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Turkish Canadian

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Turkish Canadian

Turkish Canadian
Türk asıllı Kanadalılar
Turkish Canadians at the Victoria Day Parade in 2005.
Total population
55,430 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Toronto  · Montreal  · Vancouver  · London  · Ottawa  · Calgary  · Edmonton
Turkish  · Canadian English  · Canadian French
Predominantly Sunni Islam, Significant minority of Shi'a Islam (Alevi)

A Turkish Canadian (Turkish: Türk asıllı Kanadalılar; literally "Turkish-originating Canadians") is a Canadian citizen of Turkish descent or a Turkey-born person who resides in Canada.[2][3] According to the 2011 Census there were 55,430 Canadians who claimed full or partial Turkish descent.[4]


Turks first began to immigrate to Canada in small numbers from the Ottoman Empire. However, significant migration initially began in the late 1950s and early 1960s when the Turkish government encouraged student education abroad.[5] Furthermore, there have been Turks fleeing from unrest and oppression from Bulgaria and Cyprus who have arrived in Canada as both political and economic refugees.[5]

Ottoman migration

In 1901, Canada had between 300-400 Muslim residents, equally divided between Turks and Syrian Arabs.[6] By 1911, the size of the Muslim community had increased to about 1,500, of whom 1,000 were of Turkish origin and the remainder were Arabs.[6] During the pre-World War I period Turks were to be found in mining and logging camps across Canada.[7] However, due to bad relations between the Ottoman Empire and Europe, further migration was made difficult for the Turks and the Canadian government discouraged “Asian” immigration.[7] Thus, by the onset of World War I, Canada witnessed the return of many Turkish immigrants who were then classified as "enemy aliens".[6] Another reason for the return-migration of Ottoman Turks was because for the majority of Turks, the founding of the new republic of Turkey in 1923 was a greater incentive to stay at home.[7]

Mainland Turkish migration

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the government of Turkey encouraged and financially supported Turkish students to study in Canada.[5] Thus, the early 1960s consisted primarily of students and professionals, especially doctors and engineers.[8] Significant Turkish immigration began during the 1960s and 1970s; most Turks went to Canada for educational and economic opportunities.[8] According to the 1972 Canada census there was 9,342 Turkish-born persons living in Canada.

Bulgarian Turks migration

In 1989, Turks in Bulgaria were fleeing from the unrest and oppression of the Bulgarian government; many have arrived in Canada as political and economic refugees.[7]

Turkish Cypriot migration

During the 1950s, Turkish Cypriots started to leave Cyprus for political reasons when the Greek Cypriots held a referendum in which 95.7% of Greek Cypriots supported enosis, the union of Cyprus with Greece. By 1963, inter-ethnic fighting broke out in Cyprus, with Turkish Cypriots bearing the heavier cost in terms of casualties and some 25,000 Turkish Cypriots became internally displaced accounting to about a fifth of their population.[9] Tension continued to grow by the late 1960s and approximately 60,000 Turkish Cypriots left their homes and moved into enclaves.[10] This resulted in an exodus of more Turkish Cypriots from the island, many migrating to Canada. In 1983, Turkish Cypriots unilaterally proclaimed the establishment of their own state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which has since remained internationally unrecognized except by Turkey. Since the division of the island, the Turkish Cypriot economy has remained stagnant and undeveloped because of the economic embargoes which have been imposed on the north.[11] Turkish Cypriots are still forced to emigrate, as a result of unemployment, and economic, social and moral degradation. Furthermore, due to the 'Turkeyfication' policies administered in the north, Turkish Cypriots responses to such policies of nationalisation have been to leave the island and moved to Britain, Australia, and Canada.[12]


According to the Canada 2006 Census, there was 43,700 Turks living in Canada; the majority were concentrated in Toronto (14,970), Montreal (10,345), Vancouver (3,380), Ottawa (2,455), Hamilton (1,590), Calgary (1,305), and Edmonton (1,250).[13] However, the actual number of Turkish Canadians is believed to be considerably higher,[3] as ethnic Turks have also immigrated to Canada via Bulgaria, Cyprus, and the Republic of Macedonia.[3] Statistics on Bulgarian Turks, Turkish Cypriots, and Macedonian Turks present particular problems because it is unclear how many have immigrated to Canada; they are recorded by their citizenship (i.e. "Bulgarian", "Cypriot", and "Macedonian") rather than their ethnicity.

Turkish settlement



The vast majority of Turkish Canadians are Sunni Muslims, whilst the remaining people generally do not have any religious affiliation. Prior to 1980, Turkish Canadian immigrants were from both urban and secular backgrounds.[15] Religion remained an affair of the private conscience.[15] In May 1983, the "Canadian Turkish Islamic Heritage Association" (Kanada Türk Islam Kültür Derneği) was established, followed by the "Canadian Turkish Islamic Trust" (Kanada Türk Islam Vakfi) in April 1987.[15]



Social Media

  • Turkish Association of Canada (TAC)
  • TurkKanada

Turkish newspapers

  • Bizim Anadolu


  • Atak Sports - Zafer Biryol Soccer Academy

The Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations, its members and democratically elected civil societies in Canada

Since the 1960s, many community organizations have appeared representing various groups of [16] The federation serves as a referral and communications centre for news of Turkey, local events, business and governmental inquiries, and intergroup relations. More recently, a similar Turkish Cypriot umbrella group, the "Federation of Turkish Cypriot Associations of Canada", was established; the "Canadian Association for Solidarity of Turks from Bulgaria" also forms part of the federation.[16]

The Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations is an umbrella organization representing 17 member associations from Victoria BC to Quebec, which include approximately 50,000 Canadians of Turkish origin.The Federation was established in 1985 and is a non-profit organization with no political affiliations. It supports and encourages activities that deal with important cultural, economic, educational, historical, social and religious issues that relate to the Turkish Community in Canada.

  • Heritage Federation
  • Intercultural Dialogue Institute
  • Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations
  • Turkish Association of Canada (TAC)
  • Turkish Culture and Folklore Society
  • ANKARA Library
  • Association of Balkan Canadians Association of Balkan Canadians
  • Turkish Federation Community Foundation
  • Turkish Canadian Cultural Association of Calgary
  • Turkish Society of Nova Scotia
  • Turkish Canadian Society(Vancouver)
  • The Turkish Quebec Cultural and Friendship Association
  • Turkish Canadian Society of Edmonton
  • Turkish Canadian Cultural Association
  • Association of Canadian Turkish Cypriots
  • Canadian Alevi Culture Centre
  • Canadian Association for Solidarity of Turks from Bulgaria
  • Canadian Turkish Cultural Association of Hamilton
  • Canadian Turkish Film Society
  • Council of Turkish Canadians
  • The Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations
  • Turkish Canadian Cultural Association
  • The Turkish Canadian Association of London
  • Turkish Canadian Society
  • The Turkish Community Heritage Centre of Canada
  • Turkish Society of Canada
  • The United Canadian Muslim Association
  • United Canadian Turkish Cultural Association

k-w Turkish cultural association

Notable people

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Karpat 2004, 632
  3. ^ a b c Powell 2005, 297
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Aksan 1999, 1277.
  6. ^ a b c Abu-Laban 1983, 76.
  7. ^ a b c d Aksan 1999, 1276.
  8. ^ a b Powell 2005, 298
  9. ^ Cassia 2007, 19.
  10. ^ Tocci 2004, 53.
  11. ^ Tocci 2004, 61.
  12. ^ Papadakis, Peristianis & Welz 2006, 94.
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c Aksan 1999, 1279
  16. ^ a b Aksan 1999, 1278


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External links

  • Turkish Schools in Canada Nile Academy
  • Turkish Schools in Canada Nebula Academy
  • Anatolian Heritage Federation Anatolian Heritage Federation
  • Anatolian Cultural Centre Anatolian Cultural Centres
  • Dicle Islamic Society Dicle Islamic Society
  • Turkish Canadian Chamber of Commerce TCCC
  • Association of Balkan Canadians Association of Balkan Canadians
  • The Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations
  • Turkish Culture and Folklore Society
  • ANKARA Library
  • Turkish Federation Community Foundation
  • Turkish Canadian Cultural Association of Calgary
  • Turkish Society of Nova Scotia
  • Turkish Canadian Society(Vancouver)
  • The Turkish Quebec Cultural and Friendship Association
  • Turkish Canadian Society of Edmonton
  • Turkish Canadian Cultural Association
  • Turk Kanada
  • Canadian Turkish Business Council
  • Turkish Society of Canada
  • Canada Turk
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