GuNAL – Why does Turkey see minorities as a threat?

Why does Turkey see minorities as a threat?From time to time, we discuss the situation of minorities living in Turkey. A minority group is a sociological category within a demographic majority.

The term refers to a category that is differentiated and defined by the social majority who hold the social power in a society. The differentiation can be based on one or more characteristics like ethnicity, race, gender, wealth, health or sexual orientation.

The Treaty of Lausanne is the peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 24, 1923, and that officially concluded the war between Turkey and the allied Kingdom of Greece, the French Republic, the Empire of Japan, the British Empire, the Kingdom of Romania and the Serb-Croat-Slovene State and the Kingdom of Italy. In the Treaty of Lausanne, it is understood that non-Muslim Turkish citizens will enjoy minority rights.

Although it is the accepted belief in Turkey, there is no wording in the Treaty of Lausanne stating that these minority groups are solely Greek, Jewish and Armenian. It is quite a andldquonarrow definitionandrdquo to say that all non-Muslim groups living in Turkey fall into these three groups, as it excludes many groups, like Assyrians, for example.

After pogroms in 1934 against Jews in Thrace, after a wealth tax in 1942 for Greeks, Jews and Armenians, after vandalism in Istanbul against all minorities on Sept. 6-7, 1955, there were only a few thousand families left in Turkey which are deemed minorities.

It is so pathetic that Turkish policyand#39s perception of minorities was always security-based. According to this perception, minorities are a Trojan horse inside Turkish society and have the potential to become a clear and present danger to ordinary Turks.

And yet, at the same time, in Turkish culture Muslims and non-Muslims got along with each other for centuries. This cultural heritage is full of stories of friendship from all sides.

In my opinion, it is pathetic that a few thousand members of minorities among 77 million can be seen as a security threat. I really cannot understand how these people can attack or pose a danger to the vast majority of the Turkish population.

The only explanation is that our previous administrators were blind or lacked the courage to see that Turkey would be stronger if its minorities were truly integrated. If only we had an administrator who could envision this brighter future.

Today, we still have problems about the legal status of the ecumenical patriarchate of Istanbul because of this hypocritical pathetic view. It is very humiliating to see that the ecumenical patriarchate that is recognized as the first among equals — primus inter pares — is subordinated to the Eyup District Governorand#39s Office (Eyup KaymakamlIII) and not free of the state.

I believe that there is another way to approach minority issues: If Turkey changes this at least 150-year-old, Union and Progress-copyrighted perception policy towards minorities and replaces it with a science and commerce-based one, it will be much more beneficial for all sides and we will have a brighter outlook for the future. Only after this can we have peace at home and expect peace in the world.

Furthermore, it will influence foreign policy, and then we can expect zero problems with neighbors instead of neighbors with problems.Brilliant Russian writer Ayn Rand says, andldquoIndividual rights are not subject to a public vote a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).

andrdquo Will we see them as andldquoour valuesandrdquo one day.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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