The inadequate Islamic grappling with the Kurdish issue

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter explores whether in the two decades in the government of the Muslim-friendly Justice and Development Party, the influential Islamist movement in Turkey, has changed its understanding of and approach to the Kurdish problem. It became clear that Muslim talk and action directed to solving the Kurdish issue could usefully be cataloged into three different perspectives such as State Islamist, Islamist, and Kurdish Islamist discourse. For the large Kurdish population in Turkey, the outcome of Turkist nationalist policies was denial of their self-description as different from Turks. In refusing to countenance any historical reasons for the existence of pro-Kurdish political movements in Turkey other than their creation and direction by the West, Islamist discourse withdrew its 1990s objection against the nationalism of the Turkish state. Given the State and government's ceaseless generation and mobilization of Turkish nationalism, Kurdish Islamism defended the religious legitimacy of political struggle on the basis of Kurdish identity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge handbook on the Kurds
EditorsMichael M. Gunter
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781315627427
ISBN (Print)9781138646643
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Kurds
  • Turkey
  • Islamism
  • Politics
  • Minorities
  • Anthropology


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