What is the matter with citizenship? A Turkish debate

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Icduygu A., Colak Y., Soyarik N.

Middle Eastern Studies, vol.35, pp.187-208, 1999 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00263209908701291
  • Journal Name: Middle Eastern Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.187-208
  • Police Academy Affiliated: Yes


The principal conclusion drawn from this study is that although the pace in the recognition process for some new citizenship arrangements in Turkey was quite slow, the Turkish state has eventually become receptive to the case of its emigrants by facilitating them with dual citizenship; but while the state has been dealing with the identity-based conflicts in the country it has had considerable adaptation difficulties and has been confused by the notion of constitutional citizenship. This is of course, something we expect. Some critics have suggested that dual citizenship will create dual loyalties and rights that will encourage emigrants to use their new citizenship rights and benefits, and to ignore their implicit responsibilities to their sending state. However, it is thought that, overall, the acceptance of dual citizenship does not seriously harm these states. On the other hand, however, the notion of constitutional citizenship, which recognizes the multicultural diversity of society, is often seen as a divisive socio-political project for the identiy and integrity of the Turkish state. This worry is understandable when the real picture of sociopolitical climate in Turkey is taken into consideration: for instance, Kurdish ethnic nationalism often threatens the unity of the country and creates a potential for violence and war; and religious revivalism makes the situation potentially even more explosive.