U.S. English Foundation Research
Ankara 2,782,200 (1996 est.)
780,580 sq km (300,948 sq mi)
Form of government
GDP per capita
Purchasing power parity—$6,200 (1999 est.)
65,599,206 (July 1999 est.)
Turkish — 80-88%
Kurdish —- 10-20%
Arabs — 1.5%
Other — 0.3%
Updated (October 2004)
For many years Turkey has failed to recognize most of minority groups living on its territory. In conformity with this policy state authorities tried to "Turkify" national minorities, such as the Greeks and the Kurds1. Since nowadays the country seeks accession to the European Union (EU), it has to comply with the basic EU standards and the protection of minorities is one of them.
ETHNIC AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
It is estimated that there are:
(These are the only groups recognized as "non-Muslim minorities")
Additionally, there are Muslim religious minorities, in particular the large Alevi community, whose population is estimated at 12–15 million.
Source: Minority Rights Group International, Minorities in Turkey, Submission to the European Union and the Government of Turkey, July 2004, http://www.minorityrights.org/admin/download/pdf/MRG-TurkeySub.pdf
1 For example, the Greek population of the island of Imvros has fallen by over 90 percent since the 1960s, as a result of the effective ending of Greek-language education and the practice of the Orthodox religion.
Kurdish, Arabic, Caucasian, Greek, Hebrew
Official Language Research
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