This forum took place on December 2 and 3, 2021, at the Human Rights Council.
Oral statement of the Zagros Center for Human Rights
Fourteenth session of the Forum on Minority Issues
Point 3: International legal and institutional framework: human rights of minorities and conflict prevention
The constitutions of some countries, including Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, are based on the superiority of one group over others.
Article 2 of the Turkish Constitution sets out a commitment to Atatürk’s nationalism, and Article 3 sets out a nation, and declares the Turkish language as the sole language of the country. Other non-Turkish national groups, including the Kurds, who make up over 30 million of Turkey’s population, have been legally and systematically denied or marginalized.
According to the fourth principle of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, all laws must conform to Islamic standards. Religious minorities, including the Baha’is, Yarsanis and Mandaeans, have no official status, and are constantly persecuted.
The part of national groups, including Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis and other ethnic minorities, in the constitution of the country is only the unapplied principles of fifteen and nineteen. Even though these non-Persian nations represent more than fifty percent of the Iranian population. However, nowhere in the constitution is their existence recognized and their fundamental rights not mentioned.
Unfortunately, intentional and sometimes hostile attitudes towards the various minorities in these countries have only resulted in riots and violence, and have escalated into armed conflict. If marginalization and inequality persist, we will have to wait for more bloody conflicts in the future.