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Keywords:

  • discrimination;
  • minorities;
  • nationalism;
  • silence

Abstract

In 1974, the dispute between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus resulted in Turkish military intervention in the island. The same year, the Turkish Court of Cassation issued a legal decision that rendered possible the confiscation of properties belonging to minority foundations in the years to come. I argue that the case of minority foundations in 1974 was not a coincidence but a conscious reciprocal discrimination applied in both official and unofficial spheres. I support my argument with the following indicators: (1) the wider historical Greek–Turkish conflict and its ‘reciprocal’ nature of discrimination against non-Muslim minorities; (2) the laden interpretation of the non-Muslim minorities as the internal enemies in the Turkish mind-set and its direct reflections on the 1974 case of foundations; and (3) the nature of the press coverage, which I assess using detailed reading and content analysis of three Turkish newspapers (Hürriyet, Tercüman, Cumhuriyet) and one Rum minority newspaper (Apoyevmatini).