Discrimination and silence: minority foundations in Turkey during the Cyprus conflict of 1974



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).