Turkey's Kurdish Question Discourse & Politics Since 1990
The Kurdish question is one of the most complicated and protracted conflicts of the Middle East and will never be resolved unless it is finally defined. The majority of the Kurdish people live in Turkey, which gives the country a unique position in the larger Kurdish conundrum.
Society in Turkey is deeply divided over the definition and even existence of the Kurdish question, and this uncertainty has long manifested itself in its complete denial, or in accusations of political rivals of ‘separatism’ and even ‘treason’. Turkey’s Kurdish Question explores how these denial and acknowledgement dynamics often reveal pre-existing political ideology and agenda priorities, themselves becoming political actions. While the very term "Kurdish question" is discussed in the academic literature as a given, a new and systemic study is required to deconstruct and analyze the constitutive parts of this discursive construct. This book provides the first comprehensive study and analysis of the discursive constructions and perceptions of what is broadly defined as the "Kurdish question" in Turkish, European and American political cultures. Furthermore, its new methodological approach to the study of discourse and politics of secessionist conflicts can be applied to many similar intra-state conflict cases.
Turkey’s Kurdish Question would suit students and scholars of Middle East studies, Conflict studies and Comparative Politics, as well as Turkish or Kurdish studies.
H. Akın Ünver is an assistant professor of international relations at Kadir Has University. This book is based on his dissertation ‘Defining Turkey’s Kurdish Question‘, which has won the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) 2010 Malcolm H. Kerr award for the best dissertation in the field of social sciences.
Introduction 1. The transnational Kant and the search for a Diyarbakır social contract: Emancipation discourses in the European Parliament and US Congress 2. Hobbes in Washington and Brussels: Defining Kurdish Chaos and Turkish Order 3. Schrödinger’s Kurd: Can the Kurdish question both exist and not exist in Turkey? Concluding Analysis Epilogue: Justice and Development Party (AKP) Discourse on the Kurdish Question
"Throughout the past few decades, there have been an increasing number of English-language studies on various aspects of Turkey’s unresolved Kurdish question. However, Akin Unver’s work is different in the sense that it provides a comprehensive, comparative, and rich analysis of the discursive construction of the Kurdish question within three legislatures, namely the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT), the American Congress, and the European Parliament. Unver’s focus on these three legislative organs seems well-justified because it allows discourse analyses of different actors both from the government and the opposition."