New Book: Understanding Turkey’s Kurdish Question

5 07 2013

Edited by Fevzi Bilgin and Ali Sarihan

Lexington Books, June 2013

Front CoverThis 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 30 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 19th 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.

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

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 Çalislar, The Kurdish Issue in Turkey: Social, Political, and Cultural Dimensions
Chapter 4: Fuat Keyman and Umut Özkirimli, 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 Çandar, 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: Kiliç 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: Gökhan 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 Gürbüz, Revitalization of Kurdish Islamic Sphere and Revival of Hizbullah in Turkey
Chapter 12: Dogan Koç, The Hizmet Movement and the Kurdish Region

Part 4: International Dimensions of the Kurdish Question
Chapter 13: H. Akin Ünver, 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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