International symposium on the Rhodes and Kos Turks takes place in Izmir in November

- Press releases

The Rhodes, Kos and the Dodecanese Turks Culture and Solidarity Association (ROISDER), a member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), organizes “The International Symposium on the Turkish Identity in Rhodes and Kos 2018” in İzmir, Turkey on 22-23 November 2018.

At the symposium, FUEN President Lorant Vincze is going to present the current situation of minorities in Europe and FUEN Vice President Halit Habip Oğlu is going to make one of the opening speeches. The topics of the symposium are minority rights in Europe and the minority rights of Turks in Greece. Furthermore, current problems of Rhodes and Kos Turks will be discussed as well as their cultural identity, their past and presence. The touristic places of İzmir will also be introduced to the participants during this event. 

ROISDER’s event, first held in 2014, has a special importance as this is the first international symposium focusing on Turks of Rhodes and Kos.  

With regard to the problems faced by the Turks on the Greek islands, the FUEN expresses its disapproval of the destruction and ignorance of every cultural identity. “The protection and development of the Turkish cultural identity should be one of the primary duties of Greece, which is a European Union country” states a declaration of the FUEN Presidium.


Despite the general perception that the Turk community in Greece is limited to the Western Thrace, there is a population of Turks who live in the Twelve Islands predominantly in Rhodes and Kos, whose number exceeds 6,000. The Greek authorities that claimed the islands when they signed the Lausanne Peace Treaty in 1923 have not recognized the cultural identity of Turks in the Rhodes, Kos and the Twelve Islands ever since.

Island Turks have problems related to the citizenship, to the right to learn Turkish language, to practice their religion, they face hatred and pressure, and they face many problems in the protection of the cultural heritage from Ottoman Turks.

Today Turks living in the islands have come to the point of extinction. If the assimilation policy of Greece is not stopped, the Islander Turks will disappear. Their gradual assimilation mean that a specific culture of humanity is destroyed. 

ROISDER represents the interests of Turks living in Rhodes and Kos since 1996. The association has tried to announce the problems of Rhodes and Kos Turks in institutions such as the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe in order to draw the attention of the world public opinion.

Key Topics

  • Political Participation
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Solidarity with the Roma
  • European Citizens' Initiative
  • European Network
  • Forum of the European Minorities / House of Minorities


More photos at Flickr