Ethnic Minorities

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The population of Greece is quite homogeneous, with an estimated 98 percent of Greek descent. The largest minority groups are Albanians, Armenians, Bulgarians; Gypsies, Macedonian Slavs, Pomaks (ethnic Slavs from Bulgaria), Turks, and Vlachs (a Romanian group). The Muslim population, estimated at about 120,000, is concentrated in Thrace (Greece's easternmost land region) and the Dodecanese Islands off the southwestern coast of Turkey, because the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) repatriated all Turks from Greece except for those in Thrace and the Dodecancese Islands. In the early 1990s, the Albanian population fluctuated and caused international tension as illegal refugees entered Greece to escape Albania's unstable conditions.