The present thesis examines changes in minority policies in Turkey since 1980. It researches Turkey?s way of dealing with minorities, reforms and existing drawbacks. It analyses various aspects which have led to changes in minority rights and assesses the content and the approach of reforms. This paper also reveals in what way and to what extent the European Union has affected the reform process in Turkey. This thesis contains a depiction of the judicial point of departure. Changes in Turkey?s minority policies are examined with regard to legislative reforms. The domestic as well as the external context is of great importance. The present study is based on the historical analyses of the Turkish-European relations, most notably the yearly progress reports of the Commission.Though Turkey is a land of vast ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity, the history of the state is one of severe repression of minorities in the name of nationalism. Thus, Turkish minority policies have a long historical tradition. Restrictive laws and assimilation policies are based on the Constitution of 1982. Despite numerous reforms, the Constitution is still the fundamental document that legitimates the repressive treatment of minorities.As a matter of fact, processes of democratization failed in the past. However, the government?s ambition to join the European Union has led to a flood of reforms. Since the relationship between Turkey and the European Union is crucially determined by Turkey?s protection of ethnic minorities, the European Union has in fact played a part in ameliorating the legal status of ethnic minorities. Research has shown that missing standards in the protection of minorities as well as inconsistent minority policies have weakened (undermined) ?conditional? politics. Turkey is prepared to make concessions to a restricted extent, which is the reason why the basic structure of the minority system has not changed fundamentally.