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Palgrave Macmillan

Religious Minorities in Turkey

Alevi, Armenians, and Syriacs and the Struggle to Desecuritize Religious Freedom

  • Book
  • © 2017


  • Evaluates the reforms and progress made with respect to the rights of minorities in Turkey by applying securitization theory
  • Focuses on the religious minorities of the Alevi, Armenians and Assyrians in the contemporary political context of European integration and AKP government
  • Draws on thorough empirical research using in-depth interviews and questionnaires collected across Turkey including Mardin, Istanbul and Ankara

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About this book

This book considers the key issue of Turkey’s treatment of minorities in relation to its complex paths of both European integration and domestic and international reorientation. The expectations of Turkey’s EU and other international counterparts, as well as important domestic demands, have pushed Turkey to broaden the rights of religious and other minorities. More recently a turn towards autocratic government is rolling back some earlier achievements. This book shows how these broader processes affect the lives of three important religious groups in Turkey: the Alevi as a large Muslim community and the Christian communities of Armenians and Syriacs. Drawing on a wealth of original data and extensive fieldwork, the authors compare and explain improvements, set-backs, and lingering concerns for Turkey’s religious minorities and identify important challenges for Turkey’s future democratic development and European path. The book will appeal to students and scholars in the fields of minority politics, contemporary Turkish politics, and religion and politics.

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Table of contents (8 chapters)


“This is a timely book looking at the complex issues of religious minorities and their security problems in Turkey. It provides a much needed analysis in an area previously understudied and addresses a gap in the literature.” (Professor Meltem Müftüler-Baç, Sabancı University, Turkey)

“Turkey has made temporary, partial political and social progress which has made life a little easier for minorities, before taking alarming steps backwards recently. This book will be able to contribute to a better understanding of the social and political prospects of the country and gives scientific insights into the difficult situation of religious minorities.” (Professor Thede Kahl, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science and International Relations, Yeni Yüzyil University, İstanbul, Turkey

    Mehmet Bardakci

  • University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Annette Freyberg-Inan

  • Department of Slavonic and Caucasian Studies, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany

    Christoph Giesel

  • University of Jena, Jena, Germany

    Olaf Leisse

About the authors

Mehmet Bardakçı is Assistant Professor in Political Science and International Relations at Yeni Yüzyıl University, Istanbul, Turkey. He obtained a BA in International Relations from Bilkent University in 1994 and a PhD in Political Science from Duisburg-Essen University in 2007. His work spans Turkish politics and foreign policy, Euroscepticism, Europeanization, democratization, minority rights, and civil-military relations.

Annette Freyberg-Inan is Lecturer in International and European Politics at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and affiliated with the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. She has published widely in her fields, chairs the Theory Section of the International Studies Association, and just completed a term as co-editor of the Journal of International Relations and Development.

Christoph Giesel is Post-Doctoral Researcher and Lecturer atthe Institute of Slavistics and Caucasus Studies at the Jena University, Germany. His main research interests are in manifestations of nationalism, ethnicity, religion and minorities and in structures and dynamics of political and social organization with a special focus on the Balkans, Anatolia, Caucasus, Middle East and North Africa.

Olaf Leisse is Professor of European Studies at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. He has published widely about South East Europe and Turkey. His special interest is in Europeanization processes in EU Accession States, as well as the current disintegration process.


Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Religious Minorities in Turkey

  • Book Subtitle: Alevi, Armenians, and Syriacs and the Struggle to Desecuritize Religious Freedom

  • Authors: Mehmet Bardakci, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Christoph Giesel, Olaf Leisse

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan London

  • eBook Packages: Political Science and International Studies, Political Science and International Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-27025-2Published: 10 February 2017

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-137-27026-9Published: 24 January 2017

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVI, 275

  • Number of Illustrations: 35 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: European Politics, Political History, Religion and Society

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