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Turks in Macedonia
Total population
80,000 [1][2]
Estimates vary to as high as 200,000 [3][4]
Regions with significant populations
Skopje  · Gostivar  · Radovish  · Strumitsa  · Bitola  · Tetovo  · Resen

Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian


Sunni Islam

Turks in the Republic of Macedonia (Macedonian: Турци, Turci Turkish: Makedonya'daki Türkler) constitute a minority of some four percent of the population in the Republic of Macedonia. Census figures put their number at 77,959. They mainly live in the municipalities of Centar Župa, Vrapciste and Plasnica (in which they form the majority of population), and also in much smaller numbers in the cities of Manastır, Gostivar, Kalkandelen, and Resne. Turkish groups in the region live in accordance with the administrational structure of the country. The Macedonian Government is working on creating conditions for the Turks in Macedonia to cherish and upgrade their cultural values in the country.[5]



A traditional Ottoman house in Ohrid
The seat of the Turkish party in Tetovo, Macedonia

Many Turkish immigrants from Anatolia settled in Macedonia after 1300. There were 203,000 Turks in Macedonia in 1953, but after population exchanges have been made with Turkey only part of the population remained in Macedonia. Today, there are 77,959 Turks living in the country.

National day

The Turks in Macedonia also have an own national day, the Day of Education in Turkish Language. By a decision of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in 2007, December 21 became a national and non-working day for the Turkish community in the country.[5]


Most Turks deal with agriculture, livestock, and commerce in Macedonia.

Political structure

A political party, “Turk Democratic Union”, was founded and is still active today. It represents Turks living in the region. There are some newspapers and magazines published in Turkish in Macedonia. There are also radio programs in the Turkish language.


The first school in Turkish language in Macedonia was opened in 1944.[6] As of 2008 there were over 60 schools that offered lessons in Turkish. Turks have the right of education in Turkish for four years in East Macedonia. There are 264 teachers in these schools. There is a lycee in Gostivar and a technical college in Tetovo where students are trained in Turkish. Few quota is spared for Turkish students at universities in Skopje and Bitola. There are also private Turkish schools established by Turkish entrepreneurs. Macedonian Turks show great interest in these schools.


Turkish population in Macedonia according the the 2002 census (Turkish majority in bold):

Map of ethnic minorities in Macedonia with the Turkish population being represented in red
Municipality Turkish population
Skopje 8,595
Gostivar 7,991
Centar Župa 5,226
Plasnica 4,446
Radoviš 4,061
Strumica 3,754
Struga 3,628
Studeničani 3,285
Vrapčište 3,134
Debar 2,684
Mavrovo and Rostuša 2,680
Dolneni 2,597
Kičevo 2,430
Ohrid 2,268
Vasilevo 2,095
Tetovo 1,882
Resen 1,797
Veles 1,724
Bitola 1,610
Valandovo 1,333
Štip 1,272
Bogovinje 1,183
Prilep 917
Karbinci 728
Konče 521
Tearce 516
Bosilovo 495
Dojran 402
Čaška 391
Pehčevo 357
Demir Kapija 344
Kočani 315
Kruševo 315
Drugovo 292
Kumanovo 292
Vraneštica 276
Vinica 272
Negotino 243
Sopište 243
Mogila 229
Makedonski Brod 181
Kavadarci 167
Lozovo 157
Delčevo 122
Berovo 91
Sveti Nikole 81
Petrovec 75
Gradsko 71
Bogdanci 54
Demir Hisar 35
Gevgelija 31
Novaci 27
Ilinden 17
Kratovo 8
Probištip 6
Jegunovce 4
Brvenica 2
Debarca 2
Kriva Palanka 2
Želino 2
Zelenikovo 1
(Source: 2002 census) [7]


Notable people

See also


Further reading

  • Mandaci, Nazif (April 2007). "Turks of Macedonia: The Travails of the "Smaller" Minority". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 27 (1): 5–24. doi:10.1080/13602000701308798.  


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