Citizenship rights of gypsies in Turkey: cases of Roma and Dom communities

Önen, Selin
This study aims to compare Roma community in Edirne and Dom community in Diyarbakır with regard to their integration levels to different majorities (respectively Turks in Edirne and Kurds in Diyarbakır) and belonging to the political body (state), access to citizenship rights (civil, social, political and cultural) and the affect of transnational citizenship on Roma and Dom communities. The main argument of this study asserts that Roma community can have more access to citizenship rights than Dom community. This is related with the fact that Roma community lives with Turks, who are the ethnic majority in Edirne and in Turkey, whereas Dom community lives mostly with Kurds, who are the majority in Diyarbakır but minority in Turkey. Foremost, Roma community has closer connections with state and transnational space than Dom community. The study has found that ethnicity appears as a common barrier for both communities in benefiting from full citizenship. However, it is noted that they experienced different historical, social and economic transformations. Social exclusion is observed at different levels for the two communities. Hence, the study tries to explain why the equality principle of citizenship is ruptured for both communities. While forced migration in 1990s and the gradual loss of musician craft were key factors for the exclusion of Dom community in the labor market,Roma community with affect of agricultural modernization, has repositioned themselves in terms of ethnicity and class formation in last 40-50 years owing mainly to urbanization and modernization. The study has found that Dom community has very limited citizenship rights compared to Roma community. The differences can be obviously seen with regard to impact of poverty and their integration levels to the majority.


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Citation Formats
S. Önen, “Citizenship rights of gypsies in Turkey: cases of Roma and Dom communities,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.