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Anti-Turkism, (Turkish: Türk düşmanlığı) also known as Turkophobia or anti-Turkish sentiment, is hostility, intolerance, or racism against Turkish or Turkic people, Turkish culture, Turkic countries, or Turkey itself.[1][2]

The term refers to intolerance not only against the Turks across all regions, but also against Turkic groups as a whole, including Azerbaijanis, Crimean Tatars and Turkmens. It is also applied on groups who developed in part under the influence of Turkish culture and traditions while converting to Islam, especially during Ottoman times, such as Albanians, Bosniaks and other smaller ethnic groups around Balkans during the period of Ottoman rule.[3][4][5] It can also refer to racism against Turkish people living outside of Turkey following the Turkish diaspora.[6][7][8][9]

Early history

The roots of anti-Turkism can be traced back to the arrival of the Huns in Europe.[10] While the ethnic background of the Huns is a matter of dispute among historians, they are widely believed to have been of Turkic origin,[11] and their invasion inspired fear among Europeans.

In the Late Middle Ages, the fall of Constantinople and the Ottoman wars in Europe—part of European Christians' effort to stem the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor to Turkey—helped fuel the development of anti-Turkism. By the middle of the 15th century, special masses called missa contra Turcos (Latin for "mass against Turks") were held in various places in Europe[12][13] to spread the message that victory over the Ottomans was only possible with the help of God and that a Christian community was therefore necessary to withstand the cruelty of the Turks.[12][14][15]

16th century

Original prints from the 16th century at the Hungarian National Museum depict a Turkish warrior butchering infants.

As the Ottomans expanded their empire west, Western Europe came into more frequent contact with the Turks, often militarily.

During the Fourth Ottoman–Venetian War, the Ottomans conquered Cyprus.

In the 16th century, around 2,500 publications about the Turks—including more than 1,000 in German—were released in Europe, spreading the image of the "bloodthirsty Turk". From 1480 to 1610, twice as many books were published about the Turkish threat to Europe than about the discovery of the New World. Bishop Johann Faber of Vienna claimed, "There are no crueler and more audacious villains under the heavens than the Turks, who spare no age or sex and mercilessly cut down young and old alike and pluck unripe fruit from the wombs of mothers."[13]

During this time, the Ottoman Empire also invaded the Balkans and besieged Vienna, sparking widespread fear in Europe, and especially in Germany.[16] Martin Luther, the German leader of the Protestant Reformation, took advantage of these fears by asserting that the Turks were "the agents of the Devil who, along with the Antichrist located in the heart of the Catholic Church, Rome, would usher in the Last Days and the Apocalypse".[17]

Luther believed that the Ottoman invasion was God's punishment of Christians for allowing corruption in the Holy See and the Catholic Church.[18] In 1518, when he defended his 95 Theses, Luther claimed that God had sent the Turks to punish Christians just as he had sent war, plague, and earthquakes. (In response, Pope Leo X issued a papal bull in which he threatened Luther with excommunication and portrayed him as a troublemaker who advocated capitulation to the Turks.)[13] In his writings On War Against the Turk and Military Sermon Against the Turks, Luther was "consistent in his theological conception of the Turks as a manifestation of God's chastising rod". He and his followers also espoused the view that the Ottoman–Habsburg Wars were a conflict "between Christ and Antichrist" or "between God and the devil".[19]

Spurred by this argument, the Portuguese Empire, seeking to capture more land in East Africa and other parts of the world, used any encounter with the "Terrible Turk" as "a prime opportunity to establish credentials as champions of the faith on par with other Europeans".[20]

Stories of the "Wolf-Turk" reinforced the negative image. The Wolf-Turk was claimed to be a man-eating being, half animal and half human, with a wolf's head and tail. Military power and cruelty were the recurring attributes in each portrayal of the Turks.[13]

17th–18th centuries

According to some sympathetic Orientalist authors, negative accounts of Turkish customs and people written during the 17th and 18th centuries "served as an 'ideological weapon' during the Enlightenment's arguments about the nature of government",[21] creating an image of the Turks that was "inaccurate but accepted".[22] However, some contemporary reports documented brutality and corrupt governance against subjugated Christians, including a law that forced all Christian families to relinquish at least one child to the Janissaries in order to fulfill the Quranic requirement of jizya.[citation needed]

In Sweden, the Turks were portrayed as the archenemies of Christianity. A book by the parish priest Erland Dryselius of Jönköping, published in 1694, was titled Luna Turcica eller Turkeske måne, anwissjandes lika som uti en spegel det mahometiske vanskelige regementet, fördelter uti fyra qvarter eller böcker ("Turkish moon showing as in a mirror the dangerous Mohammedan rule, divided into four quarters or books"). In sermons, the Swedish clergy preached about the Turks' cruelty and bloodthirstiness, and how they systematically burned and plundered the areas they conquered. In a Swedish schoolbook published in 1795, Islam was described as "the false religion that had been fabricated by the great deceiver Muhammad, to which the Turks to this day universally confess".[13]

In 1718, James Puckle demonstrated two version of his new invention, the Puckle gun: a tripod-mounted, single-barreled flintlock weapon fitted with a revolving cylinder, designed to prevent intruders from boarding a ship. The first version, intended for use against Christian enemies, fired conventional round bullets. The second, intended for use against the Muslim Turks, fired square bullets, designed by Kyle Tunis, which were believed to be more damaging and would, according to Puckle's patent, convince the Turks of the "benefits of Christian civilization".[23]

Voltaire and other European writers described the Turks as tyrants who destroyed Europe's heritage.[24] In his book Orientalism, Edward Said noted, "Until the end of the seventeenth century the 'Ottoman peril' lurked alongside Europe to represent for the whole of Christian civilization a constant danger, and in time European civilization incorporated that peril and its lore, its great events, figures, virtues, and vices, as something woven into the fabric of life."[25]

Even within the Ottoman Empire, the term "Turk" was sometimes used to denote the Yörük backwoodsmen, bumpkins, or illiterate peasants in Anatolia. "Etrak-i bi-idrak", an Ottoman play on words, meant "the ignorant Turk".[26]

Özay Mehmet wrote in his book Islamic Identity and Development: Studies of the Islamic Periphery:[27]

Anti-Turkism by Ottomans

The Ottomans discriminated against the Turkish peasantry, and used ethnic slurs such as Eşek Turk (donkey Turk) and Kaba Turk (rude Turk) to describe them. Other expressions used were "Turk-head" and "Turk-person".[28][29][30]

Modern history

Before the 1960s, Turkey had relatively low emigration.[31] However, after the adoption of a new constitution in 1961, Turkish citizens began to migrate elsewhere.[32] Gradually, Turks became a "prominent ethnic minority group" in some Western countries.[33][34] But from the beginning, they were subject to discrimination. At times, when host countries adopted more immigrant-friendly policies, "only the Turkish workers were excluded" from them.[35]

In various European languages, the word "Turk" has acquired a meaning similar to "barbarian" or "heathen",[13][36][37][38][39] or is used as a slur or curse.[13][40] As a result, the word also has some negative connotations in the United States.[41]

Arab World

The Arab World has a long historical mixup relations with the Turks back from the Ottoman Empire. In the past, the Ottoman conquest had absorbed a large number of Arab countries into its map, ultimately opened a chapter of complicated relationship between Turks and Arabs. While both are Muslim majority, subsequent conflict of interests and the growing Turkification and nationalist movement had led to growing anti-Arabism among Turks, especially following the Arab Revolt in World War I.[42] Due to growing Arabophobia and hatred against anything Arab among Turks including Islam,[43] a growing number of Arabs have developed a resentment against anything Turkic and Turkish in general. Recently, the Arabs have feared the return of the Ottoman Empire due to growing imperialist ambition of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[44] However, Arab opinions of Turkey remain deeply divided between region, while Arabs from the Middle East has increasingly hostile to Turkey, Arabs from North Africa has a friendlier opinion of Turkey due to little conflicts between two.


Since independence in 1956, Egypt has always had a mixed view of Turkey, in particular due to Turkey's relationship with Israel and had once allied with Syria leaving to tensions between Turkey and Egypt.[45]

Since 2014 when Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power, a growing anti-Turkism spread in Egypt, as retribution for growing hostility from Erdoğan against the Egyptian administration.[46] The Egyptian Government has targeted in sensitive issues of the Turkish state, such as Armenian Genocide,[47] Turkish military invasion in Syria as el-Sisi allied with Bashar al-Assad.[48] There's a growing fear of Turkish interference in Egyptian affairs, which contributed to the growth of Turkophobia in Egypt.[49]


The fear of Turkish influence has always dominated Iraq and as such, relationship between Iraq and Turkey has always been tense.[50] Another problem is Turkey has always held strong resentment against Iraqis and depiction of Iraqis as uncivilized terrorists, led to the growing depiction of Turks as invaders who is willing to control Iraq if not Iran in charge.[51]

Another negative influence is stemmed from the past when the Turks, formed part of the Mongol Empire's conquest to Arab World, had ransacked the city of Baghdad in 1258, had left a great stain and fear that Turkey will never stop abandoning its desire to conquer Iraq like its Mongol ancestors did.[52][51]


The memory of the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon in 1915 has played a great role on the attitude of the Lebanese people towards Turkey. The Turkish Government was found to have taken 1 million Lebanese lives during the time span of the famine. Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese poet and writer claimed the famine was a deliberate act of genocide. This began a long process of Turkophobia among the Lebanese people.[53] Many Lebanese Armenians have also developed hostility against anything Turkish because of the Armenian Genocide, comparing Turkey to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[54]


Since the second Libyan conflict, Khalifa Haftar, known for his hostility against the Islamists in the Government of National Accord, had stood firmly against Turkish Government and accused the Turks for meddling in Libya, having arrested Turkish nationals as a response.[55] Haftar Government also passed recognition of Armenian Genocide, condemning Turkish regime for its genocide denial.[56]

Saudi Arabia

The Turks have always had a strong hatred against anything Saudis, and as such, there is a strong negative depiction against Turks in Saudi Arabia. Memories of Turkish invasions and destructions of Saudi heritages and ban of Salafism has a great influence on its depiction of Turks as Mongolic hordes from Central Asia.[57][58]

In recent years, Saudi businessmen have led a campaign to boycott everything Turkish, believing the Turks are using its soft power to meddle into Saudi affairs.[59] Furthermore, Turkey's support for Qatar and Saudi Arabia's covert support for the Kurds has strained its relations.


Syria has a long and deep tensions with Turkey.

Since the Turkish annexation of Sanjak of Alexandretta, there is a strong anti-Turkish sentiment among Syrian population.[60] For the Syrians, the annexation of Alexandretta became national wound and a symbol of increasing Turkish meddling of Syrian affairs. This had led to the beginning of anti-Turkish discrimination, intensified under the government of Hafez al-Assad and Arabization process. Its minority Syrian Turkmen, which have long links to Turkey, was affected greatly and ban of Turkish schools, Turkish education and anything Turkish became a norm, in contrast to Syrian regime's generous treatment toward Armenians, the arch-enemy of the Turks.[61]

With the begin of Syrian Civil War, Syrian Turkmen had sided with the Syrian opposition,[62] fed the growth of anti-Turkism in Syria and Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian Armed Forces, with Russian support, often bombing Syrian Turkmen positions and increased xenophobic attacks against Turkmen, accusing them for being Ankara's stooge.[63]

United Arab Emirates

Anti-Turkism in the United Arab Emirates have been on the rise as a response of growing Turkish interference into many Arab countries, which the United Arab Emirates saw it a long term threat.

In May 2017, the UAE's Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba described Turkey under Erdoğan as a "long-term threat" to both the UAE and the United States.[64]

In December 2017, the UAE's foreign minister, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, shared a tweet that claimed an Ottoman general had robbed Medina during Ottoman rule. Emirati diplomat Anwar Gargash then added, "The sectarian and partisan view is not an acceptable alternative, and the Arab world will not be led by Tehran or Ankara."[65]

Further anti-Turkish policies led by the Emirates, such as arming the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces,[66][67] clashing of influence during the Syrian Civil War,[68] the issue of Qatar crisis and Egypt,[69][70] and aftermath of the failed 2016 Turkish coup, led to further deterioration of relations and facilitate stronger anti-Turkish tones in the Emirates.[71][72][73]


The Yemenis had a long history of resisting Ottoman and Turkish influence, and have rebelled against the Turks in a number of times, causing tensions between Yemenis and the Turks.[74]



Albanian nationalists have long accused the Turks for Albania's backwardness under the Ottomans and Islamization as the cause making Albania a primitive country in Europe. For this reason, there is a strong anti-Turkish sentiment in Albania, believing the Turks brought only calamities and national shame for Albania and its people.[75][76] The Ottoman rule was depicted very negative in modern Albanian historiography and Skanderbeg, the Christian hero of Muslim-dominated Albania, is often praised for protecting Albanian identity from the "barbaric Turks".[77]

Albanians became very furious toward growing Turkish desire to restore its influence in the Balkans and Turkish meddling on Albanian affairs, including the Gülen movement, thus increases the number of anti-Turkish Albanians.[78]


Turkish refugees from the Veliko Tarnovo district coming into Shumen (1877).
The Bulgarian Martyresses, by Konstantin Makovsky (1877). A painting from the April Uprising, it sparked outrage in the West against Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria.

Before 1878, Turks accounted for an estimated one-third of the population of Bulgaria.[79] In 1876, approximately 70% of the country's arable land belonged to Turks. This number declined from 1923–49, when an estimated 220,000 Turks moved from Bulgaria to Turkey, a migration encouraged by the Turkish government. Another wave of about 155,000 left Bulgaria from 1949–51, many of them forcibly expelled.[80][81]

In 1984, the government implemented Bulgarisation policies to limit the cultural and ethnic influence of Bulgarian Turks. Approximately 800,000 Turks were forced to adopt Bulgarian names. Furthermore, Turks were not allowed to attend Muslim ceremonies,[82] speak Turkish in public places, or wear traditional Turkish clothing.[83] This led, a few years later, to the biggest exodus in Europe since World War II: After the Bulgaria–Turkey border was opened in June 1989, approximately 350,000 Turks left Bulgaria on tourist visas in the span of three months.[84] Eventually, more than 150,000 Turks returned to Bulgaria—especially after the removal of Todor Zhivkov from power—but more than 200,000 chose to remain in Turkey permanently.[85]

Former Bulgarian prime minister, Boyko Borisov, has been accused of having anti-Turkish tendencies.[86] In December 2009, he backed a referendum, proposed by the nationalist party Attack (Bulgarian: Атака), on whether to allow daily Turkish-language news broadcasts on Bulgarian National Television, although he later withdrew his support.[87] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then the Turkish prime minister, "expressed his concern of rising anti-Turkish sentiments in Bulgaria"[88] to the Bulgarian prime minister. The Turkish Foreign Ministry also "expressed its concern over the rising heated rhetoric in Bulgaria".[89] According to a report by Ivan Dikov, "not just Атака but a large number of Bulgarians have resented the news in Turkish".[87]

Borisov also referred to Turks (and Romani) as "bad human material" in 2009.[90][91][92][93] The vice president of the Party of European Socialists, Jan Marinus Wiersma, said Borisov had "crossed the invisible line between right wing populism and extremism".[94]

Former Yugoslavia

After the Ottoman Empire fell in the early 20th century, many Turks fled as Muhacirs (refugees). Others intermarried or simply identified themselves as Yugoslavs or Albanians to avoid stigma and persecution.[95]

Historically, from the Ottoman conquest through the 19th century, many ethnically non-Turkish groups—especially the Slavic Muslims of the Balkans—were referred to in local languages as Turks. This usage is common in literature, including in the works of Ivan Mažuranić and Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. The religious ideology of Christoslavism, coined by Michael Sells, holds that "Slavs are Christian by nature and that any conversion from Christianity is a betrayal of the Slavic race".[96] Under this ideology, as seen in Croatian and Serbian nationalism, South Slavic Muslims are not regarded as part of their ethnic kin; by virtue of their Muslim faith, they become "Turks".[97]


A long series of events—the fall of Constantinople, Ottoman practices such as the Devşirme, the Greek genocide, the 1955 Istanbul pogrom, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the Aegean dispute—contributed to the rise of anti-Turkism in Greece.

Turks have lived in Western Thrace, an area of northeastern Greece, since the Ottoman conquest of the region in the 15th century. In 1922, Turks owned 84% of the land in Western Thrace. Today, however, estimates range from 20–40%, largely because of policies under which ethnic Greeks were encouraged to purchase Turkish land with soft loans granted by the state.[98][99]

The Turkish government estimates that the Turks of Western Thrace number between 120,000 and 130,000.[100][101] However, the Greeks claim that the Muslim population there includes people of various ethnic and religious backgrounds—primarily the Pomaks (a Slavic people) and the Muslim Roma—and that Sunni Muslims who identify ethnically as Turks are the minority. Thus, the Greek government refers to the Muslims of Western Thrace—whom Turkey sees as the "Turkish community"—as Greek Muslims or Hellenic Muslims, and does not recognise any specific Turkish minority.[100] Greek courts have outlawed the use of the word "Turkish" to describe the community. In 1987, the Supreme Court of Greece affirmed a 1986 decision in which the Union of Turkish Associations of Western Thrace was ordered closed for illegally using it.[102] The court held that the word "Turkish" referred specifically to citizens of Turkey and could not be used to describe citizens of Greece.[102]


China has a long standing tensions toward Turkic people.

Persisted Turkophobia among Chinese have been dated back from ancient era, when the Chinese Empire fought against various Turkic rulers since antiquity, and often the Turks assisted the Koreans against Chinese further led the Chinese to campaign against the Turks.[103] Further hostility increased when the Uyghur Turks joined the Mongol conquest of China and its atrocities toward Chinese.[104]

From 19th century onward, tensions between Turks and Chinese revived with the establishment of Kashgaria and subsequent Turko-Chinese wars to control the region.[105] This had led to the weakening of the Qing dynasty and paved way for its future collapse. The Republic of China however, failed to address the increasing tensions between Turks and Han Chinese, and conflict between two continued, known as Xinjiang Wars, when the Turkic Uyghurs raised arms to fight Chinese Army. In response, China imposed heavy military repression against the Uyghurs and other Turkic rebels, many were supported by the Soviet Union.[106] This conflict would continue until the fall of the Republic and establishment of Communist China, known as People's Republic of China.

Since 1990s with Chinese economic reform, China had grown to become a new major superpower, but this has led to the increase of tensions among Turks and Chinese. Due to growing pan-Turkist separatism against China, the Chinese Government had deployed the military, increased surveillance on Uyghurs and operating re-education camps.[107] Meanwhile, in China, growing anti-Turkism ranges from the felonious act accusing the Turkish Government's support for Uyghur separatism, to later call for extermination of Uyghur Turks.[108] The Turks were also held directly for being the source of national turmoil in China, notably throughout the story of An Lushan, a Turkic-born Chinese General who caused the An Lushan rebellion that led to the collapse of Tang dynasty and weakening of China.[109]


The island of Cyprus became an independent state in 1960, with power shared between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots under the London–Zürich Agreements. But in December 1963, in events that became known as Bloody Christmas,[110] Turkish Cypriots were ousted from the republic and Greek Cypriots began a military campaign against them, leading to 11 years of ethnic clashes.[111] Turkish Cypriots bore the heavier cost in terms of casualties, and some 25,000—about a fifth of the population of Turkish Cypriots—were internally displaced.[112] They lived as refugees for at least ten years, until the 1974 Turkish invasion.[112] By the late 1960s, approximately 60,000 Turkish Cypriots had left their homes and moved into enclaves.[113] This resulted in an exodus of Turkish Cypriots, with the majority migrating to the United Kingdom and others to Turkey, North America, and Australia.[114]


The Solingen arson attack of 1993, in which neo-Nazis set fire to a Turkish family's home, was one of the most severe instances of xenophobic violence in modern Germany.

Turks are "the most prominent ethnic minority group in contemporary Germany",[115] and discrimination and violence against them are common.[116][117] In public discourse and popular jokes, they are often portrayed as "ludicrously different in their food tastes, dress, names, and even in their ability to develop survival techniques".[118]

The number of violent acts by right-wing extremists in Germany increased dramatically between 1990 and 1992.[119] On November 25, 1992, three Turkish residents were killed in a firebombing in Mölln, a town in northern Germany.[120][121] And on May 29, 1993, in an arson attack in Solingen, five members of a Turkish family that had resided in Germany for 23 years were burnt to death.[122] Several neighbours heard someone shout "Heil Hitler!" before dousing the front porch and door with gasoline and setting fire to the home.[123] Most Germans condemned these attacks, and many marched in candlelight processions.[124]

According to Greg Nees, "because Turks are both darker-skinned and Muslim, conservative Germans are largely against granting them citizenship".[125]

Some critics accuse the news media of bias against German Turks, particularly in contrast to German Kurds. For example, many German news outlets and politicians have warned against demonstrations by Turks in support of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, but remained silent about demonstrations by Kurds in support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party.[126]


In Iran, there's a strong anti-Turkic sentiment among Iranian population, largely because of the strong anti-Iranian practice by Azerbaijanis, a Turkic-speaking people in the Caucasus with strong nationalist fervor over Iranian Azerbaijan. Frequent nationalist claim by Azerbaijanis and other pan-Turkists have led to the surge of anti-Turkism in Iran, which Iranians called Turks "donkey".[127] Furthermore, anti-Turkism in Iran is also ranged from discriminating Turks of Iran, to further prohibition of Turkic people's constitutional rights.[128]

Historical rivalry between Turkey and Iran and its desire to consolidate domination is also the source of growing Turkophobia, and Iranian Government has taken many punitive attempt to weaken Turkic identity of its Turkic population of Iranian Azerbaijan.[129]


The Maltese have a colourful vocabulary stemming from their fight against the Ottoman Empire during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. For example, the expression tghammed tork is used when the sun is visible during rainfall; it means "a Turk has been baptised", which was considered a rare event. The phrase twieled tork ("a Turk was born") is also used. Another expression is haqq ghat-torok ("curse on the Turks"), used when something goes wrong.[130]


Turks are the second-largest ethnic minority group in the Netherlands.[131] Although policies toward Turks in the Netherlands are more progressive than those in many other European countries, such as Germany,[132] Human Rights Watch criticized Dutch legislation that it said violated Turks' rights.[133] In a report on the Netherlands in 2008, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance wrote that the Turkish minority had been particularly affected by "stigmatisation of and discrimination against members of minority groups".[134] The report also noted that "the tone of Dutch political and public debate around integration and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities has experienced a dramatic deterioration".[134]

According to the European Network Against Racism, an international organisation supported by the European Commission, half of all Turks in the Netherlands report having experienced racial discrimination.[135] The network also noted "dramatic growth" of Islamophobia and antisemitism. In 2001, another international organisation, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, highlighted a negative trend in Dutch attitudes towards minorities, compared with average European Union results.[136] That analysis also noted that, compared to other Europeans, the Dutch were "more in favour of cultural assimilation of minorities" rather than "cultural enrichment by minority groups".

Former Soviet Union

A World War I Russian propaganda poster depicting an imagined Turk running away from a Russian.


Armenia–Turkey relations have historically been hostile,[137] primarily because of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and Turkey's denial that it happened. According to a 2007 survey, 78% of Armenians see Turkey as a threat.[138]


Georgians look with a wary eye to Turkey's growing Neo-Ottomanism and the rise in popularity of irredentist maps showing Turkey with borders expanded into the former Ottoman Empire, usually including Adjara.[139]

Although some Turks have since come back to Meskheti, the Georgians and Armenians who settled in their homes have vowed to take up arms against any who return. Many Georgians have also argued that the Meskhetian Turks should be sent to Turkey, "where they belong".[140]


According from Robert Crew, Russia has been historically more tolerance toward Turkic people than any other European administrations, and many Turkic people (Volga Tatars, Bashkirs, Karachays, Nogais, Kazakhs, for examples), most of them Muslims, were fairly treated under Tsarist Russia. Many Muslim Turks also formed a significant part of Russian Imperial administration and a major bulk of Russian army in its expansion.[141] However, anti-Turkism is sometimes expressed under Russian rule, especially since the Soviet Union.

In the Soviet Union, the NKVD and the Red Army carried out ethnic cleansing during World War II through mass deportations of Turks.[142] In June 1945, Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet minister of foreign affairs, formally demanded that Turkey surrender three Armenian provinces (Kars, Ardahan, and Artvin), and Moscow was also preparing to support Armenian claims to several other provinces. War against Turkey seemed possible, and Joseph Stalin wanted to drive out Turks (especially in Meskheti, near the Turkish–Georgian border) who were likely to be hostile to Soviet intentions.[143] The campaign is relatively poorly documented, but Soviet sources suggest that 115,000 Turks were deported, mainly to Central Asia. Most of them settled in Uzbekistan,[144] but many others died along the way.[145]

More recently, some Turks in Russia, especially Meskhetian Turks in Krasnodar, have faced human rights violations, including deprivation of citizenship and prohibitions on employment and owning property.[146] Since 2004, many Turks have left the Krasnodar region for the United States as refugees. They are still barred from full repatriation to Georgia.[147]


While Turkey and Uzbekistan have a fair relations for being commonly Turkic, some tensions were witnessed.

In 1989, 103 people died and more than 1,000 were wounded in ethnic clashes between Turks and Uzbeks. Some 700 houses were destroyed, and more than 90,000 Meskhetian Turks were driven out of Uzbekistan.[148] Many Turks see these events as their "second deportation". Those who remained in Uzbekistan complained of ethnic discrimination.[149]

See also


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  2. ^ Khalidi, Rashid (1991). The origins of Arab nationalism. Columbia University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-231-07435-3. In the first place, Arabist ideology, including a bitter anti-Turkism, was fully formulated long before the Young Turk revolution
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  19. ^ Wengert, Timothy J. (2004-01-04). Harvesting Martin Luther's Reflections on Theology, Ethics, and the Church – Timothy J. Wengert. p. 185. ISBN 9780802824868. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
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