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Kurds, Turks, and the Alevi revival

By M.M. van Bruinessen


Until a few years ago, Kurdish nationalism was the only\ud movement in Turkey that openly defied the official doctrine that\ud Turkey is a homogeneous nation-state. Informally, people\ud would freely apply ethnic labels to their acquaintances;\ud everybody was aware of the rich ethnic variety of the country,\ud [2] but it was thought undesirable to acknowledge this and most\ud people were reluctant or afraid to define themselves as anything\ud but Turks. In the 1970s, Kurdish nationalists had begun\ud challenging this official view, and in 1979 a cabinet minister\ud caused a political scandal by calmly remarking that he too was a\ud Kurd.[3] The military regime of 1980-83 made a last-ditch\ud attempt to silence those Kurds who wished to be different, but\ud its oppressive measures had the opposite effect of what was\ud intended; they strengthened the Kurds' sense of their distinct\ud identity and resulted in massive sympathy for the separatist\ud PKK

Topics: Letteren
Year: 1996
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