Lausanne Treaty should be updated to improve minority rights: Erdoğan
AA photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey should update the 1923-dated Lausanne Treaty “to improve the rights of minorities in the country.”
“I should say this with all my sincerity: The legal framework for [the rights of] minorities was in the past shaped by the Lausanne [Treaty]. [This treaty] must be updated and minorities in our country should have the same rights as everyone,” Erdoğan said in a news program aired by on the A Haber TV station late on May 19.
His answer was in response to a question regarding what new rights the new constitution would bring to minority groups.
Signed on July 24, 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne is regarded as the final treaty concluding the First World War that secured the foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey after the War of Independence against occupying forces of Britain, France, Italy and Greece. The treaty recognized the boundaries of Turkey as well as the conditions under which non-Muslim minorities would live in the new republic.
“I want you know this: Minorities are our equal citizens. Going back from this is out of the question,” Erdoğan said, recalling that there are lawmakers in the current parliament belonging to minority groups and there “could even be a minister from the same communities.”
The president also touched on the lingering question of the confiscated properties of minority foundations, vowing that they would be returned “as they are under constitutional guarantee.”