A Self Governing Group or Equal Citizens? Kurds, Turkey and the European Union

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study shows how the theoretical debate between liberal egalitarianism and
multiculturalism corresponds to the problem of minorities in Turkey. The
differentiated group rights supported by the latter are contrasted with liberal
egalitarianism policies to identify which is better suited to the goal of increasing equality in Turkey. The multiculturalist perspective is represented by the European Union (EU) which favours differentiated cultural group rights, while the liberal egalitarian perspective is represented by Turkey’s constitutional citizenship policy. The central argument of this study is that awarding self-government rights to national minorities would not be sufficient to create equality in Turkey’s culturally diverse society. The article points to potential injustices that might result from providing different treating to distinct groups in Turkey, and discusses these with reference to inter-group and intragroup inequalities. Within this framework, the article then provides empirical evidence for the egalitarian critique of multiculturalism and seeks to demonstrate that EU minority conditionality, and in particular the selfgovernment rights that it proposes, are unlikely to create a more democratic society in Turkey
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-65
Number of pages34
JournalJournal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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