© 2017

Religious Minorities in Turkey

Alevi, Armenians, and Syriacs and the Struggle to Desecuritize Religious Freedom


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Mehmet Bardakci, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Christoph Giesel, Olaf Leisse
    Pages 1-24
  3. Mehmet Bardakci, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Christoph Giesel, Olaf Leisse
    Pages 25-53
  4. Mehmet Bardakci, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Christoph Giesel, Olaf Leisse
    Pages 55-96
  5. Mehmet Bardakci, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Christoph Giesel, Olaf Leisse
    Pages 97-131
  6. Mehmet Bardakci, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Christoph Giesel, Olaf Leisse
    Pages 193-230
  7. Mehmet Bardakci, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Christoph Giesel, Olaf Leisse
    Pages 231-238
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 239-275

About this book


This book considers the key issue of Turkey’s treatment of minorities in relation to its complex paths of both European integration and domestic and international reorientation. The expectations of Turkey’s EU and other international counterparts, as well as important domestic demands, have pushed Turkey to broaden the rights of religious and other minorities. More recently a turn towards autocratic government is rolling back some earlier achievements. This book shows how broader processes affect the lives of three important religious groups in Turkey: the Alevi as a large Muslim community and the non-Muslim communities of Armenians and Assyrians. Drawing on a wealth of original data and extensive fieldwork, the authors compare and explain improvements, set-backs, and lingering concerns for Turkey’s religious minorities and identify important challenges for Turkey’s future democratic development and European path. The book will appeal to students and scholars in the fields of minority politics, contemporary Turkish politics, and religion and politics.


freedom liberty religion and politics Turkey EU membership Helsinki summit European integration securitization of minority rights minority groups religious persecution

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and International RelationsYeni Yüzyil UniversityİstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.University of AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Slavonic and Caucasian StudiesFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  4. 4.University of JenaJenaGermany

About the authors

Mehmet Bardakçı is Assistant Professor in Political Science and International Relations at Yeni Yüzyıl University, Istanbul, Turkey. He obtained a BA in International Relations from Bilkent University in 1994 and a PhD in Political Science from Duisburg-Essen University in 2007. His work spans Turkish politics and foreign policy, Euroscepticism, Europeanization, democratization, minority rights, and civil-military relations.

Annette Freyberg-Inan is Lecturer in International and European Politics at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and affiliated with the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. She has published widely in her fields, chairs the Theory Section of the International Studies Association, and just completed a term as co-editor of the Journal of International Relations and Development.

Christoph Giesel is Post-Doctoral Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute of Slavistics and Caucasus Studies at the Jena University, Germany. His main research interests are in manifestations of nationalism, ethnicity, religion and minorities and in structures and dynamics of political and social organization with a special focus on the Balkans, Anatolia, Caucasus, Middle East and North Africa.

Olaf Leisse is Professor of European Studies at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. He has published widely about South East Europe and Turkey. His special interest is in Europeanization processes in EU Accession States, as well as the current disintegration process.


Bibliographic information


“This is a timely book looking at the complex issues of religious minorities and their security problems in Turkey. It provides a much needed analysis in an area previously understudied and addresses a gap in the literature.” (Professor Meltem Müftüler-Baç, Sabancı University, Turkey)

“Turkey has made temporary, partial political and social progress which has made life a little easier for minorities, before taking alarming steps backwards recently. This book will be able to contribute to a better understanding of the social and political prospects of the country and gives scientific insights into the difficult situation of religious minorities.” (Professor Thede Kahl, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany)