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De-Europeanisation and Equal Citizenship in Turkey: The Case of Circassians


The Europeanisation process in Turkey that extended roughly from 1999 to 2006 boosted the political and cultural rights of diverse ethnic groups in Turkey, including Circassians, and strengthened their claims for equal citizenship. With the loss or weakening of the EU as an anchor for democratic reform in the post-2007 period, however, the de-Europeanisation process has resulted in the disappearance of the main legal and institutional basis for the democratic integration of ethnocultural minorities. Nevertheless, analysis of the activities of four large Circassian communities in Turkey shows that the same process has enhanced the cultural reification of these groups as their survival strategy.
Keywords: De-Europeanisation, Turkey’s Circassians, equal citizenship, ethnocultural claims