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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

Abstract

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: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:39339

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Citations

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