Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)


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Minorities and nationalism in Turkish law

We provide a free online form to document your learning and a certificate for your records. Already read this title? Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. Exclusive web offer for individuals. Home Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. Add to Wish List. Toggle navigation Additional Book Information. Description Author s Bio Reviews. In so doing, it adopts a sceptical approach to the claim that Turkey has a civic nationalist state, not least on the grounds that the legal system is generously littered by references to the Turkish ethnie and to Sunni Islam.

Also arguing that the nationalist stance of the Turkish state and legal system has created a legal discourse which is at odds with the justification of minority protection given in international law, this book demonstrates that a reconstruction of the founding philosophy of the state and the legal system is necessary, without which any solution to the dilemmas of managing diversity would be inadequate.

Not only ethnic and linguistic but also sectarian differentiation was strongly denied among Muslim people.


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The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 21 alongside the centre-appointed Hanefikadis. Legal pluralism in this context should be considered as another aspect o f Ottoman pluralism and state-subject relations, whereby various groups negotiated their rights and created spaces for their differences, customs and identities, and acquired recognition in the Ottoman legal system.

The nineteenth-century reforms marked the end of these conventional configurations as the state was being centralized by the modernizing o f its organizational structure, and it shifted from the traditional millet structure premised upon self-regulated, diverse, autonomous societies, to the modernist European emphasis on a centralized state and a nation with a common secular sense o f territorial loyalty with uniform legal and education systems.

These changes were seen by non-Turkish Muslims and non-M uslims alike as a threat to their existence. Also see Sonbol for the situation in Jordan. Also see Sonbol By comparison to the imperial model, minority protection appears like a flimsy attachment to the nation-state system, deemed to be posing an obstacle to the desired uniformity, a burden to be borne.

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Minorities and nationalism in Turkish law - Ghent University Library

In this chapter, we examine the status o f ethnic and religious communities during the period o f the Ottoman Empire. In doing so, we look at the millet system 1. For more detailed studies on Ottoman Orientalism see Makdisi and Deringil The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 23 accommodated ethno-religious differences 1. We then turn to examining how these essentially pluralistic systems o f governance changed during the Tanzimat period from , and how the conventional status o f diverse communities came to be diminished by the increasing influence o f the modem state concept of egalitarianism, secularization and citizenship, as well as increasing ethnicization and standardization o f the imagined nation 1.

The records also tell us important stories about non-Turkish and non-Muslim members o f the Ottoman Empire, and their views about the idea of Ottomanism. They tell us a lot about the role and influence of Turkish nationalism on the ruling elite and their implementation of Ottomanism, with its negative impacts on the diverse communities o f the Empire. They also had to wear distinctive clothing and other signs. They were allowed to collect taxes for these functions under the scrutiny o f the state, which ensured against abuses. For instance, in cases where a state official was accused of misconduct, the courts allowed a non-Muslim to testify against a Muslim: However, recent studies have shown that this was not strictly applied and the building of many churches, synagogues, and so on, had been permitted and restrictions were loosened especially after the Tanzimat: Throughout its history, almost half of the grand vezirs of the Ottoman Empire were non-Turkish and non-Muslim: Rather, it is means of rule, of extending, consolidating, and enforcing state power.

Toleration is therefore one among many policies of incorporation such as persecution, assimilation, conversion, or expulsion. Toleration refers to the relations among different religious and ethnic communities and secular authorities, and is the outcome of networked, negotiated, and pragmatic forms of rule. A general reading o f the millet system suggests that religion was the only legitimate criterion determining legal status in Ottoman Empire.


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The evidence runs contrary to the general acceptance that the state-subject relationship or their legal status in the Empire was solely premised on the religious affiliations of people. Indeed, the reaya, which comprised peoples o f all languages and creeds, were the main tax bearers. Meanwhile, the askeriye class, consisting o f the ruling elite, military personnel, and those non-Muslims performing certain administrative duties within the millets or in the state,39 were exempted from liability to taxation because o f their service to the state.

See similarly Bozkurt For instance, these records illustrate that the kadi courts were used widely by non-Muslims, and not only for criminal law matters, but also for personal law matters involving only non-M uslim parties, even though in such cases they could have used their own community courts. They also show that not only did M uslims testify in support o f non-Muslims in many cases, but also that M uslims were represented by non-Muslims before the kadi courts because o f their extensive knowledge o f the law.

These records also show that some Islamic rules found to be beneficial to them, such as demands for mehir dower , securing a divorce, or registering a marriage, were claimed by non-Muslims through the kadi courts.

Populism and Its Causes

The Ottoman Empire did not have a single, uniform, organizational structure applied in all imperial territories. While some areas sancaks were registered for taxes under the ttmar system and governed mostly by centre-appointed local notables and kadis, the others enjoyed provincial autonomy in their internal matters and had an autonomous fiscal organization. The administrative system in the region was drawn up by the Kanunname-i Osmani Ottoman legislation with negotiations o f ldris-i Bitlisi, a well-known Kurdish notable and statesman in the Ottoman Empire.

The governors had military and administrative duties and taxes were collected by the state. There were not many o f these sancaks in the region. The second type o f administrative unit was the Ekrad Sancaks. The authority o f the local notables could not be taken away by the centre and it passed from father to son unless they betrayed the Empire.

These areas were registered for tax, and the centre also sent kadis judges who had financial and legal authority. These areas were not registered for tax by the centre and their governance was absolutely left to local notables. Also for its effect on Transjordan and other Arab territories, see Rogan They had absolute financial and judicial authority over their areas, although they still had the responsibility o f providing soldiers to the centre during wartime.

In the light o f the lack o f studies on the operation of Ottoman laws and courts in Kurdish areas, it is hard to imagine the role o f Kurdish traditional and tribal laws. This area remains untouched by research, the conduct o f which would be very important for understanding the life o f Kurds under Ottoman rule. She also argues that the Ottoman advancement to the east and the Kurdish areas in the sixteenth century, changed the Empire from open and multi-vocal with a candidly Islamo-Christian orientation, in which multiple groups of Islamic, orthodox Sunni, heterodox Sufi, Christians and Jews coexisted and had a participatory voice, to one in which Islamic religiosity with a Sunn!

Because o f the administrative autonomy o f m ost areas populated by Kurds, they also enjoyed a degree o f self-regulation outside o f the Ottoman administrative and legal system. The privileged autonomous status of the Kurdish areas continued in operation until the Tanzimat reforms , the fundamental principles o f which were the renovation, modernization and centralization o f the state structure. The Porte-appointed governors then exercised direct control over them, resulting in further centralization at the expense o f the autonomy of local leaders.

These changes brought an end to the traditional privileged legal status o f the Kurdish tribes. Kanun-i Esasi would later state that the administration o f those counties would be based on the principle o f decentralization, in practice, the strong centralizing policy of the Tanzimat era continued and was implemented even after the Constitution was adopted.

Hence, the different autonomous position o f the Kurds was impaired by annulling the conventional contract between the Empire and the Kurdish tribal 62 Ibid.: The Ottomans first sought to establish some sort of suzerainty over the neighbouring states. They then sought direct control over these countries by elimination of the native dynasties.

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Direct control by the Ottomans meant basically the application of the timar system which was based upon a methodical recording of the population and resources of the countries in the defters official registers. The establishment of the timar system did not necessarily mean a revolutionary change in the former social and economic order. It was in fact a conservative reconciliation of local conditions and classes with Ottoman institutions which aimed at gradual assimilation.

The state would thenceforth reconstruct its relations with the Kurds with reference to Islamic unity. The assumption which lay behind moves to erode Kurdish autonomy was that having a centralized authority would result in a better-functioning state administration and prevent territorial losses. In any case, centralization was inescapable for the Empire, which aimed for a modem state requiring uniformity in many areas, including within its administrative, legal and education systems, language and so on.

This would in turn have serious consequences for the diverse communities o f the Empire. This threat then paved the way for further unrest among various ethnic and religious communities and the rise o f nationalisms. The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 33 state at the expense o f the periphery, and to make the Ottoman legal system compatible with the commercial demands o f the time. Nevertheless, these reforms and centralization involved a change in the paradigm o f state-society relations. They instituted standardized forms that signified a different idiom of rule with changing legitimacy and a new understanding of diversity that would accelerate the path to nationhood.

The importance o f the communities millets consequently diminished and individual citizens as right and duty bearers appeared in the legal system, and this involved the emergence o f new ties, legitimacy and loyalties in state-society relations under the idea o f Ottomanism. Hence, the state took important legal steps to peel back its imperial appearance and to become a modem state based on a civic, secular concept o f citizenship. In this way, the state meant to spread out the idea o f Ottomanism in the millet communities while thwarting nationalist ideas, and concurrently secularizing the religion-based millet structure by Between and , regulations were issued with respect to all millets.

Also see Reyhan Karpat considers these regulations'to have been the last step in the liquidation o f the millet system. Also, article 11 o f the Kanun-i Esasi upheld the religious privileges of the millets on condition o f the non-violation o f public order and adab-t ummumiye. The question as to whose adab-t ummumiye the Constitution referred to, in an empire whose borders stretched from North Africa to the Balkans, Anatolia and the Middle East, remained unanswered by the text o f the Constitution.

Although the ruler Abdiilhamit II reigned abrogated the Kanun-i Esasi and constitutional government by , a few months after it was issued, its articles were, in effect, codifying the reaction o f the Ottoman ruler to separatist nationalist uprisings. The importance o f emerging m odem nation-state concepts in the imperial legal system should not be underestimated, since the more profoundly felt need for unity and integrity which they indicated, signalled the rise o f the nation, and o f modernist state ideas, in the minds of Ottoman statesmen. In the following sections, we analyse these reforms, the emerging new concepts, and their effects on the conventional status o f ethnically and religiously diverse communities.

Karpat criticizes the methodology of the modernization and westernization policies o f the Ottoman elite, arguing that: The Ottoman government, instead of following the logical direction of these developments, say, by recognizing the emerging ethnic-religious units as autonomous bodies and incorporating them into some sort of federal or similar structure, imposed upon them, under the impact of pressure of the European powers, a common Ottoman nationality or citizenship without considering whether this nationality could represent and express satisfactorily the religious, ethnic and regional aspirations and rising national consciousness of the various ethnic groups.

For a similar view, see Davison Strikingly, one of the main dilemmas of the Turkish Republic in relation to recognition of the Kurdish minorities could be said to recall precisely such a problem. Such policies not only repeat the historical mistakes which had devastating consequences. They also continue the failure to deal with plurality or manage diversity adequately. This edict, while heralding new laws kavanin-i cedide for good governance. The Tanzimat Fermam pledged equality in the protection o f life, honour and property o f all Ottoman subjects regardless o f their religion.

Another important development in terms o f equality, a few years earlier, was the abolition o f the discriminatory obligation upon non-Muslims to wear distinct clothing manifesting their religious difference by a law o f , which also made wearing the fe z and modem dress compulsory for soldiers and bureaucrats. In this manner, the idea o f equality seems to have emerged concurrently with the concept of non-discrimination. However, in the Kemalist Republic, these policies would be taken one step further, and the wearing o f one type o f western clothing was made compulsory not only as an index o f modernization but also to homogenize the society and the private sphere by removing the disclosure o f the distinct identities o f various ethnic and religious groups.

Also see Karpat The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 37 of taxation, military service, justice, education and recruitment to public offices, while it confirmed and maintained all the privileges and spiritual immunities given to non-M uslims in the past. The Islahat pledged that laws would be put into place against the use of any injurious or offensive term, either among private individuals or on the part o f the authorities. If one considers that until a few years ago there was no law in m odem Turkey forbidding the use o f discriminatory and offensive terms against minorities, the Islahat, at least in theory, was more advanced than the present legal system o f Turkey.

Translating the promise o f equality into practice, the heads o f each community were invited by the Porte to take part in the deliberations o f the Supreme Council of Justice Meclis-i Vala on those occasions o f interest to the generality of the subjects o f the communities. Thus, the religious communities gained political recognition, while the state aimed to promote a sense o f loyalty and solidarity among non-Muslims by unifying them under secular laws and the state system, thereby also severing their ties with the millet communities.

With the Kanun-i Esasi , equality was inscribed as a fundamental principle o f the state and placed under constitutional protection. By referring to all subjects without exception as Ottomans, regardless o f their religion and denomination article 8 , the Constitution attempted to encode the principle of civic nationalist equality. The Constitution also opened public offices to all, according to the fitness, merit and ability o f the person article However, eligibility for 90 Ortayli For a study of the role of minorities in the establishment of the first municipality in Istanbul, see Rosenthal It might be also interpreted as a result of an increasing tendency at the time to think in terms of Islamic unity.

However, it was perceived differently among Muslims and non-Muslims. Since egalitarianism meant the loss o f conventional pluralistic, self-regulated, millet-system rights, it provoked a reaction, especially from the ecclesiastical hierarchies. Nevertheless, as already explained, the Ottoman Empire had a pluralist legal system. Under the traditional structure o f the millets, non-Muslims enjoyed autonomous judicial authority and applied their religious laws over disputes between members o f their communities.

In classical Islamic law, being Muslim was one o f the conditions for holding a judicial position. However, with the establishment o f the Nizamiye courts as part o f the Tanzimat reforms, non-Muslims was also appointed as judges to these new secular courts. For instance, the introduction o f public prosecutors and notaries and, more importantly, the system o f having multiple judges in courts and appeal procedures were considered to contradict Islamic law, according to which judges stood on their own capacity, and were only accountable to God.

All these also constituted important steps towards the secularization o f the legal system. It had jurisdiction over everyone regardless o f religion and ethnicity.

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The Code of Commercial Procedure was adopted in from Italy. In the bidayet mahkemeleri first-instance courts , there was one Muslim and one non-Muslim and in the istinaf mahkemeleri appellate courts there were two Muslims and two non-Muslims. Also see Jackson Also see Ekinci Islamic law was thus enforced through the Nizamiye M ahkemesi as well as in the sharia courts. The Mecelle was considered an important step towards the creation o f a unified legal system for all. The Hukuk-i Aile Kararnamesi o f was another important step toward legal unification.

It introduced a single family law, while retaining different rules for Christians, Jews and Muslims regarding marriage, divorce and rights o f maintenance. In fact, it also laid the foundation for the Republican Civil Code o f The first step in the standardization o f this law was the introduction o f private ownership with Akyol The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 41 the Land Law o f , which assured men and women equal shares in inheritance o f land. Secondly, except for Jews, all other communities were to seek the application o f these standardized rules from the same legal institutions, that is, the kadi courts.

However, they also contradicted the very nature o f the Ottoman conventional legal system in that the laws changed from millet, community, area, tribe, and so on, since there had never been a homogenized, single legal system for all. The Ottoman legal system was not based on the idea o f the enforcement o f a single common value or law upon the population. As noted, each community, at the time o f its joining the Ottoman state, had had its legal status and legal relationship with the state determined differently.

Thus, the legal status of the people in the Empire, like its human diversity, was eclectic. The only common law valid for all was the protection o f the sultan. The secularization policies were, meanwhile, intended to ensure equality by removing religious references in the legal and judicial system. In this way, the state signalled its aim o f circumscribing millet functions to strictly religious affairs, and thus positioned itself as the chief regulator o f society by reducing the power of the grassroots corporatist social structure. With the declaration o f the Kamtn-i Esasi , Ottomanism became the official ideology o f the state.

Thus, the Ottoman nation could be described as having a bond to the state through citizenship. The reasons for passing a nationality law as early as the s was to avoid interference from European states on the pretext o f their guaranteeing protection to non-Muslim subjects by means o f issuing official patents or foreign passports. Shaw and Shaw For detailed information about the first constitutional period, see Devereux The same advantages carried on in the Republican legal system when Turkish race soy people were advantaged over others.

Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law

Traditionally, although all Muslims had theoretically been considered as coming under the Muslim millet, as noted above 1. Thus, many marginal, heterodox M uslim and non-Muslim groups for example, Shiites, the Yezidis, Nusayris, Druzes, Alevis, and so on were forced to convert into this official denomination mezhep-i resmiyye. He considers the preparation of famous Mecelle as part of this standardization effort. It was shut down in after a boycott. The connection o f the Ottomans with the ancient Turkish nomads of Central Asia began to appear in civilian and military history schoolbooks.

Thus, a centralized m odem education system was considered essential to diffuse the idea o f Ottomanism, as well as create new citizens in line with it. However, until the nineteenth century, the state had not been involved with instruction except in the education and training o f the administrative and military cadres. Otherwise, education had been m n by the different communities, which also determined the curriculum and teaching methods, and how to finance it. However, after the Tanzimat Fermant, the state started to see education as a public duty, began to interfere with its management, and expanded its control even over non-Muslim schools by examining their textbooks and curricula under the Maarif-i Ummumiye Nizamnamesi Ordinance o f General Education , despite criticism from the millet representatives.

By requiring these educational institutions to be established in conformity with the law article 15 , control was obtained over the establishment o f schools. Further, all schools were placed under state supervision and proper means had to be devised for harmonizing and regulating the instruction given to all Ottoman subjects article However, centralization and harmonization o f education also required the coordinates o f education to be drawn in line with the dominant state vision, which was Islam.

On the one hand, this emphasis was inevitable since the modernization o f the state apparatus, w ith its increased bureaucracy and ICarpat The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 47 complex administrative system, required more civil servants who spoke the same language. Turkish statesmen and intellectuals also considered the Turkish language as a tool to achieve the goals o f Ottomanism to create a more cohesive and loyal society. Meanwhile, for the first time in Ottoman history, Turkish was explicitly declared as the official language o f the state by article 18 o f the Constitution.

The Constitution also made knowledge o f Turkish a condition for employment by the state. The importance given to Turkish becomes more evident when one analyses other articles of the Constitution. Thus, Turkish would be the only language in the public sphere and in state-society relations.

The desire for absolute domination o f Turkish in the public sphere became apparent during the preparation o f the Constitution, with the rejection o f a draft provision proposing that languages spoken in the Empire other than Turkish also become official languages equal to Ottoman Turkish.

However, as Barlcey The non-Muslim and foreign schools were attacked for ignoring Turkish and promoting foreign languages. N ot separating people was also considered a legitimate quest. Thus, it was stated that education had to have a national and religious basis. In the creation o f the new identity for citizens, new subjects called Malumat-i Medeniye and Ahlakiye ve Lktisadiye Knowledge on Civics and Economics and Morals were added to the curriculum and, during the Republican period, these became Yurt Bilgisi Homeland Studies , which aimed to produce citizens loyal to state.

The latter was greeted with particular concern by the non-Turkish and non-M uslim communities o f the Empire, who saw it as threat to the survival o f their cultural identity and as being against the equality principle. For a detailed analysis of this issue see Kushner This provision was criticized by non-Muslim deputies on the ground that granting the right to open schools, but to then disadvantage them, was not compatible with the principle of equality MMZC, The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 49 The Tanzimat reforms had inaugurated a new period of centralization and modernization.

Ottoman Tanzimat leaders introduced the basics of modem Western statecraft, slowly but surely moving away from negotiated, distributive, flexible, and accommodationist forms of imperial integration and settlement toward rational settlements, uniform rules and regulations, and universal legal principles.

The Ottomans enacted reforms in the central administration, law and order, education, the bureaucracy, and the military to remove intermediary groups and institutions between state and society. They had endorsed equality before the law, bringing Muslim and non-Muslim subjects to the same level, stripping each group of its particular set of privileges.

For a detailed study about the deputies of that parliament, see Kansu They referred to the Ottoman territory as vatan homeland , and the Ottoman state as the state o f everybody: On the one hand, they defined the state-nation relation on the basis o f political affiliation and along civic nationalist lines, rather than according to ethnicity, religion, or culture.

For a similar view see Alkan For instance, Vartkes Efendi Erzurum stated that the core of the Revolution was freedom, and asked for the British model of rights and freedoms to be adopted, instead of the French model, since the former was more in favour of freedoms and was a constitutional monarchy like the Ottoman Empire MMZC, The latter phrase entered into the Constitution in article with amendments in , in aftermath o f the revolution. Thus, the various diverse groups were not only subjects o f the state but their distinct diversity was recognized at the constitutional level, which must have been a result o f the equality and brotherhood ideals of the Revolution.

The ensuing discussion is very interesting for an understanding o f the significance o f the ideal o f Ottomanism for non-Muslims and other non-Turkish deputies. Albanian Societies were closed in My primary idea is Ottomanism. I also know very well that especially the Armenian nation milleti cannot live anywhere else except in the Ottoman homeland memleket. You are interpreting my ideas erroneously and perceiving as if I am an old kart Armenian who does not think about anything else except Armenianism.

For the same argument, see ibid. Kirlcor Zahrep Efendi, p. The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 53 understood and acted upon. If the government acts in justice, even if we ask Armenians, Greeks, Bulgars to establish secret organisations [against state unity], they would not do that If you go to America, there are a thousand different nations millet but none of them endeavours to work for their own, because there are no restrictions. For instance, Pavli Karolidi Efendi stated that being an Ottoman was possible if diverse groups were allowed to have and enjoy their distinctiveness.

The opposite view is demonstrated by the response of Ibrahim Hakki Pasa Sadrazam to the proposal of some Albanian deputies who had asked for the establishment of a committee without containing Albanian deputies to examine some incidents in Albania MMZC, The government policy of forcing people to adopt the Arabic alphabet while banning the use of the traditional Latin script see also Ahmad The government was also criticized for not making laws which took into account the special conditions and traditions of the region, and not allowing Albanian soldiers to be recruited in their region.

For a discussion on these issues, see MMZC, The non-Muslim deputies would later hold the Turks responsible for bankrupting the Ottomanism ideal. Only five years ago many newspapers, pamphlets, books, and public orators had declared the bankruptcy of Ottomanist politics. I am sure you have not forgotten this. But you did not even question them: Indeed, they are valuable and interesting in telling us a lot about the roots o f dilemmas in the management o f diversity persisting in contemporary Turkey.

Also see Lewis The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 55 which increased their disappointment and frustration with the state. Anayasa Mahkemesi, AYM case law. The political, demographic and economic situation seemed ripe for the start o f a more assertive Turkish nationalism, which found its highest expression during this time, while the ideal o f Ottomanism was officially abandoned. The idea o f linguistic nationalism had indeed been pursued in the Ottoman Empire throughout the nineteenth century.

They gave much more importance to the constitutional provision on the official language, Hanioglu For instance, a law which required the use o f only Turkish in the publication o f legislation, on the grounds that Turkish was declared as the official language o f the state by the Constitution, passed through the MM despite disagreement from non-Muslim and non-Turkish deputies.

For instance, deputy Kirlcor stated that To say that the language of Turks should be prevalent tamim etmek does not mean that, as an Armenian, I should forget my own language, I should never speak Armenian, or a Greek should not speak the Greek language. On the contrary, to say that everybody should speak in their languages certainly does not mean that the language of Turks must be forgotten. See also Cemil Zehavi Efendi, p. Some Muslim deputies also supported this point and stated that, in some parts of the country, there was a continuing practice of translating laws and official documents into the local language; see Sevket Pasa ibid.: Yorgo Boso Efendi ibid.: The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 57 than the official language is prohibited.

Do you want us to be Turk? We are Ottoman, but not Turk. This law also required companies to start using Turkish by They found it acceptable that the use o f Turkish could be imposed for correspondence with the state, but. Instead o f uniting minorities or peoples, these policies gave rise to language movements that went hand-in-hand with national revolts. The policy also demonstrated that not only were non-Muslims targets, but all non-Turkish groups.

Although it has been claimed that the creation o f a national economy programme was supported by the state from onwards, in reality, it had started earlier. The creation o f a national bourgeoisie was considered a primary goal towards the formation o f a nation-state.

If the existing local non-M uslim bourgeoisie were left out, this would result in the creation o f a Turkish bourgeoisie. This tendency was also justified by wartime alliances, according to which non-Muslim groups were assumed to be supporting the Allied powers.

For a detailed work on this boycott, see Qetinkaya W hile supposedly aiming to improve the position o f Turkish elements in the economy, it was considered to be a political measure against non-Muslims. Such measures were later justified by Celal Bayar, who became president o f the Turkish Republic in the s see 3. The turbulent nomads or the rebellious population of a village and even a town which had caused or might cause trouble were shifted to a distant part of the Empire.

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The Ottoman Empire and Minorities 61 Muslim population. This law later became permanent with a circular o f 30 M ay It affected Greeks, Jews, Nestorians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, who were also subjected to forced resettlement. They could not even re-acquire their lands, and therefore became destitute in the eastern part ofthe country see MMZC, For a detailed study of these hearings, see Dadrian I am spelling out that the big murder of which the Turkish nation is being accused was committed by the former administration MM, 18 November , p. Furthermore, they had to be separated from their religious and tribal leaders in order to ensure that they lost their nomadic life, language and customs.

Meanwhile, the events of the First World War and the embroiling of the Ottoman Empire in a fight for its own independence was to lead to a series of foundational events and documents within the space o f a few years which were to result in the establishment o f Turkey as an independent nation-state. Mass meetings and demonstrations took place in Istanbul. The passive attitude o f the Ottoman government resulted in the formation o f some local civilian resistance movements in Anatolia.

The new state would also be a republic on the territory drawn by the Montrose Armistice. Kemal and his cadres organized the local resistance movements into a national independence movement. Kemal himself also came from the Young Turks tradition. Kemal and Karabekir, see Karabekir Indeed, both intended to build the Turkish nation-state upon a homogenous population, through forced assimilation and Turkification o f all areas o f life - via education, immigration, settlement and history.

For instance, the Constitutional Court AYM has come up with a definition o f the nation by referring to some important documents o f this period, such as the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses, and the National Pact. Turkification of non-Muslims and forced assimilation of Muslim ethnic minorities, both of which would be enforced by the Kemalist regime throughout the Republican period.

See also Chapter 3. The Lausanne Treaty of revised its provisions as, by that time, Turkey had made many territorial gains. The Lausanne Conference also decided, for the decades to come, critical questions relating to the unprecedented population exchange between Greece and Turkey 2. This included the prospects for the return of the forcibly displaced Armenians 2.

The Lausanne Treaty itself is also crucial for the way in which it formalized the cleavage between M uslims and non-Muslims. In fact, a closer reading o f it 2. They organized conferences to combine their strength and to formulate action plans for the future, including their relations with each other and with non-Muslims. The first such conference, with limited participation, was the Erzurum Congress of July The Sivas Congress effectively expanded the reach o f the Erzurum Congress Resolutions to the whole country, but without referring back to Erzurum.

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Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law) Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (Cultural Diversity and Law)

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