Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Question

Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Question

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This edited volume, comprising chapters by leading academics and experts, aims to clarify the complexity of Turkey's Kurdish question. The Kurdish question is a long-standing, protracted issue, which gained regional and international significance largely in the last thirty years. The Kurdish people who represent the largest ethnic minority in the Middle East without a state have demanded autonomy and recognition since the post-World I wave of self-governance in the region, and their nationalist claims have further intensified since the end of the Cold War. The present volume first describes the evolution of Kurdish nationalism, its genesis during the late nineteenth century in the Ottoman Empire, and its legacy into the new Turkish republic. Second, the volume takes up the violent legacy of Kurdish nationalism and analyzes the conflict through the actions of the PKK, the militant pro-Kurdish organization which grew to be the most important actor in the process.
Third, the volume deals with the international dimensions of the Kurdish question, as manifested in Turkey's evolving relationships with Syria, Iraq, and Iran, the issue regarding the status of the Kurdish minorities in these countries, and the debate over the Kurdish problem in Western capitals.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 27.94mm | 476.27g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739184024
  • 9780739184028
  • 1,580,570

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Fevzi Bilgin, Introduction Part I: The Genesis and the Legacy of Kurdish Nationalism Chapter 2: Djene Rhys Bajalan, Early Kurdish 'Nationalists' and the Emergence of Modern Kurdish Identity Politics: 1851 to 1908 Chapter 3: Oral Calislar, The Kurdish Issue in Turkey: Social, Political, and Cultural Dimensions Chapter 4: Fuat Keyman and Umut Ozkirimli, The "Kurdish Question" Revisited: Modernity, Nationalism, and Citizenship in Turkey Part 2: The Kurdish Question Today: The movement, the conflict, and the future Chapter 5: Cengiz Candar, On Turkey's Kurdish Question: Its Roots, Present State, and Prospects Chapter 6: Michael M. Gunter, The Multifaceted Kurdish Movement in Turkey Chapter 7: Ali Sarihan, The Two Periods of the PKK Conflict: 1984-1999 and 2004-2010 Chapter 8: Kilic Bugra Kanat, Ending Ceasefires for Political Survival: The Use of Diversionary Strategies by the PKK Leadership Chapter 9: Hugh Pope, Turkey and the Democratic Opening for the Kurds Chapter 10: Gokhan Bacik and Bezen B. Coskun, Explaining Turkey's Failure to Develop a Political Solution for the Kurdish Problem Part 3: Civil Society Efforts in Turkey's Kurdish region Chapter 11: Mustafa Gurbuz, Revitalization of Kurdish Islamic Sphere and Revival of Hizbullah in Turkey Chapter 12: Dogan Koc, The Hizmet Movement and the Kurdish Region Part 4: International Dimensions of the Kurdish Question Chapter 13: H. Akin Unver, Turkey's Kurdish Question, the United States and Europe: Historical Perspective Chapter 14: Joshua W. Walker, International Dimensions of the Kurdish Question in Turkey
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Review quote

Considering the regional and international ramifications of the Kurdish question in the Middle East, the scholarly attention paid to this topic has historically been inadequate and the subject matter remains in need of serious study. It is therefore welcome that Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Question specifically sets out to examine the country with the largest Kurdish population in the world at a time when it is struggling to come to terms with this reality. This edited, multi-authored volume brings together both established and new scholars as well as veteran Turkish journalists, some of who have written extensively on the topic over the years. Turkish Review As the ongoing negotiations between the Turkish government and the representatives of the Kurdish population have turned new attention on Kurdish studies, this multi-authored volume fills a vacuum in the analysis of Turkey's Kurdish question. ... [T]he volume provides a unique reference for scholars interested in grasping, in one reading, the multiple dimensions of Turkey's Kurdish question, as well as its future perspectives. Both experts and scholars approaching Kurdish studies for the first time will benefit from its clear-cut chapters and perceptive insights. The International Spectator This volume, which consists of essays by renowned scholars and journalists, provides valuable information and commentary about the past and present of various aspects of the Kurdish question, and any student who would like to have an understanding of not only the earlier phases of the Kurdish issue but also the on-going solution process will benefit from it. Insight Turkey [The book] is a welcome addition to the growing literature on Kurdish nationalism that offers a new and nuanced empirical account...[The] chapters offer a historical overview of the Kurdish question as well as the main events that have shaped its trajectory, which is quite useful...[Overall] the chapters do make a contribution to our understanding of the Kurdish question in Turkey. Kurdish Studies On the whole the contributions are rigorous and independent-minded. Hurriyet Daily News Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Question is an excellent collection of essays on Turkey's most enduring political problem. It is a timely work enabling to look at the Kurdish question in Turkey from the perspectives of both past and present, from the eyes of both state and society. -- Mesut Yegen, Istanbul Sehir University
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About Fevzi Bilgin

Fevzi Bilgin is the executive director of the Rethink Institute in Washington, DC. His areas of expertise are constitutional politics, religion and politics, political liberalism, Turkish politics, and Middle Eastern politics. He received Bachelor's Degree from Ankara University and PhD in political science from University of Pittsburgh. He previously taught at Sakarya University and St. Mary's College of Maryland. He has published many articles and essays, including a monograph, Political Liberalism in Muslim Societies and most recently, an edited volume, Resolving Turkey's Kurdish Issue. Ali Sarihan is a doctoral candidate in School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. He previously received MA degrees in Democracy and Governance at Georgetown University, Department of Government, and Comparative and International Affairs at Indiana University-Bloomington. His studies focus on social movements, revolutions, democratization, and strategic diplomacy tools in the Middle East and North Africa.
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