Treatment of Minorities in Turkey

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Treatment of Minorities in Turkey Problems with format Turkey, a relatively new nation, is not new to internal conflict and the oppression of minorities. Wedged between Europe and the Middle East, the area occupied by Turkey has long served as a crossroads between these areas, and, as a result, Turkey's majority Islamic Arab populace is smattered with significant pockets of minorities. These religious and ethnic minorities have been the source of much controversy in Turkey, but now change appears to be on the horizon. As Turkey seeks the approval of the European Union, it has begun to implement impressive humanitarian reforms that should drastically improve the plight of the minorities that call the nation home. Undoing a Bitter History of Hate Turkey has been under the control of a self-pronounced secular administration for decades, and, ironically, progressive reform has only now become a reality as the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) has assumed control of the government.[i] Thus far, the military establishment and existing political bureaucracy have been resistant to the AKP?s efforts to fully incorporate minority groups into mainstream society. Pointing to previous minority insurrections, military leaders are fearful that the new provisions will only serve to weaken the government's authority over the minority groups and to promote another wave of minority uprisings.[ii]? But, the possibility of membership to the European Union (EU) in 2004? has provided the AKP with adequate incentive to move forward with the reforms. EU membership does not currently include any majority Muslim nations. If Turkey were to be admitted next year, it would be first of its kind to do so. Therefore, Turkish officials hav... ... middle of paper ... Istanbul after synagogue blast,? The Independent (London), sec. News, November 17, 2003, LexisNexis Academic, December 12, 2003, p.4. [xviii] ibid, p.4. [xix] ibid, p.4. [xx] ibid, p.4. [xxi] Fiachra Gibbons, ?Comment & Analysis: The attack on Istanbul Jews is an attack on hope itself: The synagogue bombing threatens 1,300 years of tolerance,? The Guardian, November 17, 2003, LexisNexis Academic, December 19, 2003, p.20. [xxii] Geir Moulson, ?Erdogan challenges EU to admit Turkey, drop ?Christian club? image,? Associated Press Worldstream, sec. International News, September 3, 2003, LexisNexis Academic, December 19, 2003. [xxiii] ?At Last, Turkish Kurds,? p.14. [xxiv] ?Turkey still represses Kurds, despite EU-oriented reforms: rights group,? Agence France Presse, sec. International News, July 30, 2003, LexisNexis Academic, December 12, 2003.
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