Turkey’s Current Position in the Way of Multiculturalism: Legacy of Past and Today’s Dead-End


  • Can Kakışım Karabük University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations




Turkey, multiculturalism, Ottoman Empire, minorities, democracy, Kurdish Question


This research aims to examine Turkey’s historical background and current situation in terms of multicultural development. As multiculturalism is an approach which depends on the principles of “equal citizenship” and “active protection of differences” as its two pillars, Turkey’s historical experience presents separate examples for both sides of the coin. Ottoman Empire fulfilled one dimension of multiculturalism, that is the protection of differences but lacks the principle of nondiscrimination, while Turkey adhered to the understanding of equal citizenship to a large extent, however clearly lacks the protection of differences with its strong commitment to create an upper Turkish identity. In the 1990s, strict nation-state structure of Turkey would begin to be more intensely challenged and eventually multiculturalist principles of the new age would be reflected in Turkey in some degree. But now, apart from pure minority issues, Turkey currently experiences crucial problems regarding general freedoms and democratic principles. From this point of view, success of general democratic struggle should be the crux of current multiculturalism debate in Turkey and has to be regarded as the key factor to determine the consistency and stability of minority rights within the country.




How to Cite

Kakışım, C. (2018). Turkey’s Current Position in the Way of Multiculturalism: Legacy of Past and Today’s Dead-End. European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 3(1), 62–72. https://doi.org/10.26417/ejms.v7i1.p62-72