Maria Demesticha / Minorities in the Balkans in the Era of Globalisation: The Case of the Turks in Western Thrace

An abstract of the Thesis of Maria Demesticha for the degree of the Master of Arts from the Atatürk Institute of Modern Turkish History to be taken August 2004

Minorities in the Balkans in the Era of Globalisation: The Case of the Turks in Western Thrace

This thesis explores the history of the Turkish minority of Western Thrace from 1923 until the present time. By presenting the life conditions and the problems that the minority has faced in Greece it shows what an important positive change in Greek policy towards the minority has taken place since 1991. The thesis presents the reasons of change, the way the change took place, and the new policies that were followed. The effects of globalization and of the international protection of minorities that intensified, especially after the end of the Cold War, the pressure exercised over Greece by the European Union and other international organizations, the efforts of minority politicians and of their media to present their problems, and the cultivation of a European identity among the members of the minority are among the basic factors that contributed to the “change.” Through the presentation of the current situation, the reader is afforded a look into the basic problems of the minority in the present day and the discussions inside the minority. Finally, the thesis stresses the fact that the way Greece changed its policy towards its minority can work as a model for other countries, future members of the European Union (like Turkey) that try as well to improve the life conditions of their minorities.

Atatürk Ilkeleri ve Inkilâp Tarihi Enstitüsünde Yüksek Lisans derecesi için Maria Demesticha tarafindan Agustos 2004’te teslim edilen tezin kisa özeti

Küresellesme Çaginda Balkanlardaki Azinliklilar: Bati Trakya’daki Türklerin Durumu

Bu tez, Bati Trakya’daki Türk Azinligin 1923’lerden bu güne tarihini inceler. Tez, azinligin Yunanistan’daki hayat sartlarini ve karsilastiklari sorunlari sunarak, 1991’den sonra Yunan azinlik politikasinin nasil olumlu yönde degistigini gösterir. Tezde bu degisimin nedenleri, ne sekilde meydana geldigi, ve degisim sonundaki yeni politikalar sunulmustur. Küresellesmenin etkileri ve özellikle soguk savas bittikten sonra yogunlasan uluslararasi azinlik korumaciligi, Avrupa Birligi ve diger uluslararasi organizasyonlarin Yunanistan üzerindeki baskilari, azinlik politikacilarinin ve medyasinin problemlerini sunmadaki çabalari, ve azinlik bireyleri arasinda Avrupali kimliginin gelismesi degisime katkida bulunan temel nedenler arasindadir. Simdiki durumun sunulmasiyla, okuyucu azinligin bugünlerdeki temel problemlerine ve azinligin içindeki tartismalara göz atabilir. Son olarak, bu tez; Yunanistan’in kendi azinligina karsi politikalarini degistirme seklinin; azinliklarinin yasam kosullarini gelistirmeye çalisan, Türkiye gibi gelecekteki Avrupa Birligi üye ülkelerine bir model olabilecegi gerçegini vurgular.