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How Deep a Transformation?

Europeanization of Greek and Turkish Minority Policies

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image of International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

The article examines the Europeanization of Greece and Turkey's policies towards their respective Turkish/Muslim and Greek/Orthodox minorities. It begins with a comparative survey of nation-building processes in both countries. It shows that as bilateral tensions rose, minorities' rights as citizens were increasingly compromised by the perception that minorities were agents of their kin-states. Greek accession to the European Economic Community in 1981 catalyzed a slow process of internationalization of European norms of minority protection among policymakers, though pockets of resistance persist to this day. Turkey, meanwhile, became a candidate for membership in December 1999. The carrot-and-stick incentive structure of the accession process led to a rapid succession of taboo-shattering reforms, catalyzing a partial transformation of minority policies. By 2007, however, an altered calculus of domestic and international forces impeded the implementation of reform and consequently the transformation of minority treatment.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science and International Relations, Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey; 2: Faculty of History and Political Science, Panteion University, Athens, Greece


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