The Kurdish Question in Turkey: On the violent enforcement of nation-statehood

The initial hypothesis of this case study was that the Kurdish population in Turkey posed the main obstacle to the creation of a unified Turkish nation. An analysis of the events studied in the 1920s and 1930s confirmed this thesis. To this end, the ideas and drafts of a Turkish nation state, which the Kemalist state leadership pushed for from 1923 onwards, as well as the strategies and measures derived from those against the Kurdish population were presented and critically discussed. It became apparent that the phase between the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 and the extermination operations in the Dersim region in 1937/1938 was decisively shaped by the so-called Kurdish question. An outlook on further developments after 1938 also showed that the relevance of this question remains unabated to this day. The discursive reactions of current state historiography in Turkey are also in continuity with official state statements from the 1920s and 1930s. […]

Ismail Küpeli (2022): The Kurdish Question in Turkey. On the violent enforcement of nation-statehood, Cologne: University of Cologne.

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