Islamic solutions to the Kurdish problem: late rendezvous or illegitimate shortcut?

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In a recent book detailing the massive war migration in the South-East of Turkey, Kemal Öztürk questions: “Has an Islamic position been made clear on the Kurdish problem, which for the last ten years has assumed the highest place on the national agenda?” and goes on to ask: “In the fifteen reports suggesting solutions to the Kurdish problem is there one representing muslims?” He concludes by saying, “Unfortunately the answer to both questions must be ‘no’” (Öztürk 1996, p. 104). Öztürk's comments are interesting for three reasons: first, is his assumption that a distinct Islamic stance is possible regarding the Kurdish problem. Second is his deploring of the fact that such a position has not been enunciated. And third is the rather disingenuous claim that the lack of a clear response in the name of Islam is synonymous with no position at all by the religious camia (community), as if the ‘de facto’ positions of muslims, i.e. their actual practice, could be dismissed quite so unproblematically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalNew Perspectives on Turkey
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Turkey
  • Islamism
  • political protests


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