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Unveiling Discrimination: Minorities in Türkiye

29 April 2024

This report provides a summary of key legislation in Türkiye and identifies systemic discrimination both in the drafting of law and its implementation (or lack thereof). The report covers important minority rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief, the right to political affiliation and representation, and right to language.

The report argues that discrimination against minorities in Türkiye is a structural problem grounded on historical and current forms of Turkish nationalism. Turkish nationalism, the author maintains, negatively affects minorities across several rights, and is in turn exacerbated by intersectional forms of discrimination. Insights into the nature of systemic discrimination in Türkiye include limited legal protection and gaps between legislation and enforcement as well as ineffective institutional mechanisms.

Offering a general account of structural discrimination faced by a number of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities in Türkiye, this report also outlines a series of important recommendations to government, international organisations and civil society. Finally, the author outlines the impact of recent earthquake disasters on minority communities in Türkiye. Highlighting the discriminatory attitudes and practices faced by minorities during the most recent earthquake in February 2023, the author argues that disaster management policy in Türkiye exacerbates vulnerability among Roma communities and LGBTQI+ persons especially.

This content was published in the context of the programme ‘Strengthening the capacity of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in Türkiye’ (MARC). Learn more >

This content represents the views of Minority Rights Group only and is its sole responsibility. The European Union does not accept any responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.

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Elçin Aktoprak

Independent scholar