Minorities in South-Eastern Turkey
Hope Mixed with Resignation
While the Turkish government tries to improve the rights of the country's minorities, in the South-Eastern Anatolian region of Tur Abdin there are still conflicts of interest between the Turkish state on the one side, and Armenians, Arameans and Kurds on the other. Harald Brandt explains the background to the problems
"It is hard to understand the politics of the government party, the AKP," says Jacob Gabriel of the cultural association of the Syrian Orthodox Christians in Midyat. "On the one hand, it strengthens the rights of the minorities, while on the other hand, I sometimes have the impression that good economic relations with the Kurds in Northern Iraq are more important than the interests of the people in their own country."
Jacob Gabriel speaks fluent German with a strong Swiss accent. He left South-East Anatolia for economic reasons when he was seventeen, founded a family in Switzerland and worked very hard. He's now 45, and he's returned with his wife to the Tur Abdin region in south-eastern Turkey, renovated the old family home and opened a jeweller's shop in Midyat.
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