ERRC and EDROM call on Turkey to join the Decade of Roma Inclusion

21 May 2009

Budapest, Edirne: Today, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the Edirne Roman Dernegi (EDROM) sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urging him to consider joining in the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005–2015.

The organisations outlined the fundamental objectives of the Decade and underlined that, like Turkey, all of the member countries have significant Romani communities that live in disadvantaged economic and social circumstances.

The ERRC and the EDROM pointed out that a group of Romani NGOs from various cities of Turkey met in Ankara recently at a workshop to discuss the Decade of Roma Inclusion with international experts. After a lively debate, the representatives reached the consensus that Romani communities in Turkey would benefit from the Decade process, and issued a declaration to urge the Republic of Turkey to become a party to the Decade of Roma Inclusion.

The ERRC and the EDROM reminded Prime Minister Erdogan that Romani citizens of the Republic of Turkey are among the most deprived persons in Turkish society. The organisations emphasised that Turkey must address the concerns of its Romani citizens and that joining the Decade would present Turkey a good opportunity to interact and cooperate with EU member and candidate countries when dealing with the problems of Romani citizens.

As an initial step, the ERRC and the EDROM recommended that representatives of the government attend the next Steering Committee meeting of the Roma Decade as observers.

The full text of the letter to Prime Minister Erdogan and the declaration of Romani NGOs of Turkey are available at:

Letter to the Prime Minister of Turkey (in English)  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!
Letter to the Prime Minister of Turkey (in Turkish)  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!
Declaration (in English)  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!
Declaration (in Turkish)  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!

For further information, please contact:

Sinan Gokcen, ERRC,, +36 1 413 2200
Erdinç Çekiç, EDROM,, + 90 284 212 4128 



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