chapter  5
20 Pages

Greek and Turkish reciprocal minorities

A silenced dispute at the border zone of democracy
WithMeriç Özgüneş, Konstantinos Tsitselikis

This chapter discusses the position of the reciprocal minorities in Greece and Turkey which are placed at the border zone of democratic development. Democracy and human rights are marked by the ways minorities are treated, given that pluralism as a basis for democracy has as a key indicator the treatment of those who are in one way or another excluded from the majority. The chapter reviews forces of democratization in a critical manner, namely the European rights framework, to the degree that they were able to influence minority policies in both countries. In Greece and Turkey, minority protection coexists with individual rights stemming from citizenship. Among the domains of protection, the community foundations became of major importance, as their immovable properties were able to sustain religious, charitable, social, medical, and educational institutions that are vital for the survival and continuity of minority identities.