The minority issue in the context of Turkey-EU relations
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For 200 years, Turkey has moved towards the West. Membership in the European Union (EU) forms the apogee of this endeavor. The European Helsinki Summit can be considered as the institutionalization of this process and Turkey-EU relations. As a natural consequence of this, the EU started to closely monitor the political and economic life in Turkey. In other words, there are economic and political criteria for Turkey to fulfill. However, there are problems regarding these criteria and these problematic areas are various on the way to accession. This thesis considers the issue of minority protection under the heading of political criteria, which is one of the above-mentioned problematic areas. In other words, this thesis examines the perceptions and the gap between the perceptions of Turkey and the EU towards the issue of minority rights, an issue which continues to threaten Turkey’s accession to full EU membership.