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Kurds and the Debate over Stateless Nation - Essay Example

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According to reports, there are over 300 emerging national groups worldwide which propose regional nationalisms raising potential threat to many of the old nations and their political interests…
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Kurds and the Debate over Stateless Nation
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Download file to see previous pages Among them, Kurds constitute the prominent group as the world’s most numerous people without a homeland. Kurds’ sovereignty has been the bone of contention in the Middle East over several decades between various interest groups including Turks and Arabs and also Britain, France, and US all with their own oil interests over the Northern Iraq, the autonomous region of Kurds. Given below is the list of some relevant sources which could give extensive information on the issue. 1. Gunter, Michael M. “KURDS: The state and kurds in turkey: The question of assimilation”. The Middle East Journal, (2008) 62(2): 344-346. This article is a very good secondary source that closely reviews the findings of Metin Heper, a distinguished Turkish professor of politics who has recently joined the intellectual debate over the Kurdish issue in Turkey. According to Gunter (2008), the basic theme of Heper’s book is that “the Turkish Republic has not sought to promote Turkish ethnic nationalism that would assimilate its ethnic Kurdish population”. Heper also points out that the Turkish stance on the issue that is ignoring the distinctiveness of Kurds’ ethnicity has been deliberate. However, Gunter points some aspects that Heper omitted in his book. For instance, “the fact that the Kurds came late to the idea of their Kurd-ish identity superseding their Ottoman and Islamic identity” cannot be undermined. Gunter refers to Hakan Ozoglu who has documented this idea in his book Kurdish Notables and the ottoman State: Evolving Identities. Besides, Gunter identifies several other areas where Heper flawed. As the author points out, Heper simply maintains that Turkey has been convincing itself that it did not try to assimilate the Kurds forcefully but only ‘tried to prevent their de-acculturation’. Altogether, Gunter makes a critical evaluation of Heper’s findings on the Turkish position on Kurdish issues. Undoubtedly, the review helps one to reflect on the multiple facets of the debate over Kurds’ nationalism instead of simply agreeing with the arguments raised by authors like Heper. 2. Olson, Robert. “KURDS: Kurdish notables and the ottoman state: Evolving identities, competing loyalties, and shifting boundaries”. The Middle East Journal, (2004) 58(2): 305-307. Olson’s review of Ozoglu’s work KURDS: Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities is unique for its detailed description on the nature and origin of the Kurdish nationalism. The writer closely analyses the process of the evolvement of the modern states in terms of socio-political context and the extent to which they have assimilated the concept of ethno-nationalism and cultural identity. The book actually maintains a very different opinion about the Kurdish movement as compared to the ones proposed by Heper. According to the book, there was no Kurdish protonationalism in the late 19th century and in the early 20th century up to the end of WWII. Olson’s review makes the concept of Ozoglu much easier for researchers as he analyses the author’s arguments chapter by chapter giving specific focus to the way Kurdish nationalism is addressed in them. 3. Romano, David. “KURDS-kurdish politics in the middle east”. The Middle East Journal, (2010) 64(2): 311-312. This is another brilliant book review by Romano on the great work of Entessar (2010) Kurdish Politics in the Middle East. The reviewer has highlighted the author’s ability to simplify the complex and unseen aspects of the Kurdish issue. The book has gone very deep into the actual problems of the population including the Kurdish history and politics other than giving “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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