The Greeks of Turkey

The Greek community in Turkey is dwindling, elderly and frightened. Its population has declined from about 110,000 at the time of the signing of the Lausanne Treaty in 1923 to about 2,500 today. Its fear stems from an appalling history of pogroms and expulsions suffered at the hands of the Turkish government. A Helsinki Watch mission visited Turkey in October 1991 and found that the government there continues to violate the human rights of the Greek minority. These acts include harassment by police; restrictions on free expression; discrimination in education involving teachers, books and curriculum; restrictions on religious freedom; limitations on the right to control charitable institutions; and the denial of ethnic identity. All of these abuses violate international human rights laws and standards that have been signed or endorsed by the government of Turkey, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the Paris Charter. (from our “Denying Human Rights and Ethnic Identity” series)

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