Dom Research Center   News Clippings: Turkey

Roma in Turkey:
Settlement Law continues to discriminate Roma

Distributed through Yahoo News Groups, November 19, 2003
By Ana Oprisan

"On Roma, legislation stating that nomadic gypsies are among the five categories of people not admitted to Turkey as immigrants is still in force. Some Roma communities report the persistence of strong prejudice leading to social exclusion."

[Editor's note: The original text included the above passage in Turkish. Because of formating difficulties with internet viewers it was determined not to include the Turkish text.]

The above paragraph was included in "2003 Regular Report on Turkey's progress towards accession", at the section "Minority rights and the protection of minorities". The information provided refers to the 1934 Settlement Law (Yskan Kanunu) which includes the nomad Roma (Cingene) in a group of non-citizens, together with foreigners and terrorists (see appendix). The changes necessary to be made towards this law were several times signalized by activists, journalists and even members of Parliament, but the Settlement Law still remains in rule with its prejudiced references on Roma.

Moreover, after the publication of 2003 Regular Report on Turkey, Cumhuriyet newspaper (14 November 2003, pages 1 and 8) included an article regarding the topic, signed by Mustafa Cakir, with the following title: "No citizenship to the Gypsy. The Ministry of Interior requested that research has to be made on the origins of the people applying for citizenship". In this article it is said that the Ministry of Interior asked for a research to be made on the people who apply for citizenship to verify if they are or not beggars or Gypsies.

Besides of the fact that this issue remains unsolved for years now and being aware of the fact that this kind of provisions and assertions imply nothing but discrimination, a call for action and change is obviously needed.


Chapter - Areas of settlement

Article 1 - (changed on 18/6/1947 - 5098/1 md.)
The emigrants and refugees, nomads and itinerant Gypsies are not to be settled in the country; in order to straighten the faithfulness to the Turkish culture and the settlement and spreading of population, the necessary measures are to be advanced by the Committee of Ministers to the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Health and Social Assistance.

Article 4 (includes the reference to the targeted group)
A: The ones not faithful to the Turkish culture,
B: The Anarchists,
C: The spies,
D: The nomad Gypsies,
E: The ones who were excluded from their motherland, that are not to be accepted to Turkey as emigrants.

Section: II - Inside, transfer, cultural and administrative measures

Article 9
- (changed: 18/6/1947 - 5098/3 md.)
The nomads and the itinerant Gypsies are to be settled in the appropriate places decided by the Minister of Health and Social Assistance. They will benefit of all the assistance written in this law.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of each individual author. The views and opinions do not represent those held by the Dom Research Center.

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