The Politics of Identity, Recognition and Multiculturalism: The Kurds in Turkey

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Abstract

The politics of identity and recognition regarding the Kurds in Turkey has gained momentum since 2002 but has never been implemented fully. The rightful critics emphasising the continuity of the State's authoritarian character, however, have not so far analysed if their own normative suggestions are theoretically consistent and sociologically grounded. Based on the Author's fieldwork and contemporary social surveys, this article shows that there are conflicting views within the Kurdish community about the forms that the politics of recognition could take. By exploring the conflicts of interest within the Kurdish community from a bottom-up approach, the article concludes that the recognition of an authentic Kurdish identity is problematic sociologically. It is also more likely to harm than help the Kurds in the country from a normative perspective. The article explains how the quest for an authentic Kurdish political identity and attempts to generate it actually limit the individual autonomy and exacerbate the disparity between the Turks and the Kurds in the country.

Publisher Statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kuzu, D 2015, 'The Politics of Identity, Recognition and Multiculturalism: The Kurds in Turkey' Nations and Nationalism, vol 22, no. 1, pp. 123-142, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/nana.12139. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-142
Number of pages20
JournalNations and Nationalism
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kuzu, D 2015, 'The Politics of Identity, Recognition and Multiculturalism: The Kurds in Turkey' Nations and Nationalism, vol 22, no. 1, pp. 123-142, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/nana.12139. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Keywords

  • identity politics
  • Kurds
  • multiculturalism
  • recognition
  • Turkey

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