Turkey's mixed human rights record has been highly politicized
in the debate surrounding the country's probable ascendance to
membership in the European Union. Beginning with the foundation of
a secular republic in 1923, and continuing with founding membership
in the United Nations and participation in the European Convention
on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Turkey made significant
commitments to the advancement of human rights. However, its
authoritarian tradition, periods of military rule, increasing
social inequality, and economic crises have led to policies that
undermine human rights. While legislative reforms and civil social
activism since the 1980s have contributed greatly to the
advancement of human rights, recent progress is threatened by the
rise of nationalism, persistent gender inequality, and economic
In Human Rights in Turkey, twenty-one Turkish and
international scholars from various disciplines examine human
rights policies and conditions since the 1920s, at the intersection
of domestic and international politics, as they relate to all
spheres of life in Turkey. A wide range of rights, such as freedom
of the press and religion, minority, women's, and workers' rights,
and the right to education, are examined in the context of the
history and current conditions of the Republic of Turkey.
In light of the events of September 11, 2001, and subsequent
developments in the Middle East, recent proposals about modeling
other Muslim countries after Turkey add urgency to an in-depth
study of Turkish politics and the causal links with human rights.
The scholarship presented in Human Rights in Turkey holds
significant implications for the study of human rights in the
Middle East and around the globe.
Subjects: Political Science
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