New Book Out: Contemporary Turkey in Conflict – Ethnicity, Islam and Politics

6 01 2017

9781474417990_2Abbas, Tahir

Edinburgh University Press, 2016

ISBN: 9781474417990

New perspectives on ethnic relations, Islam and neoliberalism have emerged in Turkey since the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002. Placing the period within its historical and contemporary context, Tahir Abbas argues that what it is to be ethnically, religiously and culturally Turkish has been transformed. He explores how issues of political trust, social capital and intolerance towards minorities have characterised Turkey in the early years of the 21st-century. He shows how a radical neoliberal economic and conservative outlook has materialised, leading to a clash over the religious, political and cultural direction of Turkey. These conflicts are defining the future of the nation.

Key features

  • Uses original qualitative data and observational analysis of the Gezi Park protests of 2013 and of a Kurdish community in the southeast of Turkey to explore aspects of political resistance and mobilisation.
  • Analyses attitudes and perceptions of Turkish respondents based on survey data from the European Social Survey.
  • Includes case studies to provide an insight on intergroup relations, social conflict and cultural cohesion in Turkey.
  • Offers an important contribution to the discussion of Islamism, capitalism and democracy in Turkey.

For details click here.


New Book Out: The Kurds of Turkey – National, Religious and Economic Identities

5 01 2017

9781784535452-2Cicek, Cuma

I. B. Tauris, 2016

ISBN: 9781784535452

In fact, Kurds in Turkey have many diverse political and ideological orientations. Focusing on the elites of these informal groups – national, religious and economic – Cuma Cicek analyses the consequences of the divisions and subsequent prospects of consensus building. Using an innovative theoretical framework founded on constructivism, the ‘three ‘I’s’ model and various strands of sociology, Cicek considers the dynamics that affect the Kurds in Turkey across issues as diverse as the central state, geopolitics, nationalism, Europeanisation and globalisation. In so doing, he examines the consensus-building process of 1999-2015 and presents the possible route to a unified Kurdish political state. Cicek’s in-depth and meticulously researched work adds an indispensable layer of nuance to our conception of the Kurdish community. This is an important book for students or researchers with an interest in the history and present of the Kurds and their future in Turkey and across the Middle East.

For details click here.

Lecture Series: Religious Traditions among the Kurds

19 12 2016


Call for Papers: Iraqi Kurdistan at a Crossroads – Current Issues of Domestic and Middle Eastern Politics

20 11 2016

iq-university-of-kurdistan-hewlerUniversity of Kurdistan-Hewler, Erbil, Kurdistan Region Iraq, 24-25 May 2017

The University of Kurdistan-Hewler is pleased to announce the call for papers for a conference on the latest developments in Iraq and the Middle East, Iraqi Kurdistan at a Crossroads: Current Issues of Domestic and Middle Eastern Politics, Erbil, May 24-25, 2017. The defeat of ISIS is a matter of time while restoring peace and acquiring stability in the Middle East will take many years to come.  One of the biggest problems that needs to be addressed in order to achieve long-lasting stability in the region is the Kurdish question, including Iraqi Kurdistan’s plans to break away from Iraq.

The Conference topics include:

·        The Kurdistan regional government in the post-ISIS period 

·        Erbil-Baghdad relations; political, economic and social challenges

·        Neighboring countries’ policies towards the KRG

·        Major global power strategies towards Iraq and Kurdistan


Proposal ideas that extend beyond these thematic areas will be also considered. 

 Proposal submission deadline:   January 16, 2017

For more information and to submit a proposal, please visit

The Best Article Award in Kurdish Political Studies Announcement

15 11 2016

ucf_seal-svgThis award, sponsored by Kurdish Political Studies Program at the University of Central Florida, recognizes the best article in Kurdish Political Studies by a rising scholar during the previous calendar year. In this inaugural year of the award, social science and humanities articles published in English language peer-reviewed journals in 2014 and 2015 were considered.

The First Prize Winner

Wendelmoet Hamelink and Hanifi Barış, “Dengbêjs on borderlands: Borders and the state as seen through the eyes of Kurdish singer-poets,” Kurdish Studies 2 (2014): 34-60.

The Second Prize Winner

Harun Yilmaz, “The Rise of Red Kurdistan,” Iranian Studies 47 (2014): 799-822.

From an impressive pool of more than a dozen articles, the committee has unanimously awarded the first prize to Wendelmoet Hamelink and Hanifi Barış’s “Dengbêjs on borderlands” published in Kurdish Studies. The article masterfully combines theoretical insights with meticulous research involving close textual analysis of the stories and symbols of the kilams (recital songs) and interviews conducted with the dengbêj (Kurdish folk singers) themselves to address one of the most important questions in modern Kurdish political history: why Kurds don’t have a state of their own? In contrast to typical conceptions that Kurdish elites “failed” to gain a nation-state, as well as more general condemnations of Kurds as too internally divided to achieve a state of their own, Hamelink and Barış find that Kurdish communities deliberately avoided and evaded the state as a means of maintaining some measure of freedom and independence. They suggest this evasiveness was not limited to preventing external authorities from imposing their will; it also included trying to ensure no state emerged from within Kurdish society. Their demonstration of the relevance of the local—local alliances, relationships, enmities, battles —and the perception in the kilam of the state and borders as external, far-flung, and invasive also offers an important counterpoint to the highly nationalized depictions common in accounts of Kurdish politics and society. The article also illustrates the rich potential of truly interdisciplinary work and draws on multiple methodologies and fields. The clarity and elegance of the writing, and the careful presentation of the kilams in both the original Kurdish and the English translation are also noteworthy.

The committee has awarded the second prize to Harun Yilmaz’s “Red Kurdistan” published in Iranian Studies. Scholarship on the Kurds have overwhelmingly focused on the Kurds in the Middle East. As a result, the Kurdish communities living in the Caucasus region have not received significant attention. Yilmaz’s article addresses this gap and focuses on the Kurdish population in Azerbaijan under Soviet administration between 1920 and 1937.This original work utilizes a wealth of primary and secondary sources in an attempt to demystify a Kurdish population in the Caucasus region subject to both communist modernization policies and Azeri hegemony during the interwar years. It compellingly documents the tensions between the Soviet modernist goal of presenting Azerbaijan as a regional model of ethnic coexistence and bureaucratic, political, and socioeconomic factors hampering literacy and schooling campaigns that brought few tangible benefits to the Kurds until the 1930s.

The first prize winner is awarded $300, and the second prize winner $200.

The committee is composed of Janet Klein (the University of Akron), Hakan Özoğlu (University of Central Florida), Güneş Murat Tezcür (University of Central Florida), and Nicole Watts (San Francisco State University).

Call for Panelists: Kurdish Futures In and Outside of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran – Fresh Hopes or New Tragedies

15 11 2016


university_of_exeter_new_logo-01Following the success of the last two previous Kurdish studies conferences here in 2012 and 2015 at the University of Exeter Centre for Kurdish Studies, our next conference event will be held over 2.5 days: 26th – 28th June 2017. The theme for this event will be: Kurdish Futures In and Outside of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran: Fresh Hopes or New Tragedies?

Venue: Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, Stocker Rd, Exeter, EX4 4ND Call for Panellists
We are currently seeking proposals from scholars to organise panels.

The Conference Committee seeks proposals addressing subjects of relevance to the theme. We will also welcome proposals for panels that are not addressing the core theme of the conference, but their inclusion will be at the committee’s discretion. The Conference Committee welcomes panels of any disciplinary composition.

The deadline for proposal submissions is 16th Jan, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. GMT

All proposals must be submitted electronically to

If you have any question regarding panel participation please contact:

To submit a proposal:

After considering the guidelines below please submit the proposal to the email address:

In the body of the email, please include the following information: Title of paper, your name, affiliation and address, E-mail address.

Panel Proposal Submission Guidelines
1. Commitment to participate prior to submission.

Please submit proposals which have confirmed commitment from participants. We wish to see panels which resemble the original proposal. Replacement participants will be allowed in exceptional circumstances only. It is expected that all presentations will be in English. Exceptions to this will be considered if there are arrangements for translation and prior agreement sought from the conference committee. The audio visual facilities within the centre building are limited and it is preferred that all participants appear in person.

2. The criteria on which the committee focuses are:

  •   Relevance to conference theme of ‘Kurdish Futures In and Outside of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran: Fresh Hopes or New Tragedies?’
  •   Ability to bring new knowledge and understanding to the field.
  •   Quality of material or interpretations, soundness of methodology, knowledge of the field,


  •   Structure and quality of the papers proposed for a given panel.
  •   Quality of the written abstracts, the overall panel abstract being of greatest importance.
  •   Gender, ethnic, and institutional balance and a combination of junior and senior scholars.
  •   We wish to promote a lively engaged discussion following each panel presentation. Participants are encouraged to consider presentation formats which engage the audience.


Acceptance of submission

Organising panellists will be informed by email as to the outcome of their proposal by the 31st January 2017

 Programme Scheduling 

The proposed workshop will be held over 2.5 days.

Panel sessions will begin on 26th June 09:30, the final presentation on the 28th June will finish at 12:30.

The conference committee will seek to complete the panel scheduling after all the applications have been received and acceptances given.


Audio Visual Facilities & Room Access

There are standard audio visual facilities within the building. PC, projector. If participants wish to bring an Apple computer please can they bring any adaptor / connector for their equipment as we cannot guarantee we will have the necessary connector. We have no plans to record the conference proceedings. The room is on our lower ground level, accessible by a lift.

Registration for participants

All participants will need to register, there is no fee for registration but the cost of any accommodation booked and the delegate day rate will be expected to be paid by all participants and delegates.

Participants will need to pay their attendance rate and any accommodation booked by the 14th May 2017. No refunds will be given for participants withdrawing after 14th May 2017. We suggest all participants in need of financial assistance from their institutions or other sources and/or those participants needing to complete a visa application begin the process immediately after notice of proposal acceptance. We cannot make exceptions for refund requests; including those submitted on the basis of denied funding and/or visa applications.

The conference ‘registration store’ is expected to be available via the university website by January 2017. A notice will go out to announce when this is available.

Cost of attending:

Total cost of attending the 2.5 days, which includes: all refreshments and food, including a lunch on the final day is £215.

On the evening of Tuesday 27th there will be a conference dinner. The cost of the dinner is also included in this price.


Accommodation on site will be at Holland Hall this is situated a short walking distance from the conference venue. If you have any mobility issues and require any assistance please notify us in advance of your stay and we will be happy to arrange assistance.

Accommodation will be offered on the nights of the 25th, 26th and 27th June at a cost of £59.95 pn which includes breakfast.

Travel Bursary:
We do have limited funding available for assistance related to the conference.

  •   Support is limited to those scholars who are participants on panels and/or roundtables that have been accepted on the formal program.
  •   Panel organisers must apply on behalf of the intended recipient requesting the bursary.
  •   All applicants must indicate the city and country they will be traveling FROM to attend the


    We will seek to fund those where need is seen as greatest. This could be because the home institution where the scholar is coming from is lacking in funds or if the recipient is unfunded or a student. Preference will be given to junior scholars and presenters, and attempts will be made to apply grants across all panels to support a broad representation, etc.

    Panel organisers or applicants should seek outside funding to supplement the travel grants. Travel expenses eligible for reimbursement will be limited to advance purchase international return-trip economy airfare (purchased before 14th May for air fares and train tickets) airport transfers, public transfer the conference registration.

    Panel organisers should submit their request for financial assistance as part of their panel proposal by the 16th Jan, 2017 deadline. No requests for travel assistance for participants will be considered after this date.

    All reimbursements will be processed after the event and attendance has been confirmed. Participants will need to present receipts as proof of payment. Payment will be by bank transfer asap after the event. We are unable to pay cash on the day of the event for reimbursement.

    Organised Panels

    Organised Panels are proposed around a common subject or theme. Formal papers are presented, often followed by discussion. Organised panels last for an hour and a half and must include ample time for audience participation. Organised Panel proposal submissions should include:

    A 300-word (maximum) overall panel abstract is required, in addition to the 300-word (maximum) abstract for each paper on the panel. The abstracts provided for each prospective paper presentation are very important, but the overall panel abstract is of greatest importance. The configuration of the panel is left to the organiser’s discretion. Abstracts should reach the committee by 16th Jan 2017.

  • Important Dates

    •   Deadline for abstract submission: 16th January 207
    •   Notification to panel organisers: by 31st January 2017
    •   Online Registration closes for panellists and delegates: 14th May 2017
    •   Delegates arrival (evening/pm) for conference: Sunday 25th June 2017
    •   First day of conference Monday 26th June 2017
    •   Second day of conference Tuesday 27th June 2017
    •   Gala dinner on evening Tuesday 27th June
    •   Half day conference and close Weds 28th June.

      Conference webpage:
      Facebook: Website:

Call for Papers: Language Contact and Language Change in Western Asia

6 11 2016

images-4Language Contact and Language Change in Western Asia Conference, 10th to 12th March 2017 Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.

The conference “Language Contact and Language Change in Western Asia” focuses on multilingualism in Western Asia. Within Western Asia, we aim at focusing the Kurdish-populated areas in the regions of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the neighboring countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In this area, several Indo-European varieties are spoken, including Armenian, Kurdish varieties, and Persian. A number of non-Indo-European languages are spoken as well, such as Azeri Turkic, Neo-Aramaic, and Turkish. Finally Georgian and other Caucasian languages are also spoken in the region. Most of the above-mentioned languages exhibit a suprastratum of Semitic, Iranian and Turkic languages due to their close contact for centuries.

The conference explores the use of corpus methods in descriptive and theoretical analysis of word order change of natural languages in a multilingual area like Western Asia. Focal areas of interest include, but are not limited to language contact and language change in word order, information structure, and prosody. Furthermore, we are interested in theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to corpus-oriented research in language contact, i.e. tools, methods, and techniques in corpus assembly, annotation and analysis, the interaction between corpus linguistics and computational linguistics, the relevance of corpus linguistics and linguistic theory, the use of statistical and quantitative methods in detecting patterns of language change, as well as the impact of corpus-based vs. corpus-driven approaches on our view and understanding of morphosyntatic change in languages.

Call deadline

15th December 2016 for abstract submission


Proposals are open to anyone but we especially welcome:
1. Postgraduate students (MA, MPhil, MSt, etc.);
2. PhD students/candidates and post-docs at any stage of their degree.

We invite submissions of preliminary abstracts (max. 1 page, excluding references) for 20 minute presentations. Please send your abstracts through by 15th December 2016.

Important dates

15th December 2016 — Call deadline (submission of abstracts) 10th January 2017 — Notification of acceptance

Invited speakers

Prof. Dr. Anaid Donabedian (Labex EFL, Inalco, SeDyL, Paris, France) Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Khan (University of Cambridge, UK)

Prof. Dr. Jost Gippert (Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Martin Haspelmath (MPI-SHH Jena & Leipzig University, Germany) Prof. Dr. Michael Chyet (Library of Congress, Washington D.C., US)
Prof. Dr. Yaron Matras (Manchester University, UK)

Scientific committee

PD Dr. Agnes Korn (CNRS, UMR Mondes iranien et indien, Paris, France) Prof. Dr. Eleanor Coghill (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Haig (Bamberg University, Germany)
PD Dr. Irina Nevskaya (Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany) Dr. Mojtaba Moshi Zadeh (Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran) Dr. Thomas Jügel (Labex EFL, Inalco, Paris, France)
Dr. Zahra Abolhassani Chimeh (Research Center, SAMT, Iran)

Regular updates will be announced on our Facebook page: A virtual preview of our program will be uploaded as soon as possible.


Inquiries and contact