Since the early 2000s, Turkey has been obliged to fulfill important requirements in the field of human rights as part of the Europeanization process. A historically nationalist and repressive state, the country has recently been making progress in this field. However, according to EU progress reports, a lot more is required especially in regards to anti-discrimination and minority rights laws. Kally Zarali highly recommends Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law as an interesting and in-depth historical overview of the case of minority rights and diversity.
Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. Derya Bayir. Ashgate. 2013.
Turkey was granted the status of EU-candidate country in 1999. Since then, and while negotiations and relations with the EU have gone through various phases, the country remains on the path of Europeanization and harmonization with the Enlargement requirements. At the same time, the emergence of AKP, the moderate Islamist party of Tayip Erdogan, and its dominance in political life since 2002, has brought about important changes in the governance of the country and also in its profile and role in the region and the world. In comparison to other Muslim countries of the region still striving to find their internal and external balances after the Arab Spring, Turkey is regarded as a stable and rising economic power, experiencing constant and peaceful democratization. This process however is not as rapid and far-reaching as one would expect, and thus most of the malfunctions of a historically nationalist society are still present, especially in the field of human and minority rights.
Derya Bayir focuses on the Turkish legal system and judiciary and their roles in the formation, interpretation, and implementation of policies on diversity and the management of minorities in the country. Through extensive and meticulous examination of parliamentary papers, laws, and judicial decisions the author composes the meaning of the terms “Turk” and “Turkish nation” throughout history, and describes eloquently the repressive and assimilative practices that have been used against minorities by the Turkish state in the name of Turkish nationalism.