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OSCE Intervention About Turkish Discrimination Of Non Muslim Minorities :: Liberties Alliance

OSCE Intervention About Turkish Discrimination Of Non Muslim Minorities

By • on October 3, 2013

The delegation to the OSCE from the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) as well as the delegations of its allies seemed to excite a great deal of attention from the delegation representing the Republic of Turkey.  This seemed to result from our insistence on a proper definition of Islamophobia that did not stigmatise those who had concerns about sharia.  While focused on its efforts to combat what it refers to as Islamophobia (whatever that actually means, as no precise politically neutral definition of the term was ever provided during our time at the OSCE meeting) judging from what the Constantinopolitan Society had to say the Republic of Turkey needs to get its own house in order with regard to religious persecution by the Turkish state itself.

In its paper the Constantinopolitan Society states:

“Non-Muslim Minorities in Turkey have suffered in the past numerous injustices, as a result of discriminatory and oppressive state policies.  With regard to the Greek minority in particular these policies have led to the dramatic decline of the Greek population of Turkey, from over 100,000 in the 1950’s to less than 2,500 at present.

The Turkish government continues to impose significant restrictions and serious limitations on human rights and freedom of religion or belief, thereby threatening the sustainable vitality, survival and future of the Greek minority in Turkey.  It continues to encounter problems with access to education and property rights, including on the islands of Gökçeada (Imvros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos).”

One can only speculate as to why the Republic of Turkey does not want a proper definition of ‘Islamophobia’.  Could it be that it would like to see a world where non-Muslims are treated in a similar way globally as they are treated in Turkey itself?

The following video shows a statement by the Constantinopolitan Society at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meeting in Warsaw.

The paper that relates to this statement can be found at the OSCE website.