24 October 2011
Public ESI event at the University of Strasbourg: Europe, Turkish democracy and the future of religious minorities

24 October 2011, 16:00-18:30

University of Strasbourg – MISHA
5, Allée du Général Rouvillois
67083 Strasbourg

Europe, Turkish democracy and the future of religious minorities


Turkey has been undergoing tumultuous economic, social and political change in the past decade. What has this transformation meant for Turkey’s religious minorities?

Against the background of wider trends affecting Turkish democracy, a panel of experts will examine recent trends, and also look at what remains to be done for full equality of non-Sunnis (non-Muslims but also Alevis) to be realised in Turkey. In light of debates on pluralism in Europe, and the future of religious tolerance in the Arab world following recent changes, the case of Turkey is even more interesting and important.

16:00 – Introduction
16:10 – ESI documentary (in English) on Istanbul ("Istanbul – Truth, fear and hope")
17:00 – Discussion with:


Orhan Kemal Cengiz is one of the leading human rights activists in Turkey, and a regular columnist writing on human rights issues in different media.


Samim Akgonul is a senior lecturer at Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg and a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). His work focuses on the religious minorities in Turkey and in Europe.


Gerald Knaus is chairman of ESI and associate at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy in Harvard. ESI is a leading European think tank that has published widely on Turkish developments since 2004.


This event is jointly organized organised by the
Research center PRISME from Strasbourg University, CNRS and ESI
The EU is funding this event

European Commission

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com