Teaching in and Studying Minority Languages in Turkey: A Brief Overview of Current Issues and Minority Schools

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Author: Nurcan Kaya
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Turkey is a nation–state built on remnants of the Ottoman Empire where non-Muslim minorities were guaranteed the right to set up educational institutions; however, since its establishment, it has officially recognised only Armenians, Greeks and Jews as minorities and guaranteed them the right to manage educational institutions as enshrined in the Treaty of Lausanne. However, they have faced bureaucratic restrictions and discriminatory practises. Turkey’s EU accession triggered developments toward democratisation, including in minority rights. Private language teaching courses teach ‘traditionally used languages’, elective language courses have been introduced in public schools and universities are allowed to teach minority languages. However, there is still a long way to reach EU standards. This article assesses existing legal frameworks in regard to the teaching in and studying of minority languages and their implementation. It covers developments since the EU accession process began and provides an overview of current issues and minority schools.

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