. Bauman argues that most of the time assimilation is perceived as a “cultural campaign,” resembling a heretic being converted to the “right” religion.4 However, the efforts of conversion are done half-voluntary and with a degree of reluctance. The internal paradox of nationalism is apparent at this point: 

On the one hand, nationalism claims the superiority of its own nation, of its national culture and character. The attractiveness of such a superior nation to the surrounding peoples is therefore something to be expected; indeed, the wish and the efforts of the others to join in the glory of the nation are a tribute to, and an extra confirmation of, the superiority the nation claims… On the other hand, the influx of foreign elements into the nation, particularly when made easy by the ‘open arms’, hospitable attitude of the host nation, casts doubt on the ‘naturalness’ of national membership and thus saps the very foundation of national unity.5

What is being emphasized as that the “successful” practice of the assimilation policies can paradoxically relativize the “naturalness” of national imagination. As a result, a discriminatory or a racist approach can be adopted. This contradiction inherently exists within the discourse and can potentially come to the fore. Therefore, one can conclude that the definitive line dividing assimilation and discrimination/racism may be thinner than expected: 

Assimilation and racism seem to be radically opposed. And yet they stem from the same source – the boundary-building concerns inherent in the nationalist tendency. Each one emphasizes one of the poles of the inner contradiction. Depending on circumstances, one or other side can be deployed as weapons in the pursuit of nationalist objectives. Yet both are constantly potentially present in any nationalist campaign – waiting for their chance. Rather than excluding, they may mutually boost and reinforce each other.6

In parallel to the above mechanism, national identity is made by fixed components and reflects a homogeneous structure. The gap between “us” and “them” is over-emphasized and collective identity is conceived as containing a timeless and eternal value emanating from a contrast with the other. Criticisms directed at imagined ancestors are taken personally by the nationalist frame of mind.7 Istanbul Greeks and Greek Cypriots can be associated with each other without any problems by relating the “evil” of the enemy as such to their “Greekness”.8 In fact, this national/popular sentiment can be accompanied by an age-old international relations notion: reciprocity. Reciprocity has its own history dating back to the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699) when the Ottomans for the first time shifted from a policy of imperial self-perception to a more nation-state centric one. That is, Ottoman diplomacy had to acknowledge the new European foreign relations setting in order to pursue negotiations on a basis of equality. The rhetorical use of reciprocity is still common today among politicians and bureaucrats. However, this time it manifests itself as an anachronistic tool and has little to do with its 17th century context. The use of reciprocity in international relations generally functions as part of a defensive policy that violates individual liberties as well as collective rights. Specifically, reciprocity in Turkey has been used as an excuse for a reluctance towards implementing minority rights, and in that way it is a means utilized for the maintenance of the status quo. Minorities, accordingly, are perceived to be passive totalities and negotiable foreign-policy elements of a nation-state. 

Non-Muslim minorities have been exposed to discrimination through law and court decisions at various times in Republican history. Typically, the most severe cases of discrimination were accomplished by state-sponsored policies usually using the law as an instrument to legitimize otherwise unacceptable acts of violence and inequality. The discriminatory acts primarily targeted property and citizenship rights. In 1941, minorities were taken into military camps to fulfill an additional military service. One year later, the Wealth Tax (Varlık Vergisi) was enacted. Households with high levels of income were supposed to pay the Wealth Tax as a one-off payment and the amount would be determined by state-organized commissions in accordance with the financial condition of each payer. However, in practice, the implementation of the tax led to catastrophic consequences. Zürcher declares that the “way in which this law was applied was scandalous”.9 Most of the people who paid the tax were from the big cities and the majority were from the non-Muslim communities. Non-Muslims were faced with rates ten times higher than Muslims and many of them, as a result, had to close their businesses and sell their property. In Istanbul, the 1,869 people who failed to pay their heavy debts on time were taken from their homes by the police. Eventually, 640 households managed to pay the demanded amounts while the remaining 1,229 were deported to a labor camp in the eastern town of Aşkale where 21 people lost their lives in the harsh winter conditions.10The minorities were commonly seen as a rich and privileged class exploiting the Turkish nation and threatening its unity and existence. The Wealth Tax played a role in “Turkifying” the bourgeoisie in the new Republic. People lost their jobs and went bankrupt and others left the country in which they were born. Right after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, 30,000 Jews from Turkey fled to that country. However, perhaps most importantly, the tax left an irreparable impact on the minority psyche. 

Despite the fact that their numbers are insignificant compared to the rest of the population, minorities are commonly seen as a threat to national unity

On September 6-7, 1955, during a “hot” period between Greece and Turkey due to the Cyprus crisis, the fake news that Atatürk’s house in Salonica had been bombed by the Greeks provoked crowds. Mobs were organized and pogroms took place in Istanbul and İzmir, mainly targeting minority, primarily Greek, shops, churches and residents. Over 5,000 shops were affected by the massive looting campaign and three people lost their lives during the incidents.11 The government declared martial law. There were serious indications of state involvement in the organization of the whole event. The nationalist fury went out of control at some point and the tanks had to appear in the heart of Istanbul as the army took control. The incidents of September 6-7 was the beginning of the end for the Greek community in Istanbul.12 The whole event, in Hoffmann’s words, was the “kristallnacht of Istanbul”.13 According to Güven, the incidents were just another reminder of the inequality of minority groups as citizens in the Republic of Turkey.14

The psychology of national hysteria has affected both people and governments in Turkey. The Greek minority has always been negatively influenced by deteriorations of Greek-Turkish relations at the international level. In 1964, due to ethnic clashes in Cyprus, the Turkish state retaliated against the policies of the Greek Cypriots by targeting the Greeks of Istanbul. The Greeks of Istanbul who did not have Turkish citizenship (though they had the right to reside in Turkey under the Lausanne Treaty) were forced to leave the country in 48 hours. Leaving all their property behind, they were allowed to carry only a small amount of cash; in total 12,592 people were deported that year.15 



Politics, Law and the Conspiracy Narrative

What the term “minorities” refers to in Turkey are for the most part the non-Muslim communities legally recognized by the Lausanne Treaty (1923). Although there was hardly a mention of specific communities in the treaty, the Turkish state selectively included the Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities within the non-Muslim category, leaving out groups such as Catholics, Protestants, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Yezidis. In a few years the so-called Lausanne communities were convinced by the single-party regime to disclaim some of their newly gained rights. Nevertheless, as legally equal Turkish citizens, the members of the minorities still had the right to go to their own schools that would operate under the central direction of the Ministry of Education. Synagogues and churches would remain open, though their sources of income were seriously restricted. 

From Lausanne onwards, one can claim that minorities have been commonly perceived as the “symbols of Ottoman dependence to the West”, “abnormal elements endangering the purity of the nation” or “the pre-modern reminiscent of a forgotten past”. Despite the fact that their numbers are insignificant compared to the rest of the population, minorities are commonly seen as a threat to national unity. When a popular or national discourse attributes credibility to the formation of a Greek Pontus state16 in northeastern Turkey, we can claim that the perception of threat has nothing to do with the demographic or statistical evidence, but with a conspiracy mentality. This culture of conspiracy has, at times, influenced almost every institution in Turkey including the judiciary. Non-Muslim minorities were at times subjected to indiscriminate acts in Republican history through the use of sheer and orchestrated violence, and through court decisions or other legal means. To be able to understand how this dynamic has operated in Turkey, it is useful to discuss the nature of the conspiracy mindset. 

The myth that non-Muslim minorities in Turkey are wealthy has played a serious role in shaping fears and the conspiracy mentality. Herkül Millas thinks that the perception on the wealth of minorities hardly reflected the truth, especially after 1923.17 A more left-oriented discourse has even related this perceived wealth of minorities to the “mechanisms of exploitation and imperialism”.18 Rumors about the wealth of minorities resembled the Nazi efforts to create a rich and powerful Jewish image.19 With such wealthy and strong minorities, an ultra-nationalist mentality prone to conspiracy reasoning can feel besieged as a victim. Swinging from this state of self-victimization to the other extreme of full self-confidence is an indication of a dangerous psychology.

It is possible to witness in Turkey the paradoxical profile Bauman presents in relation to nationalism. Being a minority in Turkey involves a sense of recognition and familiarity with this inherent duality in nationalism. While “Citizen! Speak Turkish!” campaigns20point to a policy of assimilation, the Wealth Tax (1942) implemented on non-Muslim minorities, carries tones of discrimination and racism. It is clear that “Turkishness” has signified both citizenship and ethnicity/race interchangeably throughout Republican history.21 

That the manners of non-Muslims are often under the spotlight indicates a suspicion of disloyalty. The fact that the Jewish minority has historically chosen to “stand on the same line” with the state and has never created problems is often celebrated and praised; however, the Jews have already been fantasized as the “other within”. In that case, converting to Islam centuries ago, speaking good Turkish or achieving high levels of integration does not seem to be “convincing” enough. There is nothing to do about being a dönme (converted) possessing Sabbatean roots, being a crypto-Armenian or having a Greek-origin. One cannot stand against “nature”. Successful assimilation is itself a reason for suspicion. The nationalist paradox steps in. Difference as an element of scandal is searched, detected and brought out into the open. The differences that cannot be found in the language, the accent, the religion, the dress-code or in any facet of daily life can be searched for in family trees or names.22 

In April 2007, in the eastern city of Malatya three Christians who were publishing and distributing copies of the New Testament were brutally murdered. It is commonplace that the Christian missionaries in Turkey are the potential targets of a nationalist fury emanating from all sides of the political spectrum. As Guida rightly observes, “missionaries are often seen as part of a Western conspiracy designed to inflame minorities and foment revolution”.23 The label of missionary serves to crystallize a conspiracy against the nation and it is an easy way to de-humanize a person or a group. On April 14, 2007, right before the Malatya murders, a professor addressing a crowd in a meeting in Ankara targeted the AKP government with the following words: 

[Prime Minister Erdoğan] said that minarets were our bayonets. After that, the co-governing with the crusaders has been accepted. Meanwhile, in Iraq no minaret has been left standing… Christian missionary activity has been accelerating. The appetite of those who are trying to turn the Orthodox Patriarchy in Istanbul into a duchy has become inflated.24

Interestingly enough these words did not belong to a radical Islamist activist, but a Kemalist-leftist academic from an organization called the Organization of Atatürkist Thought (Atatürkçü Düşünce Derneği, ADD). For the July 2007 general elections in Turkey, the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP), preferred to run an election campaign that addressed the electorate’s fears and concerns. The AKP was accused by the CHP of “conducting a ‘submissive foreign policy’ with the help of foreign supporters to plot the destruction of the established order in the country”.25 Less than a year later, the indictment for closing the AKP relied heavily on similar conspiracy elements. The AKP was accused of using democracy as an instrument in achieving the ultimate goal of sharia. In accordance with an hidden agenda, as it was claimed by the indictment, the AKP had been acting as “the co-president of the ‘moderate Islam’ ideology that had been designed by the main actors of globalization with a political goal, the Greater Middle East Project”.26 Accordingly, the AKP had been concealing its real aims behind concepts that have nothing to do with “genuine intentions” such as human rights, democracy, freedom of conscience and the right to education.27 The common conspiracy pattern typically implies a single enemy from an external source linking all other smaller and seemingly independent “malicious” elements. 

The conspiracy mentality is behind the recent alarming news that foreigners keep on buying land and investing in estates in Turkey. The rumors of Israeli citizens buying vast amount of lands in the developing GAP28 region particularly involved elements of a conspiracy. It was later revealed that the number of Israeli citizens buying land from the region was virtually non-existent. Fears of a free state of Kurdistan contributed to the construction of an imaginary link connecting the Greater Middle East Project with the discovery of “Jewish Kurds”.29 Similarly, news in the mainstream media about “green capital” or Arabs making investments in Turkey can trigger the perception of a threat to the nation.30 

In late 2008, President Abdullah Gül, who has often been accused of advocating political Islam, was this time was the target of a CHP MP, Canan Arıtman, who made an announcement implying the existence of Armenian elements in Gül’s family. Differing from the past, Arıtman was instantly criticized by politicians, journalists and various NGOs. In 2006, Bayram Meral, an MP from the CHP again, stated his indifference to the problems of non-Muslim minorities by asking “who cares about Agop’s property?”31 By their statements, both Meral and Arıtman “reminded” us what the “normal” was in national standards and who the “favorable citizens” of the nation were. Herkül Millas described how to be a good, morally upright (mazbut) Greek (Rum) in Turkey, that is, in peace with the official ideology constantly advocating the Turkish nationalist cause.32 The question of “what lies behind the concept of equal citizenship in Republican Turkey?” seems still relevant today. The favorable citizen according to Oran can be described as Lahasümüt, that is a secular-Hanefi-Sunni-Muslim-Turk (laik-Hanefi-Sünni-Müslüman-Türk).33 The minority report that was prepared in 2004, on orders from the Prime Minister’s office, stressed the paradoxical use of the term Turkish connoting both citizenship and ethnicity at the same time. Hence, the term Turkish is not only an umbrella term covering all citizens of Turkey referring to nationality, but more so, a term referring to ethnicity, in other words, to the micro identity of the Turks.34 The existence of a sort of “deep Turkishness” can be more than a conspiracy element for a member of a non-Muslim community in Turkey. After all, it was in the news in late 2009 that a non-Muslim citizen came to the brink of being granted a civil servant position for the first time in all Republican history.35 An Armenian citizen born in Istanbul, Leo Süren Halepli, was finally close to receiving a bureaucratic position as an EU expert.36

Property rights in Turkey have been violated numerous times using internal and external security threats as an excuse. In 1936, foundations (vakıf) had to declare their assets and immovable property. A couple of decades later they practically lost by a legal order what they had gained during the post-1936 period. A 1971 decree by the Court of Appeal (Yargıtay) stated that corporate bodies that have been constituted by non-Turks are not allowed to appropriate immovable property. A return to the 1936 status quo was envisaged. Thus, the term Turk (and non-Turk) referred to an ethnic/religious allegiance in that context instead of citizenship. Even after the new EU adaptation package was introduced in 2002, the consent of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was required for the transactions of non-Muslim foundations, different from the others.37 The AKP government enacted a considerable reform by enacting a new Code of Foundations on February 2008 as part of the EU integration process. Foundations gained rights to buy new property, use their property and register their already-owned property.38 However, other serious drawbacks continued to persist and establishing community foundations has been restricted by the Civil Code. Moreover, no new regulation was introduced with regards to returning the confiscated property and compensation.39 Following the 2008 reforms, the current legal status of non-Muslim minorities still constitutes a violation of the Lausanne Treaty, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the constitution.40 The reaction from the non-Muslim communities has already addressed the flaws of the new reform program and expressed further expectations.41

The AKP and Beyond: Towards an Intercultural Vision

It is essential to politically and culturally contextualize the nationalism in Turkey as inherited from the late Ottoman and early Republican era. In this sense, nationalism has been closely connected to state interests and has been a part of the conspiracy mentality cultivating an “annihilation psychosis”.42 Despite the apparent continuity in Republican history, and the early Republican era was a significant phase for the nation-building process in Turkey, today’s reactionary nationalism, which gives credit to conspiracy theories, has more to do with feelings of “isolation”, “frustration” and “resistance”. Accordingly, the AKP, already labeled as a party targeting secularism and the unity of the nation, most of the time seems to be committed to the task of instigating change. At other times, it plays its role as any other political party in Republican Turkey reluctant to address the chronic problems of the country.

The problems of non-Muslim minorities are not entirely independent from those of the Kurds or Alevis, EU integration laws, and the need for a new democratic constitution

Putting aside the bleak picture of the nationalist concerns, fears and conspiracies analyzed above, how could it be possible to establish a perspective that situates minorities within a more liberal social contract in Turkey? For Baskın Oran, what Turkey needs is a more inclusive and extensive democracy to be able to address the issue of minorities.43 The first revolution of the late Ottoman/early Republican period aimed to achieve the transition of the state-society relationship from a subject-oriented understanding to that of a citizen-oriented one. In terms of minority rights and the application of legal practices, it is hard to claim that the citizenship ideal of the first revolution was truly accomplished. Moving forward Oran asserts that a “second revolution” is expected to bring further liberalization replacing the old nation-state with a democratic state.44 

The AKP today half-heartedly claims to take the burden of implementing change in Turkey. In absence of other relevant actors, what could be the best timing and strategy to introduce comprehensive reforms that aim to solve the major problems the country has been faced with? As was discussed above, the conspiracy mentality is inclined to connect each and every incident and player with the grand scenario generally run by a single enemy. From this perspective, Turkey is under the siege of different “traps” (such as the Annan plan for Cyprus or the seduction of EU membership) staged by different “zones of power” (NGOs, human rights activists, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchy or Soros-sponsored foundations), which all constitute the interconnected parts of a solid single enemy focused on dividing the country. Using a similar tool, yet from an opposite mindset, Mahçupyan with a sense of irony uses the phrase tevhid-i mesele,45 which means the unification of problems, to refer to the need to conceive of the problems of today’s Turkey as part of the same democratic agenda in an increasingly influential context of global interdependence.46 Mahçupyan claims that the problems of non-Muslim minorities are not entirely independent from those of the Kurds or Alevis, EU integration laws, and the need for a new democratic constitution. Tevhid-i mesele not only unifies the problems of Turkey into a single source, it also contributes to the process of rapprochement between Turkey and Europe.47 By the Kurdish, Armenian and Alevi openings, and reforms on the status of non-Muslim minorities as well as, the AKP seems to have adopted tevhid-i mesele in its efforts to make a new constitution and as a valid strategy to introduce change. 

Considerable progress has been attained in enacting reforms to improve the legal status of non-Muslim minorities. Although there is resistance from the judiciary and the governorships of Turkey to granting permission to build churches or synagogues, a Protestant church was opened by obtaining legal recognition for the first time in August 2006.48 In 2003 existing churches and synagogues gained “places of worship” status and in 2004 the government abolished the Higher Council of Minorities (Azınlıklar Tali Komisyonu), whose function had been to monitor the activities of non-Muslim minorities for decades.49 In July 2008, through an amendment passed by the parliament, churches and synagogues (as places of worship) were allowed to use electricity and water free of charge, similar to mosques.50 

The demand for change and the need to implement reforms seem to outstrip the AKP’s commitment

Yet, there is sufficient reason to claim the glass is half-empty. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) criticized Turkey and Greece in a report on minorities in both countries.51 Among the long list of headings in the report, the continuing use of “reciprocity” by politicians and state officials as an excuse to freeze potential reform packages was once again highlighted. Today, the so-called principle of reciprocity can hardly support a legitimate argument to be used against rights on equal citizenship and human rights and liberties in general. However, as a rhetorical tool, its popularity does not fade away in time. Recently, it was used by Prime Minister Erdoğan in a reply to the Greek-Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew’s complaint about the status of the Theological School of Halki (Heybeliada) when Erdoğan urged the opening of a mosque in Athens.52 This is the same prime minister who made a speech in the same year that was described by Markar Esayan as “historical”. Erdoğan criticized previous policies and campaigns and asked whether it was right in the past to kick out people of different ethnic backgrounds. “That was the outcome of a fascistic approach” he added.53 Erdoğan made a similar statement when he visited Büyükada last summer and promised to address the specific problems of non-Muslim citizens in Turkey.54 Last year, Hüseyin Çelik, one of the prime minister’s top advisers, stated that the Theological School might be easily opened as part of the Ministry of National Education. The education minister, Nimet Çubukçu, recently expressed her interest in the problems of non-Muslim minorities during an interview for the daily Zaman, stressing the need to implement policies unconditionally and unilaterally:

The era of the Lausanne Treaty was a time when minorities were not accorded many rights; these were conventions defining minimum rights. We cannot base ourselves on a human rights philosophy that still remains within that framework. We are now in the 21st century. We are in an entirely different world. I find it very bizarre that some circles have anxieties about minorities. As I said, I find this very difficult to understand.55

Despite good intentions, though, steps have yet to be taken. Marguiles thinks that the AKP is alone in a position to bring about change, despite its occasional reluctance.56 In a political scene that is crowded with unfulfilled openings and promises, expectation for the performance of the party is high. The question remains: “how fair is it to burden all the historical problems of the Republic on the shoulders of a party which can be categorized as conservative right, has been the target of numerous coup attempts from 2002 onwards, and operates in a political arena where the opposition parties do not seem to be distressed from such attempts lacking the will as well as the vision of change?” Perhaps, it is not fair. However, the demand for change and the need to implement reforms seem to outstrip the AKP’s commitment. There is reason to think support for the AKP within non-Muslim communities is growing57 after the disclosure of conspiracy plans targeting non-Muslims in order to put the blame on the government.58 What if tevhid-i mesele is not a simple recipe for the transformation of political institutions and culture, but also the only way out for the AKP to survive the intense retaliation campaign generated from various military, judicial and bureaucratic ranks? It is becoming more and more debatable whether the AKP is bringing change by itself or if a democratic/civil agenda that derives its legitimacy from a global platform has been dragging the party to a point of no return.

The global definition of “minority” is different from the typology of the Lausanne minority that has been commonly recognized in Turkey

Sami Selçuk emphasizes the need for a liberal approach in the Turkish legal system to diminish the authoritarian tones of the Kemalist heritage.59 A democratic culture based on a more pluralist view of society and polity should be paralleled by a liberal transformation of the judiciary in Turkey. Individual rights and liberties, the primacy of the individual over the state, the recognition of self-responsibility and the acknowledgment of the legitimacy of election results are all related to certain notions of democratic culture that particularly owe their philosophical existence to the legacy of Immanuel Kant and the Scottish Enlightenment. The liberal democratic system has received countless criticisms and seems to be evolving into a more radical framework by expanding the scope of individual liberties as well as acknowledging the integration of cultural rights. Hence, the previous liberal democratic value system is being reinforced and transformed by a new global agenda underlining intercultural dialogue, individual difference and a pluralist vision of society. Given Turkey’s geopolitical proximity to Europe and the West, indifference to global influences and inspirations can no longer be sustained.

The global definition of “minority” is different from the typology of the Lausanne minority that has been commonly recognized in Turkey. Contrastingly, within this new minority category are not only other non-Muslim groups (Chaldeans, Protestants, etc.) but also Kurds or Alevis can be defined as a minority in Turkey based on certain criteria.60 A sociology/anthropology-based standpoint offers us another definition of minority with a wider perspective that is remote from the political/legal framework mentioned above. In this new conceptualization, the practice of being a minority can be associated with sub-cultural formations, marginal allegiances, nomadic identities, gender politics or the actual “feeling” of being a minority member, thus challenging population figures or citizenship status. This concept of a new minority is being discussed in relation to the evolving discourse of “interculturalism”, “diversity” and “cultural rights” as part of the global democratic agenda. In this context, there emerges a possibility to define minorities independently from the restricted parameters of the Lausanne Treaty. Minorities, in accordance with this new discourse, are analyzed in connection with “minority rights”, “resistance against racism and discrimination”, “dialogue with the other”, “empathy”, “cultural hybridity”, “dual-identities” and even “multi-faith legal pluralism”.61 Hence, reform policies that are part of an overall democratic package should be able to address diverse disadvantaged groups in society from non-Muslims, to the Kurds, from the Alevis to the disabled, from the Roma to sexual minorities.

Reform policies that are part of an overall democratic package should be able to address diverse disadvantaged groups in society from non-Muslims, to the Kurds, from the Alevis to the disabled, from the Roma to sexual minorities

The one-party period and the time of Wealth Tax are well behind Turkey. Things have not stayed the same since the minister of Interior Affairs, Meral Akşener, called Abdullah Öcalan “the Armenian seed” without much reaction in 1997. Minorities have gained a significant degree of national visibility during the last decade. Despite their low population figures, there is a group of influential non-Muslims in front of public gaze, from journalists, columnists, critics, academics, to novelists, artists, civil right activists, and even Big Brother winners. Hrant Dink’s recent assassination (on January 19, 2007) and its aftermath is still fresh in minds and hearts, and it has made a huge impact on the collective memory. Though, despite the backlash of vulgar Turkish nationalism, the new generation of minorities carries the potential to resolve conflicts and develop micro-strategies to cope with discrimination in everyday life and find the right discursive moment to assert their difference in an urban context. By doing that, they help to de-naturalize the “national imagination” paradigm. Following the assassination, the non-Muslim communities did not exactly choose to hold a more inward-looking attitude, further cutting ties with the rest of the society, as has been the case in the past. Rather than isolation, minority members seem to reflect indications of civic/political involvement and participate more in the public arena to overcome the siege mentality. Published in Turkish and Armenian, Agos newspaper has gained further visibility and publicity over the years with a shift from defining itself as a community paper to an influential weekly operating on a global scale, aiming to address and transform not only the non-Muslim minorities, but also the entire nation with a democratic mission.

The AKP seems to be the subjective actor and at times is willing to introduce liberal-democratic reforms in parallel with the EU integration process. While doing that, the psychological dimension in implementing reforms in Turkey is a vital aspect. For the first time in Turkish history, a prime minister addressed the Roma in İstanbul and promised to resolve the problems of the community.62 Just two days later, the same prime minister, in a response to present and future worldwide parliamentary decisions concerning using the term “genocide” to describe the events of 1915, implied the existence of an option for the state to deport the 100,000 Armenian citizens illegally residing and working in Turkey.63 This is in line with the outmoded version of reciprocity and represents continuity with the previous state-centric approaches. Above all, the Armenian question seems to be of utmost importance in Turkey for the consolidation of a democratic culture. In this sense, the resolving of that question requires a process of confronting official history and an acknowledgement of what happened in the past. Since it has made a deep impact on the collective identity of the nation, the Armenian question, it seems, is setting the limits of a potential democratic project acting as the ultimate barrier. For the same reason, it is probably the key to other openings and thus should ultimately be addressed by the AKP sooner or later.

All democratic opening projects involve a strong psychological effort requiring the involvement and participation of the other side, be it the Armenians, Kurds or Alevis. Despite making initial attempts and taking the first steps on the route to reform, the AKP has still not convinced the parties involved of its good will and strong commitment. Thus, the psychological barrier has not yet been breached. The need to introduce a comprehensive reform program involving political, constitutional, judicial and bureaucratic facets is becoming more essential. It is plausible to think that reforms in the medium-term will be not only for the benefit of the whole system, but also for the AKP. The commitment to an all-encompassing reform program may be a way out for the party from the resistance stemming from the old institutional structures. It is too early to tell whether the AKP will lead the process by itself or the larger global context will make an impact on national/local affairs and pull the party towards a democratic agenda. The way potential circles of resistance will be absorbed and contained during the process will determine the precise direction and the pace of change in the long run.

The emphasis on difference is of utmost importance in terms of the way in which a democratic culture is adopted and will influence the judiciary, the bureaucracy, the polity, as well as the society. Civil society, accordingly, is based on diversity rather than uniformity, and should be protected by democracy.64 Hence, heterogeneity is an organic, natural characteristic of any society. According to Menderes Çınar, “the Kemalist paradigm… fails to recognize and come to terms with the heterogeneous nature of society”.65 “Instead, by equating unity with sameness,” Çınar continues, “it tries to impose homogeneity on society and politics via the law and thereby fails to actually unite the society”.66 At times, the judiciary in Turkey suffers from an inability to distance itself from the Republican political stance and violates the rule of law. This is a dynamic that seems to be intermittently working against the very foundations of society and fosters a national psychosis and a collective state of paranoia and conspiracy theories.

The apparent incompatibility between the monolithic Turkish identity and the pluralistic composition of society lies at the heart of Turkey’s problem of democracy 

Every segment of society, including the AKP, is not entirely free from this conspiracy mentality that associates minorities with century-old nation-building delusions. It has only been five years since the justice minister, Cemil Çiçek, accused the organizers of an academic conference of “stabbing the nation from behind”.67 The conference was about the Armenian question and Çiçek is the deputy prime minister today. Constitutional and legal reforms are no doubt crucial, yet are not sufficient for the consolidation of a liberal culture that has also to do with perceptions, values, and priorities. The process to consolidate such intercultural vision could take longer than accomplishing legal reforms, enacting new laws and even changing the constitution. A potential reform package should involve extensive measures from updating curriculums and textbooks to legally defining and criminalizing hate crimes in the media as well as in every segment of society.68 Introducing such a package may have astounding effects transforming the country’s democratic profile as well as the AKP itself. Non-Muslim minorities and their problems are indicators for the objective of Turkey’s further democratization. Thus, according to Kadıoğlu, the democratization of citizenship has to do with a process of denationalization, that is the transformation of the national from within.69 There is a need to “envision citizenship in Turkey as a notion that does not necessarily involve loyalty to the nation,” says Kadıoğlu, by “reconceptualizing citizenship in the language of rights”.70 The age-old institutions and mentalities are waging a precarious existence and are confronted with the challenge of transformation from all spheres of influence: global, national and local. The need for change is ever eminent in Republican history. In Mahçupyan’s words, “the reality of today’s Turkey supersedes Turkish identity”.71 The apparent incompatibility between the monolithic Turkish identity and the pluralistic composition of society lies at the heart of Turkey’s problem of democracy.




  1. Zygmunt Bauman, Thinking Sociologically (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), p. 57.
  2. Translated by Kerem Karaosmanoğlu. Rıfat N. Bali, “ ‘Önce Türküm, Sonra Belki Yahudi’: Yahudilerin Türk Milliyetçiliği”, Birikim, Sayı 102 (Ekim, 1997), p. 47.
  3. The French/German type nation-state building or Eastern/Western style nationalisms are major ideal types in the literature. French-style nation-building refers to “citizenship”, “nationality” and the homogenizing political influence of the state whereas the German type is based on “ethnicity”, “blood ties” and cultural homogeneity. In the former, the state searches for or forms its nation while in the latter there is a nation searching for its state. In the former the state aims to provide national unity and “sameness” by education while in the latter one is already born in the nation as a “natural” part of it. Minority cultures can be exposed to nation-state violence and melt into the majority as a result of assimilation. The association of minority members with the nation-state without repression is called integration. See Semra Somersan, Sosyal Bilimlerde Etnisite ve Irk (İstanbul, İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, 2004), p. 203-7 and Hans Kohn, “Western and Eastern Nationalisms” in John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith (eds.), Nationalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 162-164.
  4. Zygmunt Bauman, Thinking Sociologically (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), pp. 195-6.
  5. Bauman, Thinking Sociologically, p.175.
  6. Bauman, Thinking Sociologically, pp.176-7.
  7. Herkül Millas, “Vatandaşlık ve ‘Öteki’ ” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlik ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2006), pp. 57-8.
  8. Mihail Vasiliadis, “Türkiye’de Dün, Bugün, Yarın Rum (?) Olmak” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlik ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2006), p. 52.
  9. Eric J. Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History (London: I.B.Tauris, 1997), p. 208.
  10. Ayhan Aktar, Varlık Vergisi ve Türkleştirme Politikaları (İstanbul: İletişim, 2000), pp. 149-51.
  11. Yahya Koçoğlu, Azınlık Gençleri Anlatıyor (İstanbul: Siyah-Beyaz Metis, 2001), p. 228.
  12. Andrew Mango, The Turks Today (London: John Murray, 2004), p. 50.
  13. Tessie Hoffmann, “Armenians in Turkey”, The EU Office of Armenian Associations of Europe (Brussels, 2002), p. 18.
  14. Dilek Güven, “Çok Partili Dönem: 6-7 Eylül Olayları” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlik ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2006), p. 39.
  15. Koçoğlu, Azınlık Gençleri Anlatıyor, p. 232.
  16. Necdet Sevinç, Pontus’ta Hesaplaşma (Ankara: Bilgi, 2007).
  17. Herkül Millas, “Vatandaşlık ve ‘Öteki’ ” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlik ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2006), pp. 60-1.
  18. Millas, “Vatandaşlık ve ‘Öteki’ ” in Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demok-rasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, p. 61.
  19. The assumption that the Jews, in fact, rule the world is still popular among neo-Nazi groups. The Jews are accordingly portrayed as oscillating between a “sub-human” and a “super-human” image. This psychological state, moving to and fro between subversion and domination, enable the image of the enemy to look either ultra-strong or ultra-weak. 
  20. During the 1926-27 period, the Jews, who, at the time mostly spoke Turkish, were exposed to a nationwide campaign called “Citizen, Speak Turkish!” (Vatandaş, Türkçe Konuş!). The campaign aimed to assimilate the ‘non-Turkish’ elements within the official Turkish identity. Accordingly, non-Muslim citizens were expected to speak in Turkish in public places. The campaign was later revitalized during the 1960s this time against the Greeks of Istanbul, in response to the problems arising in Cyprus.
  21. Mustafa Çapar, “Tek Parti Dönemi: Milli Eğitim, Milli Dil ve Türkleştirme Politikaları” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlik ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2006), p. 88.
  22. Yalçın Küçük, İsimlerin İbranileştirilmesi: Tekelistan-1, Türk-Yahudi İsimleri Sözlüğü (İstanbul: Salyangoz, 2006); Soner Yalçın, Efendi: Beyaz Türklerin Büyük Sırrı (İstanbul: Doğan, 2004).
  23. Michelangelo Guida, “The Sevres Syndrome and ‘Komplo’ Theories in the Islamist and Secular Press”, Turkish Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, (March, 2008), p. 40.
  24. Nilüfer Zengin, “Life Sentences Demanded for Malatya Murders”, Bianews Agency, retrieved October 17, 2007, from .
  25. Guida, “The Sevres Syndrome and ‘Komplo’ Theories in the Islamist and Secular Press”, p. 37.
  26. The Greater Middle East Project is a foreign policy initiative of the Bush administration that intended to conceive a geographically wider Middle East to encompass Afghanistan and Pakistan. The term was first openly used by the US Secretary of Defense Condoleezza Rice in 2005. The initiative was to aim at bringing democratic and US-friendly governments to the region in the short-term. The Greater Middle East Project, however, has little value and credibility today as a result of continuing political instability and violence in Palestine, Afghanistan and especially in Iraq.
  27. Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya, “Yargıtay Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı: İddianame”, retrieved 2008, from
  28. Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi (GAP), Southeastern Anatolian Project.
  29. Can Dündar, “En Fazla Yunanlar Aldı”, Milliyet, July 10, 2006.
  30. Millas, “Vatandaşlık ve ‘Öteki’ ” in Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, pp. 57-8.
  31. Agop is a common Armenian name, this time used as a derogatory term stereotyping the Armenian community. Niyazi Öktem, “Velev ki Ermeni Olsun”, Star, December 22, 2008.
  32. Herkül Millas, “Mazbut Rum Nasıl olunur?”, Zaman, January 5, 2010.
  33. Baskın Oran, Solun Bağımsız Sesi (İstanbul: Roll Kitapları, 2007), p. 40.
  34. Oran, Solun Bağımsız Sesi, p. 121.
  35. Including all military and bureaucratic ranks, excluding academic positions in state universities.
  36. Sefa Kaplan, “Devlette Görev Alacak İlk Ermeni”, Hürriyet, December 1, 2009.
  37. Baskın Oran, “Açılış Konuşması” ve “Osmanlı’dan Cumhuriyet’e Mülkiyet Politikaları ve Gayrimüslimler ve 1936 Beyannamesi” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım(İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2006), p. 27.
  38. Dilek Kurban and Kezban Hatemi, Bir Yabancılaştırma Hikayesi: Türkiye’de Gayrimüslim Cemaatlerin Vakıf ve Taşınmaz Mülkiyet Sorunu (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2009), p. 9.
  39. Dilek Kurban and Kezban Hatemi, Bir Yabancılaştırma Hikayesi: Türkiye’de Gayrimüslim Cemaatlerin Vakıf ve Taşınmaz Mülkiyet Sorunu, p. 34.
  40. Dilek Kurban and Kezban Hatemi, Bir Yabancılaştırma Hikayesi: Türkiye’de Gayrimüslim Cemaatlerin Vakıf ve Taşınmaz Mülkiyet Sorunu, p. 35. See also Baskın Oran, “Mallar Tescil Edilmiyor”, Radikal, February 7, 2008.
  41. Ferda Balancar, “Vakıflar Kanunu’na Gayrimüslim Cemaatlerden Beş İtiraz”, Medyakronik, retrieved February 27, 2008, from
  42. Taner Akçam, From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide (London: Zed, 2004), p. 54.
  43. Oran, “Açılış Konuşması” in Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, p. 12.
  44. Oran, “Açılış Konuşması” in Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, pp. 12-3.
  45. There is a reference by Mahçupyan to the early Republican policy of tevhid-i tedrisat that centralized and standardized all institutions of education in Turkey.
  46. Etyen Mahçupyan, “Kapanış ve Değerlendirme Konuşması” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, p. 153.
  47. Mahçupyan, “Kapanış ve Değerlendirme Konuşması” in Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, pp. 153-4.
  48. Tebernüş Kireççi, “Türk Kilisesi Açıldı”, Milliyet, August 31, 2006.
  49. B. Ali Soner, “The Justice and Development Party’s Policies Towards Non-muslim Minorities in Turkey”, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Vol.12, No.1 (March, 2010), p. 29.
  50. “Meclis genel kurulunda yasada değişiklik yapıldı: Artık sadece camiler değil, kilise ve havralar da elektrik parasından muaf olabilir”, Nethaber, retrieved July 10, 2008, from Mosques, churches and synagogues were already categorized as “places of worship” by a 2003 amendment.
  51. “Avrupa Konseyi’nden Türkiye ve Yunanistan’a Azınlık Ödevleri”, Bianet, retrieved January 28, 2010, from
  52. “Ben Okul Diyorum Başbakan Cami”, Habertürk, December 19, 2009.
  53. Markar Esayan, “Erdoğan’ın ‘Tarihi’ Konuşmasına Güzelleme”, Taraf, May 25, 2009 and Roni Marguiles, “Faşizan Bir Yaklaşım”, Taraf, June 3, 2009.
  54. Markar Esayan, “Aram Tigran, Dink, Norşen ve İçimizdeki O Yüzde Yirmibeş”, Taraf, August 17, 2009.
  55. Nimet Çubukçu, “Anxieties Over Minorities Must Be Eliminated”, Agos, retrieved February 21, 2010, from
  56. Roni Marguiles, “AKP Tek Kale Oynuyor!”, Taraf, November 25, 2009 and “Cumhurbaşkanı Olamayacağım Galiba!”, Taraf, April 29, 2009.
  57. A poll conducted by Nor Zartonk found that although minimal compared to national figures, support for AKP is growing. However, the poll was conducted before the 2007 elections. In addition, the sampling method (snowball) and the relatively small size of the sample (459 people) are significant flaws in methodology. See Ferhat Kentel, “ ‘Türkiye’de Azınlık Olmak’ Araştırması ve ‘Kendi’ Üzerine Düşünmek”, Agos, December 18, 2007. See also Tülay Sağlam, “Ermeni Cemaati AK Parti’ye Eğilimli”, NTVMSNBC, retrieved June 11, 2007, from and Yigal Schleifer, “Turkey: Religious Minorities Watch Closely as Election Day Approaches”, Eurasianet, retrieved July 19, 2007, from , taken from B. Ali Soner, “The Justice and Development Party’s Policies Towards Non-Muslim Minorities in Turkey”, p. 28. It is hard to predict a similar increase for the Jewish community bearing in mind Erdoğan’s performance in Davos and the souring of Turkish-Israeli relations.
  58. “Suikast, Bombalama ve Kara Propaganda”, Taraf, November 19, 2009.
  59. Sami Selçuk, “Açılış Konuşması” in Derya Demirler ve Mert Kayhan (eds.), Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2006), pp. 15-22.
  60. Five criteria are determined by Francesco Caporti, the former special rapporteur of the UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minority Rights. First, an element of difference based on ethnic, religious or cultural characteristics is required. Second, population size is a determinant factor for minority status. Third, the minority group does not preserve a powerful dominance over the rest of society (such as the white population during the apartheid regime in South Africa). Fourth, the minority member is a citizen rather than merely a migrant, a foreigner or an immigrant. Finally, for a person to be regarded as part of a minority, a sense of self-consciousness related to difference is necessary. “Proposal for a European Convention for the Protection of Minorities”, 1991, pp. 270-3, taken from Erol Kurubaş, Asimilasyondan Tanınmaya: Uluslararası Alanda Azınlık Sorunları ve Avrupa Yaklaşımı (Ankara: Asil, 2004), pp. 16-9. 
  61. See Seyla Benhabib, Ötekilerin Hakları: Yabancılar, Yerliler, Vatandaşlar (İstanbul: İletişim, 2006), pp. 179-219; Bhikhu Parekh, Çokkültürlülüğü Yeniden Düşünmek: Kültürel Çeşitlilik ve Siyasi Teori (Ankara: Phoenix, 2002), pp. 427-37; Ali Bulaç, “Medine Vesikası ve Yeni Toplum Projesi” in Yasin Aktay (ed.) Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce: İslamcılık, Cilt 6 (İstanbul: İletişim, 2004); William E. Connolly, Kimlik ve Farklılık: Siyasetin Açmazlarına Dair Demokratik Çözüm Önerileri (İstanbul: Ayrıntı, 1995), pp. 92-129; Naz Çavuşoğlu, Azınlık Hakları: Uluslararası İnsan Hakları Hukukunda (İstanbul: Su Yayınevi, 2001); Ayhan Kaya and Turgut Tarhanlı (eds.), Türkiye’de Çoğunluk ve Azınlık Politikaları (İstanbul: TESEV Yayınları, 2005); Will Kymlica, Çokkültürlü Yurttaşlık: Azınlık Haklarının Liberal Teorisi (İstanbul: Ayrıntı, 1998); pp. 172-233, Baskın Oran, Türkiye’de Azınlıklar (İstanbul: İletişim, 2004).
  62. “Erdoğan Romanlara Seslendi”, Habertürk, retrieved March 14, 2010, from .
  63. “100 Bin Ermeni Göçmeni Sınırdışı Edebiliriz”, BBC Türkçe, retrieved March 16, 2010, from .
  64. Sami Selçuk, “Açılış Konuşması” in Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, p. 17.
  65. Menderes Çınar, “The Justice and Development Party and the Kemalist Establishment” in Ümit Cizre (ed.), Secular and Islamic Politics in Turkey: The Making of the Justice and Development Party (Milton Park: Routledge, 2008), p. 120.
  66. Çınar, “The Justice and Development Party and the Kemalist Establishment” in Ümit Cizre (ed.), Secular and Islamic Politics in Turkey: The Making of the Justice and Development Party, p. 120.
  67. “Ermeni Konferansı Ertelendi”, Milliyet, May 25, 2005.
  68. See Soner, “The Justice and Development Party’s Policies Towards Non-muslim Minorities in Turkey”, p. 40 and Ufuk Coşkun, “Nefret Suçları ve Eğitimin Rolü”, Taraf, March 16, 2010.
  69. Ayşe Kadıoğlu, “Denationalization of Citizenship?: The Turkish Experience”, Citizenship Studies, Vol.11, No. 3, (July, 2007), p. 283, p. 295.
  70. Kadıoğlu, “Denationalization of Citizenship?: The Turkish Experience”, p. 295.
  71. Mahçupyan, “Kapanış ve Değerlendirme Konuşması” in Türkiye’de Azınlık Hakları Sorunu: Vatandaşlık ve Demokrasi Eksenli Bir Yaklaşım, p. 156.

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