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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2007, 19:43
by avetik
Recognition of minority rights is of course high on the list of conditions which Turkey is expected to satisfy, before she can even be considered for membership of the European Union. This can hardly be an insuperable problem. After all, founder members of this organization, above all France, have equally strong centralizing traditions. My own expectation is that recent trends will continue, and the east Black Sea coast will be increasingly marketed to tourists as a region of extraordinary ethnic diversity. Trabzon will receive major grants to establish new museums to celebrate Pontic Greek traditions; a little further east, so will the Lazi, Hemşinli and Georgians. These institutional initiatives might then attract support from the local population, especially if there is a material payoff. But if the current intellectual stirrings and these hypothetical institutional changes were to generate a higher level of ethnic consciousness and an ethnicisation of social interaction, this would be something novel, a break not only with the history of the republican period but also with the preceding Ottoman centuries.

Source: Chris Hann, History and Ethnicity in Anatolia, 2003, (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Working Papers)