Turks in the Republic of Macedonia
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Turks in the Republic of Macedonia, also known as Macedonian Turks, (Macedonian: Македонски Турци, Makedonski Turci; Turkish: Makedonya Türkleri) are the ethnic Turks who constitute the third largest ethnic group in the Republic of Macedonia. According to the 2002 census, there were 77,959 Turks living in the country, forming a minority of some 4% of the population. The community form a majority in Centar Župa and Plasnica. The Turkish community claim higher numbers than the census shows, somewhere between 170,000 and 200,000.
Once the Ottoman Empire fell at the beginning of the 20th century, many of the Turks fled to Turkey. Many left under Yugoslav rule, and more left after World War II. Others intermarried or simply identified themselves as Macedonians or Albanians to avoid stigma and persecution.
|Population of Macedonian Turks according to national censuses|
|Census||Turks||Total population of Macedonia||% Turks|
³ 143,615 gave Turkish, 32,392 gave Macedonian and 27,086 gave Albanian as their mothertongue.
After 1953, a large emigration of Turks based on an agreement between the Republic of Turkey and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia took place— around 80,000 according to Yugoslav data and over 150,000 according to Turkish sources.
Macedonian Turks speak the Turkish language. According to Ethnologue, Turkish is spoken by 200,000 people in Macedonia. Turkish is spoken with Slavic and Greek admixtures creating a unique Macedonian Turkish dialect. However, Macedonian is also widely used amongst the community.
Turkish population in Macedonia according to the 2002 census (Turkish majority in bold):
|Mavrovo and Rostuša||2,680||31.1%|
The Turks in Macedonia also have an own national day, the Day of Education in Turkish Language. By a decision of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in 2007, December 21 became a national and non-working day for the Turkish community in the country.
There are both radio and television broadcasts in Turkish. Since 1945, Macedonian Radio-Television transmits one hour daily Turkish television programs and four and a half hours of Turkish radio programs. Furthermore, the newspaper Birlik is published in Turkish three times a week.
A political party, Democratic Party of Turks (DPT), was founded in 1990 and is still active today. The Party currently has one member, Kenan Hasipi, in the Macedonian parliament. The DPT espouses the principles of Ataturk which include a secular state and equality for all. also the movement for Turkish national unification in Macedonia
The first school in Turkish language in Macedonia was opened in 1944. As of 2008 there were over 60 schools that offered lessons in Turkish. Turks have the right of education in Turkish for four years in East Macedonia. There are 264 teachers in these schools. There is a lycee in Gostivar and a technical college in Tetovo where students are trained in Turkish. Few quota is spared for Turkish students at universities in Skopje and Bitola. There are also private Turkish schools established by Turkish entrepreneurs. Macedonian Turks show great interest in these schools.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Turks in Macedonia.|
- Turkish minorities in the former Ottoman Empire
- Macedonia–Turkey relations
- Plasnica Municipality
- Centar Župa Municipality
- Macedonian Muslims
- Democratic Party of Turks
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