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“Unity in diversity”: ethnic/cultural diversity in turkey and the European union

Ayhan KAYA

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1Will Kymlicka rightfully points out that there are two ways in which minority claims have been assessed by the state: either as a national security challenge, or as a quest of justice and fairness. The former is more visible in undemocratic regimes, while the latter in democratic ones. This article aims to display a general account of the ways in which ethnic minorities have been assessed by the modern Turkish state. The main premise of the work is that the Turkish state has become more democratic in assessing the claims by ethnic minorities since the European Union Helsinki Summit, in which Turkey was given an EU perspective. In the post-Helsinki period the state has relatively given up the exclusionist nationalist policies, and has become more inclusive towards ethnic and religious groups. Helsinki Summit essentially refers to the acknowledgment of the notion of “diversity as an ideology”.

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Ayhan KAYA, « “Unity in diversity”: ethnic/cultural diversity in turkey and the European union », Cahiers d’études sur la Méditerranée orientale et le monde turco-iranien [En ligne], 36 | 2003, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2005, consulté le 26 novembre 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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