The Republic of Turkeys quest for the eradication of Kurdish Identity

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Aug 7 11:16:53 UTC 2006

Forgetting Themselves: The Republic of Turkeys quest for the eradication
of Kurdish Identity

8/6/2006 - By Kiersten S. Zaza

Kurds have no friends.  Kurdish Proverb

Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the nationalist
Kemalist government has been waging a war of attrition against the
identity of millions of its citizens. It has attempted to erase the
history, language, and culture of an entire people in order to solidify
the homogeneity of Turkeys inhabitants through legislation, military
action, and propaganda. This battle it has undertaken has impacted the
country both on a domestic level, and in the international arena. The
victimized identity is that of the Kurds who have inhabited Anatolia for
thousands of years. The Turkish government has ardently maintained that
the Kurdish people are ethnically Turkish and it has used domestic policy
to prove this for decades. This paper will serve to analyze the various
strategies that the Turkish government has used in its efforts to wipe out
Kurdish identity in favor of Turkish nationalism, and the effects these
strategies have had on Turkeys Kurdish population from the dawn of the
Turkish Republic to the present.

Turkey became an official republic in 1923 after the demise of the Ottoman
Empire at the end of World War I. It quickly became fervently
nationalistic in its domestic policies as it struggled to establish itself
as a legitimate power of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Ironically, however, the nationalist sentiment that grew during the early
days of the republic was not characterized by a proliferation of
historically Turkish culture, but was characterized rather by a strong
desire to assimilate to European ways of government, dress, and
secularism. In 1925, Turkey ousted the traditional Islamic calendar in
favor of the Western Gregorian calendar, and prohibited the Fez as part of
its policy to promote European fashion. In 1928, the government declared
the country secular and removed from the constitution the clause which
stated Islam as the official national religion. Turkey was preparing
itself to climb the global power ladder and was doing so through voluntary
assimilation to Western culture. [1]

The father of this movement from the first days of the republic was
Mustafa Kemal Atatrk. Standing at average height and medium build, Atatrk
appeared more Caucasian than Turkish. Foreign officers would often comment
on his unusually light hair and European features. He led a harsh life,
most likely stemming from his fatherless childhood and extensive military
experience. In his biography of the Turkish leader, A.L. Macfie remarks on
Ataturks tough existence and character:

To the end of his life [Atatrk] remained an imposing figure, highly
intelligent, shrewd, cynical, at times sarcastic and overbearing,
unscrupulous and in his private life dissolute. A heavy drinker, he would
frequently consume half a litre of raki (the Turkish national drink) a
day, and sit up half the night playing poker or carousing with his
cronies. [2]

For millions of Turks, Atatrk represented the future, and the future shown
bright with promise and nationalist fervor. He aggressively pursued
policies that would Westernize Turkey and make it a better fit in the
global jigsaw puzzle.

Atatrks dream of cultural unity with the West carried into his
determination to unify his own country through ethnic homogenization, but
his concern lay not with legalities. Instead, Atatrk left legislation to
his right hand man and future successor, Ismet Inn. [3] Inn made his
position on ethnic diversity in Turkey clear from the start. We are
frankly nationalists, he once said, and nationalism is our only factor of
cohesion. In the face of a Turkish majority other elements have no kind of
influence. We must Turkify the inhabitants of our land at any price, and
we will annihilate those who oppose the Turks or le turquisme. [4] At the
formation of the Republic, Turkeys population was slightly under 9.4
million and, according to recent studies, was littered with close to fifty
distinct ethnic groups. [5] The most populous one was that of the Turks,
followed by the troublesomely large population of the Kurds who resided
mainly in the southeast of the country. This presented a huge problem for
the president and his accomplice, but unfortunately the problem was not
ominous enough to deter the two men from their goal of ethnic unity.

Given their size and concentrated population, the Kurds must have appeared
to Ataturk and his government as a daunting, yet manageable population to
assimilate. Objectively speaking, policy could be relatively simple to
enforce because of the Kurds geographic location. Forms of domestic
policies of assimilation that were either directly or indirectly
implemented towards the Kurds involved restrictions and bans on Kurdish
language, forced relocation, purposeful development of an anti-Kurdish
sentiment, and economic dependency. In her demographic study of the Kurds
in Turkey, Servet Mutlu divides ethnic markers into two groups: etic
markers that are recognized by outsiders, and emic markers which are part
of a groups self-identification. She notes that, the principal emic marker
of Kurdishness has been the language and that the language has also been
the principal etic marker. [6] Because of the importance of language, this
paper will focus largely on Turkeys policies that involved Kurdish
language education, public usage, and distribution, but will briefly
attend to the other forms of legislation, as well. As this paper will
show, policies involving the Kurdish language often directly or indirectly
resulted in more hard-lined and militaristic ones.

Before delving into the actual policies that Turkey implemented, it is
necessary to understand the reasons for which the government saw fit to
negate Kurdish identity at the start. An eruption of scholarly literature
on the subject of Kurdish and Turkish identity occurred at the time of the
formation of the early assimilation policies and continued throughout the
latter half of the twentieth century and into the present. Turkish
ethnographers began the task of proving that the Kurds were not of a
separate ethnic group at all, but were rather ethnic Turks who simply
migrated into the mountains and back down again. Using language as the
major identification of ethnicity, these scholars presented linguistic
evidence that they said shows the Kurdish language as simply a mlange of
Indo-European and Arabic dialects, sprinkled into the original Turkish. By
studying historical and modern Kurdish texts, Turkish linguists claimed
that a substantial majority of the Kurdish language consists of Turkish,
Arabic, and Persian diction. The Kurdish words they studied were not
actually Kurdish at all, but were of a proto-Turkish dialect. Martin van
Bruinessen writes of Turkeys reaction to these conclusions when he states,
In the official Turkish view, the Kurds are of Turkish origin, but they
have culturally and linguistically degenerated and now speak a gibberish
comprised of Persian, Arabic, and Turkish and [are] incapable of
expressing sophisticated thought. [7] Hence, there was no actual Kurdish
language, only a version of Turkish muddled with some Arabic and Persian
words. [8] With what it saw as substantial evidence to negate the
existence of a Kurdish language, the Turkish government could begin its
task of transforming its lost Turks into ethnically Turkish nationalists.

Despite his governments attitude, Atatrk was not keen on presenting
himself as the oppressor of a national minority, but wanted his citizens
and the world to see him as a unifying figure. He thus began with domestic
policies that would technically apply to all Turkish citizens, but that
were actually directed at the southeast. In 1924, Turkey passed its first
law concerning language of the state. The law decreed the banning of all
Kurdish schools, associations and publications by outlawing all verbal and
written forms of expression that were not Turkish. [9] The law came on the
exact same day the government banned the Caliphate in its efforts to
create a European-like secular state.

It was not long before the government was dealing with Kurdish unrest in
the southeast. If the new legislation was not enough to cause conflict
between the Kurds and the state, it also served to aggravate an open wound
that the Kurds had suffered only a few years earlier. After the Treaty of
Svres in August of 1920 all but promised the Kurds a homeland of their
own, the Kurds saw their dreams of a sovereign Kurdistan quickly dashed
away in 1923. The Treaty of Lausanne superseded the Treaty of Svres and
declared Turkey a sovereign state within the legitimate boundaries won
during the 1922 Turkish War of Independence. Still on the defensive after
the betrayal of the Treaty of Svres, the Kurds were immediately aware of
the true intentions of Ataturks language policy. The combination of these
two factors sparked a fire in the minds of the Kurds, who now faced the
fact that they would not have the assistance of foreign powers in their
quest for a homeland. The push for Kurds to become Turks commenced a
movement to demonstrate and prove the existence and power of Kurdish
identity. Christopher Houston expounds upon this idea by writing, the
ongoing need felt by the state to both narrate and legislate Kurdish
identity out of existence attests to a continual refusal by Kurds to
become docile bodies. [10] And docile bodies they would be no longer.

The first major Kurdish uprising took place in February 1925 in the
heavily Kurd-populated province of Diyarbakir. Religious leader Sheikh
Said of Piran led the revolt using traditional ideologies of Kurdish
tribal allegiance. Though they practiced a more liberal form of Islam,
Kurds in the southeast still governed themselves in a non-secular
tradition. Thus, the rebellion that took place had feelings of Kurdish
nationalism mixed with religious connotations as a result of the previous
banning of the Caliphate. [11] Under the Sheikhs leadership, the rebel
Kurdish army captured and occupied one-third of the Kurdish southeast, but
the state soon took action and used brutal military might to put down the
rebellion. They could not, however, quell the sentiments that spawned it.
Kurdish nationalism took on an anti-Turkish characteristic that spurred
two more rebellions in 1930 and around 1937, both of which met the same
end as the first. [12]

As previously mentioned, the Kurdish language and cultural bans were
practically always followed by more militaristic policy decisions. In the
1930s, these policies often dealt with the issue of relocation. The
concentrated populations of Kurds in the southeast was proving to be more
of a problem than a blessing for the government, and cultural oppression
was spurring on more nationalist sentiment and group mentality in the
Kurdish provinces. At first, deportations were the immediate effect of
Kurdish rebellions, but they soon became part of the assimilation effort.
The first law of this set of relocation legislation came in 1932 and
stated that it the government would redistribute populations in all those
areas in which it is deemed desirable to increase the density of the
culturally Turkish population. [13] Deportations ensued immediately. To
reinforce the governments policy, Turkey made another decree on June 14,
1934 called the Law of Resettlement, which made assimilation of all the
countrys citizens to Turkish cultureofficial government policy. [14] The
Law of Resettlement made evident the governments intention to pursue
deportation practices and assimilation as a dual policy, and while it
succeeded in breaking up the social cohesion in many of the southeast
provinces, it reinforced the Kurds need to band together against their
oppressor. As Houston aptly puts, Like a jealous husband, nation-state
paranoia often excites the very thing it fears. [15]

Aside from policies that directly affected the daily lives of the Kurds,
the Turkish government took subtle actions to undermine the Kurdish
identity, along with all non-Turkish identities. This is apparent in the
governments four census reports conducted between 1945 and 1965. The
censuses gathered information on native language, but not ethnicity,
showing the reluctance of the Turkish state to initiate any debate of
separate identities. [16] The censuses also prove the governments fixation
on language as a dividing factor within the state. By collecting
information for these censuses, the government ignored ethnic boundaries,
and focused on the problem of diversification of language, particularly
Kurdish. The censuses were perhaps a vain attempt by the government to
determine whether its language bans and Turkish language programs were
having an effect on minority populations. Even though by the mid-1930s,
some say no Turkish town or city contained more than 10% ethnic
minorities, Kurdish-speaking populations continued to grow in village
areas. [17] This is certainly a result of the fact that the natural birth
rate for Kurds is larger than that of ethnic Turks. Kurdish rural and
Turkish urban settlement is most likely the reason for the differences in
birthrates. [18] The government appeared to be content with its progress,
however, since in towns and cities, Kurdish language had, for all intents
and purposes, disappeared.

In 1950, there was a new prime minister in Turkey to whom these more
subtle ways of assimilation were due. Adnan Menderes began to focus on the
international scene, creating bonds with the West that were based on
Turkeys resentment and distrust of the Arab world. [19] Domestically,
order was fragile but present in the southeast as Kurdish tribal leaders
were established by the government to keep peace in the area. Ismet Inn
had since taken the place of Atatrk after his death in 1938, and
establishing Turkeys place in the international arena for a while took
precedence over the Kurdish question that still lingered, ever so quietly,
in the southeast.

This brief decade of peace and order was replaced by a revival of
government activism in 1960 when a coup overthrew the Turkish government.
While previously quiet on the domestic front, the aggrieved Menderes now
spoke out against the Kurdish leaders that, he claimed, had been given too
much authority in the southeast during the previous decade, and had been
plotting to undermine the Turkish state by pursuing goals of an
independent Kurdistan. [20] These sentiments were exacerbated by the
Kurdish freedom fighter Mullah Mustafa Barzanis progress in neighboring
Iraq. After having been forced into exile for his rebellions against the
Iraqi government under King Faisal II, the Kurdish leader had since been
invited back to Iraq after the coup detat of Abd el-Karim Qassem in 1958.
[21] Talk of Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq was making the Turkish
government weary, and the new leaders were assumingly looking for another
reason to reinstate assimilation policies on the Kurds.

To the benefit of the oppressed, however, poor policy planning prevailed
and the new government drafted a constitution that actually allowed for
more freedom for the Kurds. Political associations and trade unions, once
banned under Ataturk and then Inn started to form, and more press freedom
meant less restriction on the Kurdish language. These new liberties did
not come soon enough for the Kurds, however, who had already begun to
establish nationalist groups and strong pro-Kurdish sentiments.
Left-leaning Turks took advantage of the liberal atmosphere and created
the Workers Party of Turkey, or WPT. The WPT began to bring the Kurdish
question into academic arenas by publishing scholarly works on the issue
and even going so far as to make the problem invariably ethnic in nature,
instead of the Kemalist view that trouble stemmed exclusively from
economic disparities. Literature appeared that was devoted entirely to the
history, folklore and economic problems of Kurdistan. [22] The government
responded to these publications in 1967 with a law banning the
distribution in Turkey of any material of foreign origin in the Kurdish
language, but the Kurds had already caught a glimpse of independence and
they were prepared to fight to see its arrival. [23]

The proliferation of Kurdish nationalist sentiment continued into the late
1960s and into the 1970s as organizations promoting Kurdish culture and
identity sprouted up in areas all over the country. They were usually made
up of Kurdish elite and urbanized students. In 1969, these elites
established the Revolutionary Cultural Society of the East in Ankara,
making it the first legal Kurdish organization in the Republics history.
The East meant Kurdistan, as everyone knew, but in order to maintain
legality no open reference to Kurdistan or Kurds could be made. [24] By
1970, the organization had split into a group devoted simply to cultural
awareness, and a more leftist wing which was led by an ambitious young
academic named Dr. Sivan. Sivans goal was unquestionably Kurdish
independence. A movement by his militaristic followers into the Kurdish
southeast provoked a Turkish military intervention in 1971 that quelled
the uproar for only a short while. [25] The establishment of and increase
in more such groups characterized the rest of the decade, as Ankara
watched with fear.

Perhaps the most notable of these Kurdish nationalist groups formed in
1978. They called themselves the Kurdistan Workers Party, or in Turkish
acronym form, the PKK. The importance of the formation of the PKK cannot
be overly-expressed for it continues to be a crucial factor in the fight
for Kurdish independence in Turkey to this day. In its early days,
however, the organization was only able to focus on small-scale guerilla
operations in the southeast as it worked to recruit new members. The PKK,
along with its founder and leader Abdullah calan, was intent upon using
physical force to secure its place in the Kurdish national movement and to
obtain its demands for an independent Kurdistan. [26] The changes in
government that were soon to take place after the groups establishment,
would only serve to increase the PKKs size and efforts as a means of
retaliation against the oppression of the Kurds.

Though the government seems to have all but forgotten about the Kurdish
question during the 1960s and early to mid-1970s, political instability
that was plaguing Ankara eventually found its way to the Kurdish
southeast. The questionable intentions and power of the Turkish government
was one of the reasons for the creation of so many Kurdish political
movements and organizations. Sleyman Demirel had become Prime Minister of
Turkey in 1965 a position he would hold seven times. Demirel at first did
not have clear objectives for the southeast, but his political wavering on
the Kurdish question would become an issue for the government and the
Kurds in the times to come. In 1980, finally fed up with the governments
lack of domestic legitimacy, the military staged a coup, ousting Demirel
for the time being and imposing martial law on the country. [27] The
oppression of martial law excited the fervor of the newly-formed PKK, as
well as other smaller leftist Kurdish organizations. As the military began
to brutally crack down in the southeast, the PKK sought refuge and
regrouped in Syria. They would soon return, however, with a mission and

Breeding social repression, the new martial law also spawned massive
migration of the Kurdish population from the southeast to the urban
western areas of the Turkey, as well as to Europe. Kurds were looking for
economic opportunities in these metropolitan regions, but usually had to
hide their Kurdish identity to secure positions. Many younger Kurds
growing up in families who had migrated or emigrated from the southeast
learned to be ashamed of their Kurdish identity. The ease with which Kurds
could become Turks in these urban areas facilitated this new view of
Kurdish identity. The Turkish government, along with Turkish and Kurdish
civilians alike, viewed Kurdish ethnicity as one of ignorance, incivility,
superstitiousness (religiousness) and backwardness until that ethnicity
was rebuked and replaced by Turkish nationality. [28] Since the Turkish
government insisted that the Kurds and Turks were one and same racially,
the differences between the two consisted of spoken language. This allowed
for a Kurd to convert to Turkishness by simply decreeing it. That is, by
speaking Turkish.

This perceived progress in assimilating Kurds in urban areas was not
mirrored in the southeast, however. The PKK continued to grow in numbers
and efforts against the military regime, and guerilla warfare broke out
between the two sides in 1983 after a series of legislation by the new
government. General elections had taken place that year, with Turut zal
securing his place as prime minister of Turkey. [29] zal and his
conservative party wasted no time and began to reinstate direct bans on
Kurdish language and expression. In 1983, Law 2932 effectively illegalized
the Kurdish language, and the following Articles 141, 142, and 163 all
served to illegalize the promotion of communism, Kurdish separatism, and
theocratic government. [30] The PKK moved back into Turkish Kurdistan and
resumed military operations in the southeast. Turkish military presence in
the region increased due to the fighting, as more Kurds fled the
countryside to seek asylum in the cities of western Turkey, Europe, and,
to a lesser extent, the United States. [31]

It is important to stress, here, the governments thought process
concerning the laws on language. The Turkish government had never
forgotten the struggle it endured during the Turkish War for Independence
in 1922, and the state viewed Kurdish independence as the definite end to
national cohesion and security. The language that connected the Kurds was
thought to undermine and break apart the Turks. The destruction of the
Kurdish identity, therefore, was intended to soften, and eventually kill
off, any Kurdish nationalist sentiment and replace it with a stronger
Turkish nationalism. Ankaras insistence upon military and legal persuasion
to adopt Turkish in favor of Kurdish was the policys ultimate demise,
however, for it only really served to increase the Kurds need to define
themselves as a separate ethnic group. If Turkey had been able to see
itself as a diverse nation and use that attitude to strengthen its
nationalism, the state would have benefited from the Kurdish human capital
rather than having to employ money, manpower, and time to the Kurdish

The government remained firm in its stance, however, and continued to
fight the PPK in the Kurdish provinces. This insistence upon using
physical force was supplemented by the militarys strong hang in
policy-making in the southeast. In 1985, zal initiated a program using
civilian militias to counteract the guerilla strategies of the PKK. His
intention was to prove to outsiders that the Kurds in the southeast were
far from united in their opposition to the Turkish state. [32] Two years
later in 1987, the prime minister declared a state of emergency in ten
Kurdish provinces, which was to be extended every four months. Continuing
economic disparity in the southeast lent its hand to empowering the PKK
army, as more and more Kurds joined the rebel ranks. To reinforce Law
2932, the government adopted Kararname 413 a cluster of legislation that
extended the governments power to censor media and other forms of
expression. [33] Each new language law was met with more resistance in the
southeast. Ankaras fear fed also on emerging Kurdish-Iraqi relations to
the east. Barzanis peshmerga army had been making progress with diplomatic
efforts in northern Iraq. This was a foreign situation that only served to
push the PKK to fight harder.

The 1990s started off better than did the 1980s for the Kurds. In April
1991, the government repealed Law 2932 and Articles 141, 142, and 162 were
stricken from the Turkish Penal Code. The Kurdish language could now be
legally spoken and written, although Kurdish media broadcasts and
education were still prohibited. [34] In October of the same year, the
relatively more liberal Demirel was reelected as prime minister and sought
to solve the Kurdish issue. As Philip Robins notes, [Demirel] was prepared
to go on record as saying that Turkey had realized the reality of its
Kurdish population, [and this was] not [an] inconsiderable statement in
view of the states past approach to such matters. [35] Robins goes on to
list three mains reasons for why this government stance unfortunately
never came into reality. First, the Kurds in the southeast had been
plagued for too long with poor economic conditions, constant military
presence, and brutal violence coupled with relocation. The discourse of
the new prime minister was positive, but was still only discourse not
action. Secondly, Robins states, rather than nurturing the transformation
in the political atmosphere in Turkey in 1991, a handful of [Kurdish
nationalist] members seemed determined to give offence to the symbols of
the Turkish state at every opportunity. [36] Lastly, the government still
consisted of enough hardliners to curb any effective liberalization of
Kurdish policy. In the end, the Kurds lost the support of Demirel due to
these reasons, and a bloody Nevruz holiday the following year further
negated the governments fragile compassion. Demirel and his government
seemingly washed their hands of the Kurdish situation and it was left, yet
again, to the military. [37]

Despite the less-than-promising atmosphere in Turkey, the decade of the
1990s presented the Kurds with a new outlet: satellite television. The
PKK, now established in countries throughout the Middle East and Europe,
was able to launch a television station in 1990 that ran out of the United
Kingdom. MED-TV was the new global source for PKK news and information.
And, although pirated television was and is still highly illegal to
receive in Turkey, it was and is not impossible to get. Kurds in the
southeast, and especially those in Kurdish diasporas in Istanbul and
Ankara, still use MED-TV to watch leftist Kurdish programming and news.
The station is concerned to nurture Kurdish folk dance, national costumes
and music, all of which were outlawed by the Turkish government for the
same reasons it restricted language. [38] As Robins puts it, for the
Turkish government [Kurdish] cultural rights would inexorably lead to
demands for political rights, then leading to federation, statehood and
eventually union with adjacent Kurdish lands. [39] Hence, the government
sought to outlaw any outlet for Kurdish culture and information such as

While the PKK had its freedoms in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, it was
still struggling with the government back home in Turkey. In March 1993,
Abdullah calan declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Turkish military,
after many had described 1992 as the bloodiest year in the PKK insurgency.
[40] The ceasefire did not last very long, however, since many hardliners
in the PKK viewed the act as a sign of weakness and submissiveness towards
the government. The meek external pressure to improve human rights in the
country did little to influence domestic military policy in the southeast
up through 1995. Violence and imprisonment ran rampant throughout the
state as outspoken Kurdish journalists continued to be arrested, beaten,
or simply disappeared. [41] In 1995, the Turkish government launched a
major military offensive by sending roughly thirty-five thousand Turkish
troops to the southeast.

Violence between Kurdish militia and Turkish forces carried on throughout
the rest of the decade and into the new millennium, but a change of
government policy commenced as Turkey began to look seriously at
membership in the European Union. After having officially applied for
membership in 1987, and joining the EU Customs Union in 1995, Turkey
desired full recognition as a European state an aspiration befitting of
Atatrks European leaning. For Europe, the problem with Turkey lay greatly
with its very poor human rights record. Turkey responded with a series of
twenty-first century legislation that would serve to benefit the Kurds, if
only on the surface. With calan now in a Turkish prison after being
captured in Kenya in 1999, Ankaras fear of Kurdish separatism may have
mildly subsided. In any case, the Turkish parliament passed reform
legislation that lifted bans on Kurdish education and broadcasting. The
sincerity of these measures must be questioned, however, since less than a
year later the government authorized the dispatch of military forces into
the Kurdish provinces once again. The parliament continued in 2003 to pass
laws that softened restrictions on freedom of speech, Kurdish language
rights, and on reducing [the] political role of [the] military. [42]
Despite these legal actions, the PKK insisted that the state was
continuing efforts to viciously destroy PKK forces in the southeast.
Continuing with its trend, Turkey released four prominent Kurdish
activists from prison, and launched its first ever Kurdish television
station in 2004.[43] This policy move was smart because it now gave Kurds
in Turkey a source of Kurdish culture that differed from the leftist, and
admittedly violent, media perspective that the PKKs MED-TV offered.
Ironically, Turkeys need to assimilate to European civil freedoms required
it to ease its assimilation policies toward its own people.

The situation for the Kurds of Turkey now glimmers with hope, even though
it still shakes with sporadic but violent PKK activity. The opening of the
media continues to expand in attempts to meet EU requirements. In 2005 the
EU nodded toward Turkeys efforts but remained clear that more needed to be
done by the government to promote and safeguard civil liberties. The
Kurdish progress in Iraq no doubt leaves the Turkish state weary of a
sovereign Kurdistan. An independent state for the Kurds is exactly what
Turkey has tried for decades to prevent, as it sees a Kurdish state as the
ultimate threat to Turkish national security and unity. In the end, Turkey
has failed to wipe out the Kurdish identity. One could go so far as to say
that through its repressive policies, the Turkish government succeeded
only in adding gasoline to the fire in regards to Kurdish independence.
The new legislation may be considered too little, too late by many Kurds.
If the language bans of the early republic had not been, the Kurdish
people would not have had to fight so hard for their identity. As it
stands, the fighting is a habit they have yet to break.


1. Timeline: Turkey. BBC News. p. 1,
2. Macfie, A. L. Ataturk. New York: Longman Group. 1994. p. 6-7
3. Ibid, p. 21
4. Jongerden, Joost. Resettlement and Reconstruction of Identity: The Case
of the Kurds in Turkey. The Global Review of Ethnopolitics. Vol. 1, No. 1,
Sept., 2001. (p. 80-86). p. 81
5. Mutlu, Servet. Ethnic Kurds in Turkey: A Demographic Study.
International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 28, No. 4. Cambridge
University Press. Nov., 1996. (p. 517-541). p. 517
6. Mutlu, p. 518
7 Bruinessen, Martin van. The Kurds in Turkey. MERIP Reports, No. 121,
State Terror in Turkey. Feb., 1984. (p. 6-12+14). p. 1
8 Houston, Christopher. Islam, Kurds and the Turkish Nation State. New
York: Berg. 2001. p. 100
9. Ibid, p. 99
10. Ibid, p. 103
11. Ibid, p. 99
12. Robins, Philip. The Overlord State: Turkish Policy and the Kurdish
Issue. International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs
1944-). Vol. 69, No. 4, Oct., 1993. (p. 657-676). p. 660
13. Jongerden, p. 82
14. Mango, Andrew. Ataturk and the Kurds. Seventy-five Years of the
Turkish Republic. London: Frank Cass. 2000. (p. 1-25). p. 20
15. Houston, p. 99
16. Ibid, p. 101
17. Jongerden, p. 82
18. Ibid.
19. Yes?lbursa, Behet K. Turkeys Participation in the Middle East Command
and its Admission to NATO, 1950-52. Seventy-five Years of the Turkish
Republic. London: Frank Cass. 2000. (p. 70-102). p. 75.
20. Bruinessen, p. 8
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid.
23. Kutschera, Chris. Mad Dreams of Independence: The Kurds of Turkey and
the PKK. Middle East Report. No. 189, The Kurdish Experience. Jul.-Aug.,
1994. (p. 12-15). p. 13
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid, p. 9
26. Robins, p. 662
27. Timeline: Turkey, p. 2
28. Houston, 104
29. Timeline: Turkey, p. 2
30. Martin, David H. The CANDU Syndrome: Canadas Bid to Export Nuclear
Reactors to Turkey. 1997.
31. Robins, 662
32. Ibid.
33. Ibid, 664
34. Martin, p. 1
35. Robins, p. 666
36. Ibid, p. 666-667
37. Ibid, p. 667
38. Houston, p. 128
39. Robins, p. 667
40. Ibid, p. 668
41. Karabelias, Gerassimos. The Evolution of Civil-Military Relations in
Post-war Turkey, 1980-95. Seventy-five Years of the Turkish Republic.
London: Frank Cass. 2000. (p. 130-151). p. 142-143
42. Timeline: Turkey, p. 3-4
43. Ibid, p. 4

Works cited

Bruinessen, Martin van. The Kurds in Turkey. MERIP Reports, No. 121, State
Terror in Turkey. Feb., 1984. (p. 6-12+14).

Houston, Christopher. Islam, Kurds and the Turkish Nation State. New York:
Berg. 2001.

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