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Turkey Easing Repatriation of Minorities Who Fled, Hurriyet Says

Turkey plans to ease the repatriation process for ethnic and religious minorities including Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Assyrians who fled Turkey under duress, Hurriyet newspaper reported.

The proposed measures are to be presented to the European Union’s Reform Monitoring Group in February by minister of state and chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, Hurriyet said.

Turkish ministries will discuss how to deal with flexibility on military service requirements, reparations, the return of property and official apologies for the minorities who fled, lost their citizenship and wish to return, Hurriyet said.

Some 30,000 Greeks fled or left Turkey during ethnic clashes and “population exchanges” in the 1960s and 1970s, leaving only 3,000 in the country today, Hurriyet said. Between 1948 and 1953, 40,000 Jews left Turkey for the newly established state of Israel, it said. Some 25,000 Jews still live in Turkey, it said.

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