Friday, February 20, 2009


Please visit the Mundi Romani website to see this and many great videos.

Roma in Turkey – the Untold Struggle

Mundi Romani

With thorough investigation and through admiration for the untold stories, Mundi Romani, a documentary series co-produced by the Romedia Foundation and Duna Television Hungary, explores the world of the Roma from Kosovo to Spain through Romania, France, Macedonia, Italy or Israel. The 16th episode of Mundi Romani was shot in Edirne and Izmir in November 2008. The film focuses on the struggle of the Roma in Turkey to save the last shreds of their Roma identity.

In the Turkish democracy, with its 70 million people of many different origins, minority-oriented civil initiatives are developing under constant state control. While having successfully made Turkey a modern republic, Ataturk’s early 20th century nation building policies designed the secular Sunni Turk as the prototype of the modern Turkish citizen, thus throwing all other identities out of the public realm. Turkey has still not worked on deconstructing this rigidly defined identity. So minorities, those who cannot represent their identity like the majority, are neglected. They cannot even exist. National minority rights such as minority language education for Roma are non-existent in Turkey, not to mention anti-discrimination measures. Romanes is disappearing among the Roma. Traditional Roma self-awareness is under great strain as the Roma remain one of the most underprivileged ethnic groups in Turkey. In the 21st century, the Roma are still slaves to Turkey’s 20th century identity formation.

In this episode, again, Mundi Romani gives a voice to the voiceless and provides a unique insight into the struggle of the Roma of Turkey to reassert their ethnic identity in a country where the development of ethnic minority cultures is considered the greatest threat to internal stability and is fought against accordingly.

No comments: