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Civic Nationalism and Ethnocultural Justice in Turkey Author(s): Thomas W.

Smith Reviewed work(s): Source: Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2 (May, 2005), pp. 436-470 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20069794 . Accessed: 09/10/2012 08:48
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Civic Nationalism and Ethnocultural Justice in Turkey

Thomas W. Smith*

Are civic states culturally neutral? The Turkish model of civic nationalism
often national praised as a success, In fact, albeit Turkey's an authoritarian national one, identity culture. in creating has come a unitary at a steep


cultural cost. Civic institutions have homogenized and folklorized minority cultures. Ethnoreligious conceptions of Turkish identity have underpinned
immigration and naturalization, internal movement and resettlement,

heaviest "Turkish nationalize Sunni divisions, on

language, and cultural policies. Turkish nationalism has weighed

Kurds, Islam Islamists, of have Islam turned religious failed the case and left. A state-run the minorities, in the 1930s; more to recent attempts state into a mouthpiece for mainstream that may in states be with a coerced deep one. societal




Turkish of civic


the dream




from the European Union (EU), Turkey has launched a Bowing to demands series of human reforms intended to expand basic freedoms and rights a platform of individual and group rights in the country. With EU uphold 2005, Turkey's future in Europe hinges entry talks slated to begin inOctober on the outcome. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdo?an, a reformed Islamist who was in 1999 for "inciting for four months jailed religious hatred/7 now

is an Assistant Thomas W. Smith Professor of Government and International Affairs at the He is the author of History of South Florida St. Petersburg. and International University in the fields of international Relations law and human (1999) as well as journal articles rights. in Istanbul. He can be reached From 1997-2000 at he taught at Ko? University by e-mail twsm ith@stpt. usf.edu.


Rights Quarterly





by The

Johns Hopkins




Civic Nationalism

& Ethnocultural

Justice in Turkey



the eagle eye of the country's military.1 For Erdo?an, human He argues that rights represent "the common voice of human conscience."2 "the universality of human rights, democracy, countries that fail to embrace and the rule of law will be driven into lonliness."3 Turkey's reformers inevitably will confront the Kemalist model of civic under

the hard-communitarian and laic ideology of the country's nationalism, that vision of a Mustafa Kemal Atat?rk. By virtually every measure, founder, success. A state bonded civic has been a remarkable loyalty unitary by a Western national educa modern bureaucracy, legal system, progressive state are the progeny of a revolution tion, and all the trappings of a modern East. redrew the boundary between that arguably Europe and the Middle for women, who have enjoyed Kemalism has been especially emancipating full civil rights since 1934. states hewn from traditional societies, Turkey's Like that of all modern civic success has come at steep cultural cost. From its inception, the a diverse to homogenizing of the state has been dedicated machinery has been stunted. Religion has been national Civil association populace. ized. All but the most folkloric of minority cultural expressions have been In times of crisis, civic has masked nationalism ethnic discouraged. The only explicit minority chauvinism. rights that exist in Turkey have their social contract; these are the protections the Kemalist origins outside accorded and Jews?in the Greeks, Armenians, non-Muslims?traditionally 1923 Lausanne Treaty, which in codified the status of modern Turkey international law.4 Large Muslim communities of Kurds, Arabs, and Alevis, a of liberal Shiite sects, as well as smaller non-Muslim collection groups such as Syrian Orthodox and Chaldean Catholics, enjoy few rights to shield them from the majority. in the is afoot. The opening of the economy liberalization However, in the 1990s. The sixteen year 1980s liberalization spurred political Party (Partia Karkaren Kurdistan, or insurgency by the Kurdistan Workers' in 2000,5 and civil rights laws are being removed from a war PKK) ended

1. 2. 3.

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Religious Freedom (2002), available afwww.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2002/13986.htm. at the New in Human Tactics Erdo?an, Address Recep Tayyip Rights Symposium at www.newtactics.org/file.php?ID=484. Ankara, Turkey (29 Sep.-4 Oct. 2004), available at the Symposium on Conservative Address Erdo?an, Recep Tayyip Democracy, is available in Turkish, Istanbul (10 Jan. 2004). The address under the title, 10.01.2004 ve Democrasi in the electronic Muhafazakarlik archive of the Justice and Sempozyumu, U.S. Report Party (AK Parti), available Development aiwww.akparti.org.tr/. Powers and Turkey, the Allied 11, Treaty of Peace Between July 24, 1923, 28 L.N.T.S. 18 Am. J. Int'l L. 1 (Supp. 1924) (hereinafter Treaty of Lausanne). For overviews of the Kurdish question and the war, see Omer Taspinar, Kurdish Nationalism and Political Islam in Turkey: Kemalist Identity in Transition (2005); Doyu Ergil, The Kurdish in Turkey, 11 J. Dem. 122 (2000); Henri J. Barkey et al., Turkey's Kurdish Question Question

4. 5.





over the has exploded footing. The number of civil society organizations and lively past fifteen years. New media, a new Islamic political economy, the official popular culture have outstripped ideology. Erdo?an's "Islamic" Criteria and the liberalism is also generally well regarded.6 The Copenhagen to the EU have detailed Turkish National Program for accession explicit for reform.7 guidelines a looser conception has also encouraged The prospect of membership over of citizenship. Turks are reaching a d?tente with their own government it means to be Turkish, as the divided of EU membership what loyalties state. In the process, the unitary state replace the absolutes of the modern and an invented national culture are giving way to greater cultural freedom. It is no coincidence national Turkish strongest that minorities who have been shoehorned into this Alevis, Syriacs, identity?Kurds, Most supporters of EU membership. as well, as a way of lifting Kemalist membership

and others?are among the Islamists in Turkey support repression of observant


Political theorists ism and exclusive have inclusive between long distinguished ethnic, religious, or cultural nationalism.8 civic national In this age of

6. 7.

and Turkey: An Example of The Kurdish Question (1998); Kemal Kirisci & Gareth M. Winrow, a Trans-State Ethnic Conflict (1997); Michael M. Gunter, The Kurds and the Future of Turkey (1997). of Heart: AKP Leader Turns Away from See Hugh Change Pope, Turkish Politician's A9. St. J., 1 Aug. 2002, at vol. 240:23, Islam and Finds his Party May Win Power, Wall E.U. Bull., no. 6, of the Presidency, Conclusions See Copenhagen European Council, or as the "Copenhagen are known Guidelines" what ? 7(A)(iii) (1993) (establishing acces The Copenhagen Guidelines Criteria"). require a country seeking Copenhagen sion to the EU to achieve the following goals: [Stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to presupposes the cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. Membership candidate's ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union. also Thomas


and W. Smith, The Politics of ConditionalityrThe European Union 111 (Paul J. in The European Union and Democratization in Turkey, Rights Reform Kubicek ed., 2003). 16 (1940), See Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism: A Study in ItsOrigins and Background Eastern" ethnic between and "illiberal, which "liberal, civic Western" distinguished 11 (1992); Yael Tamir, Five Roads to Modernity Nationalism: Liah Greenfeld, nationalism; 5 and Bad Nationalisms!, Liberal Nationalism (1993); David Brown, Are There Good in Diverse Societies 366-67 Nations & Nationalism (Will (1999); Citizenship 281, 281-82 Id. See Human 15 The Ethics of Nationalism & Wayne Norman eds., 2001); Margaret Moore, Kymlicka in the Global Era 152 Equality and Diversity (2001); Seyla Benhabib, The Claims of Culture: (2002).


Civic Nationalism

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Justice in Turkey


of states, the logic of civic nationalism ethnic strife and the Balkanization seems unimpeachable. As Michael Ignatieff noted in Blood and Belonging, a civic nation is "a community of equal, rights-bearing united in citizens, to a shared set of political and values."9 practices patriotic attachment started to scrutinize how civic states Political theorists have nonetheless Iscivic nationalism neutral with regard to religion, accommodate diversity.10 it guarantee with basic rights? Is it compatible race, and ethnicity? Does it homogenize Does and deracinate? Are the alternatives minority rights? worse? civic national For multiculturalists (and some cultural conservatives), ism presents one of the great conceits of modernity. Will Kymlicka argues have been "obscured by the myth of the that the defects of civic nationalism of the state."11 Kymlicka claims that "virtually all ethnocultural neutrality to diffuse a liberal democracies have, at one point or another, attempted culture all of its territory."12 Anthony Smith single societal throughout to the heart of the "modernist fallacy," that civic nationalism contends goes of all stripes have deep primordial that nationalisms roots.13 David Brown notes that, often, "ethnic domination is disguised as national integration."14 are "imperialistic": constitutions liberal James Tully adds that civic-liberal to the ism not only fails to recognize diversity, but speeds assimilation culture through civic institutions and a common language.15 in most modern states. Formal cultures exist precariously Minority often neglect the idea of cultural belonging, whether citizenship rights or instrumental in primordial defined (natural, organic) (constructed, mod terms. Civic for democracy institutions may be necessary and markets ern) are clear. National to function But the costs of assimilation smoothly. identity, shared values, and other symbols of solidarity typically are cast in dominant

9. 10.


6 (1994). Journeys into the New Nationalism Ignatieff, Blood and Belonging: Liberalism and Nationalism, 23 Pol. Theory include Bernard Yack, Reconciling Surveys 166 (1995); Michael in Human Rights: Liberal Democracy and Minority Freeman, Rights, New Perspectives, New Realities 31 (Adamantia Pol Iis & Peter Schwab eds., 2000); David and Multicultural Nationalism: Politics Civic, Ethnocultural Brown, Contemporary (2000); Two Conceptions A Review Gerard of Cultural of Recent Citizenship: Delanty, 3 Global Rev. Ethnopolitics 60 (2002), available at Literature on Culture and Citizenship, Multiculturalism and Citizenship 4

11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

www.ethnopolitics.org/archive/volume_l/issue_3/delanty.pdf. in the Vernacular: Will Kymlicka, Politics Nationalism, (2001). Id. at 26. in a Global Anthony D. Smith, Nations and Nationalism

Era eh. 5 (1995). Brown, Contemporary Nationalism, supra note 10, at 10-11. in an Age of Diversity eh. 3 (1995). Constitutionalism James Tully, Strange Multiplicity: . . . that is, a state Charles Taylor adds, "If a modern society has an 'official' language inwhich and -defined and both economy -inculcated, sponsored, language and culture, an immense advantage state function, to people that it is obviously if this language and culture are theirs." Kymlicka, supra note 11, at 27.



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is usually controlled the image of the majority. Cultural patrimony by the in the name of diversity or inclusion. state, which may folklorize minorities Majority politics often are in league with mass media, popular culture, and in thousands economies "that benefit majorities of subtle ways."16 So to use Kymlicka's phrase, that minorities efficient are "civic state-builders,"17 may be hard pressed to find refuge.


than in any case since the French Revolution, has underpinned civic identity. The literature of of the Rights of Man18 were de rigueur at the cadets went on to lead the nationalist movement. military academies whose claims that the French Revolution was "the Atat?rk's leading biographer for the Turkish of reference" leader throughout his life.19 supreme point reforms (Tanzimat), built atop nearly 100 years of Europeanizing Though as the flexible the civic model from late Ottoman practice, departed in the of autonomous accommodation of the millet nations, system sense of the word, gave way to the fixed identity and space of nonterritorial In Turkey, state. the modern The Republican Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, or CHP), People's Atat?rk in 1924 and ruled Turkey as a one-party which was established by state until 1946, proclaimed that the Turkish nation was a "social and formed by citizens that are united by a common whole language, political culture and objective."20 The fez, the symbol of the Orient, was banned. The Latin alphabet and Gregorian calendar were adopted. Vernacular Turkish the more courtly Ottoman The civil code was borrowed replaced language. from Mussolini's the penal code Italy. "Enlightened" servants fanned out across and other civil teachers, (aydyn) judges, Anatolia, intending to reshape traditional society. In hundreds of provincial towns "People's Houses" to spread the established (Halk Evleri) were from Switzerland, perhaps more liberalism enlightenment 1789 and the Declaration


17. 18. 19. 20.

Liberal Theory and Minority 108, Joel E. Oestreich, Group Rights, 21 Hum. Rts. Q. Human 43 Pol. Freeman, Are There Collective (1999); see also Michael Rights!, Human F. Felice, The Case for Collective Stud. 25 (1995); William Rights: The Reality 10 Ethics & Int'l. Aff. 47 (1996). of Group Suffering, Kymlicka, supra note 11, at 230-32. in The French and Citizen of the Rights of Man Declaration (Fr. 1789), reprinted and Human Rights: A Brief Documentary History 77-79 Revolution (Lynn Hunt ed., 1996). Atat?rk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey 49 (1999). Andrew Mango, in Kemal Kirisci & Gareth M. Winrow, The Turkish Daily News (11 Mar. 1995), quoted and Turkey: An Example of a Trans-State Ethnic Conflict 97 (1997). Kurdish Question See 118


Civic Nationalism

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This cultural revolution Kemalist message. left itsmark, though in the most rural social terrain it could produce "more control than transformation/'21 to the glasnost Thanks in Turkish historical research over the past to excavate some of the mythology researchers have begun decade, Turkish Republicanism.22 The rhetoric of civic surrounding impartiality there is ample evidence that ethnicity and religion deter notwithstanding, mined and practice and naturalization, policies regarding immigration internal movement and resettlement, lan economics, education, religion, in times of revealed guage and culture. The country's cultural core was some critics of the civic model of crisis. In the early years of the Republic Ankara also reined in citizenship were branded as racists and prosecuted.

a noxious ethnic "idealists"?who right wing ?lk?c?lar?literally, espoused Turkish nationalism. of civic nationalism has weighed Still, enforcement heaviest on Kurds, Islamists, religious minorities, and the left. The genius of Turkish nationalism (T?rkc?l?k) was its ability to conflate the organic/ethnic An organic Turkish identity was and the civic/territorial. in the 1920s and 1930s, constructed rich in ancestral myths, national and ethnic symbolism. To be a Turk denoted a civic identity, but memories, was also a carefully fashioned ethnie, traced literally in children's textbooks to the Altaic-Ural peoples of Central Asia. Afet Ynan, one of the architects of the new history, wrote that "Turkish children will learn that they are part of an Aryan, civilised and creative people descended from a high race who have existed for tens of thousands of years."23 The prehistory of Central Asia was rewritten to show that distinct Muslim minorities had descended from the same ancient Turkish tribes? hence the designation of Kurds as "Mountain Turks."24 The founding myths often mimicked social science. "Turkism" was propelled by the ideologue


and Democracy Ylkay Sunar, State, Society, New Challenges for a Rising Regional Power 1996). See, e.g., 36 Middle


in Turkey, in Turkey Between East and West: & R. Craig Nation (Vojtech Mastny eds.,


Kemal Kirisci, Disaggregating Turkish Citizenship and Immigration Practices, E. Stud. 1 (July 2000); Berna Yazici, Discovering Our Past: Are "We" Breaking Taboos? Reconstructing and the Past in Contemporary Atat?rkism Turkey, 25 New Persp. Turk. 1 (2001); Kerem Oktem, the Turk's Homeland: National Creating Modernization, ism and Geography in Southeast in the late 19th and 20th Centuries (2003) Turkey Kokkalis Graduate Workshop, School of Government, (paper for the Socrates Kennedy Harvard University), available Soner aiwww.ksg.harvard.edu/kokkalis/GSW5/oktem.pdf; in Interwar Turkey, 9 Nations & Nationalism Policies 601 (2003); ?a?aptay, Citizenship Ayhan Aktar, Varlyk Vergesi ve "T?rklestirme" Politikalary [The Capital Tax and "Turkification" and Kemalism: Policies] (2003); Soner ?a?aptay, Turkish Nationalism Race, Assimilation and the Minorities in the 1930s, 40 Middle E. Stud. 86 (2004). Hugh Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent: Turkish Nationalism and the Turkish Poulton, Republic 108 (1997). Christopher Houston, Islam, Kurds and the Turkish Nation State 99-101 (2001).

23. 24.



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(1876-1924), Ziya G?kalp theories of the nineteenth

ideas were from the racial derived Faux-academic century European Orientalists.25 the fantastical Sun Language Theory (G?nep-Dil Teorisi) journals publicized that Central Asian Turkish was the root of all the world's languages, and the Turkish History Thesis (Turk Tarih Tezleri) that Turks were the fount of all civilizations.26

The upshot was that, from Eastern Thrace to Kurdistan, "Turks were a like the peoples of Europe . . . [and] had more historic right to Turkey people than did anyone else."27 Turkey would nation state. People be a modern who Kazahks, Kirgiz, Turkmen, Uzbeks spoke Turkic languages?Az?ris, vast reaches of Central Asia, to the Uighur and many others?inhabited known as "East Turkistan." But Pan-Turkists, or region of China, sometimes for the union of all Turkic speakers, were clamored "Turanists,"28 who blocked those by Atat?rk's pragmatism. in the struggle laid down Turkey's "natural" frontiers would for national liberation and codified be at


civic identity was carefully tended. The term Within those boundaries, a pejorative under the Ottomans, was rehabilitated. Turkish facets of "Turk," were Ottoman and Greek, Armenian, and Syriac history highlighted, were con excavations State-run archaeological contributions obscured. to show that the early civilizations of Anatolia were Turkish. At ducted the Turkish Language Association Atat?rk's behest (Turk Dil Kurumu), in 1932, set out to retrieve an authentic Turkish cleansed of Arabic founded and Persian words.30 The Turkish Historical (Turk Tarih Kurumu), Society an arm of the ethnic-nationalist Turkish "hearth" (ocak) move originally voice of Turkish history. The Historical the quasi-official became ment, state archivists and republican is still active, along with Society leaning historians, in promoting nationalist historiography.31


26. 27. 28. 29. 30.

and Western Civilization: Selected Essays of Ziya G?kalp See Ziya G?kalp, Turkish Nationalism in id. at 284-313. The Programme See also David of Turkism, (1959); See especially at 8-10 (1977). 1876-1908, Kushner, The Rise of Turkish Nationalism, in Interwar Turkey, supra note 22, at 601-02. Policies Citizenship ?a?aptay, The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire 213 (2001). Justin McCarthy, The name "Turanists" refers to the mythical land of Turan where Turks were said to have originated. supra note 4. See also Jacob M. Landau, Panturkism: From Irredentism Treaty of Lausanne, to Cooperation 74-75 (1995). is still See Kushner, supra note 25, at 101-02 (1977). The Turkish Language Association at Its website is available of the Turkish under government. auspices operating www.tdk.gov.tr/. 199 (1997); Poulton, See Erik J. Z?rcher, Turkey: A Modern History supra note 23, at 101 09. For an overview of recent Turkish nationalist?and antinationalist?historiography, in the Turkish see Howard and Memory and Historiography: Politics Eissenstat, History website 12 Contemp. Eur. Hist. 94 (2003). The English-language of the Turkish Republic, at www.ttk.gov.tr/ingilizce/index.html. Historical is available Society



Civic Nationalism

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the Armenian effort to diminish has also been a concerted of purportedly still publishes The State Archive compilations genocide. in documents along with interpretations attributing the violence exculpatory I to Armenians in league with Eastern Anatolia World War the during imperial powers keen to resolve "the Eastern question" regarding the future There its diplomatic of the Levant.32 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wields it successfully influence on the issue. For example, the Clinton pressed in 2000 to have a resolution memorializing administration the tragedy In 1999, a Genocide withdrawn from consideration by the US Congress.33 in the Eastern province of l?dir to Monument and Museum were established memorialize the 80,000 Turks officials said were massacred by Armenians in the region between 1915 and 1920.34 The fact remains, however, that incipient Turkish nationalism under the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), also known as the Young Turks, and the national liberation movement of itself, led to the ethnic cleansing Eastern Anatolia.35 The scheme, devised by the CUP leadership, was 1915 and 1917 hundreds of referred to as a relocation (tehcir). Between some of whom collaborated with Russia and even thousands of Armenians, an Armenian state in Eastern Anatolia, took up arms in hopes of establishing as well as tens of thousands of Syrian Orthodox Christians, were massacred or marched to their deaths.36 In many cases, the physical space they had redistributed vacated properties occupied was "Turkified," as state agencies to Muslim refugees from the Balkans. Some evacuated villages were given



to the Belgelerinde Relating See Osmanly [Ottoman Documents Ermeniler, 1915-1920 Ermeni Olaylary Tarihi [Armenian Historical Ermeni Armenians] Incidents] (1998); (1994); Meselesinin Siyasi Tarih?esi, 1877-1914 [Political History of the Armenian Question] (2001). in Ankara by the State Archives. All are published See Eric Schmitt, House Turks' Killing of Armenians, N.Y. Backs Off on Condemning of Foreign Affairs, see T?rkkaya Times, 20 Oct. 2000, at A11. For a view from the Ministry InApril 2003, Trauma and Objectivity the Ata?v, The "Armenian Question": Conflict, (1997). to have fifth- and seventh of Education issued a circular urging schools Turkish Ministry were that allegations of the Armenian essays grade students write arguing genocide on the topic. unfounded. The Ministry to stage conferences schools also encouraged Police arrested seven teachers for comments made at one of these conferences. See also U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2003, at 23-24 at www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/ (2004), available 27869.htm. of Press and See Directorate General Office of the Prime Minister, Information, Statue and Museum in Igdir, Turk. Press Rev., 6 Oct. Genocide at 1999, available Opens 0/99X10X06.HTM. www.byegm.gov.tr/YAYINLARIMIZ/CHR/ING99Zl The Ottoman See Donald Quataert, at 184-86 Empire, 1700-1922, (2000); Taner Ak?am, and the Armenian Genocide From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism (2004); Richard G. in Remembrance and Denial: The Case of the Armenian Genocide Hovannisian, Introduction, 13 (Richard G. Hovannisian ed., 1998). in the Twentieth Century Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide See Benjamin A. Valentino, 157-66 (2004).








new Turkish War of

and churches into mosques.37 transformed During the in 1922 and in population in 1923 some Independence exchanges 1.2 million Greeks were in turn also ousted from Asia Minor.38 Greece

Turks.39 800,000 expelled A recent history of ethnic strife in the twentieth century adopts the state that sought ties with standard interpretation: "A new Turkified Ottoman Turkish and Islamic states to the east had no room for a large, alien, or Greek."40 traitorous Christian population, whether Armenian potentially at times invoked jihadist language to rally the national movement Although driven less by religious support, ethnic cleansing was probably popular than by an overwrought differences dream of a homogeneous nation state. As one secularism"?i.e, Nergis Canefe commentator noted of the massacres, "that was not Islam; that was a kind of v?lkisch nationalism imported from Europe.41 has argued that this "demographic flowed from purfication" of Turkish nationalists "to fit into the definition of a the "political obsession" V?/Zcand to prove the presence of an ethnoreligiously distinct Turkish nation More than any economic resort to a final solution at

in order to claim legitimate political existence."42 or security rationale, this explains "the nationalist the very inception of the Turkish nation-state."43

37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.

supra note 22, at 8. ?ktem, Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide: supra note 35, at 14.


of Race and Nation




Weitz, supra note 38. inTwentieth-Century Norman M. Naimark, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing Europe 43 (2001 ). in John Kelsay, Bosnia in Religion and and the Muslim of Modernity, Quoted Critique Justice in the War over Bosnia 139 (G. Scott David ed., 1996). Nationalism and Ethno-Symbolic The Rules of Turkish Canefe, Nergis Analysis: 8 Nations & Nationalism (2002). 133, 149-50 Exception, brought discuss fruitful. have Id. at 149. A kind of glasnost is underway several workshops have here, too. Since 2000, and others?to and other historians Armenians, scholars?Turks, together far from conclusive, the meetings the fate of the Armenians. have been Though Some of the Turkish been denounced by

the Ottoman historian Halil Berktay, participants, including at Sabancy Turks for their research. Officials nationalist to fire the historian; where pressed University, they did not. See Berktay teaches, were of History: Turkish Studies The Burden Turkish Economic and Social Foundation, Armenian TESEV Electronic Newsletter (Apr. 2001 ), available aiwww.tesev.org.tr/ Dialogue, Ron Suny & Fatma M?ge G?cek, Genocide: Contextual Discussing '?zing nisan/apr3.html; at in the Ottoman the Armenian Empire, 9 J. Int'l Institute (2002), available Experience Turks Breach Wall Belinda Cooper, www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol9no3/suny.htm; at B9. Turkey's N.Y. Times, 6 Mar. 2004, novelist of Silence, best known contemporary in much in an of the Turkish press after mentioning Pamuk has been pilloried Orhan in February 2005 in Turkey. See Armenians interview that a million had been killed To me, The Guardian, 27 Feb. It's Genocide, Nouritza Matossiann, They Say Incident. 2005, ava/7ab/eaiobserver.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1426319,00.html.


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As noted, minority the Kemalist social rights in Turkey are rooted outside contract. Religious, educational, cultural, linguistic, and emigration rights were incorporated at European insistence in the Lausanne Treaty.44 Although inmodern these rights were codified a treaty law, precisely who constituted drew on Ottoman dhimmi law governing non-Muslim communi minority in the nineteenth in ties, as well as a series of treaties concluded century which the Sublime Porte recognized the rights of Christians living under Ottoman to the Lausanne provisions on rule.45 Some civic purists objected grounds that the state should be blind to ethnic and religious differences. Tekin Alp, a former publicist for the Young Turks, wrote in 1937 that Kemalism "has ended the Muslim/non-Muslim divide by laicism . . . The as Turks all the citizens of the country Law has recognized fundamental without distinction of race or religion, and has prepared the way for a into Turkism."46 complete integration of minority elements In practice, the Lausanne rights extend only to Turkey's communities of Armenian Orthodox (60,000-70,000 strong today), Jews (25,000), Greek rare occasions, Orthodox (3,000), and, on extremely Syrian Orthodox the Lausanne rights of other non (10,000).47 The state does not recognize Muslim minorities: Armenian Catholics, Chaldeans, Nestorians, Bulgarians, and Turkey's estimated 10,000 Baha'is.48 Jews have always been Georgians, viewed as the most "Kemalist" of non-Muslim In 1925, the Rabbi of groups. Istanbul waived the safeguards set out at Lausanne, the demonstrating in the civic state.49 confidence Jewish community's That confidence has largely been vindicated. Aside from a few right Islamist screeds, antisemitism is virtually unheard of. The recent wing Israel and Turkey in the security sphere iswidely between rapprochement in Istanbul in November 2003 accepted.50 The two synagogue bombings

44. 45.

46. 47.

supra note 4, arts. 37-45. Treaty of Lausanne, Most the nineteenth important was the Treaty of Berlin (1878). During century, Christian minorities used the diplomatic intervention of their Great Power patrons to help them secure certain under Ottoman from military for privileges service, rule?exemption See Donald Quataert, The Ottoman at 66 (2000). Empire, 1700-1922, example. Poulton, supra note 23, at 123-24. from Nigar & Edward Deverell, Karimova Institute of Swedish Figures adapted International in Turkey, Occasional Affairs, Minorities Papers no. 19, at 14 (2001), at www.ui.se/texter/op19.pdf. available U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Religious Freedom at www.state.gOv/g/drl/rls/irf/2004/35489.htm. (2004), available Stanford Empire and the Turkish Republic 244 (1991). J. Shaw, The Jews of the Ottoman a bilateral and Israel signed in 1996, prompted defense alliance Turkey by shared in the Arab world, common adversaries concerns about terrorism, and fears of growing See Report

48. 49. 50.



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were who

condemned.51 descendants of Jews However, D?nmes, universally are fully tolerated by to Islam in the seventeenth converted century, neither Jews nor Muslims. The word d?nme means "turned," but connotes and many converts hide their lineage. "turncoat," are considered All Muslims of the majority, members the "Turkish there are no officially Muslim minorities.52 According Nation"; recognized and a half peoples in Turkey" saying, "There are seventy-two half refers to the Roma).53 In fact, demographers estimate that there are (the perhaps fifty different ethnic groups in the country.54 To the extent that these have seen this as a represent competing identities, Kemalists political to overcome. Atat?rk warned that some citizens "have been challenge to propaganda about Kurdish, Caucasian Laz and and even subjected . . . because Bosnian nations. But they are misnomers the individuals of this of the integrated unified Turkish Community, have a nation, as members common and law."55 past, history, morality Most Turks are Sunnis of the Hanefi rite. The following minorities also to a Turkish

of 10-15 million Alevis, a blanket term for the large Muslim minorities sects that account for 70 percent of Turkey's Shiites; 12-14 easy-going million Alevis (who Sunnis, Zaza-speaking Kurds, including Shaffii-rite as Zazas, not Kurds, and refer to their increasingly identify themselves historical lands as "Zazastan"), and perhaps tens of thousands of crypto exist: elements of Manicheism, Yezidi, followers of a syncretic faith that combines and who have Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Gnosticism, historically at the hand of Sunnis as well as Shiites; and some 300,000 been persecuted in Hatay province Arabs, among them Alevi Nusayris who are concentrated in Urfa, Mardin, and Siirt.56 Turkey is also a and Shajii-rite Sunnis centered nation of immigrants. There are sizeable numbers of assimilated Muslim

have close ties, played Islamic militancy. The United both countries States, with which in joint naval exercises, and the Turkish and Israeli forces have engaged matchmaker. on Palestinians soil. The crackdown Israeli Air Force has trained over Turkish by the tested Turkey's tolerance. Suha Ariel Sharon See, e.g., has, however, government A Turkish View, 29 J. Palestine Stud. 21 Alliance: Behind the Turkish-Israeli Bolukbasy, in the Middle Balance of Power East, (1999); Dov Waxman, Turkey and Israel: A New on recent Turkish-Israeli at 22 Wash. Q. 25 (1999). A bibliography is available relations 51. 52. 53. tsi.idc.ac.il/Bibliography.html. See BBC News, Turkish Press Aghast at Bombings (16 Nov. 2003), available at

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3275387.stm. Poulton, supra note 23, at 95. in Servet Mutlu, Ethnic Kurds in Turkey: A Demographic Quoted E. Stud. 517, 517 (1996). Thanks to Do?an G?rpinar of Sabancy this point. Id.

Study, 28 University

Int'l J.Middle for clarifying

54. 55. 56.

Poulton, supra note 23, at 95. See Fuat D?ndar, Azynlyklar: T?rkiye N?fus Sayymlarynda [Minorities: The Turkish Population Census] (1999); Karimova & Deverell, supra note 47, at 14.


Civic Nationalism

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Justice in Turkey


Tatars, Az?ris, Laz, Slavs, Georgians, Pomaks, Circassians, Albanians, from the Balkans, the Crimea, and the North and others Ossetians, forebears sought refuge inAnatolia as the empire Caucuses, most of whose in the nineteenth receded century. Most of the country's 50,000 nominally Muslim Roma live on the margins of society.57 Even for protected minorities the reality of civic nationalism has lagged in moments of national crisis. During the 1930s and the law, particularly internal move laws governing 1940s, asylum, assimilation, deportation, ment and resettlement, and culture favored Hanefi Turks. The education, in 1934, marked "a massive social engineer Law on Settlement,58 adopted to sustain of a Turkish national the construction ing project aiming identity."59 Race (irk) and culture (bars) were critical; only those of "Turkish in 1934, 8,000 and culture" could gain refugee status.60 Also descent from the strategic zones of Edirne and the Jews were 10,000 uprooted to Istanbul.61 New Sunni and relocated Dardanelles immigrants were in the belief that they would in their place be firmer stalwarts resettled in the 1930s denatural against foreign incursions. A series of laws enacted numbers of non-ethnic Turks.62 Minorities have always been ized expanding to speak Turkish?with Jacobin fervor during the "Vatanda?, encouraged Speak Turkish!" campaigns starting in the late Turk?e /Cona^!"/"Citizen,

nationalism Since the time of the Young Turks, economic had been as well. Christians and Jews had historically dominated Turkish stirring and trades. Hoping to create a "national bourgeoisie," commerce, banking, the CUP organized firms while boycotts of Greek and Armenian fostering at the thus raising national consciousness Turkish/Muslim entrepreneurs, were In the early Republican o? minorities. expense period, companies to employ of Turkish capital and personnel. percentages required high to favor Tariffs, subsidies and other state preferences were also designed Muslim-owned firms. The Press Law of 1931 barred minorities from owning magazines
were closed




professions, and with only






than most


one major


57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64.

& Deverell, supra note 47, at 14. See also the country entries for Turkey available European Roma Rights Centre archives, aiwww.errc.org/Archivum_index.php. Law on Settlement, No. 2510 (1934). at 5-6. Kirisci, supra note 22, /c/. at 18. Karimova note 23, at 116. in Interwar Turkey, supra note 22, at 605-13. Policies Citizenship supra note 23, at 122. in Turkey: The Formative Nationalism Years, 1912-1925, Ayhan Aktar, Economic Bodazi?i J.: Rev. Soc. Econ. & Admin. Sei. 263 (1996). Poulton, supra ?a?aptay, Poulton,

in the






to Jews fleeing Hitler, its borders opened tragic Struma affair65?Turkey evicted from Spain during the had welcomed much as the Ottomans Jews in the 1930s, the government welcomed close to Inquisition. Beginning German who were academics Jewish refugees, 45,000 given including educa boosting Atat?rk's Westernizing prominent posts at state universities, railroad to tion reforms. Istanbul became a nexus in the Zionist underground Palestine. By 1945 as many as 100,000 Jews had passed through Turkey on to the promised land.66 the way At the same time, discrimination Jews, against minorities, including non in 1942-1944; imposed spiked. The capital tax (varlyk vergesi) was rate. Armenians Muslims were charged as much as ten times the Muslim were saddled with the harshest of Greek, Jewish, levies, though hundreds Business owners who and other firms were bankrupted. D?nme, Georgian, could not pay were packed off to a labor camp in A?kale, near Erzurum. in order to raise war funds or tame Often justified as fiscally necessary to is now thought to have been mounted inflation, the scheme specifically and further Turkify the economy.67 up minority businesses of the the first generation of homogenization The degree during census of 1906, nearly a to the Ottoman Republic was striking. According of present day Turkey were fifth of the subjects living within the boundaries and 1 percent Jewish. 10 percent Greek, 7 percent Armenian, minorities: 1914 and 1924 this demography Between radically. When Turkey changed in 1927, non-Muslims its first census conducted only 3 percent comprised to erode through the continued communities of the population.68 Minority to the new postwar years. After 1948, some 30,000 Turkish Jews emigrated in Turkey. state of Israel.69 In 1950 there were still 100,000 ethnic Greeks the anti-Greek riot in Istanbul in September 1955, the expulsion However, carve


and Russian left Constanta InDecember Jews 1941, the Struma carrying 800 Romanian to Palestine. The ship's engines to make failed while their way through passing hoping and the vessel sat in the port of Istanbul for ten weeks, the Bosphorous, refugees aboard, over their fate. Under British while British, and local Jewish officials wrangled Turkish, towed the ship the refugees visas. Turkish police and German pressure, Ankara denied it was scuttled out into the Black Sea, where the next morning several miles by a Frantz There was one survivor. See Douglas from a Soviet submarine. launched torpedo H's Story of the "Struma" and War & Catherine Collins, Death on the Black Sea: The Untold at Sea xiv-xv (2003). Turkey's Role inRescuing Turkish and European See Stanford Shaw, Turkey and the Holocaust: at 266 (1993). Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945, . . . And Its Past of the Country's to Learn the Realities 5ee Turkish Society Begins 1999. Present, Turkish Probe, 12 Dec. inTurkey: A Study inClass and Development 79 (1987). ?adlar Keyder, State and Class i at country stud es. us/turkey/ Study: Turkey, available Library of Congress, Country U.S. 34.htm. Holocaust

66. 67. 68. 69.


Civic Nationalism

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in 1964, and tensions over Cyprus in the 1970s, reduced the of dual citizens to 3,000 people.70 Also during the 1970s, antagonism Greek community rose in response to terror attacks by the Armenian Secret toward Armenians the Liberation of Armenia and (ASALA) against Turkish diplomats Army for other targets abroad. account for less than one-quarter of 1 percent of Today non-Muslims on minority overt discrimination is rare, the state encroaches Turks.71While in myriad ways. As of 1965, minorities were not institutions and culture ones. The Greek existing Orthodox Island in the Sea of Marmara School Holy Theological was in 1971 when all institutions of higher shuttered learning were A breach of Article 40 of the Lausanne Treaty, this was a blow nationalized. to the Greek Church because Ankara decrees that only Turkish citizens may become Greek Orthodox Bishops or Patriarchs in Turkey.72 Treasury officials have seized minority schools and churches as constituents have dwindled. allowed to open new schools to expand on Heybeli and 'Improperly Dilapidated registered" properties have also been confis It remains difficult to for minority cated. vakifs, or pious foundations, inAugust 2002 should help.73 reforms adopted acquire property, although The ethnocultural demise of the Syrian Orthodox (Suryoye) community in the Mardin/Midyat region of Southeastern Turkey is at hand. The ancient as a millet by the Ottomans, sect was Christian the recognized placing on legal par with Greeks and Armenians. The massacres of community in 1915 are largely forgotten, though in 2001 Syriacs alongside Armenians a Syriac priest was acquitted of "provoking religious enmity" for publicizing is thought to have numbered a quarter million the killings.74 The community in 1923, but was targeted for "Turkification" for much of the Republican in the cross fire between the PKK and the Turkish Army, the period. Caught or


U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Religious Freedom Report (2004), supra note 48. See also Human Rights Watch, The Greeks of Turkey (1992); in Elias Dimitras, The Greek Minority Panayote y/Dwindling, Elderly and Frightened?" AIM (31 Jan. 2000), at www.aimpress.ch/dyn/trae/archive/ available Turkey Revisited, -001 -trae-ath. htm. data/2 00002/00201 Based on author's estimation. U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, Report (2004), supra note 48.

71. 72. 73.

and Labor, Turkey:





inTurkey: Submission to the European Union and the Nurcan Kaya & Clive Baldwin, Minorities Turkish Government 28-32 at www.minorityrights.org/admin/download/ (2004), available The issue was forced by a case pdf/MRG-TurkeySub.pdf. lodged with the ECHR dealing the expropriation with of a Christian See Institute of French Priests place of veneration. v. Turkey, Application no. 00026308/95, as to Admissibility and Others Decision (14 Dec. 2000). See U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Religious Freedom Report (2001), available at www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2001/5694.htm.



Vol. 27

has withered in 1985 to a few from an estimated 60,000 community thousand today, with heavy emigration abroad.75 The Syrian Orthodox have almost never been able to exercise their can identify only one under the Lausanne Treaty. Church officials rights court ruling that granted them protections under the Treaty.76 In 1997 Ankara authorized same time blocked the Church to conduct in Aramaic, classes but at the to open a Syriac seminary and to bring in clergy plans from abroad.77 Suryoye have been barred from publishing and importing in Aramaic. Church officials struggle to hang on literature written religious to ecclestical have also decimated the properties. War and republicanism several thousand Chaldean Catholics of Hakk?ri Province.78


Although bid for EU membership, many of by the country's prompted Turkey's recent reforms had been brewing for years. Kemalism could hardly contain the financial boom brought about by the opening of the economy in the 1980s, and political change could not be far behind. The EU has given to Turkey's new freedoms. direction Since the precise February 2002,

seven reform packages Parliament has adopted aimed at fulfilling the Copenhagen Criteria for EU membership, which include minority rights and the rule of law, and satisfying specific from the European judgments Court of Human Rights (ECHR).79 InMarch 2004, the Council of Europe in the past two years than in determined that Turkey had liberalized more ten. At the same time, the COE Committee the previous that had been Turkish formally monitoring Turkey's human rights practices since 1996 announced as a member of that Ankara had honored its obligations and commitments no longer face special scrutiny.80 the COE and that Turkey would



U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Religious Freedom Report (2004), to the Turkish supra note 48. See also Jan Pacal, What Happened 1996. Turkish Daily News, 29 Aug. Assyrians?, Letter of the Archbishops and Istanbul to the President of Tur'Abdin of the Republic of in Turkey (27 Mar. 1995) (on file with Turkey about the Status of the Aramean Minority author). in Turkey, 2002 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 371, at 377. See Niyazi Oktem, Religion See Otmar Oehring, Human Rights inTurkey: Secularism = Religious Freedom? 36-37 available aiwww.missio-aachen.de/lmages/MR%20T%C3%BCrkei%20englisch_tcm14

77. 78.


79. 80.

11238.pdf. in See Thomas W. Norms: The ECHR and Human Smith, Leveraging Rights Reform in Turkey (Zehra Arat ed., forthcoming). in Human Rights Policies and Prospects Turkey, of Eur. Parl. Ass., Honoring 5ee Council of Obligations and Commitments by Turkey, art. 3 (17 Mar. 2004). COE Doc. 10111,


Civic Nationalism

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Justice in Turkey


in the Kemalist establish Even as Turkey edges closer to Europe, many intent on liberalizing ment?the military, the courts, the bureaucracy?seem the confines of the official within noted, "the ideology. As The Economist a brake on has itself become of Atat?rk, the great modernizer, legacy is jealously guarded by the modernization."81 Republicanism continuing in "pashas," as Turkey's military chiefs are known, but is also embedded institutions and ingrained in public life. It is second nature to deny divisions in civic in society and to repress grassroots politics. Turks are well versed see multiculturalism nationalism. Many state and believe that inserting religion in a backslide from modernity. been as tantamount into the public to dismantling the would result sphere

It should also be noted that far from receding first by bolstered over the past generation, and institutions erected following the 1980 coup, in 1991 in response to Anti-Terror Law,82 enacted According the 1970s 2004

to Freedom House, Turkey slipped to being only "partly free" ever since, although the 2003 in political did applaud improvements ratings rights and

into history, Kemalism has laws the "neo-republican" and then by the draconian the insurgency by the PKK. from being "free" for most of and civil

liberties.83 is still in force, sharply curbed individual The 1982 constitution, which while expanding the power of the National Security Council, which rights its stamp on virtually every facet of public policy. The State Security puts Courts which combined and (Devlet G?venlik Mahkemeleri), military civilian judges, have tried thousands of defendants, most of them Kurds. The Courts had come to symbolize Turkey's lack of judicial independence and, in June 2004.84 also under EU pressure, were formally dismantled to shape continues Kemalist discourse steadily eroding, Although to human of human rights. Ankara refers conspicuously conceptions violations carried out by Kurds, Islamists, and the radical left, but rights state abuses and only recently has started to accept the often downplays idea of cultural and minority rights. Ethnic and religious strife have fostered a climate of societal violence. At the same time, civic nationalism has also as Jacobin authorities state violence, errant citizens. punish encouraged over the past few of torture have declined markedly allegations Although are still common, in political cases. The US State years, abuses especially official

81. 82. 83. 84.

at 46. of Sorts, Economist, 2 Aug. 2003, Turkey: A Revolution Law to Fight Terrorism, No. 3713 (1991 ). at www.freedomhouse.org/research/freeworld/2003/ House Freedom available Data, countryratings/turkey.htm. See Commission of the Towards Progress Report 2004). Communities, European COM(2004)656 Accession, 2004 Report Regular at 23 (hereinafter on Turkey's EU Progress






Department Country Report for 2003 claims that there are still hundreds of instances of torture each year, with radical leftists and Kurdish activists the main targets. Village guards in the Kurdish Southeast, the Jandarma, and the worst violators.85 Detainees' police special teams are considered charges of abuse are rarely taken seriously and impunity is common. The pace of has picked up and there are growing numbers of convictions, prosecutions rather than the graver crime of torture. though often for mistreatment to chip away at scores of laws covering political reforms continue Legal parties, assembly and association, media, broadcasting, religion, education, and "crimes against Atat?rk."86 instruction, artistic expression, language in September 2004 and due to take effect Turkey's new Penal Code, adopted torture and ill-treatment in April 2005, defines in line with international now be prosecuted conventions.87 Doctors for falsifying medical may to cover up torture. Reforms in police and prosecutorial have been ordered. have been barred from suspending Judges in torture convictions.88 in the Southeast As the war has prison sentences Ankara has taken broad strides to dismantle the most waned, repressive or "political" crimes that for statutes. Suspects detained for "collective" merly fell under the jurisdiction of the now defunct State Security Courts reports conduct used for forty-eight hours. Though still tailored may still be held incommunicado to extract confessions, this is an improvement over the two-week detentions allowed under emergency the state of emergency rule. Although previously was lifted in November remains the site of illegal the Southeast 2002, torture, and disappearances. detentions, Turkey has also agreed to retry cases remanded to it by the ECHR.89 have filtered slowly the Legal and administrative changes through of state. Rules on political have been relaxed, but machinery assembly are still routinely detained. demonstrators The Political Parties Act was liberalized.90 based March Undeterred, the Constitutional Court People's 2003.91 close HADEP's Partisi, or DEHAP), Democracy Party (Halk Demokrasi Chief prosecutor Sabih Kanado?lu the Democratic successor, People's and the dissolution the Kurdish or HADEP) in Partis!, to has filed a petition Halk Party banned

Party (Demokratik of the Rights and Freedoms

85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91.

See U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: Country Rights Practices, 2003, supra note 33, at 5. See EU Progress Report 2004, supra note 82. Id. at 54. See U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: Country Rights Practices, 2003, supra note 33. Id. Parties Act, No. 2820 Political (1983), Frank Bruni, Threats and Responses: on Second, Moves N.Y. Times, 14 Mar. amended by Act Istanbul; Turkey at A13. 2003, No. 4748 Bans One

Reports on Human

Reports on Human

(2002). Kurdish




Civic Nationalism

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Justice in Turkey


(Hak ve ?zg?rl?kler Partisi, or HAK-PAR) as well as the Turkish Communist Party (T?rkiye Kom?nist Partisi, or TKP), are also pending.92 The prolifera tion of civil society organizations in recent years has been staggering, the state, which still rests partly with though the fate of civic groups has been approves or rejects NGO charters. The National Security Council revamped to dilute the power of the generals, though the military's political is still pronounced. influence New Article 302 of the Penal Code regarding criticism of the state or institutions is now limited to speech intended to "insult" or "deride" those institutions.93 New Article 216 replaces Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code, which criminalized "inciting people to enmity and hatred by or regional differences."94 to class, racial, religious, confessional, pointing to read "in a way that may be dangerous is amended The new Article for state Crimes Committed public order."95 The "Law Concerning Against Atat?rk" remains in force.96 A 150-article to hamstring Press Law continues the media, though under speech laws are increasingly rare.97 In a bell-weather prosecutions in 2001, Nadire Mater was acquitted of charges that she had an unflattering oral history insulted the military by writing Mehmets Book, of the war in the Southeast based on interviews with Turkish soldiers.98 A in other free speech and free press cases has followed. cascade of acquittals remain in prison for speech violations, several journalists and local Still, on their own officials often censor divisive expression initiative. Turkish decision the closure of two internet based newspapers in 2003?the leftwing Ekmek ve Adalet ("Bread and Justice") and the pro-Kurdish ?zg?r Politika ("Freedom Politics")?though to operate.99 both websites continue
Human rights groups remain skeptical of Ankara's half-measures. In a

courts ordered


to the EU's sanguine



report, Human

Rights Watch

92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97.

See Commission Draft Turkish Turkish Penal Draft Turkish

of the European Communities, Penal Code, art. 302 (2004). art. 312 (1926), amended Code, Penal

supra 1981.



at 42.

art. 216 (2004). Code, The Law Concerning Crimes Committed (1951). Against Atat?rk, No. 5816 For details of the 2004 Press Law, see International Publisher's Association, New Turkish to Freedom of Expression (2004), available Penal Code: A Long Way at www.ipa-uie.org/ at the Crossroads Sarah Repucci, Countries at www.freedomhouse.org/research/crossroads/ [Mehmet's Book: of the trial, see Times, 30 Sept. 2000, Turkey, available at

PressRelease/171204/COMMENTS.htm; 2005: available (2005), Turkey 4-5 98. 2005Aurkey2005.pdf. Nadire Mater, Mehmedin Soldiers Who Douglas at A7. 99. See Fought Frantz,

Kitaby G?neydogu'da Savasmis Askerler Anlatiyor in the Southeast Speak Out] (1998). For an account Journalist Borders, Cleared of Insulting Army, Surveillance N.Y. 2004:




Internet Under




Vol. 27

that Turkey had done contended little more than "tinsel and varnish" its on the eve of EU summits, arguing that a bevy of review human rights record to a Potemkin human rights boards instituted by the government amounted on the "grudging and uneven A March 2004 update focuses regime.100 of reforms.101 The government implementation" recently permitted Amnesty International (AI) to reopen its office in Istanbul that had been closed by the in 1980. AI has praised the pre-accession reforms adopted military by Erdo?an's









are among Turkish human the government's rights NGOs sharpest critics. The Human which (Ynsan Haklary Derne?i), Rights Association focuses on Kurdish rights, faces a labyrinth of intimidation, detentions, and by the state. Scores of court cases are pending prosecutions against the Ynsan Haklary Foundation group.103 The Turkish Human Rights (T?rkiye centers for victims of torture. The Foundation rehabilitation Vakfy) operates also prepares detailed, monthly reports on abuses, and drafts a variety of policy Human for recently joined Physicians papers.104 Several Turkish NGOs to write the "Istanbul Protocol," a medical to help handbook Rights cases of torture.105 The Istanbul Bar Association doctors document has gone so far as to draft a new, liberal constitution. The Organization of Human for Oppressed known as Mazlumder ("the People, Rights and Solidarity on religious a Turkish Islamist human NGO rights focusing oppressed"), in twenty cities, has also faced harassment freedom with offices and

100. 101. 102. 103.

Human of the 2001 Regular Report on See Human Analysis Rights Watch Rights Watch, available (Dec. 2001), aihrw.org/backgrounder/eca/turkey-analysis.htm. Turkey in Key Year for EU Bid See id.; Human Rights Watch, Turkey: Rights Progress Marred at hrw.org/english/docs/2004/03/03/turkey7784_txt.htm. available (3 Mar. 2004), in Early 2002, AI Torture Continues See Amnesty International, Systematic Turkey: Index Eur 44/040/2002, available afweb.amnesty.org/library/lndex/ENGEUR440402002. According to the European 2003 October and August between 2004, Commission, launched the IHD/ and court cases were different against investigations ninety-eight of the European Communities, HRA. 5ee Commission of the supra note 84. The website is available Human afwww.ihd.org.tr/eindex.html. Rights Association available of the Turkish Human 5ee the website Rights Foundation, afwww.tihv.org.tr/ eindex.html. for Human Rights, on the Effective Manual High Commissioner Istanbul Protocol: U.N. of Torture and Other and Documentation Inhuman or Degrading Investigation Cruel, U.N. Sales No. E.04.XIV.3 Treatment or Punishment, U.N. Doc. HR/P/PT/8/Rev.1, (2004). See the Mazlumder website, available at www.mazlumder.org/english/mainpage.htm.

104. 105.



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Kemalism ushered in a cultural revolution. Moderniza For devout Muslims, was waged in the language of contemporary tion (?aOdap) society, as the to the obscurantism of Islam. In the 1920s, the state dismantled opposed institutions of high Islam. In the 1930s and 1940s, it targeted the vernacular of saints, festivals, pilgrimages, veneration faith?the religious dress and driven and local sheiks. Many amulets, religionists were soothsaying, were in the 1950s, although relaxed beginning Prohibitions underground. an overabundance of Islam," defined with sharp curbs on "political to say, many observant Turks loathe remain in place.107 Needless prudence, led the opposition leviathan. The religious orders have always the Kemalist sector of civil society. Historically, the and remain the best organized though religious periphery was pitted against the secular center as well, the politically thanks to mass urbanization savvy core of Turkey's Islamists cities. Tanzimat had occurred secularization during the Ottoman as and under the Young Turks. For Atat?rk, secularism meant modernization In the seat of power, state secularism crippled the religious well as control. Ottoman institutions and learned community (ulema) that had mediated it "smash[ed] localised folk cultures and replaced rule. In the countryside, the nexus of global them by a unified national culture."108 The Caliphate, Extensive in 1924.109 Islamic schools (medreses) were padlocked Islam, was abolished The Sufi orders (tarikats) were banned, nationalized. and pious foundations in 1925. The and dervish (tekkes) and sacred tombs (turbes) closed lodges in 1926. Some religious shari'a was repealed and family law secularized were Tribunals executed reactionaries (Istiklal by the Independence In 1930, Hagia Sophia, the great Byzantine church-turned Mahkemeleri). was converted In 1933, Ankara decreed that into a museum. mosque, muezzins would recite the call to prayer (ezan) in Turkish rather than Arabic, replacing the word "Allah" with the pagan Turkish term "7anr)/."110 What is followed in Turkey is not Jefferson's model of the separation of of laicism, or Hobbes'?model church and state, but rather Rousseau's?or over state control in 1924, the Presidency of Established religion.111 now Western live in

107. 108. 109. 110.


Erik J. Z?rcher, Turkey: A Modern History 192 (1998). Poulton, supra note 23, at 99. the Abolishment Law Concerning and the Expulsion of the Ottoman of the Caliphate of Turkey, No. 432 from Lands Under the Jurisdiction of the Republic (1924). Dynasty of Islam is Binnaz The best discussion of this top-down secularization and Turkification in Civil Society in the Middle East 107 (Augustus Richard in Turkey, Toprak, Civil Society Norton ed., 1996). a "purely civil profession In The Social Contract, Rousseau of faith of which advocates as religious not exactly fix the articles, but as social should the Sovereign dogmas, a man cannot or a faithful subject." The which be a good citizen sentiments without






Islam in (Diyanet Religious Affairs l?leri Bakanly?y) literally administers owns Turkey's nearly 80,000 mosques. The agency's Turkey. The Diyanet run the mosques, craft religious doctrine, organize the 90,000 employees oversee to Mecca, annual pilgrimage in religious and moral education the country's holy relics, publish journals and in the Islamic and represent the faithful symposia, Conference. every imam in Turkey is a civil servant, appointed Officially, and paid by the Diyanet and supplied by the agency with civic-minded the General Director sermons.112 The Treaty of Lausanne notwithstanding, ate of Foundations (Vakiflar Genel M?d?rl???) similarly oversees minority schools, convene keep scholarly and schools. institutions, churches, monasteries, religious The early Republic was keen to sever religion from civil society and it. It was nationalize that Kemalism, sanctified suggested through an "cult of Atatiirk," might eclipse Islam as "Turkey's religion."113 elaborate a kind of religious What instead was that both corporatism emerged Islamists. Church and state have conspired and accommodates antagonizes on many levels. The secularizing Young Turks were praised across the The national liberation movement Islamic world for their anti-imperialism. was sometimes cast in terms of cihat, or religious struggle, to rid Anatolia of Mufti of Ankara issued revolutionary the pro-nationalist nonbelievers; or Islamic legal edicts.114 Koranic terms such as ?ehit (religious fetvas, martyr) or gazi (holy warrior) were appropriated by the Republic.115 In recent years the military has branded the PKK and leftist opponents of Even hardened the regime as unbelievers. secularists that Turkey's agree life owe much to Islamic traditions. political culture and ethos of communal To a great degree, Turkish identity is tied to Sunni identity. This was as true in the early Republic, which retained Islam as the state religion until 1928, as it is today for traditional Turks worried about the excesses effects of joining the EU. and the possible homogenizing of neoliberalism track of

of civil religion, he added, Jean "ought to be few, simple, and exactly worded." dogmas and Discourses 276 theorist (1973). No political Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract In Leviathan, of secular than Hobbes. sovereignty posits a more rigorous conception a secular absolutism divine law: that trumps especially theorizes Hobbes to their Sovereign, a new Covenant, made, not Some men have pretended for their disobedience with men, but with God .... But this pretence of Covenant with God is so evident a lie, even in that it is not only an act of an unjust, but also of a vile, and the pretenders own consciences, unmanly disposition. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan 230 (1983). in Islam in in Turkey, Modern Turkey: Religion, and Political Culture Ylter Turan, Religion Politics and Literature in a Secular State 42 (Richard Tapper ed., 1991). Faces of the State: Secularism and Public Life On the "cult of Atat?rk" see Yael Navaro-Yashin, in Turkey 188 (2002). at 318 Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902-1908, See M. ??kr? Haniodlu, at 363 (1977). 1950-1975, (2001); Feroz Ahmad, The Turkish Experiment inDemocracy, See Turan, supra note 112, at 42.

112. 113. 114. 115.


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Religion also colored the peopling of the Republic. Kemal Kirisci argues that even at the height of state secularism, Turkish immigration officials a striking preference exhibited for admitting Hanefi-rite Sunnis. The Otto man Empire had provided haven for Muslims from the Crimea, the Volga the Caucasus, Central Asian "Turkistan" and the Balkans. This Urals, in the Republican to citizen practice was formalized period. The gateway was marked by "Turkish descent and culture" as viewed ship through the lens of religion.116 Gagauz Turks from Romania?Christians who spoke Turkish?were barred entry, while Bosnian Turks?Sunnis who did not Turkish?were welcomed. Alevis and Azeri Turks, who are Ithnaashria speak rite Shiites, faced similar obstacles. In general, writes Kirisci, "Turkey has a much more followed restrictive policy compared to the Ottoman Em

factor" in immigration and refugee policies was pire."117 "A determining "who the state felt most at ease with, or. . . who the state has felt constitutes the very core of the Turkish national it can unyieldingly identity on which those who spoke Turkish.118 rely," namely Hanefi Sunnis, especially In Turkey, democratization has always fueled greater Islamization. In some ways this should come as no surprise. As Hakan Yavuz has argued, Islam comprises a large segment of "the grammar according to which Turkish society communicates."119 Since the 1950s, clandestine Sufi net works have surfaced and cultural conservatives have gained a voice.120 now lead consciously Conscious Islamic lifestyles, boost (?uurlu) Muslims in religious popular and commercial ing new markets culture, from high fashion veiling to Muslim beach resorts. One also finds syncretisms of Islam/science, and Islam/modernity, Islamists range from the violent Islam/capitalism. Ideologically, Turkey's and the Raiders of the Islamic Great East (Islam? B?y?k fringe of Hizbullah Do?u Akincilari), which in league with al-Queda bombed the apparently and the British Consulate in Istanbul in November synagogues 2003,121 to
secularized, near-Marxist Alevis.

116. 117. 118. 119. 120.

Kirisci, supra Id. at 3. Id. at 18. See M. Hakan Muslim World



at 18.


The Assassination of Collective The Case of Turkey, 89 Memory: 193, 193 (1999). See Ay?e Ayata, The Emergence of Identity Politics in Turkey, 1 7 New Persp. Turkey 67 69 (1997); Ziya ?ni?, The Political of Islamic Resurgence in Turkey: The Rise Economy of the Welfare 18 Third World Party in Perspective, Q. 743 (1997); Hakan Yavuz, Political Islam and the Welfare (Refah) Party in Turkey, 30 Comp. Pol. 63 (1997); Ahmet Discourse of Political Islam in Turkey: The Parties of National Yyldyz, Politico-Religious 93 Muslim World 187 (2003). Outlook, See BBC News, Istanbul Rocked at available (20 Nov. by Double 2003), Bombing Yavuz, news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3222608.stm.



Vol. 27

A handful of neo-Ottomanists revived hope to see the House of Osman the Caliphate and reconstituted.122 Technically illegal but nonetheless the Nak?ibendi brotherhoods extend from the influential, enormously conservative flour Khalidis, and Kadiris, to Fetullah G?len's S?leymancys, a New Age mix of Islam and ishing Nurcu ("seekers of the light") movement, in the Sufi tradition, the orders stress the esoteric and the science. Rooted a more authentic and claim to embody faith than either the mystical, ulema or the paper pushers of the Diyanet. legalistic Ottoman The travails of Turkey's Islamists are well known. Since the late 1960s, a succession movement of political parties rooted in the Nak?ibendi have Court on grounds been shuttered by the Constitutional that they were Erbakan of the hotbeds of confessional politics.123 In July 1996, Necmettin in Turkish the first Islamist Prime Minister Refah (Welfare) Party became to be squeezed out of office a year later under pressure from history, only Court closed Refah soon thereafter and the military. The Constitutional convicted Erbakan of inciting religious hatred.124 The successor Fazilet in 2001,125 The Council of State has (Virtue) Party was also shut down strengthened universities called at the fifty year prohibition headscarves against wearing Council and in public offices.126 The National has Security of the ban on the tarikatlar. Turkish military for stricter enforcement


5ee Houston, supra note in Vernacular A Study Administration 23 (1997). of

inTurkey: Islamist Mobilization 24, at 12-14, 183; Jenny B. White, Politics Alev Refah the City 23 (2000); Party and ?inar, and Hybridity, 16 New Persp. Turkey Istanbul: Liberal Islam, Localism



& Birol Akg?n, of Political Parties Limitation on the Freedom See Yusuf Sevki Hakyemez in Turkey and the Jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, 7 Mediterranean Pol. 54, 65-66 (2002). ruled that Refah did of Refah was Court The closure by the ECHR. A divided upheld an "Islamic theocratic the party thus met a indeed envision regime," and that banning states under the margin of appreciation accorded social need" that was within "pressing to the legitimate aims pursued." See and that "was not disproportionate the Convention Refah Partisi (Prosperity Party) v. Turkey, Applications 41342/98, 41343/98, 41340/98, the dismissal 41344/98, Judgment ?? 76, 82 (31 Jul. 2001). The ECHR has also upheld in fundamentalist activities of the military for participating of members (Kala? v. Turkey, at least inadmissible (1 Jul. 1997)); and has ruled 20704/92, Judgment Application

125. 126.

and dress. life and religious observance twenty applications involving military U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Religious Freedom Report (2001), supra note 74. In June 2004, who was barred from attending medical the ECHR ruled against a woman an Islamic headscarf. at Istanbul University The Court held she wore because school of Human 9 of the European Convention for the Protection that Article Rights and 4 Nov. for signature Fundamental 1950, 213 U.N.T.S. 221, Europ. Freedoms, opened into force 3 Sept. 1953), which "does T.S. No. 5 {entered deals with freedom, religious or inspired by a religion or belief," and found that the not protect every act motivated the legitimate aims of protecting the rights and ban on headscarves "pursued university freedoms of others and of protecting 44774/ public order." Sahin v. Turkey, Application 98, Judgment ?? 66, 84 (29 June 2004).


Civic Nationalism

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to purge alleged Islamists from the ranks.127 Although continue officials sliver of the country's Muslims, Islamists representa militant they loom large who have pursued in the minds of the military and intelligence services, of Islam," the view that Islam in what Hakan Yavuz terms "the securitization lifestyle.128 general threatens the Kemalist to Islam. Rather, But Turkey laicism has both is not simply hostile a uniquely the faith. Ankara has encouraged coerced and accommodated a "Turkish Reforma Turkish Islam. In the 1930s the government promoted the tion" to modernize Islam. A state panel recommended and nationalize that prayer times be adjusted to fit the Turkification of texts and services, in mosques, and modern work day, that church style pews be introduced replace Koranic recitation.129 some reforms remained in resisted by traditional Muslims, Although in the 1950s by the Islam-friendly Demokrat until overturned place Partisi.130 A similar "national and progressive image" of Islam was promoted which for eighteen months Unity Committee, by the National governed the 1960 coup. "Backward" elements of Islam, such as women following that hymns the ?ar?af, or veil, were said to have been imported from foreign wearing lands.131 In the late 1960s, the Turkish-Islamic Synthesis (Turk-Islam Sentezi), was the brainchild of the Hearth of the Enlightened (Aydyn Oca?y), as the antidote to political and social radicalizaron. advanced Yet, as Etienne Copeaux writes, at the same time as the Turkish-Islamic Synthesis itwas making official the place of "was reinforcing the Cult of Kemalism, a requirement at all levels religion in society, making religious education to the development and allowing freedom of [religious high complete was reinforced schools]."132 This cultural engineering by a post-1950s intellectuals who affirmed Islam as the of respected Muslim generation cultural core of T?rkc?l?k.U3


see Eric Rouleau, with Political For background, Pashas: Military Turkey's Modern Le Monde Diplomatique, 5ee also Soner ?agatay, Union Power, Sept. 2000. European on Brussels' Door, the Role of the Turkish Military: Ankara Knocking Reforms Diminish no. 781 at Institute for Near East Policy: Policywatch available Washington (2003), www. washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05. php?CID=1659. at Ebru Dogan, BBC News, available (21 Nov. 2003), Turkey's Militant Minority M. Hakan Yavuz, Islamic Political Identity in news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3227320.stm.; Turkey 244-45 (2003). Identity inTurkey, supra note 128, at 50; Z?rcher, Yavuz, Islamic Political supra note 107, at 201. Ahmad, supra note 114, at 378-81. Id. at 374-75. Etienne Copeaux, Espace et Temps de la Nation D'une Historiographie Turque: Analyse in Eissenstat, 1934-1993 Nationaliste, (1997), quoted supra note 31, at 104. as State Ideology in a Secular Setting: The Turkish-Islamic See Binnaz Toprak, Religion in Secular Turkey 10 (Malcolm Wagstaff in Aspects of Religion ed., 1990); Synthesis, in the Republic E. Meeker, in Islam in Michael The New Muslim of Turkey, Intellectuals See


129. 130. 131. 132. 133.





These ideas began to bear fruit in the 1970s under the National Front coalition governments of Turkish nationalists and Sunni Islamists. composed After the 1980 coup, the Turkish-Islamic the centerpiece synthesis became to promote a Turkish national of the military's "retraditionalization" policies in culture. Better to be a Muslim than a Marxist (or a Kurd for that matter; 1981 a special Diyanet to propagate branch was established Islam as an alternative what to Kurdish nationalism), if the state could influence especially kind of Islam people practiced.134 General Kenan Evren, who led the set out to revive Turkish Islam as "a rational and logical religion," coup, and science."135 In the end, Evren's noted for its "high regard for knowledge Islam largely mirrored majority Hanefi Sunnism. new powers to cultivate It The Diyanet was accorded orthodoxy. the construction of mosques its own and began rapidly expanded issuing fetvas against the temptations of the left. The 1982 Constitution decreed that and instruction" for primary and middle and moral education "religious school students "will be conducted under the supervision and control of the of Education for the public state."136 The Ministry up funding stepped the Iman-Hatip schools, secondary lyc?es, which ostensibly religious trained for the national Sunni feeders leaders, but became religious movement. At their height, in 1996-1997, the Iman-Hatip schools enrolled more than 500,000 middle and high school students.137 In 2003, the state added night and summer Koran courses to counteract or educational the mushrooming number of private religious dershanes, that "religion educa institutes. Education Minister H?seyin ?elik explained tion should be carried out with the State's resources and under State as a in a healthy manner, instead of being pushed underground supervision,
nefarious activity."138

on the same centrist Sunnism. State and society have largely converged in incorporating Islamists into the political system," "Turkey has succeeded concludes Hakan Yavuz, "and this in turn has softened and restructured Islamic demands and voices."139 This domestication of Islam might seem to as Islamists internalize republican vindicate years of repressive secularism,


as noted,

the state

itself is deeply


in religious


Modern 1991). 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139.

Turkey: Religion,


and Literature

in a Secular






in Turkey, supra note 110, at 107-08. Toprak, Civil Society Identity in Turkey, supra note 128, at 70-71. Islamic Political Yavuz, Turk. Const, art. 24 (1982). Islamic Political Identity in Turkey, supra note 128, at 124, Table Yavuz, in Turkey: A Dilemma State and Religion Education U?ur Akinci, at www.turkishpress.com. available Islamic Political Identity in Turkey, supra note 128, at 237. Yavuz,

5.1. (4 Jan. 2004),


Civic Nationalism

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it inevitably favors one As it polices and association religious expression is dominated version of Islam over others. The Diyanet by Hanefi Sunnism, the agency seems to view as synonymous with "Turkish" Islam, and which receives the lion's share of state support. which of faith and power prompted a UN special rapporteur This confluence for religious freedom who visited Turkey in 1999 to warn against even "a it status for the Hanefi conception of Islam."140 Such ties make quasi-official seem natural or inevitable that Turkish identity should be defined by resources indeed have monopolized and Sunnis, who public majority the country's "civic" culture.141 largely molded have profited most from this arrangement.142 The Islamic nationalists Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), known as a "reformed" to victory in the November 2002 national elections, faction, swept forming in twenty years. Party leader Tayyip government Turkey's first majority the AKP's divorce from the more strident wing of Erdo?an, who engineered the Nak?ibendis, democrat" and compares the calls himself a "conservative to the center-right Christian Democrats inWestern The party Europe.143 party's logo, an illuminated light bulb, often set against a portrait of Atat?rk, to the secular its commitment rather than the signals Enlightenment "heavenly light" (nur) o? Islam.144 as an Some of Turkey's Islamists see the sprint for EU membership most view it as a path toward "de affront to Muslim values, though Kemalization" and hence greater freedom.145 The AKP favors religious to the "mosaic" of European but envisions Turkey adding membership, cultures, not simply assuming identity. Erdo?an frequently em European to foreign and from political economy Islamic language and devices, ploys he exhibits an Islamic sensibility. But this is balanced by almost daily policy


Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur of all Forms of Intolerance Elimination 1: Situation in Turkey, Belief, Addendum

on Human the Commission Rights and and of Discrimination Based on Religion U.N. GAOR, 55th Sess., at 5-6, U.N. Doc. of

the or A/

55/280/Add.1 (2000).
141. Encounter with Modernity: Ambivalent Kieser, The Alevis' Islam, Reform in Turkey (19th-20th cc.) 1 (2002) (unpublished Ethnopolitics manuscript prepared in the Balkans for the Conference, and Heritage and Anthropology, Archaeology or The Life and Times of F.W. Hasluck of Wales, Anatolia (1878-1920), University at www.hist.net/kieser/puAVales.pdf. available (3-6 Nov. 2001)), Gregynog, Hans-Lukas and See Metin in Contemporary and Democracy Islam, Modernity, Heper & ?ule Toktas,, 157 (2003); Thomas W. Turkey: The Case of Recep Tayyip Erdcftan, 93 Muslim World Allah and Atat?rk: The Turkish Model from Laicism to Liberal Islam, 9 Smith, Between Int'l J. Hum. Rts. (forthcoming 2005). at 74. 18 Dec. 2004, The Enigmatic Mr. Erdogan, Economist, at www.akparti.org.tr/. See the AKP website, available Cousin: Turkey, the European Union and


143. 144. 145.

Bertil Dun?r & Edward Deverell, Country Human Rights, 2 Turkish Stud. 6, 7 (2001).





of political Islam, even repudiations community. As Erdogan puts it, "Islam the two, We ruling, You can't compare of the people."146

the idea of an Islamic political is a religion, democracy is a way of just want to increase the happiness

Islam has weighed heaviest on Turkey's millions of Alevis, Nationalizing the country's the heterodox Muslim, arguably largest minority. Nominally Shiites have their own religious ceremonies (cem) and hereditary priest class of the faith rather (dede). They profess to follow the inner (batin) meaning most do not pray, fast, tithe or than its external (zahir) rules. Accordingly, the Hajj. Nor do they accept the Sunni shari'a}*1 Their nonsegregated are held in cem-houses, are infused with not mosques, services, which music, poetry, and dancing. to mystics, Politically, Alevis range from Marxists though most are left to Catholic Turkish Alevism has been compared liberation theol leaning: the Sunni Ottomans, Alevis cheered been ostracized ogy. Having by to press for the separation of church Atat?rk's secular reforms, and continue make and state in order to insulate them from the Sunni majority. Although many Alevis are not religious, the public face of Alevism alarms conservatives. is venerated Twin portraits of Atat?rk and the Imam AM, who by Shiites as are often mounted behind the dais at the Prophet Mohammed's rightful heir, events. to the For Turks accustomed Alevi and cultural conferences of Kemalism, and for Sunnis, who do not idolize saints, the monotheism scene elicits a kind of cognitive dissonance.148 in the 1970s an Alevi cultural revival clashed with the Beginning of state and society. Right wing Sunni nationalists, Sunnization growing led pogroms against rural Alevis as including the fascist "Gray Wolves," in Western well as the "urban diaspora" Hundreds were killed. In Turkey.149 the 1990s, Alevis were still stigmatized as disloyal and heretical kyzylba?lar, literally, "redheads," a folkloric reference to Alevi tribal headgear.150 In July a Sunni mob firebombed an killed when 1993, thirty-seven people were in the city of Sivas. The attackers were incensed by Alevi cultural congress a secularist who at the conference had the presence of Aziz Nesin, translated portions of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses into Turkish.151 The some of it, violence was discourse, legitimized by a toxic Sunni-nationalist

146. 147. 148. 149. 150. 151.

in Pope, supra note 6. Quoted 5ee Martin van Bruinessen, Kurds, Rep. 7 (Jul.-Sept. 1996). See Tahire Stud. 99, 105

Turks and

the Alevi


in Turkey,

200 Middle


in Contemporary Erman & Emrah G?ker, Alevi Politics Turkey, 36 Middle E. (Oct. 2000). 262. Poulton, supra note 23, at 162-63, David Shankland, The Alevis inTurkey: The Emergence of a Secular Islamic Tradition 26 (2003). van Bruinessen, supra note 147, at 9.


Civic Nationalism

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the lumping of Alevi were also shaken


and Kurdish separatism,



by the rapid ascent during the 1990s of the Partisi (MHP), or National Action Hareket Party. right wing Milliyet?i a sordid history of religion baiting Alevis and race baiting Kurds, the Despite MHP became the lynchpin partner in the coalition government from 1999 Alevis to 2002.153 In February 2002, a state court closed Peace the Alevi Democratic as well as the main Alevi cultural association. Movement With Alevis to take the case to the ECHR, an appeals court overturned the threatening Erdo?an has ruling.154 Prime Minister to religious minorities, cabinet positions the AKP ticket in local elections. Erdo?an as well and has distanced himself from but he has also reportedly
cem-houses are "culture houses" rather

non-Muslims, offering on running ethnic Armenians has made overtures toward Alevis the anti-Alevi fanatics of the MHP, said that "Alevism is not a religion" and that Alevi and
than "temples."155


as errant Muslims, seems to view Alevis The Diyanet and budgets almost nothing for their activities. Recently the agency attempted, corporatist invented inAnkara. style, to co-opt Alevi youth with a cultural association Alevis have thus far failed in their efforts to have their children exempted from the religion courses taught in schools, which they say parrot the Hanefi mainstream. Most Alevis would dis probably prefer to see the Diyanet remote possibility to mantled altogether?a given that the state continues on the agency to set the tone for moderate Sunnis, and remains dead rely set against ceding control of mosques to the religious orders.


The well on Turkey's Kurds has been of citizenship impact of the ethnicization in documented. Atat?rk offered Kurdish tribal leaders future autonomy for their help during the independence but that movement, exchange commitment faded as liberation gave way to nation building, and rebellion in the Kurdish region?roughly the Eastern quarter of the country?was used

152. 153.

Kieser, supra note 141, at 17. See Alev ?inar & Burak Arikan, The Nationalist Action Party: Representing the State, the or the Nationalists, Nation 3 Turkish Stud. 25 (2002); M. Hakan Yavuz, The Politics of Fear: The Rise of the Nationalist Action E. J. 200 Party (MHP) in Turkey 56 Middle (2002). U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Report (2003), available at www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24438.htm. U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: International Report (2004), supra note 48. Religious Religious Freedom Freedom

154. 155.



Vol. 27

to justify repression nationwide.156 By the late 1920s, state historians and social scientists toured the Southeast describing how Kurds had descended from Turkmen tribes and thus really were Turks, albeit "Mountain Turks."157 Ethnic chauvinism In 1927, Foreign festered beneath this civic veneer. Minister Tevfik Ru?di predicted that the Kurds, "inevitably doomed," would suffer the fate of the "Red Hindus [Indians]."158 For the first seventy years of In 1991, then prime the Republic, Kurdish identity was officially denied. S?leyman Demirel broke


the silence when he lifted the ban on the for "non-political" and communications) (though only language as he put it, "the Kurdish reality."159 acknowledged, For some, the rise of Kurdish nationalism was sparked by the "structural violence" caused by systematic deprivation and injustice by the state. For itwas a reaction to "internal colonialism": the case fits Michael others, Kurdish core and that unequal economic relations between theory a country within incite peripheral nationalism.160 To the extent periphery a problem at all, it has favored economic that Ankara has recognized rather for most observers, Kurdish nationalism than ethnic explanations. However, as a is the result of modern identity politics. Many Turks view Kurdishness construct rather than an authentic ethnie. During the war, latter-day political the notion


as "absurd, of a separate Kurdish identity was widely dismissed and subversive," and activists for Kurdish rights were cast as unnecessary, "terrorists and enemies of the nation."161 The the main identity of Turkey's Kurds is not fixed. Nonetheless, emic (the view of the group from markers by which ethnicity is gauged?the as well as the etic (the view from without)?both within) point to the of a distinct Kurdish ethnicity and culture.162 Many existence" "undeniable in being a Turk of Kurdish extraction. Inter Kurds see no contradiction is common. Prominent and politi businessmen, entertainers, marriage cians?a of Kurdish descent. quarter of Parliament by some estimates?are Kurdish and Turkish Others lapse between state. Abdullah ?calan, be an essentialist speaks only broken Kurdish. Tribal lineage to is supposed realities inwhat the jailed leader of the PKK, (Dersim, Kuchgiri, Barzani, and

156. 157. 158. 159. 160.

161. 162.

David McDowall, A Modern History of the Kurds 186-89 (1997). supra note 24, at 99-101. Houston, at 421 in Philip Mansel, Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924, Quoted (1996). in Ergil, supra note 5, at 130. Quoted Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development, See Michael Hechter, are roughly one-tenth at 7-9 in the Kurdish Southeast Incomes of (1975). 1536-1966, in the industrial swathe of Western those Turkey. Henri J. Barkey & Graham E. Fuller, Turkey's Kurdish Question 117-18 (1998). to Europe and the U.S. 39 (2000). On Kurdish Heinz Kramer, A Changing Turkey: Challenges see Mutlu, emic and etic markers supra note 53, at 518-19.


Civic Nationalism

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others), religious sect and rite (Shafii Sunni, Alevi Shiite, Yezidi), and identity. Depend language (Kurmanji, Surani, Zaza, Gurani) further delimit identities may overshadow these Kurdish ethnic ing on circumstance

Strife between Kurds and the state is a recurrent feature of the in the Southeast were caused by Early insurrections equally and Islamic rejectionism of the secular state. Kurdish nationalism at the time (and many Turkish historians the since) described or "irredentists," but almost "religious fanatics," "reactionaries" nationalists.164

Republic. forces of Journalists rebels as never as

Kurdish activists, By the mid-1920s, including the Azadi were openly espousing (Freedom) movement, separatism. In 1925 the Sheikh Said The state always met resistance with violence. Rebellion was crushed, and the Independence Tribunals brought back to its leaders. Other revolts broke out near A?ri Da?y (Mount Ararat) prosecute source says in 1937. One and in Dersim (now Tunceli) in the Kurdish have been as many as thirty-eight armed mutinies 1925 and 1938, tens of thousands region since the early 1920s.165 Between to Western of Kurds and Alevis were deported Turkey.166 Parts of the area were under continuous martial in the law from 1925 until 1946. Quiescent from 1926-1930 there 1950s and 1960s, the Southeast grew increasingly restless in the 1970s. From 1984 until 2000 the region was the site of a brutal secessionist war in which more than 30,000 people died.167 There are still occasional flare-ups of violence between Kurdish fighters and Turkish security forces. The PKK or Kongra-Gel, has reconstituted itself as the Kurdistan People's Congress, in Northern and is thought to have some 5,000 fighters harboring Iraq.168 to eradicate Turning Kurds into Turks was always a civilizing mission and feudalism. Ankara repeatedly sought to overturn land tenure, the abas, the great Kurdish landlords. The campaign banishing targeted nation "ethnic" or "folk" Islam as well. Atatiirk wrote that no "civilized let themselves tolerate a mass of people who be led by the nose by [could] a herd of shaykhs, dedes, in other babas and amirs," sayyids, chelebis, tribalism

163. 164.

See See

Kirisci & Winrow, supra note 20, at 23-25. L?le Yal?yn-Heckmann, Ethnic Islam and Nationalism in Islam in Modern Turkey: Politics and Literature in a Secular

the Kurds in Turkey, among State 103-06 (Richard Tapper

165. 166. 167. 168.

supra note 24, at 125. McDowall, supra note 156, at 199-200. See Stephen Kinzer, Turks and Kurds: A Corner Times, 4 July 1999. See

ed., 1991). See Houston,


the World

that Peace



International Crisis Group, Iraq: Allaying Turkey's Fears over Kurdish Ambitions 14, 18 at www.icg.org/home/index.cfm?l=1 See also Yigal Schleifer, &id=3241. (2005), available How Will to Growing 22 Rebel Violence?, Christian Science Monitor, Turkey Respond Sept. 2004.



Vol. 27

words, backward clerics and holy rollers.169 Southeastern Turkey is legend and sometimes ary for its dissenting, clandestine, religious brotherhoods and lodges. Religious heterodoxy has compounded the separate identity of Islam in the Southeast. Kurds while The foiling attempts to "Diyanetize" to sheikhs was such that they managed reputation of some Nak?ibendi sectarian and tribal rivalries and exploit transcend solidarity born regional of resentment toward Ankara.170 Kurdish cohesiveness grew in response to of the state. As the influence of the tarikats increasing Turkification into a secular ethnic nationalism. this solidarity was parlayed waned, Former President Turgut ?zal?a Kurd himself?predicted that mass to the industrial centers of Western would complete the immigration Turkey assimilation of Kurds.171 Surveys and voting patterns do show that Kurdish remain on the land. Displaced by identity is strongest among those who the part poverty and war, roughly half of Turkey's Kurds now live in theWestern of the country. Villagers who migrate to the cities, typically through "chain" in the city. These migration, maintain close ties to their regional compatriots rural culture but less so ethnic or social networks reproduce (hem?ehri) 1999 elections, the main party, legal Kurdish-oriented in the Southeast, but received scant support among HADEP, polled in the inWestern Kurdish migrants Turkey.173 Still, the party's strength was remarkable given the slim chance of reaching the 10 percent provinces to gain seats in the parliament, the high and given threshold needed in likelihood the party would be closed by the Constitutional Court, which, in the 2002 elections. in 2003.174 This trend continued fact, happened DEHAP won 60 percent of the vote in the Southeast, though country-wide, parties.175 three-quarters of Kurds voted for non-Kurdish well political identity.172 In the 1995 and

169. 1 70. 171.

McDowall, supra note See Yal?yn-Heckmann, 210-11.


at 196. note 164, at 104; McDowall, supra note 156, at 196-98,


observation Ernest Gellner's that the Barkey & Fuller, supra note 161, at xii. This echoes in the Kurdish from agrarian?or rise of nationalism the transformation often attends and to industrial Ernest Gellner, Nations See generally case, grazier?society society. and See also Murat Ethnic Kurds, Endogenous Nationalism (1993). Identities, Somer, 1 Global Rev. Ethnopolitics and Integration with Europe, 74, Turkey's Democratization at www.ethnopolitics.org/archive/volume_l/issue_4/ available 87-88 (June 2002), somer.pdf. See Tahire Rural-to-Urban (1998). Erman, Becoming on "Urban" or Remaining Question," "Rural": 30 The Views of Turkish Int'l J.Middle E. Stud. 541



the "Integration

173. 174. 175.

Ayse G?nes-Ayata Parties & Elections

in Politics, Bases of Voting, Ethnic and Religious & Sencer Ayata, inTurkey 137, 139 (Sabri Sayary & Yylmaz Esmer eds., 2003). See Bruni, supra note 91. 6 Middle East Rev. 2002 Elections: A New Beginning?, Ali ?arkoglu, Turkey's November Int'l Aff. 30, 33-34 (2002), available afmeria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue4/carkoglu.pdf.


Civic Nationalism

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the leviathan pressures Kurds have faced. in earnest in the 1950s. The the Southeast was begun Kurdish language was banned. Registrars refused to record Kurdish names on birth certificates removed (in July 2003, Parliament language from the Census Law that had prohibited the use of names contrary to the "national in 1956, the "Special Commission for Name culture").176 Established new Turkish of Kurdish villages with re-christened thousands Change" Turkification of were not far behind. The process was acceler names.177 State mapmakers rule in 1983. With the outbreak of the war, ated after the return to civilian a deep freeze. Kurdish cultural entered Kurdish and historical rights were banned. Kurdish-leaning newspapers, publishing houses, representations and NGOs were shuttered. Books about Kurds, organizations Kurdistan and Kurdish nationalism, distant historical accounts, including were seized. Turkey's great novelist, Ya?ar Kemal, was prosecuted in 1995 for arguing that the Kurdish would fade without language literary free charitable

It is hard

to overstate

Kurdish civilians bore the brunt of the war. According to the Human Foundation of Turkey, thousands of Kurdish villages were evacuated, Rights or razed.179 The army and hundreds burned instituted Vietnam style as the war progressed. than a million More Kurds were "hamletting" Most of the PKK's victims were also Kurds (schoolteachers and displaced. considered favorite targets), and postal workers, agents of Ankara, were many Kurds supported the movement only under duress. In a well-regarded 1995 survey, only 11 percent of Kurdish respondents favored secession, said they wanted though two-thirds of those polled respect for greater Kurdish identity and culture, and some measure of self-administration.180 It was clear, however, that civic allegiance had shallow roots in the Southeast. The government ruled by military might teamed with the arming of the to purchase the reality, a massive "village guards"?in bribery scheme loyalty of tribal leaders to carry out indirect rule. Aside from an occasional skirmish the war is now over, and bitterness between Turks and Kurds is receding. Having invested so much blood and treasure (as much as $100 billion) in the war, many Turks are reluctant to

176. 177. 178.

U.S. Rights

Bureau of Democracy, Practices,

supra ?ktem, See Yasar Kemal,

Human Rights, 2003, supra note 33. note 22, at 9. The Dark Cloud Urge Rights over Turkey

and Labor, Turkey: Country

Reports on Human

179. 180.

Intellectuals Kinzer, Stephen 22 Oct. 1999, at A12. See Press Release, Human www.tihv.org.tr/eindex.html. The survey was conducted inMcDowall, summarized

Index on Censorship 141 (1995); Turkey, 24 to End the War Against Its Kurds, N.Y. Times, of Turkey (31 May University. 2001), ErgiTs available findings at are


by Do?u supra note

Ergil of Ankara 156, at 446.



Vol. 27

to Kurdish culture. Since 1999, the Village Return and make concessions Rehabilitation the return of about 10 percent of the Project has overseen Kurds as well as some Syriacs. Refugees must receive official displaced, to return. There have been some 300,000 half of permission applications, which have been denied, for security reasons.181 Some Kurds ostensibly to return only after signing an affidavit stating that they report being allowed a tactic not the government's, had fled because of the PKK's actions, the government's in future cases aimed at bolstering defense possibly have been resettled in new brought at the ECHR.182 Some of the displaced "consolidated villages"

instead of original sites, often distant from the lands. Resettlement has not been helped by the fact villagers' agricultural that 60,000 Indeed, some village guards remain on the public payroll. have had to flee a second time.183 The entire process has reinforced villagers were designed to be permanent. that the displacements suspicions The Kurdish issue has always been an international one as well.184 The in Iraq may have warned that regime change generals spin off an Kurdish state there, and have vowed to block it from happen independent Turkish special forces soldiers are active in 1,500-3,000 ing; an estimated to undermine Northern Kurdish efforts.185 Ankara is particularly Iraq, trying worried that Iraqi Kurds might try to seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which to have a significant Turkmen, or Turkoman, minority also happens that under Kurdish rule.186 Today much hope is Turkey fears may be persecuted in the Eastern Anatolian invested (GAP), a massive Project regional and rural development irrigation plan, although critics say that the project,



Resettlement and Reconstruction Joost Jongerden, 1 Global Rev. Ethnopolitics 80 (2001), Turkey, archive/volume_l/issue_1/jongerden.pdf. Displaced and Disregarded: See Human Rights Watch, 4 (Oct. 2002),

of Identity: The Case of the Kurds at www.ethnopolitics.org/ available


Turkey's Failing Village Return Program at www.hrw.org/reports/2002/turkey/. The available largest share of to the ECHR from Turkey have been lodged by Kurds seeking damages applications on Human 1 of the European Convention under Protocol I,Article Rights for properties there has been a sharp up-tick by Turkish security forces. Since 2000, allegedly wrecked in the number of "friendly settlements," to the inwhich damages Turkey pays monetary

183. 184.

185. 186.

the Court that legal and administrative reforms have been but also satisfies applicant, to prevent future abuses. Thomas W. Smith, Leveraging Norms: The ECHR and enacted in Turkey, supra note 79. Human Rights Reform See Human Rights Watch, Displaced and Disregarded, supra note 182. See generally Kirisci &Winrow, supra note 20, ch. 6; Michael M. Gunter, The Kurds and the Future of Turkey ch. 4 (1997); Dietrich Jung & Wolfango Piccoli, Turkey at the Crossroads: Legacies and a Greater Middle East ch. 7 (2001). Ottoman International Crisis Group, Turkey's Fears over Kurdish Ambitions, See Iraq: Allaying supra note See 168, at 11-12. id. at 6-8; Scott as Turkey Watches, Kurdish Groups Unite Peterson, Warily, 4 Oct. 2002; Sandra Mackey, The Coming Clash Over Kirkuk, at A23.

Christian Science Monitor, N.Y. Times, 9 Feb. 2005,


Civic Nationalism

& Ethnocultural

Justice in Turkey



has already inundated a number of villages and historical sites, is of the state's top-down engineering of life in the Southeast.187 emblematic in the country, the taboo surrounding all things Kurdish has Elsewhere is lively debate about Kurdish cultural and linguistic rights, lifted. There advocates of Kurdish freedoms still risk public censure although outspoken In August and state prosecution. Parliament ended the ban on 2002, Kurdish-language broadcasts might broadcasting prove useful private Kurdish that state-run television (officials suggested in order to counter satellite TV propaganda), lessons.188 In June 2004, the state language

in Kurmanci, and radio began broadcasts the most in Turkey. While Kurdish dialect Turkification had the full widespread are largely on their own. backing of the state, Kurdish cultural entrepreneurs dershanes face frequent bureaucratic shut obstacles, Language notably downs for fire code violations.189 Reforms or not, many police-state absurdities subver linger: discerning sive lyrics, censors still seize Kurdish pop music; officials recently detained rock star Haluk L?vent after he performed at a Kurdish cultural festival in in the past, the government had in essence criminalized the Germany; are common in Kurdish but do not exist in "w" and "q," which letters "x," the Turkish version of the Latin alphabet, and a number of prosecutions were mounted over spelling;190 in the "poster crisis" of 2003 a lower court ruled that a campaign of posters reading "Peace will prevail" in Turkish and Kurdish threatened national unity, and police nationwide were ordered to hunt down and remove the subversive placards.191

and legalized run TRT television


to ethnicity harnessed Turkey presents a vigorous case of civic nationalism and culture. However, the coercive and the processes of style of citizenship described here no doubt happen more homogenization subtly in other


188. 189.

in the See, e.g., The Kurdish Human Rights Project, The Ilisu Dam: A Human Rights Disaster in Turkey May Soon Flood?A Making N.Y. '2nd Pompeii,' (1999); Stephen Kinzer, Dam at 1. Times, 7 May 2000, Human Rights, and Labor, Turkey: Country U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2003, supra note 33. A good overview of difficulties Kurds still Research: Board, Country of Origin Turkey, face is Canadian TUR42658.E and Refugee Immigration at www.irb (2004), available See also At Last, Turkish 11 June 2003. Telegraph, 189. (19 Dec. 2003), available at

190. 191.

cisr.gc.ca/en/research/ndp/ref/?action=view&doc=tur42658e. to Voice Their Hope Kurds Are Able of Freedom, See Canadian and Refugee Board, supra note Immigration Ebru Dogan, BBC News, Kurds Wait for Turkish Sea Change news.bbc.co.ul</1/hi/world/europe/3328875.stm.



Vol. 27

a civic state and a national culture almost settings. Constructing inevitably In the garb entails the leveling of diversity and the folklorizing of minorities. of civic inclusion the institutions of state become for the majority. vehicles In politics as well as economics the path to success may be open only to the In the Turkish case, ethnoreligious state policies were at the assimilated. and the division of public identity, state building, the day to day tasks of state also served to diminish although civic state turned coercive. diversity. The dream of a modern its own diversity? How will Turkey accommodate Islam is sometimes that will hold the country together. A more held out as the cement likely to the EU will help to crack this dilemma. is that Turkish accession scenario has been a boon to reform. There are Already, the prospect of membership heart of national resources, out of signs that joining the EU may actually heighten cultural conservatism within Turks might become fears of homogenization Europe. Ironically, more Turkish in Europe; this accounts in part for the popularity of Erdogan's But a efforts to balance Euro-friendly policies and religious traditionalism. inwhich the unitary federalist Europe also offers a more supple civic model, state and Turkish and culture" exist alongside other nationalisms for example, those already transnational movements, identities, including in Turkey. linking Kurds in Germany or Syriacs in Sweden to their brethren In Turkey and elsewhere, the divided of the EU are replacing the loyalties "national of the modern state.