Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The development of minority education at the south-easternmost corner of the EU: the case of Muslim Turks in\ud Western Thrace, Greece

By Ali Huseyinoglu


This study focuses on the Muslim Turkish minority in Greece and the\ud development of its educational rights. It starts with the 1923 Lausanne Treaty that\ud established the minorityhood of the Muslim ummah for the former Ottoman territory\ud and explores various aspects of Minority education between then and the end of the\ud 2000s.\ud \ud While doing so, it treats these rights as individual rights with a collective aspect;\ud some of the individual rights of minorities can only be enjoyed together with others.\ud Also, it draws a direct correlation between the Minority’s education and its rights. That\ud is, in the case that the education level of the Minority was high, there was less\ud discrimination against members of the Minority, since they had the linguistic skills,\ud educational background and self-confidence to fight against violations of their rights by\ud the host country, Greece. Also, it emphasizes the involvement of external actors in the\ud development of Minority education in Western Thrace.\ud \ud Concerning the development of Minority education, this study argues that\ud minorities’ rights are not only ‘given’ by host states but also ‘claimed’ by members of\ud minorities through various struggles at the local, national and international level. Also,\ud as well as the Minority and the Greek state, various external agents, such as Turkey and\ud the European Union, are also involved in the struggle between the Minority and the\ud Greek state over the former’s education. The impact of these agents on the survival of\ud the Minority’s educational rights was immense, particularly from the 1980s onwards. It\ud was primarily the inclusion of these external actors that pushed Greece to change its\ud discriminatory policy against the Minority in 1991.\ud \ud This study demonstrates that a number of the individual rights emanating from\ud the Minority’s Greek citizenship have only been recognized since 1991. Nonetheless, I\ud conclude that in spite of some improvements, the Minority’s difficulties in the realm of\ud rights with collective aspects, such as education of Minority students in a bilingual\ud environment, persist

Topics: DF701, LC0213
Year: 2012
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. 15.1.1930, ‘Report of Stilianopoulos about his Visit to Western Thrace’, [Inspector for Minorities to Greek Prime Minister].
  2. (1959). 2-2320,17.4.1959, ‘Muslim Population in Thrace’,
  3. 4489, 1.12.1947, ‘Position of Western Thrace Turks’, [The Embassy of Greece in Ankara].
  4. (2001). 7.7.1923, ‘Statistical Information about Muslims of Western Thrace’, [From the GATH to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs],
  5. AEB files also available online at [accessed on 1.12.2009].
  6. (1929). F.053/34-35, 12.7.1929, ‘Report about the Muslim Minority - Part B, [Inspector for Minorities to Greek Prime Minister].
  7. F.058/46, 16.10.1930, ‘Note of K. Sakellopoulos to E. Venizelos about the Greek Minority in Turkey and the Turkish Minority in Greece’, [Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Head of the Government].
  8. (1930). F.058/47, ‘Comparative Analysis about Application of the Lausanne Treaty’s Section on
  9. (1992). F.058A47/14.2.1992, ‘Dış Basında Batı Trakya Olayları 1&2 [Incidents of Western Thrace Covered by Foreign Press Volume 1&2].
  10. F.2-2408-2415, 01.01.1959-31.12.1959, ‘Governmental Measures for the Muslims of Thrace’,
  11. F.3/283-286, 7.7.1959, ‘Issues of Minorities-Conversations between Bitsios and Kuneralp, the Greek and Turkish Ministers of Foreign Affairs’.
  12. (1950). F.52.3/1, 25.4.1947, ‘The Situation of Turkish textbooks from Turkey’, [The Inspector of Muslim Schools].
  13. (1957). F.6-363, 9.9.1957, ‘Regarding the Greek MFA’s Quest about Turkey’s Protest of Developments against the Minority’.
  14. (1925). FO.F371/117661-1081, Collection of Advisory Opinions.
  15. (1952). Letter of Şükrü Rodoplu, a Turkish Minority student in Ankara University, to Celal Bayar,
  16. (1921). Map of Western Thrace.
  17. Memorandum: Demands of Greek and Turkish Teachers of Turkish Schools of Thrace’, [Union of Turkish Teachers in Western Thrace and Union of Greek Teachers of Muslim ᅠ ᅠ ᅠ ᅠ ᅠ ᅠ ᅠ
  18. No.274, ‘Letter of Muslim Leaders of Thrace to the GATH rejecting the instruction of Turkish courses at Muslim Schools with the Latin Script’, [Mufti of Komotini, Mufti of Xanthi, Mufti of Evros to the GATH].
  19. (1923). Parliamentary Question from the MP of Aydin about the necessity of urgent measures against Greek atrocities in Western Thrace’,
  20. Primary Sources 1. Archival Sources AEB 138 (1928). F.053/56, 30.9.1928, ‘Report about the Muslim Minority - Part A, [Inspector for Minorities to Greek Prime Minister].
  21. (1952). Report about Muslims Living in Greece’, [General Directorate of Foreigners- Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs],
  22. The Greek Official Gazettes (FEK)
  23. Thrace to the Head of Greek Government, Head of the Parliament and others

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.