Arabs in Turkey
1,500,000 (Arab minority only)4,000,000 (including recent Syrian refugees) (1,500,000)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Mainly Southeastern Anatolia Region|
|Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish|
|Mainly Sunni Muslims and Alawites,
Christian minority of 18,000
Beside the large expat and dispora communities in Istanbul and other larger cities, south and southeastern provinces have a significant Arab community.
Turkish Arabs are mostly Muslims living along the southeastern border with Syria and Iraq in the following provinces: Batman, Bitlis, Gaziantep, Hatay, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şırnak, Şanlıurfa, Mersin and Adana. The Arabs in eastern part of the border consist of many Bedouin tribes in addition to other Arabs who settled there before Turkic tribes came to Anatolia from Central Asia in the 11th century. Many of these Arabs have blood ties to Arabs living in Syria, especially in the city of Raqqa. The Arab society in Turkey is well integrated into the Turkish population, yet some speak Arabic in addition to Turkish. The Treaty of Lausanne ceded to Turkey large areas that belonged to Ottoman Syria, especially within Aleppo Vilayet.
Besides a significant Shafi'i sunni part, about 300.000 to 350.000 belong to Alawism however with no close connection to the Turkish variant. About 18.000 Arab Christians (Nasrani) belong mostly to the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Number of Turkish Arabs
The population of Arabs in Turkey varies according to different sources. A Turkish study estimates the Arab population to be between 1.1 and 2.4%. An earlier American estimate from 1995 puts the numbers between 800,000 and 1 million. According to Ethnologue, in 1992 there were 500,000 people with Arabic as their mother language in Turkey. According to a Turkish study based on a large survey in 2006, 0,7% of the total population in Turkey were ethnically Arab.
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