The Ethnic Minority Policy of Turkey
This article is an overview of the state stance and attitude towards minorities throughout history of the republic of Turkey. It represents the official approach of the republic towards ethnic and religious groups. Though due to actions of the Ottoman Empire, the number of non-Turks in the republic of Turkey already was incomparably small, however their existence could not be ignored. Still Turkey recognizes only three minorities (Greeks, Armenians, and Jews) and for decades adopted the strategy of regarding all minority persons other than Greeks, Armenians, and Jews as Turks. Ethnic variety was considered a threat to territorial integrity of Turkey. Every action was directed to create a unitary nation-state suppressing ethnic identities of non-Turks. In this article state policy towards ethnic groups in the republic of Turkey is examined from the perspective of the Lausanne Treaty provisions and legislative regulations regarding the status and rights of minorities showing to what extent authorities have followed them and rising the controversial points minority representatives face in exercising their rights.