[QODLink]
Inside Story
Is Turkey appeasing the EU?
Ankara will return property confiscated from minorities 75 years ago in a move that may ease relations with Europe.
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2011 10:19



The Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, has decided to return properties confiscated from religious minorities 75 years ago. According to a decree issued this week, property taken away from minority religious foundations under a 1936 declaration will be returned to them.

The Turkish government says it will pay compensation for properties that were seized and later sold. Minority foundations will have 12 months to apply to Turkish authorities to reclaim their property.

The European Commission quickly welcomed the decree, but said in a statement that it will monitor closely the implementation of this new legislation.

The return of such properties has been a key demand of the European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join, and many observers believe that the decision will help ease Turkey's much strained relations with Europe.

In this episode, we ask: Is this a move to appease the European Union or an attempt to fend off the Islamist image of the ruling AK party?

Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, discusses with guests: Andrew Finkel, a veteran journalist on Turkish affairs whose upcoming book is entitled Turkey – what everyone needs to know; Hussein Bagci, a professor of international relations at Middle East Technical University; and Cem Sofuoglu, a Turkish lawyer representing minority communities.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list